ananyo writes "Google board chair Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy have paid to turn a former fishery-protection vessel into a research ship for oceanographers, featuring a sauna, a glassed-in lounge and a helicopter pad. The R/VFalkor, an 83-metre former fishery-protection vessel, was retrofitted by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, at a cost of US$60 million. It's named after a lucky dragon in the film The NeverEnding Story.
Unlike James Cameron, who is holding back many of the discoveries from his plunge into the Mariana Trench for use in a feature film (the sub was donated to Woods Hole) , managers of R/VFalkor research favour projects are emphasizing open data. Data sharing is not a requirement for research proposals, says Victor Zykov, Schmidt Ocean’s director of research, but those that include an open-data component are ranked higher than those of equal scientific value that do not.
The ship’s first full-length science cruise ends on 29 March when it returns to port in St Petersburg, Florida, after a three-week trip."
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