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  NEEMO 14 mission to NOAA's Aquarius base

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Author Topic:   NEEMO 14 mission to NOAA's Aquarius base
music_space
Member

Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 05-05-2010 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Announces Next Undersea Exploration Dates And Crew

NASA will send two astronauts, a veteran undersea engineer and an experienced scientist into the ocean depths off Florida's east coast this month to test exploration concepts and learn more about working in an unforgiving, treacherous environment. The 14th expedition of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, begins May 10.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut and veteran spacewalker Chris Hadfield will lead the NASA team on a 14-day undersea mission on the Aquarius underwater laboratory near Key Largo. Aquarius is owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and operated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Joining Hadfield will be NASA astronaut and flight surgeon Thomas Marshburn, Lunar Electric Rover Deputy Project Manager Andrew Abercromby and Steve Chappell, a research scientist. Abercromby and Chappell work for Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering of Houston.

During NEEMO 14, the ocean floor will simulate aspects of another planet's surface and a low-gravity environment. In October 2009, a team of aquanauts set the stage for NEEMO 14 by placing mockups near Aquarius of a lander, rover and small crane that simulates a robotic arm.

The NEEMO 14 crew will live aboard the underwater laboratory, venture out on simulated spacewalks, operate the crane and maneuver the vehicles much like explorers would in setting up a habitat on another planet. As the aquanauts interact with these developing technologies, they will provide information and feedback to NASA engineers.

The crew will simulate removing a mockup of the Lunar Electric Rover from the lander, retrieve small payloads from the lander and the ocean floor, and simulate the transfer of an incapacitated astronaut from the ocean floor to the deck of the craft. The rover and lander mockups are similar in size to vehicles NASA is considering for future planetary exploration. The lander mockup is wider than a school bus is long and almost three times as high. It measures 45 feet wide and 28 feet high, including a 10-foot- high crane. The rover mockup is slightly larger than a full-size SUV, standing eight feet tall and 14 feet long.

While inside Aquarius, the crew will perform life science experiments focused on human behavior, performance and physiology. The mission also includes a study of autonomous crew work. There will be periods when there is limited communication between the crew and the mission control center, much like what could happen during missions to the moon or Mars.

The six-member crew of NEEMO 14 brings a wide range of experience to the mission. Hadfield conducted two spacewalks and operated the International Space Station's robotic arm, known as Canadarm2, during the space shuttle's STS-100 mission in April 2001. He also worked extensively with the shuttle's robotic Canadarm on STS-74 in 1995. Marshburn, a flight surgeon, conducted three spacewalks on STS-127 in 2009.

Abercromby adds his extensive experience in planning and executing field test operations, or analogs, that simulate space environments, such as NEEMO and NASA's Haughton Mars Project, Desert Research and Technology Studies and the Pavilion Lake Research Project. Chappell is an active member of Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder, Colo., and earned a doctorate degree with a focus on human performance in reduced gravity. James Talacek and Nate Bender of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington are habitat technicians and will provide engineering support.

Canadian Space Agency release
Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield To Participate In NASA Undersea Mission

Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield will lead the next NASA Undersea Mission as commander of the crew of NEEMO 14 from May 10 to 23, 2010 to test exploration concepts in an undersea environment off the Florida coast.

During the NEEMO 14 mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Objectives), a multi-disciplinary team will take part in a 13-day undersea mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) underwater facility Aquarius. Joining Chris Hadfield will be NASA astronaut Dr. Tom Marshburn, Dr. Steve Chappell, a research scientist, and Lunar Electric Rover (LER) deputy project manager Andrew Abercromby.

This will be the 14th NEEMO expedition since its first mission back in October 2001. Canadian astronauts Robert Thirsk and Dave Williams participated in NEEMO 7 (2004) and NEEMO 9 (2006) respectively.

NEEMO 14 will use the ocean floor to simulate exploration missions to the surface of asteroids, moons and Mars. The mission is designed to gain a better understanding of how astronaut crews interact with equipment including advanced spacesuits, a lander, a rover and robotic arms. The crew will live aboard Aquarius venturing from it on simulated spacewalks, operating the robotic arm and manoeuvring the vehicles much like would be done when setting up a habitat on another planet.

"The extreme conditions of an underwater mission are similar to those of space," said astronaut Hadfield. "Space exploration presents many challenges which can, in some way, be reproduced by using analog tests sites such as this underwater habitat."

While inside the Aquarius laboratory, the crew will also perform life sciences experiments focused on human behavior, performance and physiology in extreme and isolated environments. Additionally, the mission includes a study of autonomous crew work. This will include periods of time when there is limited communication between the crew and the mission control center, much like what could happen during deep space missions.

Aquarius is located 20 meters below surface, 4.5 km off Key Largo in the Florida Keys.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 05-05-2010 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott Carpenter was involved with Sealab but how many other flown astronauts have spent time in inner space rather than outer space?

music_space
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Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 05-05-2010 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The right column of this page lists the crews to NEEMO missions 1 to 10, and additional pages detail missions 11, 12 and 13. You'll notice that participants also include life science specialists, engineers and mission controllers.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-19-2010 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ask an Astronaut-Aquanaut

On Thursday, May 20 from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. CDT, collectSPACE will be talking with astronaut-turned-aquanaut Tom Marshburn LIVE from Aquarius.

You should be able to watch this interview via the Mainlock Feed webcam aboard the undersea lab (an archived version of the video will be available afterward for those who cannot watch live).

What would you ask Marshburn? E-mail your ideas to contact@collectSPACE.com and your question may be included!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-25-2010 01:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE:
Splash up! Astronaut-aquanaut surfaces from Carpenter basin sealab

As NASA's latest astronaut-aquanaut, Marshburn spoke with collectSPACE.com while he was still three days from surfacing from NOAA's Aquarius lab as part of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 14th expedition.

All times are CT (US)

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