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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
​More than two-thirds of the planet is covered by our oceans, but most of what lies beneath the surface is a mystery to us. In fact, researchers have better maps of Mars than they do of the ocean floor.

The Competition to Map the Ocean Floor

The Shell Ocean Discovery X Prize competition, open to researchers all over the globe, has $7 million in prizes. First place is $4 million, and second place is $1 million. The rest of the money will be divided by the remaining teams in the top 10. The national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is adding a $1 million “bonus prize” to teams that create and use technology that takes advantage of biological and chemical signals to find objects within the ocean.

It’s not an easy win, though. To compete, researchers need to develop an autonomous vehicle that they can launch from the air or a shoreline. It needs to have sufficient technology to create high-resolution maps at depths of around 13, 125 feet, and during the course of the competition, it must be able to create high-resolution images of archaeological, biological or geological features.

When Does It Start?

The competition isn’t starting just yet. There’s a 9-month registration period, and from there, researchers are allowed a year to develop their vehicles. The vehicles will be subjected to two rounds of testing, and they’ll be judged by an expert panel… and only then can the true competition begin.

The X Prize, launched in 1996 as an initiative to explore what’s above, not below us. A team of researchers developed and deployed a spacecraft capable of carrying three people 62.5 miles above the earth. (Virgin Galactic, a division of the Virgin Group – the ones who want to make commercial space travel available – acquired the winning technology.)

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear what you think about the ocean exploration initiative. Are you excited to find out what’s lurking in the deep? Share your thoughts on my Facebook page or join me on Twitter!

Carlos Gamino


The Ocean Just Got a Lot More Exciting - Carlos Gamino Wisconsin
​By Carlos Gamino

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I get excited about exploring new frontiers. In mid-December, Peter Diamandis – the chairman and CEO of X Prize – announced a new competition: a 3-year-long race to map the ocean floor.

News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

The Ocean Just Got a Lot More Exciting

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