Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

*NASA Announces Next Undersea Exploration Mission*

Image above: 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
How do you practice for extended space flights where you will be cooped
up in a sardine can for a number of weeks that could run into months?
How about going under the ocean and live in close quarters and do work
out in the dangerous environment of the ocean floor.

If you are a member of the Navy and are a submariner that works on a
nuclear submarine that can stay under the surface for months at a time
you know what it feels like to eat your way into your home away from
home. The closest I have come to that feeling is filling the car up with
food and kids and taking a long trip. You may have had the experience of

When you go back to the Moon and then on to Mars, not only will you have
to be versed in several skills but you will have to be able to put up
with your fellow astronauts for the duration.

A five week leadership course for me in the Navy, with three of us in a
room, with the drill instructors finding ways for us to mess up, was all
I could take. A feather on my bunk was "GEAR ADRIFT - 2 DEMERITS". Not
anything like, "The oxygen generator has a problem and we are a month
away from touch down", but I did learn that I could resist punching out
my room mate even if he wouldn't stop going back and checking, and
rechecking, that the room was in perfect order. No feathers adrift, go
fall in for muster!

The more practice we can do now in situations that will be similar in
stress value, the better we will be prepared for the real thing.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

July 24, 2007

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington

Kylie Clem
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Fred Gorell
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Md.

RELEASE: 07-164


WASHINGTON - NASA will send three astronauts and a Constellation
Program aerospace engineer into the ocean depths off the Florida
coast from Aug. 6 to 15. They will test lunar exploration concepts
and a suite of medical objectives for long-duration spaceflight.

NASA veteran space flyer and aquanaut Nicholas Patrick will lead the
10-day undersea mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration Aquarius Underwater Laboratory. NASA astronaut Richard
Arnold, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa
and systems integration engineer Christopher Gerty complete the crew.

During the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 13 (NEEMO 13),
the crew will conduct a variety of undersea "moon walks." They will
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

"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," Todd said.

During the extended undersea simulated moon walks, the crew will
construct a communications tower, practice techniques for lunar
sample collection and manipulation, and perform a series of tasks
investigating future spacesuit design. The crew also will participate
in research designed to answer questions on the physiology and human
behavior aspects of living in extreme environments.

Jim Buckley and Larry Ward of the University of North Carolina at
Wilmington will provide engineering support for the submerged
habitat. The university operates Aquarius on behalf of NOAA as part
of NOAA's Undersea Research Program. The NEEMO missions are a
cooperative project among NASA, NOAA and the university.

This will be the 13th NEEMO undersea mission. NASA Flight Surgeon Sean
Roden will serve as a backup crew member.

Similar in size to the International Space Station's living quarters,
Aquarius is the world's only permanent underwater habitat and
laboratory. The 45-foot-long, 13-foot diameter complex is three miles
off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, about 62
feet beneath the surface. A surface buoy provides connections for
power, life support and communications. A shore-based control center
monitors the habitat and crew.

For more information about NEEMO and Aquarius, including a virtual
dive to the underwater habitat, visit:


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*Age of Aquarius: Astronauts Sink to Ocean Depths for Space Training

*By Tariq Malik <>*
Staff Writer
posted: 07:00 am ET
01 July 2003

Today's astronauts don't have to wait for a slot aboard the space
shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS) to experience orbital
living conditions. They can dive to the ocean floor and enter a metal
container that, like a spacecraft, both protects them from an
inhospitable environment and doubles as a laboratory for undersea science.

"The living area here is actually smaller than that on the space station
itself," said ISS astronaut Peggy Whitson of her aquatic habitat. "It's
actually more equivalent to the space available on the space shuttle."

Whitson and fellow astronauts Clayton Anderson, Garrett Reisman and Emma
Hwang just wrapped up a 14-day mission on Aquarius, an undersea
laboratory sitting off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Their mission
was the latest in the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations
(NEEMO) program to prepare astronauts for the physical and mental
demands of working in -->

The recent mission, dubbed NEEMO 5, is the latest in a three-year
partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the University of National Undersea Research
Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) to
conduct astronaut training on Aquarius.

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(202) 358-3749
Kylie S. Clem
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(281) 483-5111
RELEASE: 06-276

NASA Uses Undersea Lab to Prep for Future Space Exploration

NASA will test concepts for future space exploration next month by
sending three astronauts and an oceanographer on a mission to an
underwater laboratory off the coast of Florida.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata will
lead the crew on a seven-day undersea mission July 22 to 28 aboard the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius
underwater laboratory. NASA astronauts Andrew J. Feustel and Karen L.
Nyberg, and Karen Kohanowich, deputy director of NOAA's Undersea
Research Program, Silver Spring, Md., round out the crew. Mark Hulsbeck
and Dominic Landucci of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington
will provide engineering support.

The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 10 project will
include undersea extravehicular activities imitating moonwalks to test
concepts for mobility, using weighted backpacks to simulate lunar and
Martian gravity. Techniques for communication, navigation and using
remote-controlled robots on the moon's surface also will be tested.

"Whether walking and working on the ocean floor or exploring the lunar
surface, significant prior planning, training and dependence on
sophisticated life support systems is necessary," said NEEMO Project
Manager Bill Todd, Johnson Space Flight Center (JSC), Houston. "Sure,
you won't see any pretty fish on a moonwalk, but you will see the same
types of crew, hardware and procedure challenges that are associated
with this type of an ocean habitation and research mission."

Archive for September, 2006
NEEMO Topside Support: Splashup and Thanks
Mission: September, 2006 Saturation

The 11th NEEMO mission to date ended today with 'splashup' at about 8:45
am, concluding another safe and successful mission. All mission
objectives were accomplished, the crew is healthy, and we are another
step closer to successfully returning people to explore the lunar surface.

This has been a busy time at NASA with human exploration extending from
inner to outer space. Last week we had a record 4 separate vehicles in
space at once (the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle, a
Progress resupply vehicle, and a Soyuz crew transfer vehicle). Yesterday
the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed after a successful mission which
resumed assembly on the International Space Station. And yesterday the
NEEMO and ISS crews were able to conduct a ship-to-ship video linkup.
Former NEEMO 1 crewmember Michael Lopez-Alegria and NEEMO 3 crew
commander Jeff Williams are currently on the ISS doing a crew handover
and were able to participate, along with some of their other crewmates.
This marks the first time we've had 2 NEEMO alumni in orbit at once, and
was a nice opportunity for them to swap stories with the current crew.

We want to take this opportunity to thank our hosts here at the National
Undersea Research Center. They have helped forge a solid partnership
between NASA and NOAA to the benefit of both agencies. Their
professionalism and commitment to safety is second to none. They take
great care of the nation's only undersea research facility, they keep a
close eye on our crewmembers, and they take great care of our Topside
team and visitors. So to the habitat technicians, Roger Garcia and Larry
Ward - a hearty �thank you� for teaching our crewmembers how to live as
aquanauts. To Mark Hulsbeck, thanks for the training you contributed
prior to the mission. To Craig Cooper and Jim Buckley, thanks for
managing this (and all) NEEMO mission so professionally. This is the
only undersea research facility in the world because you guys ensure
that it can be safe and operational every day of the year. And for the
rest of the Aquarius staff who potted daily, manned the watchdesk 24/7,
and did it all with a smile, we can�t thank you enough. Finally, special
and sincere thanks to NURC Associate Director Otto Rutten for being our
host and boat captain for the last 2 weeks. It wouldn�t have been
possible without you all.

A Message From Dr. Josef Schmid
Mission: May, 2007 Saturation

Earlier this week, we received some very kind words from NASA Flight
Surgeon and NEEMO 12 Aquanaut Dr. Josef Schmid. He writes:

Your NURC crew there is simply one of the most professional, well
managed, and superior groups of people with whom I have ever had the
chance to work. Safety is absolutely embedded and infused throughout the
program. The operational and equipment training provided by Ross, Roger,
Mark (Otter), Otto, Tim and Derrick is world class. The absolute
professionalism of the habitat technicians James and Dom is simply
second to none. The dedication and skill of the surface support divers
reflects the quality of the entire organization. Finally, the leadership
and execution of the mission by Craig 'Coop' Cooper and Jim is at the
same level of the excellent general officers that I have known in my
military career.

Personally, it is priceless to me to have participated as crew. To be
associated and to work with your NURC professionals is the highest honor.

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