Tektite habitat

The Tektite Habitat was placed in Great Lameshur Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands in 1969 and again in 1970.cite journal |author=Clifton HE, Mahnken CV, Van Derwalker JC, Waller RA |title=Tektite 1, man-in-the-sea project: marine science program |journal=Science (journal) |volume=168 |issue=932 |pages=659–63 |year=1970 |month=May |pmid=5438496 |doi= |url=http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=5438496] cite journal |author=Collette, BB |title=Results of the Tektite Program: Ecology of coral-reef fishes. In: MA Lang, CC Baldwin (Eds.) The Diving for Science…1996, "Methods and Techniques of Underwater Research" |journal=Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Sixteenth Annual Scientific Diving Symposium, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. |year=1996 |url=http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4687 |accessdate=2008-05-30] The underwater laboratory was the home to divers during Tektite I and II programs. The Tektite program was the first scientists-in-the-sea sponsored nationally.

Habitat

The Tektite Habitat was designed and built by General Electric Company Space Division at the Valley Forge Space Technology Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The Project Engineer who was responsible for the design of the habitat was Brooks Tenney, Jr. Brooks also served as the underwater Habitat Engineer on the International Mission, the last mission on the Tektite II project. The Program Manager for the Tektite I project at General Electric was Bren Thompson, and the Program Manager for the Tektite II project was Brooks Tenney, Jr. The Habitat appears as a pair of silos: Two white metal cylinders 4 m in diameter, 6 m high, joined by a flexible tunnel and seated on a rectangular base in 15 m of water.

The Tektite Project was led by Dr. Theodore Marton who worked for General Electric.

Tektite I

On February 15, 1969, four U. S. Department of Interior scientists (Ed Clifton, Conrad Mahnken, Richard Waller and John VanDerwalker) descended to the ocean floor in Great Lameshur Bay in the U. S. Virgin Islands to begin an ambitious diving project dubbed "Tektite I". By March 18, 1969, the four aquanauts had established a new world's record for saturated diving by a single team. On April 15, 1969, the aquanaut team returned to the surface with over 58 days of marine scientific studies. More than 19 hours of decompression therapy were needed to accommodate the scientist's return to the surface.cite journal |author=Edel PO |title=Delineation of emergency surface decompression and treatment procedures for project Tektite aquanauts |journal=Aerosp Med |volume=42 |issue=6 |pages=616–21 |year=1971 |month=June |pmid=5155147 |doi= |url=] The United States Office of Naval Research coordinated Tektite I.

Much of the research for Tektite I centered around humans in this new environment. Topics investigated would include: Biology (Blood changes, Sleep patterns, oxygen toxicity)cite journal |author=Johnson PC, Driscoll TB, Fischer CL |title=Blood volume changes in divers of Tektite I |journal=Aerosp Med |volume=42 |issue=4 |pages=423–6 |year=1971 |month=April |pmid=5155127 |doi= |url=] cite journal |author=Naitoh P, Johnson LC, Austin M |title=Aquanaut sleep patterns during tektite I: a 60-day habitation under hyperbaric nitrogen saturation |journal=Aerosp Med |volume=42 |issue=1 |pages=69–77 |year=1971 |month=January |pmid=5541094 |doi= |url=] cite journal |author=Clark JM |title=The Predictive Studies Series: Correlation of physiologic responses to extreme environmental stresses |journal=Undersea Hyperb Med |volume=31 |issue=1 |pages=33–51 |year=2004 |pmid=15233158 |url=http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3988 |accessdate=2008-05-30] , Decompression and decompression sickness, Microbiologycite journal |author=Cobet AB, Wright DN, Warren PI |title=Tektite-I program: bacteriological aspects |journal=Aerosp Med |volume=41 |issue=6 |pages=611–6 |year=1970 |month=June |pmid=4392833 |doi= |url=] cite journal |author=Cobet AB, Dimmick RL |title=Tektite-I program: aerobiological aspects |journal=Aerosp Med |volume=41 |issue=6 |pages=617–20 |year=1970 |month=June |pmid=4392834 |doi= |url=] , and Mycologycite journal |author=Levine HB, Cobet AB |title=The tektite-I dive. Mycological aspects |journal=Arch. Environ. Health |volume=20 |issue=4 |pages=500–5 |year=1970 |month=April |pmid=4393404 |doi= |url=] .

Tektite II

The United States Department of the Interior coordinated Tektite II, with part of the funding coming from NASA, which was interested in the psychological study of the scientific teams working in closed environments, similar to that of spacecraft.

The missions were carried out in 1970. Tektite II comprised ten missions lasting 10-20 days with four scientists and an engineer on each mission. One of these missions included the first all-female aquanaut team, led by Dr. Sylvia Earle Mead. Other scientists participating in the all-female mission included Dr. Renate True of Tulane, as well as Ann Hartline and Alina Szmant, graduate students at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The fifth member of the crew was Margaret Ann Lucas, a Villanova engineering graduate, who served as Habitat Engineer. The Tektite II missions were the first to undertake in-depth ecological studies.

Medical and human research oversight for Tektite II was well documented in a series of reports covering a project overviewcite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. I. Introduction |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=5–8 |year=1972 |pmid=4653767 |doi= |url=] , saturation divingcite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. II. Saturation diving |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=9–18 |year=1972 |pmid=4653769 |doi= |url=] , lessons learned from Tektite Icite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. 3. Tektite I |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=19–28 |year=1972 |pmid=4653762 |doi= |url=] , application to Tektite IIcite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith FM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. IV. Evolution of project Tektite II |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=29–34 |year=1972 |pmid=4653764 |doi= |url=] , Medical responsibilities and psychological monitoringcite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. V. Medical staff and responsibilities; psychological monitoring |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=35–41 |year=1972 |pmid=4655601 |doi= |url=] , medical supervision dutiescite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II; medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. VI. The spectrum of medical supervision of the aquanauts |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=43–9 |year=1972 |pmid=4653765 |doi= |url=] , medical and biological objectivescite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. VII. Other medical and biological objectives |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=51–6 |year=1972 |pmid=4653766 |doi= |url=] , project logisticscite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. 8. Tektite logistics |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=57–84 |year=1972 |pmid=4143923 |doi= |url=] , lessons learnedcite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. IX. Mission-by-mission experiences |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=85–143 |year=1972 |pmid=4653768 |doi= |url=] , excursions to deeper depths from storage pressurecite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II; medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. X. The aborted 100-FSW (Minitat) program |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=145–53 |year=1972 |pmid=4143922 |doi= |url=] , Decompression tablescite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. XI. Decompression tables |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=155–69 |year=1972 |pmid=4653760 |doi= |url=] , general medical observationscite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. XII. General medical observations |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=171–85 |year=1972 |pmid=4675966 |doi= |url=] , psychological observationscite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. 13. Some preliminary psychological observations |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=187–90 |year=1972 |pmid=4653761 |doi= |url=] , Blood changes cite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. XIV. Biochemical, hematological, and endocrine studies |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=191–201 |year=1972 |pmid=4347306 |doi= |url=] , and general program conclusionscite journal |author=Beckman EL, Smith EM |title=Tektite II: medical supervision of the scientists in the sea. XV. Conclusions |journal=Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. |volume=30 |issue=3 |pages=203–4 |year=1972 |pmid=4653763 |doi= |url=] .

Ecology

There were nine studies on the ecology of coral-reef fishes carried out during the Tektite series:
* Influence of herbivores on marine plants,
* bio-acoustic studies,
* observations on cleaner shrimps,
* isopods associated with reef fishes,
* behavior of reef fishes in relation to fish pots,
* bioturbation by the sand tilefish,
* escape response in a damsel fish,
* nocturnal-diurnal changeover in activity patterns, and
* space resource-sharing.

Physiology

A goal of the Tektite program was to prove that saturation diving techniques in a underwater laboratory, breathing a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere could be safely, efficiently, and at a minimal cost.

Dr. Lambertsen's "Predictive Studies Series", that started with TEKTITE I in 1969 and ended in 1997, researched many aspects of human physiology in extreme environments.

References

Further reading

* Collette, B.B. and S.A. Earle. (Eds.). 1972. [http://www.si.edu/dive/Collette.pdf Results of the Tektite Program: Ecology of coral-reef fishes] . Los Angeles Co. Nat. Hist. Mus. Sci. Bull. 14. 180 p.

ee also

* Underwater habitat


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