NEEMO 15 – Splashdown Day!


Image shows NEEMO 15  crew members from right to left (Commander: Shannon Walker (NASA), Steve Squyres (Cornell), David Saint-Jacques (CSA), Takuya Onishi (JAXA))


Today was splashdown day.  As stormy as the weather had been for the last five days, today was sunny and beautiful.  And, thankfully, the seas were calm.


Because we had to delay our start of the mission, there were more habitat checkouts than usual to be completed before we could get to work.  Last weekend before the storms hit, the umbilical to Aquarius was removed to ensure that it was not damaged.  The umbilical provides the air and communications to the habitat and runs from the habitat up to a giant buoy on the surface.  First thing this morning support divers went out to reconnect the umbilical and our hab techs, James and Nate, went inside Aquarius to start getting it configured.  Early afternoon, the rest of the crew scuba’d down and entered their new home.  After an orientation and safety briefing, the crew was put to work stowing gear and setting up the communication system.


Once everything was ready to go, the sun was setting and it was getting dark outside the habitat.  But, our day was not done.  The crew had to do some familiarization dives to get acquainted with diving on a helmet connected to the habitat.  David and Steve went out first.  They spent about forty-five minutes walking around the area where we will be working our first excursion in the morning.  After that Tak and I went out. 


It was nearly 9:00 p.m. by the time we were finished.  So, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then wrapped things up for the night.


All and all, a very interesting day.  It is quite strange to think that we are in a can that is at the bottom of the sea.  And, even stranger to look out your windows and see fish!



Crew poses for a group photo right after splash down. Crew members from the left to right (Commander: Shannon Walker, Takuya Onishi,Steve Squyres, David Saint-Jacques). Inside Habitat (Hab Techs: Nate Bender, James Talek)

3 thoughts on “NEEMO 15 – Splashdown Day!”

  1. Sounds exciting! My students (11th-12th) will be keeping up with all you do so please keep us posted. We’re learning about all of this in class right now (buoyancy, research methods, submersibles, etc.) and so this is such a great way to tie it all together in a REALLY exciting way! Good luck, and hope the weather stays good for you. We’ll be watching the live cams when they’re up. Landing on asteroids…amazing!

  2. My class had a representative from ESA today because his son goes to our school and he talked about this. I think it is amazing!

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