NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 11, 2014) - The depths of the sea and the farthest reaches of outer space have something in common: They're both extreme environments. This has led scientists to value the benefits of underwater training for astronauts. Until now, however, access to an appropriate undersea environment has been limited, at best. That's all about to change. As part of a lecture series on ocean-related subjects, NASA engineer Bill Todd will share the story of the new research vessel, SeaOrbiter, currently under construction. He will present exciting information on this topic in two lectures titled "Origins of SeaOrbiter" at the ExplorOcean headquarters in Newport Beach on Thursday, March 27 at 4 and 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Todd, who specializes in astronaut training systems, is set to discuss SeaOrbiter's unusual origin and significant value to scientific exploration. In an unusual move for the scientific community, French researchers sourced crowd-funding to build the vessel, with missions planned for the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Chief among its benefits, the ship will offer marine biologists long-term access to the world's oceans as well as host astronauts-in-training. According to the SeaOrbiter website, the vessel will work as "a space simulator which accommodates astronauts in a pressurized area. Living conditions in this pressurized habitat are similar to the conditions found in space." For astronauts and aquanauts, SeaOrbiter continues the legacy of Jules Verne, Jacques Piccard and Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Todd's lecture is part of a series offered by the nonprofit organization, ExplorOcean, America's premiere ocean literacy center. ExplorOcean's monthly lecture series is free to members and costs $15 per talk for non-members. The series runs each month through May and will feature guest speakers including Dr. Kevin Hand of the Deep Sea Challenger Expedition and Dr. Ana Širović, marine bioacoustician at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The series is offered as part of ExplorOcean's mission to inspire, educate and engage the explorer within. All lectures will take place at 600 East Bay Ave., Newport Beach, California.

ABOUT EXPLOROCEAN:  ExplorOcean, America's premiere ocean literacy center, offers a world-class ocean literacy platform and cultural destination where visitors can immerse themselves in interactive exhibitions devised to develop the curious explorer within. ExplorOcean's high quality programs which are grounded in the seven principles of ocean literacy and in STEM content include single day camps, multi-day camps, classes, monthly lectures and an impressive underwater robotics program developed by the director of education, Dr. Wendy Marshall. Headquartered on the Balboa Peninsula between the sparkling Pacific Ocean and the bustling Newport Harbor, the center's nearly two-acre location is the perfect place for people of all ages to learn about the seven seas. For more information about ExplorOcean, please visit

Contact Information:

Leslie Licano
Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.
949.733.8679 x 101