Dear Cook Community,
In 2009, many of you eagerly followed the 221-day journey of the Rutgers glider, RU27, from its launch off the New Jersey coast in Tuckerton, NJ, to its landfall in Baiona, Spain. Following the success of that historic trans-Atlantic voyage, Rutgers was issued a new challenge by NOAA: circumnavigate the globe using gliders on a worldwide scientific mission involving all five ocean basins.
This month, RU COOL launched the Challenger Glider Mission, recreating the historic global scientific ocean survey conducted in 1872 by the British vessel, HMS Challenger, which set out to unravel the mysteries of the deep sea. More than 140 years later, we're still actively engaged in the task of understanding our oceans, only this time unmanned, underwater vehicles play an increasingly significant role in the exploration of the Earth's last great frontier - the ocean!
| Rutgers students will lead the Challenger Mission, steering 16 gliders from the command center at the COOL Lab, in an effort to capture unprecedented undersea data that will improve our ability to predict the oceans' future and promote our understanding of their impact on global weather. |
To help communicate the data collected over this 70,000 nautical mile journey, the global mobile voice and data satellite communications network Iridium Communications, Inc. has joined the Challenger Mission as a technology sponsor.
We salute the launch of this ambitious initiative and I invite you to learn more about the Challenger Mission in this video featuring environmental and ocean advocate Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the famous ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
You can follow the gliders' path and get a more detailed understanding (PDF) of the Challenger Mission.