Newly Discovered Apollo Vent Field in Pacific Offers Glimpse of Alien Worlds
The SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) Research Program team aboard Exploration Vessel Nautilus is thrilled to have discovered a new hydrothermal field at the northern Gorda Ridge in the Pacific Ocean. The team has named it Apollo Vent Field in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this year, which is fitting since the SUBSEA project isn’t just ocean research – it’s an analog project designed to contribute to the future of space exploration. The Apollo vent field offers a rare glimpse into environments that could be windows into ocean systems elsewhere in our Solar System – on moons such as Enceladus and Europa. SUBSEA is a partnership between NASA Science Mission Directorate PSTAR Program, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Ocean Exploration Trust, and multiple academic research centers.