World’s deepest pool with ’50m shaft’ planned for UK to train astronauts

The world's deepest pool is set to be built in the UK.

The Blue Abyss, which will be a world-class extreme environment, will be used to train astronauts.

It even has the backing of astronaut Tim Peake.

The pool at the centre of the Blue Abyss will be a huge 50m x 40m stepped pool with a 50m deep shaft.

It will be able to hold 42,000 cubic metres of water, which is the same as 17 Olympic swimming pools or even roughly 168 million cups of tea.

The £150million facility is set to be built Cornwall and will be used to train staff from space, defence, marine and off-shore energy sectors as well as testing the latest underwater technologies such as subsea robotics.

A statement on the Blue Abyss website reads: "This pioneering centre will be the most comprehensive deep sea and space research, training and test facility of its kind in the world, unmatched in its breadth of configuration.

"Blue Abyss' primary function is to enable extreme environment development, both human and robotic, ranging from the offshore energy industry through to the growing human spaceflight sector and adventure tourism."

The facility was the idea of ex-forces diving instructor and management consultant John Vickers. He has already won the support of Major Peake, who now sits on the Blue Abyss advisory board.

Major Peake said: "I am proud to be part of the Blue Abyss team and I am delighted to see the project take such an important step forward with today's announcement.

"This project will join Goonhilly Earth Station and Spaceport Cornwall as significant national assets, creating a deep sea and space research, training and test facility, as well as fantastic educational resource, helping to widen our knowledge of how humans and technology can function in extreme environments, for the benefit of people and the planet."

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Vickers added: "We're planning a globally unique facility with a wide range of potential uses that tap into so many of the industries that Cornwall and the south west are known for.

"Blue Abyss will be a huge research asset for aerospace, offshore energy, underwater robotics, human physiology, defence, leisure and marine industries, and a fantastic education centre for children and university students.

"Cornwall already feels like our natural home and we're delighted to have received such a warm response."

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