Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2006
Focus Question: What are some of the extreme environments that astronauts train in and how does this relate to space exploration?
The NEEMO missions are a cooperative project of NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Undersea Research Center (NURC) and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). They use Aquarius, the only undersea research laboratory in the world, which is owned by NOAA and managed by UNCW. The 14-meter-long (45 feet) by 4-meter-diameter (13 feet) underwater home and laboratory operates 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Similar in size to the International Space Station's Zvezda Service Module, it is situated next to deep coral reefs and provides life support systems that allow scientists to live and work in reasonably comfortable quarters. The facility is supported by a 10-meter life support buoy on the surface which provides power, life support and communication requirements. There is also a shore-based "mission control" which supports all Aquarius missions with 24-hour mission monitoring. This mission also will be supported by JSC's Exploration Planning and Operations Center (ExPOC) control room, simulating the interactions between astronauts and control rooms on spaceflights.
Home page Target Audience: Students
Educators: Higher Ed
Grade Level: 5-8,9-12,Post Secondary
Webcast URL: http://sargasso-3.arc.nasa.gov:10005/live
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