Google Funds $60M Research Ship To Study ‘Dead Zone’ In Pacific Ocean

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A $60 million research ship funded by a Google executive is setting sail from San Francisco to study a so-called “dead zone” in the Pacific Ocean and other mysteries of the sea.

The 272-foot vessel called Falcor was scheduled to leave port Thursday.

The ship carries an unmanned submarine that will travel deep into the ocean off Vancouver Island to study an area where all sea life dies each year from a periodic lack of oxygen.

And scientists working aboard the Falkor are treated to amenities not found on the usual research ship: a sauna and down-filled bunks among them.

The Falcor is funded by the Schmidt Ocean Science Institute, which was co-founded by Google executive Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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