FIU offers peek into Florida Keys undersea research lab

Live press conference from lab

Published On: Sep 18 2013 07:39:00 AM EDT
ISLAMORADA, Fla. -

Florida International University is offering a peek into an undersea research lab in the Florida Keys.

The school took over operations at Aquarius Reef Base in January. The lab sits about 60 feet below the ocean's surface, a few miles off Key Largo.

The federal government owns the lab but cut its budget last year. That left the lab at risk for closure until FIU assumed its operations.

FIU and Aquarius officials will speak with reporters Wednesday from the submerged lab. Aquarius allows scientists to live and work underwater for days at a time without coming up for air.

Astronauts also use Aquarius for training for space missions. Five astronauts took the plunge last week in the first Aquarius mission since FIU took over