Why Did NASA Stop Exploring The Ocean

Why Did NASA Stop Exploring The Ocean?

A thought-provoking question has recently circulated on the internet. The most recent question that has piqued people’s interest is, “Why did NASA stop exploring the ocean?” Did NASA actually explore the oceans?

Most people struggle to see the connection between NASA and the exploration of the oceans. According to popular belief, NASA is unrelated to ocean exploration and focuses entirely on outer space discovery. However, recent discoveries and theories imply something different. NASA may aim to peer beneath the ocean floor to solve puzzles relating to the ocean and space.

Nasa’s space mission takes us to previously uncharted reaches of our planet. That includes the magnificent oceans, but why did they start exploring? And what were their findings? When did NASA stop exploring the ocean? Everything you desire to know is right here.

Why was the reason behind NASA’s ocean exploration?

Why was the reason behind NASA's ocean exploration

NASA has conducted a number of ocean exploration missions using the ocean systems discovered on Mars and the Moon.

More than eighty percent of the entire oceans on our planet are a complete mystery due to a mix of unimaginably deep waters, intense pressure, and a shortage of sunshine.

The GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) & the Aquarius mission are two NASA ESSP missions that have set out to solve these questions.

GRACE began on March 17, 2002; it was created to investigate previously undetected fluctuations in the ocean’s mass field, which is crucial for climate as well as ocean circulation research. 

The Aquarius mission, launched on June 10, 2011, was designed to investigate ocean salinity from space – named NEEMO, parties of astronauts, engineers, and scientists are dispatched to dwell onboard Aquarius.

The Aquarius is the world’s only undersea research station, and scientists are assigned to it for as long as 3 three weeks at a time. Aquarius scientists aimed to investigate the changing ocean and the state of coral reefs, which are endangered locally, regionally, and globally by growing pollution, overfishing, disease, and climate change.

NASA’s ocean explorations have resulted in information and technology that are now widely employed in study and application.

Ocean surface topography measured by ocean vector winds measured by scatterometers, precision altimeters, and ocean color measured by radiometers are examples of this endeavor.

What did NASA find in the ocean that scared them?

What did NASA find in the ocean that scared them

As is often the case, a viral TikTok video prompted the question, “Why did NASA stop exploring the ocean?” The TikTok account memes_to_click posted a video in March 2021 alleging that “NASA’s original mission was searching the oceans.” The video immediately devolves into conspiracy theory territory, stating, “They [NASA] will not tell us what they found, but their plans have abruptly switched to getting us off this planet ASAP.”

That is one of many films concerning NASA’s ocean exploration. “You aren’t alone on Earth,” timetraveler2743 stated on TikTok. The threat is just beneath your feet. NASA is aware of it.”

According to another TikTok video by jdippy11, NASA examined a series of reports of missing boats from the 1980s, identified a “massive unknown species,” and then ceased researching the oceans.

This is the question posed by the TikTok video. It, however, misses the point. NASA’s original principles had little to do with ocean exploration.

Newsweek presents the facts. NASA’s initial goals were:

  • Increasing human understanding of space phenomena Improving the performance of aeronautical as well as space vehicles
  • Creating vehicles capable of transporting cargo and people into space
  • Establishing long-term studies into the peaceful and scientific use of aeronautical and space operations
  • Keeping the United States remains the global leader in aeronautical and space science

NASA’s mission was not to investigate the oceans but to explore space plus the atmosphere. Why are so many individuals stating the reverse if NASA never investigated the oceans? It all comes down to attention, like with anything else online. A creepy conspiracy about NASA abruptly ceasing ocean exploration is a simple method to gain followers on YouTube, TikTok, or other social media. They’ll keep coming for as long as individuals click on and view these videos.

Is NASA involved in ocean exploration at all? Did NASA ever explore the ocean?

Yes, but most likely not in the manner that you believe.

In 1959, NASA established the Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC).

The GSFC, created in 1970, among other things, builds satellite systems for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA tracks and analyses weather and climatic systems, analyzes data to understand and anticipate changes in weather systems, and informs the public and partner organizations about its findings.

The NOAA section that sponsors expeditions and exploration initiatives is the Office of Ocean Exploration Research (OER). So, while its funding and/or organizational clout may originate from NASA, its excursions are not NASA’s responsibility.


NASA also conducts oceanographic research through expeditions of Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP).

For instance, the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), a NASA-German Aerospace Centre (DLR) cooperative mission launched in 2018, measures gravity anomalies.

As the distribution of pure water around the globe changes, gravity anomalies arise. While such observations are related to water and the seas, these are not oceanic excursions in and of themselves.

Meanwhile, NASA’s Aquarius mission (started in 2008) measures and maps the salinity levels of the world’s oceans and the movement of salt throughout the planet.

However, both of these projects perform ocean exploration from space. They mainly acquire information from satellites.

What percentage of the ocean has yet to be discovered?

What percentage of the ocean has yet to be discovered

According to NOAA, over 80% of the world’s ocean is unmapped, unseen, and undiscovered.

This is because sections of the world’s oceans are just inaccessible.

It is hard to see anything below a certain level because it is freezing, and the enormous pressure crushes whatever isn’t meant to be down here.

“On a dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which is nearly 7 miles deep, you’re talking about approximately 1,000 times more pressure than at the surface,” said NASA oceanographer Gene Carl Feldman to Oceana.

“That’s the equivalent of the weight of 50 jumbo jets pressing on your body.”

Why did NASA stop exploring the oceans?

For a decade or more, NASA has launched a number of efforts to investigate the secret depths of our seas.

And contrary to popular belief, NASA has not decided to discontinue ocean exploration.

The Aquarius mission ended in 2015 owing to a technical issue, while the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment was halted in 2015 because the GRACE-2 satellite had to be retired due to its age.

However, in 2021, NASA collaborated with deep-ocean divers to create technology for the Europa mission, indicating that enthusiasm for ocean exploration will wane for a while.

And, based on the current NASA incentives, the coming years will bring tremendous breakthroughs to light.

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