Thursday, October 14, 2004


Ballard Secures $2 Million For URI Ocean Exploration Center

URI Community Could Monitor Oceanographic Expeditions

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. -- University of Rhode Island professor and marine explorer Robert Ballard has secured more than $2 million in federal and private funding for a new center at the university.

The funding is for the Inner Space Center, which Ballard said will be the ocean exploration equivalent of NASA's command center for space exploration.

The Inner Space Center is a component of the Undersea Exploration Center, which will be voted on as part of a bond referendum question in the November election.

"With the passage of bond issue No. 9, the state of Rhode Island is ready to play a central role in our nation's new program to explore the uncharted regions of the world," Ballard said. "One can only imagine what discoveries await us."

Ballard found the Titanic in 1986. He recently went back to assess changes to the wreck.

In the Inner Space Center, signals from research vessels will be transmitted to URI's graduate school of oceanography.

Students, faculty and researchers will be able to monitor oceanographic expeditions in real-time.

The live pictures would also be sent over the Internet to all schools in Rhode Island.

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