Earth 300 is a proposed nuclear-powered superyacht dedicated to science

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When a scientific enterprise refers to itself as the “Noah’s Ark of science”, we have to start asking what they know. Earth 300 is a proposed scientific superyacht that wouldn’t look out of place in a Roland Emmerich movie about surviving the apocalypse. We’re still trying to decide if that’s a good thing.

Exploring the Earth 300

It’s certainly ambitious. The craft, if it ever winds up being built, will be a 300-metre floating scientific laboratory, powered by a type of nuclear reactor called a Molten Salt Reactor that is supposedly safe and emission-free. The tricky bit will be making it small enough to fit on a ship. It’ll apparently manage up to 300 days at sea.

And it won’t all be sightseeing. There are 22 laboratories planned, as well as space for 400 people. Of those, 160 will be scientists and another twenty specialists will be on board. The group hopes to tackle problems like global warming, carbon emissions, food security, and it aims to give its researchers access to advanced robotics and AI tech in order to do that. Why they need to be on the Earth 300 superyacht in order to do this… is less explained but it’s still rather cool in a ‘do they know something we don’t’ kinda way.

Planning for disaster recovery using tech isn’t new, but putting together a massive floating lab to tackle it isn’t seen quite as often. The project is on track to launch by 2025, but that Molten Salt reactor? Yeah, that’s going to take a bit longer to set up so the craft will likely run on conventional fuel, at least at first.

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Brett writes for Stuff's digital platform and edits Stuff's print magazine, in between reading science fiction and every Batman comic he can get his hands on.

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