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Feb 20, 2019 10:33 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Board Member John Bouvier To Discuss Background In Space And Deep Sea Exploration

Southampton Town Board member John Bouvier will give a talk about deep sea and space exploration on March 1 at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. GREG WEHNER
Feb 20, 2019 10:40 AM

Southampton Town Board member John Bouvier was not always a politician.

Mr. Bouvier, who always had a passion for diving, worked as a mechanical engineer involved in the design of deep ocean submersibles, space station robotics and space capsule recovery.

During his career, he was able to work with NASA-trained astronauts in neutral buoyancy tanks that helped simulate a zero-gravity environment.

Having spent time working in the field of deep sea exploration, Mr. Bouvier was able to translate his experience to space exploration—allowing astronauts and spacecraft to go where no man has gone before.

On March 1, Mr. Bouvier will share his experiences at the Stony Brook Southampton campus and explain how he has helped man explore undiscovered areas using technologies that he had a part in creating.

“I’m going to talk about the correlations between the two, and how they are related,” he said on Monday. “I’ll talk about the difference between space and deep sea, and see where that goes.”

Some of the developments that Mr. Bouvier plans to speak about happened 30 to 40 years ago, yet some were more recent. For example, Mr. Bouvier was able to assist with the TWA Flight 800 crash recovery efforts that took place off Long Island, using submersibles.

He also helped with the recovery of the Liberty Bell 7, the only U.S. spacecraft ever lost at sea. The Liberty Bell 7 was a Mercury 11 space capsule that was piloted by Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1961.

Explosive bolts were installed on the hatch to assist Mr. Grissom with getting out of the capsule. But the bolts exploded earlier than expected. Mr. Grissom was able to evacuate out of the Liberty Bell, but the spacecraft sank to a depth of approximately 16,000 feet, near the Bahamas.

In 1999, Mr. Bouvier and a crew helped recover the capsule, and it is now on display in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Along with the recoveries, Mr. Bouvier helped support the International Space Station and worked on robotics used in orbit.

He also worked for Deep Ocean Engineering where he helped design a one-man submersible used to support and monitor offshore drilling.

Mr. Bouvier will present his “From Deep Sea to Space” lecture on Friday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m., at Chancellor’s Hall, located at the Stony Brook Southampton campus in Shinnecock Hills. The event is free, and registration is not required.

“It’s been a long time. It’s like a voyage for me right now, going back into the past,” Mr. Bouvier said. “But, it should be a fun night.”

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One lost soul who does nothing for the tax payers. Everyone vote this guy out come November
By watchoutnow968 (56), Southampton on Feb 21, 19 12:57 PM
I’m going to be out of town for this talk and I very much regret it. Besides being a friend and colleague for many years, John Bouvier has an unusual, perhaps unique, background in the vanguard of some of our most outstanding scientific and exploring accomplishments. Will there be a video that can be watched later, John? Oh, and by the way, he’s been an extraordinarily good Town Councilman whom we’re lucky to have running for a second term.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Feb 21, 19 2:53 PM
John Bouvier is wonderful! John Bouvier understands science and accepts its veracity. He has a personal connection to local ecosystems and isn't in the back pocket of developers.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Feb 22, 19 9:21 AM