NASA Undersea Mission Begins

August 7, 2007
NASA Undersea Mission Begins
NEEMO 11 crew member works near the undersea habitat "Aquarius" during a session of extravehicular activity for the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project. Image credit: NASA

Three astronauts and a Constellation Program aerospace engineer began a 10-day NASA mission in the ocean depths off the Florida coast Aug. 6. They will test lunar exploration concepts and a suite of long-duration spaceflight medical objectives.

Veteran space flyer and aquanaut Nicholas Patrick is leading the undersea mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory.

NASA Astronaut Richard Arnold, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and systems integration engineer Christopher Gerty complete the crew.

During the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 13 (NEEMO 13), the crew are conducting a variety of undersea "moon walks" to test concepts for future lunar exploration using advanced navigation and communication equipment.

“This crew will work much more independently from the mission control team than on previous missions,” said NEEMO Project Manager Bill Todd of the United Space Alliance at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This autonomous mode of operation will encourage the crew to make real-time decisions about daily operations similar to what we think will be necessary for lunar and Mars missions. The idea is to show how procedures and training for future missions can be adapted, considering the reduced direct communication with Mission Control those crews will encounter.”

Visit the NOAA Web site for more on Aquarius, including a virtual dive to the underwater habitat.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Launch, docking returns International Space Station crew to full strength

Related Stories

ISS astronauts dodge flying Russian space debris

July 16, 2015

Three astronauts living at the International Space Station were forced to scramble to safety after what NASA described as a "close pass" by flying Russian space debris on Thursday.

Researchers develop NASA protocols for time-delay challenges

July 14, 2015

Astronauts on board the Pioneer, a spacecraft heading home from Mars, are categorizing asteroid samples when their life-support system suddenly malfunctions. The only person who can help is the NASA engineer with the information ...

Recommended for you

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.