This summer, several astronauts aerospaceNASA agencies, together with an international group of professional submariners, will take part in the 23rd NEEMO mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), according to Space.com portal. Within its framework, astronauts will go down for a few days to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, where they will live in a special underwater laboratory, conducting research and testing technologies that the agency intends to use in lunar missions from 2024 on.
How NASA prepares astronauts
The mission starts on June 10th. Among the tasks that will be assigned to the team is the verification of scientific instruments and equipment for working on the lunar surface, including those that will be used in space missions for the collection of lunar soil. In addition, the astronauts will monitor their physiological state, follow the sleep, and actively use the technologies of augmented reality as a training practice of orientation within the living space.
Living and working astronauts who for 10 daysThey will turn into aquanauts, will be in the Aquarius deep-water laboratory located at a depth of 19 meters 5.5 kilometers from the coast of South Florida. Among other upcoming activities, astronauts expect an exit from the underwater station to study the environment.
"This underwater mission can clearlydemonstrate close parallels with upcoming internal and external space research missions. Walking on the seabed, which will simulate activities outside the spacecraft, will allow us to test the technologies that astronauts will use in the upcoming space lunar missions. In addition, we are planning to conduct some rather complex underwater research. Inside the Aquarius station, astronauts and aquanauts will be engaged in various experiments and research on changes in the human body that will accompany people on long space travels, ”commented NEEMO project manager Bill Todd.
The captain of the underwater team will be an astronaut.European Space Agency Samantha Cristoforetti is the holder of the record for the duration of space flight (199 days 16 hours 42 minutes) among all ESA astronauts. The team also includes NASA astronaut candidate Jessica Watkins, professor of underwater biotechnology at Florida Atlantic University, and Wageningen University Shirley Pomponi, as well as professor at the University of South Florida and head of Ketone Technologies Agostino Skill. They will be accompanied by a couple of professional technicians whose names are not voiced by NASA.
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