NASA Goes Deep Into The Atlantic Ocean With NEEMO 20!

NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operation, NEEMO 20 will evaluate tools and techniques for future missions in space. It will be tested if it is equipped for a variety of surfaces and gravity levels ranging from asteroids to the Moons of Mars and the Martian surface.

In order to prepare NEEMO 20 for future deep space missions, an international crew will be sent down to the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. They will begin their 14 day mission on 20th July 2015.

The crew will assess hardware sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) that allows crew members to read the next step in a procedure without taking their hands or eyes away from the task using a tablet, a Smartphone and a head-mounted interface.

Communication time delays will be tested due to the distance of potential mission destinations.

The NEEMO 20 mission, aboard the Aquarius labortary, will be headed by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano.

Parmitano is a very experienced astronaut having flown in space during Expeditions 36 and 37 aboard the International Space Station in 2013, where he spent 166 days living and working in the extreme environment of microgravity. He conducted two spacewalks on his first spaceflight.

NASA astronaut Serena Aunon, NASA EVA Management Office engineer David Coan and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai will join Parmitano on NEEMO 20’s mission.

The NEEMO crew and two professional habitat technicians will live 62 feet (19 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida International University’s Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat 6.2 miles (5.4 nautical miles) off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.

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