NASA Underwater

Written by on June 30, 2014 in Other News

NASA will return to the bottom of the ocean twice this summer as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO).

NEEMO 16 Crew At Aquarius Hatch. Photo credit: NASA.

NEEMO 16 Crew At Aquarius Hatch. Photo credit: NASA.

Aquanauts participating in NEEMO 18 and 19 will conduct activities on the sea floor that will help future International Space Station and exploration activities. The harsh, constraining conditions experienced by the aquanauts on the seafloor are similar to the ones they will experience at the space station, so lessons learned in the ocean can be directly applied to life in space.

“It is both challenging and exciting for our astronaut crews to participate in these undersea missions in preparation for spaceflight,” Bill Todd, NEEMO project manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a news release. “The extreme environment of life undersea is as close to being in space as possible.”

The first mission, NEEMO 18, will begin on July 21 and will focus on behavior health and performance, human health issues, and habitability. The second mission, NEEMO 19, will begin on September 7 and will focus on telementoring operations (when a crew member is given instructions for a task virtually by an expert in a remote location) for the European Space Agency (ESA). Both missions will also investigate tools to help astronauts learn new procedures while in flight.

Crew members will live on the seafloor in the Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only underwater research lab, located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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