The world’s deepest pool will host astronaut training in the UK

The $200 million Blue Abyss facility is expected to open in 2023.

British company Blue Abyss has submitted plans to build a massive aquatic facility in Cornwall, England — and its centerpiece will be the world’s deepest pool.

Diving in: The Blue Abyss facility isn’t designed for recreation — instead, it will primarily serve as a research center for the aerospace, maritime, robotics, and energy industries.

Astronauts, for example, often train underwater, because the environment can closely mimic the microgravity they’ll experience in space. The Blue Abyss pool would be large enough to accommodate space agencies’ mock equipment for astronauts to train on.

Ocean explorers, meanwhile, could test new underwater robots in the massive pool and train for their own deep sea missions within it. Offshore energy companies might test their own in-development equipment.

The world’s deepest pool: The Blue Abyss pool will be 164 feet long and 131 feet wide.

A 50-foot-wide shaft within the pool will have a depth of 164 feet. The world’s deepest pool right now — Poland’s Deepspot — is just 148 feet deep, so Blue Abyss will be the new record holder once construction is complete.

The pool’s lighting, currents, salinity, and temperature are all controllable, and Blue Abyss will contain enough water to fill 17 Olympic-size swimming pools or — as the company’s press release cheekily puts it — 168 million cups of tea.

Looking ahead: The world’s deepest pool will be situated on a 10-acre site alongside an astronaut training centre, a microgravity suite, multiple classrooms, and more.

The whole project is expected to cost more than $200 million and take 18 months to build. Blue Abyss is currently negotiating with Cornwall Council to acquire land for the facility in the Aerohub Business Park, with plans to open it in 2023.

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