By Bill Springer

The confluence of science and superyachts may sound a bit far-fetched but, the world’s largest superyacht—the 600-foot-long REV Ocean is a research and expedition vessel that was designed by the legendary superyacht designer Espen Øino with an interior by H2 Yacht Design. REV Ocean is also the centerpiece of a scientific mission that was founded Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke and scheduled to be delivered later this year.

But REV Ocean looks small compared to the 980-foot-long concept superyacht Earth 300intends to build. And since it’s designed to be powered with a 100% carbon-free propulsion system, it could possibly be the “greenest” superyacht ever built—if it gets built.

According to advance reports, the lofty goals of Earth 300 are to “build the Olympic Torch of global science and to expand our knowledge and understanding of the universe both above and below the ocean’s surface.

“The result is a collaborative, next-generation platform for state-of-the-art science at sea. Our radical design – iconic, intelligent, aesthetically-pleasing – is intentional. It’s a 300-metre fabrication of the future. The 13-story Science Sphere and cantilevered Observation Deck are the most obvious and eye-catching examples.”

Like REV Ocean and other large research vessels, Earth 300 is designed to carry scientists all over the globe to conduct experiments. But since nay also be powered by a “Molten Salt Reactor” that’s reported to be safe, sustainable and 100% emission free, Earth 300 could be an exciting launch pad for a significant leap forward in green marine power.

According to Earth 300, the marine version of the Molten Salt Reactor (m-MSR) produces atomic energy with few moving parts and provides the sustainable, clean energy needed to move ocean transportation into the future. Earth 300 would be the first research vessel that could be powered by this revolutionary propulsion system.

And while I’ll be first to report that “nuclear power” may still cause real concerns among scientists and the general public alike, advancements in this technology coupled with an ability to produce significant power in clean new ways could provide affordable and significant green solutions for the world’s largest ships. But don’t take my word for it! Bill Gates’s Terra Power and some of the worlds smartest minds are working on this technology too.

The bold goals of this Earth 300 and this futuristic ship that was designed by Iddes Yachts with naval architecture by NED Project and has a “who’s who” list of partners including the polar exploration experts EYOS Expeditions and Core Power Energy promise to reframe what a floating research laboratory can achieve.

The capabilities that Earth 300 scientists will have at their disposal: artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, real time data processing—including the latest quantum computer—are exceptional.

And since the massive global problems we face require bold new ideas like these I’m going to be watching this project closely! 

Stay tuned.

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