A new £120m facility for space and deep sea research could be developed at RAF Henlow which is earmarked to close in 2020.

If approved it will be part of a multi-million-pound plan to develop a science, innovation and technology park at the base.

Blue Abyss would host the world's biggest 50m deep pool, a hotel and astronaut training facility. 

Blue Abyss

The Blue Abyss team hope to reuse some facilities at RAF Henlow, including a centrifuge base for high-G astronaut training.

Astronaut Major Tim Peake tweeted his excitement about the plans.

Blue Abyss's proposal remains under discussion, in a statement the MoD say 

“The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) representing the Ministry of Defence, are exploring multiple opportunities in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council to secure the sustainable redevelopment of the Henlow site.”              

The acquisition of the site would enable the UK to become a major player in the international space industry.

Blue Abyss's Managing Director, John Vickers, believes this project is important for the country:

"I think it puts Britain firmly on the map … It’s akin to people talking about building lots of airports and aeroplanes. Well, who’s doing the pilot and aircrew training? That’s absolutely where we want to come into things."

Training for deep sea
Tim Peake training in a pool with the European Space Agency