Montauk Observatory

Stony Brook Southampton Campus, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, NY
Liberty Bell 7, Photo: NASA, Courtesy Montauk Observatory


Friday, March 1, 2019


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm





Lecture: From Deep Sea to Space

This free event will be held on Friday, March 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m., in Chancellor’s Hall, Stony Brook University, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, NY 11968

What technology is used on the International Space Station and how are astronauts trained to use it? How are objects like space capsules recovered from the sea? In what kind of projects does the Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Research use deep sea divers, submersibles and robotics? Tonight we’ll hear from a man with the first-hand expertise required to answer such intriguing questions.

John Bouvier was not always a Southampton Town Councilman. He attended the University of California, has a Masters degree in mechanical engineering, as well as numerous certificates in fields related to underwater and space exploration. He began his career as a diver for the energy industry. He was a saturation diver and worked on several deep diving projects for both the public and private sectors, including the Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Research. He joined Deep Ocean Engineering where he worked on the design and deployment of Deep Rover–a one man, one atmosphere, submersible–and Rig Rover–a tethered, remotely operated robotic system for supporting and monitoring offshore oil drilling operations.

Bouvier subsequently joined the Naval Weapons Laboratory and worked for the Grumman Corporation with the Flight Test Group. He was part of the ISS (International Space Station) Support Division in Washington D.C. and was Lead Robotics Engineer, NASA Robotics, working on the FTS (Flight Telerobotic Servicer), JEM (Japanese Experiment Module), and MSS (Mobile Servicing System).

When Bouvier joined Oceaneering Space Systems as General Manager, he developed technologies under contract to NASA to support on-orbit operations and apply lessons learned from underwater operations to Space Station Operations. During his tenure, he managed a team that developed and trained astronauts in the use of on-orbit tools for Hubble, Satellite Servicing Systems and Space Station robotic systems. He developed the RSIS (Robotic Systems Integration Standards), which defines on-orbit robotic systems operations and man-machine interfacing for the International Space Station.

Bouvier also helped with the recovery of the Liberty Bell 7, the Mercury 11 space capsule piloted by astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom and the only US Spacecraft lost at sea from a depth of ~16,000fsw in the South Atlantic, near the Bahamas; it is now on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Reservations are not necessary.

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Montauk Observatory would like to thank Mr. Bouvier for volunteering his time to share his expertise, and to Stony Brook University’s School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences for hosting and co-sponsoring this event.
Montauk Observatory (MO), a 501(c)(3) NYS nonprofit, has served the South Fork since 2005, and relies on public support (e.g., small donations) to operate. The mission of the organization is to foster interest in science, particularly astronomy, through educational programs. Lectures, star parties, portable planetarium shows, and other events are held throughout the South Fork, often in partnership with other nonprofit organizations. MO has established the first astronomical observatory on the South Fork (in East Hampton), complete with Long Island’s largest research-grade telescope; these facilities will soon be made accessible over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Montauk Observatory offers all of its programs free-of-charge to encourage participation regardless of economic status. For further information about Montauk Observatory, to join MO’s list for event notices, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit or email

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