SEA / NASA Joint Collaboration of Exploration

October 13, 2019

Sea Education Association has been sailing to remote ocean regions, conducting oceanographic research, and involving students in sail training and scientific exploration for over 45 years. Our two 134-foot sailing tall-ships are each fully equipped with an oceanographic research laboratory and field sampling technology geared towards studying the chemistry, geology, physics, and biology of the ocean from the surface to deep ocean habitats.

Since the formation of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in 2015, NASA has been keenly interested in this landmass as a rare opportunity to examine pathways of land formation and erosion in the time of 21st century remote sensing and scientific technology. HTHH is the first island formed on Earth since the availability of sub-meter resolution satellites including imaging radar and geodetic lidar altimetry. The island has persisted longer than expected, sparking questions of the erosion dynamics behind its longevity and mechanical stability. NASA’s Mars Exploration Program is most interested in HTHH, as it offers a proxy for understanding important geologic dynamics on the red planet associated with water-based erosion.

Learn more about this joint collaboration.

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