October 27, 2011
NEEMO Ends Early Due To Hurricane Rina
NASA said on Wednesday that its 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) ended earlier than planned due to Hurricane Rina.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determined Rina posed a risk to the safety of the mission taking place near Key largo, Florida.
The six aquanauts of the NEEMO crew left the facility and returned to the surface of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary on Wednesday.
The crew kicked off the mission on October 20 after an initial delay caused by another storm in the sea.
NASA said the aquanauts conducted six underwater spacewalks and one day of scientific research inside the Aquarius habitat. The space agency also said they completed four days of scientific asteroid exploration analog operations using the deep worker submersibles.
"Despite the length, we accomplished a significant amount of research," NEEMO Project Manager Bill Todd said in a press release. "We're already learning lessons from working in this environment."
The remainder of the mission will not be scheduled. The NEEMO 16 mission is set for the summer of 2012.
Image Caption: NEEMO 15 Commander Shannon Walker (NASA) and fellow aquanaut David Saint-Jacques (Canadian Space Agency) use a small telescoping boom as a means of translating across a simulated asteroid surface. Each end of the small boom can be anchored to the surface by either magnets or tethers and the astronauts can traverse the surface by alternating anchor points. Various translation techniques are being tested during this 13-day NEEMO mission. Image Credit: NASA/Mark Widick
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