Underwater habitat maybe the closest to zero gravity conditions of outer space according to NASA. If you’re one of those crazy, space enthusiast who can’t wait to hop onto the next rocket ship headed for the Moon, then start your dream with deep sea diving!
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is once again venturing into the dark depths of the sea – this time the Atlantic Ocean – to better train its astronauts for zero gravity spacewalks.
The space agency is preparing its international team, with astronauts from ESA (Europe) and JAXA (Japan), as part of a training for an expedition due to initiate July 20 this year.
This is not the first time NASA is sending its astronauts to an underwater habitat to best create the conditions of outer space on this planet; in fact, NASA has been doing so for years through its program known as NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 20.
“The NEEMO team is particularly excited about this mission, as it is a huge milestone to have achieved 20 missions at Aquarius over the past 15 years,” Bill Todd, the leader of the NEEMO project, said about the project in a press release on Wednesday. “Living and working in the highly operational, isolated and extreme environment of the aquatic realm has provided significant science and engineering for the benefit of human spaceflight. It has also clearly proven to be as close to spaceflight as is possible here on Earth.”
This latest space mission involves testing of various tools and techniques to help the astronauts overcoming communication delays and reading instructions on digital manuals, etc. The expedition will be of significant help for astronauts in future spacewalks, as it will be able to simulate a range of surfaces and gravity levels on the moon, the asteroids, and Mars.
It’s not easy for Astronauts to train for outer space expeditions. In order to adapt to the harsh environment, they will have to live for a period of 14 days at a depth of 62 feet below the Atlantic Ocean surface, in an undersea habitat known as the Aquarius lab which has been NEEMO’s base since 2001. This base, present at 6.2 miles from the sea-shore of Key Largo, Florida, is expected to be home to various other upcoming NASA projects as well, as the space agency prepares to extend its reach into places far across the low Earth Orbit.