Underwater Exploration Timeline The Present and Future University of Wisconsin Sea Grant
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 The Present:

An estimated 500,000 new scuba divers are certified yearly in the United States, new scuba magazines form, dive computers proliferate, and scuba travel is transformed into a big business.

In North America alone recreational diving becomes a multibillion dollar industry. At the same time there is expansion of "technical diving" -- diving by nonprofessionals who use advanced technology, including mixed gases, full face masks, underwater voice communication, propulsion systems, etc.

Sara Campbell breaks the world record for freediving by a woman by diving 314 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean on a single breath. She held her breath for 3 minutes and 36 seconds.

William Trubridge breaks the world record for freediving by plunging 328 feet below sea level off an island in the Bahamas. He held his breath for 4 minutes and 10 seconds.

 The Future:

"Our future, our destiny, will be greatly affected by discoveries from our exploration of inner and outer space."
Scott Carpenter, Astronaut/Aquanaut

Up to the present time, underwater exploration has been driven by human curiosity and ingenuity, and in the future, that basic motivation won't change.

Our techniques and equipment will improve as scientists, engineers and adventurers continue to refine the basic tools for underwater exploration.

Tomorrow's divers likely will be using improved versions of scuba, diving dress, underwater vehicles and underwater research stations.

However, we will continue to be drawn to the underwater world by the same sense of mystery and adventure that inspired our early ancestors to take that first deep breath and plunge into the unknown.