By NEEMO 16 Commander Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger (NASA Astronaut)
The NEEMO 16 Team…There is no “I” in team
What does it take to pull off a 12-day mission, looking at the best ways to work and explore at an asteroid, while dealing with simulated communication time delays between the crew and Mission Control?
I don’t know exact number, but it takes many talented and dedicated people.
Image at right: Mission control in Key Largo, Fla.
Who are those people? Let’s start back on shore in Key Largo, where there are two teams making sure everything comes together. One team is the Mobile Mission Control Center. They direct the day, providing timelines for when events happen and support for all activities.
Also back in Key Largo, we have the Aquarius Reef Base (ARB) team. They run the habitat, keeping it going 24/7. They also provide the training and logistical support for the mission. From their team comes two talented members, the Habitat Technicians, who live with the crew, dive with the crew, and pull off numerous feats of amazingness.
Daily, the Liberty Star and its divers launch the submersibles and provide diving support for our breathing umbilicals. Additionally, ARB sends out boats with dive control and potting support. Potting is literally large metal vessels that bring down food and supplies and take away trash. NASA has a boat that brings out our scientists, spacewalk specialists, and tool designers.
Down below, inside the habitat, is our crew of six. We execute the mission and provide real-time input.
Each of these teams is essential; each is made of people who see the bigger picture of their role.
To learn more about NEEMO, visit www.nasa.gov/neemo.