October 27th, 2011
12:56 PM ET

NEEMO 15 surfaces early

Hurricanes have been known to damage not only environments but also best-laid plans, including NASA's NEEMO 15 mission. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the Aquarius habitat that serves as home base for the mission, concluded this week that Hurricane Rina's projected path posed too great a danger to the safety of the crew and mission in progress off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.

NEEMO, the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project, uses Aquarius to simulate some of the challenges of working in space, according to the NEEMO website.  Crews spend up to three weeks at a time living and working in the undersea station.

The six aquanauts - Shannon Walker, Takuya Onishi, David Saint-Jacques, Steven Squyres, James Talacek, and Nate Bender - surfaced Wednesday morning after completing five days of the NEEMO 15 mission. While their stay on Aquarius was cut short, the crew still completed a substantial amount of work. Among the tasks completed were six underwater "spacewalks," a full day of research inside the habitat, and four full days of simulated exploration of an asteroid.

The rest of this NEEMO mission won't be rescheduled, but we can look forward to NEEMO 16, currently set for the summer of 2012.

To learn more about NEEMO 15, you can check out its NASA page, its Flickr stream, or its Twitter feed.

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Filed under: In Space • On Earth
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Beydie

    Let's face it Lock/Mart has been the recipient of hurdneds of millions of DARPA dollar$ for the ISIS project @ Akron. They should stay focused on that. The P-971 was their sky grab @ technology Rodger Munk pioneered 20 years ago (Airship Industries, Advanced Technology Group & Hybrid Air Vehicles) with SkyCat. They only got it off the ground with help from ex-ATG personnel.Yes, the time line is ambitious. But isn't that what you've been promoting for the edgefighter ? HAV has the focus to help NGC make it happen. This isn't rocket science. NGC is using ILCDover for the envelope. The same bag maker Skunk Works used for P-971 & the same maker of most of the aerostats on station. HAV has developed a long endurance diesel that will deliver the 21 day endurance requirement to lift & power the 2,700 lb spy package. The sooner one of these things starts logging flight hours the sooner your edgefighter will get reliable real-time persistent target data. @nnOminus ~ Up Ship !

    August 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm |

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