by Heather Paul and Amanda Knight
Analog Lead Technical Liaison
for Education and Public Outreach
Topside in Key Largo, Florida!
Mission Day 11 marked the first day of exploration of the Conch Reef environment surrounding the Aquarius habitat. During the extravehicular activities (EVAs), the aquanauts wore the life support mockups and added weights to their diving suits to simulate walking on the lunar surface. During these missions, the crew, along with the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) evaluated science protocols for mapping and sample documentation and collection. The ROV provided situational awareness of the crew’s activities to the aquanauts and the topside science team.
The morning EVA crew mapped an area surrounding a coral sand pathway 400 feet long and documented the health and diversity of the coral fingers on either side. The afternoon EVA crew picked up where the morning EVA crew finished and continued to map and characterize Conch Reef. At the end of the day, the crews had identified and located important sampling sites for mission day 12 geoscience exploration activities.
The aquanauts are photo-documenting a coral mound in the Conch Reef surrounding the Aquarius habitat.
An aquanaut next to the ROV which allowed the topside science team as well as the IVA crewmembers to watch the exploration.
Our education and public outreach efforts have stayed focused on the media today as Tom, Steve, and Chris were interviewed by several journalists. News coverage of NEEMO continues to spread… More articles will be out this week and after the mission as we continue to spread the word about NEEMO 14!
During mission day 11, the Alameda High School in Colorado was able to tie into the Aquarius habitat to speak with Tom. They asked very interesting questions about the purpose of the center of gravity (CG) rig, the reason for all of the EVA tasks, how storms affect the habitat, and why the injured crewmember mockup is being used.
The students from Alameda High School in Colorado were able to call directly to Aquarius and visit with astronaut Tom Marshburn.
We also had the opportunity to go with the topside boat to support diving activities! It was cloudy and there was rain just waiting to let loose… but while we had the opportunity to be in the water, the visibility was amazing. We were able to snorkel above the Aquarius and watch as the crew and support divers worked on their EVA tasks.
Topside personnel support, Amanda and Leslie, wave hello to the support divers.