At 6:00am (Correction: departure is closer to 9:00am) on Friday, July 31, 2015 the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will leave on it's voyage to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to begin an exploration into areas previously unexplored. In addition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Okeanos will explore the area around the Johnston Atoll and the recently expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument as well as several seamounts in the vicinity of the Main Hawaiian Islands. These large swaths of ocean, all a part of the Pacific Marine National Monuments and NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries cover an area of approximately 742,000 square miles of relatively pristine marine ecosystems. This exploration and mapping by Okeanos will help to establish a baseline for scientists, conservationist, policy makers and the public to best manage the region. Along with the protection of this natural resource are the potential for deep sea mining and the extended U.S. Continental Shelf. The information gathered on this expedition will help decision makers tackle these issues. On the voyage, Okeanos will provide livestreams from cameras situated on the Deep Discoverer and Seirios ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) and from Mission Control. The ship is touted as being the most Internet connected research vessel with a 20Mbps upstream satellite connection to enable HD broadcasts. Through the livestreams, the public will see exactly what the scientists onboard see in mission control. In addition to being well connected the program believes in data transparency and "strives to make as much of the data collected onboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer available to the scientists and the public as soon as possible." Data from the mission gets posted 1-6 months after the mission. Our interview on Hawaii Public Radio with onboard scientists Dr. Chris Kelley and Dr. Daniel Wagner go into the specifics of the mission. You can also enjoy a virtual tour of the ship though this photo album as I visit the bridge, mission control, the ROVs, engine room and lab. Thanks to Kelley Elliot, Expedition Coordinator, Emily Rose, Operations Officer and Toni Parras, Communications Manager for a very informative tour. We are living in an exciting time for science, exploring the far reaches of our solar system and the mighty depths of our ocean.