Manned Undersea Science and Technology Needs Focus and Direction

PSAD-77-130: Published: Jul 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1979.

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National goals and objectives for U.S. manned undersea research have not been clearly defined. Until this is done, it would be difficult to establish a level of funding of new facilities needed to support an expanded federal manned undersea research program.

Undersea research has suffered from the lack of overall ocean research goals and objectives, a national focus, and sporadic funding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tried to provide a national focus for manned undersea research when it established the Manned Undersea Science and Technology Office in 1971. However, its budget was restricted to level funding of about $1 million a year, and its objectives were narrowed to support only in-house investigations. Congress appropriated $1.5 million in fiscal year 1977 for NOAA to support surveys, mission analyses, cost analyses, and design and engineering studies for an underwater ocean laboratory.

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