Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain, a pair of professors from Roane State Community College in Tennesse, will spend 73 days underwater, where they will lead classes. In addition to offering courses over the internet, the professors hope to break a record for the longest time spent underway. The instructors arrived in the marine outpost, 25 feet under the Key Largo Lagoon. on October 3.
Classroom Under the Sea will set records, while becoming the first class of its kind ever offered, anywhere in the world.
Jules' Undersea Lodge is the world's only underwater hotel, and will soon become the stage for the first biology classes ever taught from beneath the waves. A weekly lecture series are to be offered, for college-level viewers who will access the class online.
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, is one of a series of guests scheduled to be interviewed in the undersea environment by the pair of researchers. The 84-year-old former astronaut will journey to the aquatic outpost on October 16. There, he will talk to Cantrell and Fain about the way astronauts train in aquatic pools to prepare for time in space. Both high school and middle school students will also be brought in to meet with the professors in the aquatic hotel.
"We worked through just about every scenario we could think of. There are only two ways we'll come out of the habitat early - either catastrophic equipment failure or a serious medical condition," Cantrell said.
Richard Presley spent 69 days underwater in 1992, setting the current record for longest stay in such an environment. That expedition also took place in the waters near Key Largo.
Cantrell is a 63-year-old associate professor at the school, while Fain, 25, is employed as an adjunct professor.
"[I am] a little concerned and a little worried that I'm not going to see the sunlight for 73 days. I'm sure at some point, we'll go up very close to the surface (of the lagoon) to see what the sunshine looks like," Fain told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
If the adventures stay under the water until December 15 as planned, Roane State will host a large celebration, welcoming them back to land. Among the dignitaries expected to attend is none other than Richard Presley himself.
Private stays at Jule's Undersea Lodge start at $150 for a three-hour stay, or $675 per person for an overnight adventure. A romantic getaway for two under the water runs $1,395 per night. There are just two rooms available in the aquatic lodge.
Videos of life in the underwater environment are being posted on a dedicated YouTube channel.