A multi-million dollar Japanese Government project to examine the effects of living underwater, is nearing completion at the remote fishing port of Numazu, 60 miles (96 Kilometres) west of Tokyo.
GV PULL BACK FROM Mt. Fuji TO Ship in harbour at Numazu
LV PAN & CU Chamber (2 shots)
LV PAN DOWN FROM Chamber TO Hold of ship
SV PAN INTERIOR FROM Pressurised chamber TO Control centre
CU Dials and gauges surround technician at controls (4 shots)
SV Newsmen looking into pressurised chamber
SV Sleeping quarters inside chamber
SV PAN Aquanauts shake hands with officers before entering pressurising chamber
CU Aquanauts views entering chamber through exterior window
CU & SV Aquanaut into chamber and taking seat (2 shots)
SCU Aquanauts examining diver's helmet
SV PAN Dials and gauges on outside chamber
CU Chamber door closed and sealed
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A multi-million dollar Japanese Government project to examine the effects of living underwater, is nearing completion at the remote fishing port of Numazu, 60 miles (96 Kilometres) west of Tokyo.
The 6 million dollar U.S. (2.8 million pounds sterling) experiment is code-named "Seatopia" and the Government hopes it will determine whether or not man can live and work efficiently at great depths.
Seatopia officially began on 21 October, when the "aquanauts" entered their sealed and pressurised living quarters aboard the research ship. After three days of pressurisation, the men were lowered by derrick to a depth of 310 feet (100 metres).
They are scheduled to surface on Thursday (6 November).
The Government has taken the programme and its preparations very seriously. It first got underway in 1968 with surface supply and support ship designing, building and crew training. The design of the underwater living capsule came next and was a complicated process.
Various tests and experiments will be conducted by the aquanauts while they are on the ocean bottom.
For resources-starved and pollution-conscious Japan, the sea, rather than space, is the great frontier and project "Seatopia" is Japan's NASA.