Steve Chappell gets ready for his dive.
The crew was able to celebrate two different kinds of orbits today (May 12) simultaneously. We helped Andrew (Abercromby) celebrate the completion of his 30th trip on the Earth around our Sun. And, thanks to the topside support’s surprise delivery, we even had ice cream and party hats after dinner to celebrate his birthday.
We also were able to link up with the International Space Station in orbit around the Earth and talk with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson. We marveled at the ability to link up fellow explorers in space with us at the bottom of the ocean.
It was particularly special to patch Soichi through to Andrew and Tom (Marshburn) who were out on EVA (extravehicular activity) developing ways to send humans out into the solar system, as if they were phoning home from the surface of an asteroid, moon, or planet. It brought a great perspective and served to further remind us of the amazing expedition we are on both as aquanauts and as we work to help the human race expand into the universe.