After breaking the world record for staying underwater, University of South Florida (USF) professor Joseph Dituri will surface this Friday after serving 100 days at the Florida Keys submarine shelter.
At 10:30 am (local time), Dituri is expected to come out of the shelter for a medical checkup to determine his health status, said Ben Norton, his communications director.
On May 13, the teacher broke the world record for staying underwater after spending 74 consecutive days at the refuge in the southern United States.
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The previous world record for underwater life was 73 days, 2 hours and 34 minutes and was set in 2014 by 2 professors from Tennessee, Bruce Cantrell and Jessica Fain, who were also in the same underwater module.
Dituri’s goal was to analyze possible scientific progress during a long stay.
“Curiosity to discover brought me here. My goal since day 1 has been to inspire future generations, interview scientists who study underwater life and learn how the human body works in extreme environments,” Dituri wrote on Twitter the day he reported his record.
In his current experiment, which began in March, the USF associate professor examined how the human body responds to prolonged exposure to extreme pressure.
He recalled in this regard that “It takes 200 days to travel to Mars and our astronauts will have to travel to a similar environment” to the one they are in now: “A confined space that limits food options, how they can exercise or loss of muscle mass, bone and vision problems.
Therefore, this research will serve to “help us better prepare our astronauts to ensure they arrive healthy and strong enough to explore the planet,” Dituri said.
Ongoing research may not only be beneficial for space travel, but may also help people with traumatic brain injuries through the use of hyperbaric pressure chambers.
The USF professor’s hypothesis is that “if hyperbaric pressure can be used to increase cerebral blood flow, it can be used to treat traumatic brain injury and a broad spectrum of diseases.”
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