[meteorite-list] NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:21:50 -0700 (PDT)
June 10, 2014
NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions
NASA is returning to the bottom of the ocean. Twice this summer, aquanauts
participating in the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) will
conduct activities on the ocean floor that will inform future International
Space Station and exploration activities.
These studies provide information that correlates directly to life aboard the
space station, where crew members must frequently perform critical tasks that
present constraining factors similar to those experienced in an undersea
"It is both challenging and exciting for our astronaut crews to participate
in these undersea missions in preparation for spaceflight," says Bill Todd,
NEEMO project manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "It is
critical that we perform science applicable to NASA's exploration goals in
a high-fidelity space operational context. The extreme environment of life
undersea is as close to being in space as possible."
NEEMO 18, a nine-day mission beginning July 21, will focus on studies in
behavioral health and performance, human health issues, and habitability.
Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
will command NEEMO 18. He will be joined by NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps and
Mark Vande Hei and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
NEEMO 19, which begins Sept. 7 and runs seven days, will focus on the
evaluation of tele-mentoring operations for ESA. Telementoring is when a crew
member is given instruction for a task by an expert who is located remotely
but is virtually present via a video and voice connection. NASA astronaut
Randy Bresnik will command this second mission. He will be joined by Canadian
Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and
Herve Stevenin, ESA's Head of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Training at the
European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany.
Both NEEMO missions will include EVA objectives and engineering
investigations to mature technologies and training techniques for use on the
space station and in asteroid exploration. These EVAs will focus on
evaluating man-machine work systems and EVA tools and techniques for
exploration tasks in varying levels of gravity ranging from that of asteroids
to the gravity of Martian moons and Mars itself. The EVAs also will evaluate
techniques to address re-planning of exploration operations accounting for
different communications time delays.
The missions also will investigate tools to help astronauts learn new
procedures while in flight. One such tool for the "just in time training"
that is delivered to the crew in orbit is "intuitive procedures." These
procedures use a combination of text, pictures, and videos to instruct the
crew on how to perform a task that they were never trained on, and are
presented in a way such that the crew understands it quickly.
The NEEMO crews will live 62 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean,
5.4 nautical miles off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, in Florida
International University's undersea research habitat Aquarius Reef Base,
along with two professional habitat technicians.
To request interviews with the NEEMO 18 or 19 crews during their mission,
contact William Jeffs of NASA at william.p.jeffs at nasa.gov, Toshitami
Ikeda or Fuki Taniguchi of JAXA at ikeda.toshitami at jaxa.jp or
taniguchi.fuki at jaxa.jp], Rosita Suennson of ESA at rosita.suenson at esa.int,
or the CSA media relations team at media at asc-csa.gc.ca .
For more information about NEEMO, the crews and links to follow the missions
on Facebook and Twitter, visit:
For more information about NASA's analog field tests, visit:
jbuck at nasa.gov
Johnson Space Center, Houston
william.p.jeffs at nasa.gov
Received on Tue 10 Jun 2014 08:21:50 PM PDT