A scientist who lives 30 feet under the Atlantic gave DailyMail.com a tour of his home away from home where he is set to spend 100 days.
Joseph Dettori, 55, a retired Navy officer, currently lives in a 100-square-foot pod, where he’s testing NASA’s pre-Mars technology and treatments to reverse aging.
Dettori studies how the human body responds to prolonged exposure to extreme stress in a small space for 100 days – a similar environment the spacefaring heroes would endure while traveling to the Red Planet.
While the underwater lodge is small, the cabin has a work area, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, a small “pool” that serves as an exit and entrance, and a window with ocean views.
“I love it, I have a coffee maker because god knows science doesn’t happen without coffee,” Dettori, who started the job on March 1, told DailyMail.com from the dugout on Day 24.
Joseph Dettori spends 100 days 30 feet below the surface to break record 73 days, test pre-NASA technology specific to Mars, and hopefully find a way to reverse aging
One of the devices being tested is a pre-NASA instrument, which means it must be tested before the agency can take it on.
It’s similar to Star Trek’s tricorder, which scans the body to monitor a person’s health and determine if they need medical help.
Dettori is also looking into how to prevent the loss of muscle mass while in space, which plagues astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).
“We’re going to Mars, but it’s going to take 200 days to get there in the best of homecoming and transfers,” Dettori told DailyMail.com.
(When you get there) your muscle mass will go down, you won’t be able to see very far, you won’t be in really good shape, you’ll have decreased bone density, and we’ll drop you hard into a resustainable market where it plummets and hits the floor.
“I think maybe this is a bad idea and we need to figure out a few things first, but that’s just me.”
Dituri’s home away from home is located at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo.
There is a TV, though I don’t really know how to turn it on. “I have a mini-fridge like in a hotel room,” he said, also noting that he keeps a stash of chocolates in the pod.
There is a small microwave on the shelf, the only thing that could be used for cooking.
“Every good hotel should have a pool, and my hotel has a small little pool outside,” Dettori said.
This is how we get in and out. So when I go diving with all my scuba gear on, I get it. I get out of the hole, then dive around. This is how people come and go.
Dettori sleeps on a double bed with a cot on top, the same setup in a room next to the scientists who visit him.
He is currently 28 days, as of March 28, into his 100-day mission, and when complete, he will break the record — the previous record for most days spent underwater by a non-military was 73.
Dituri’s home away from home is located at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo
Dettori will spend 10 more days below the surface than military personnel on submarines. Military submarines can only support 90-day voyages before returning to shore.
Although he’s testing futuristic technology, Dettori told DailyMail.com that another part of the mission is to teach kids about marine space.
“I want to reach out to these kids and talk to them about the science and engineering of being an actual scientist, being underwater and doing cool things instead of cups and microscopes and classrooms,” he said while explaining how the kids dive into the capsule, five high at the window.
However, he is also looking forward to helping astronauts endure the long and lonely journey to Mars.
The body scanner being tested is much larger than the version that will travel with astronauts to Mars.
It works by scanning the body and then the user enters symptoms, which are analyzed by a computer to determine the disease or injury.
“Even someone who has medical training can barely do this and kind of figure out what is going on and what is wrong with the human body,” Dettori said.
He wears a cuff during his exercises with resistance bands, is part of the routine on the International Space Station, and wraps around his biceps to prevent flowing intermittently.
“What that does is it increases something called nitric oxide synthesis,” Dettori said.
It leads to mitochondrial health, mitochondrial swelling and increased muscle growth.
So we hope to grow muscle while the astronauts are in space long term rather than lose muscle mass from underuse.
Dettori told DailyMail.com that his biceps have increased since starting the task.
Although he’s testing futuristic technology, Dettori told DailyMail.com that another part of the mission is to teach kids about marine space. Pictured is a group of children swimming up to the capsule window
There is a small toilet and shower inside the capsule. Dettori sleeps on a double bed with a cot on top, the same setup in a room next to the scientists who visit him
Dettori found his passion for science while serving in the US Navy for 28 years as an imbued diving officer.
Besides his big biceps, he also sleeps longer and deeper than when he’s on the roof.
Dettori and many other scientists believe that the Fountain of Youth may be hiding in the depths below.
Previous research has shown that telomeres, which protect chromosomes from wear and tear, lengthen when the body is under extreme stress.
‘We suspect, or know in hyperbaric medicine that after about 60 treatments, one hour a day at a higher pressure than I am now, one hour a day you will grow between 25 and 33 per cent, the jury is still out on it not being full of science,’ Dettori said.
“I suspect that after 100 days of being under this stress my telomeres will be much longer.” So, add, and thus add to my life, so that with muscle growth combined.
After retiring in 2012 as captain, Dettori enrolled at the University of South Florida for his Ph.D. to learn more about traumatic brain injuries. He is also a published author
Dettori is father of three girls: Sophie, 19, Josephine, 27, and Gabrielle, 21.
Dettori found his passion for science while serving in the United States Navy for 28 years as a diving officer.
After retiring in 2012 as captain, Dettori enrolled at the University of South Florida for his Ph.D. to learn more about traumatic brain injuries.
He is also a published author.
“I got bored during COVID because they wouldn’t let me treat patients for the first two months, so I wrote a book,” Dettori said, noting that it’s available on Amazon.
It’s called “Secrets in the Deep.” It’s about a cute Italian boy from New York who joins the Navy, and gets into a whole bunch of problems with the CIA.
As the scientist works to find a cure for the astronauts’ ailments, he also misses his three daughters whom he cares about any chance he gets.
His 21-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, graduated from Caltech in May, an event he can’t attend.
Sophie, 19, is happily working at a restaurant in South Tampa, Florida and Josephine, 27, has a master’s degree in psychology and works in New York City.
NASA is looking to the late 30s or early 40s to determine when it will send the first humans to Mars, where they will live and explore for an estimated 30 days.
Dettori’s research will be a vital component of this epic adventure, as intrepid individuals will spend at least 200 days inside a tiny cabin.
Right now, astronauts lose muscle mass, experience impaired vision and even shrink while in space—but a retired Navy officer can help reverse those effects while 30 feet below Earth’s circumference.