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NASA NEEMO 13 Topside Report - Splashup and Thanks!

Status Report From: NEEMO
Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2007

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The 13th NEEMO mission and 90th mission for Aquarius ended today with "splashup" at ~ 8:45 am, concluding another safe and successful mission. The crew is healthy, our science and exploration objectives were completed, and we are another step closer to successfully returning people to explore the lunar surface.

Aquanauts ascending to the surface for "splashup"

Return to shore

A couple of days ago the NEEMO, ISS, and Shuttle crews were able to conduct a ship-to-ship video linkup.  Former NEEMO 5 crewmember Clay Anderson is currently on the ISS, while on the Shuttle crew right now are two more NEEMO alumni:  Commander Scott Kelly and Dr. Dave Williams.  Going back to Expedition 13/Jeff Williams, we have what promises to be an unbroken string of NEEMO alumni on the ISS for as far out as crews are assigned, with NEEMO 5 alum Peggy Whitson up next, followed promptly by Dan Tani from NEEMO 2. 

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, Jim Buckley and Dewey Smith:  a hearty "thank you" for teaching our crewmembers how to live as aquanauts. 

To Mark Hulsbeck and Ross Hein, thanks for the training you contributed prior to the mission. 

To Craig Cooper, 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 Tim Roberts for being our host and boat captain for the last 3 weeks.  It wouldn't have been possible without you all. We can't properly thank everyone who had a hand in making this mission successful, but a few key entities should be noted:

  • The Constellation Program at NASA for the funding, a crewmember, and the relevant lunar architecture objectives to start testing
  • JSC's Flight Crew Ops Directorate, for the funding, manpower, support, and part of the crew;
  • JSC's Space and Life Sciences Directorate, along with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) for contributing the life sciences objectives
  • JSC's Mission Ops Directorate, for the majority of the manpower that makes this both an environmental and a mission analog;
  • The topside team, for the long hours of focused dedication and attention to detail;
  • Dr. Mike Gernhardt, Kevin Rullman, Jennifer Jadwick, Nick Skytland and Mary Sue Bell for the preparatory work on so many of the exploration objectives we accomplished;
  • Previous NEEMO crews who helped pave the way; and
  • The families and friends of all of us who've been away so long making this mission a success.  We appreciate your sacrifices!

Thanks for your support and following along!

Sayonara

- NEEMO 13 Topside Team out

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