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Aquarius Reef Base in Key Largo, Florida is a unique ocean science and diving facility within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary providing unparalleled means to study coral reefs and the ocean, to test state-of-the-art undersea technology, to train students, astronauts, and Navy divers, and to engage the imagination of people across the globe in ocean science, coral reefs, conservation, and underwater technology.



The Aquarius undersea laboratory is an ocean-observing platform with access to real-time data via the Internet, and a shore-based field station. The undersea habitat is owned and operated out of Islamorada by Florida International University (FIU).


Saturation diving techniques allow scientists to live and work underwater 24 hours per day for one to two week missions. They conduct research, surveys, test equipment or undertake in situ experiments that would be difficult, if not cost and time prohibitive, if diving from the surface.


Universities, government agencies and private industry have conducted more than 130 missions to discover, preserve, train and innovate. More than 600 scientific research papers have been published based on Aquarius science.

Explore Past Missions

Since 1993, the Aquarius undersea lab has supported more than 120 missions, producing over 600 peer-reviewed scientific publications along with numerous popular science articles and educational programs.

Upcoming Mission

Repairs to Aquarius and the Life Support Buoy are ongoing. The 2018 mission schedule will be posted once system checks have been completed.