April 17, 2012
NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates And Crew
An international team of aquanauts will travel again to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to simulate a visit to an asteroid in the 16th expedition of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO).
This year's NEEMO mission will begin June 11. It will build on lessons learned from 2011's NEEMO 15 mission and test innovative solutions to engineering challenges allowing astronauts to eventually explore asteroids.
This NEEMO expedition will focus on three areas: communication delays, restraint and translation techniques, and optimum crew size. The crew of four will spend 12 days living 63 feet below the Atlantic Ocean's surface on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat off the coast of Key Largo, Fla.
NASA astronaut and former space shuttle crew member Dottie M. Metcalf-Lindenburger will lead the crew. She will be joined by fellow astronauts Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Timothy Peake of the European Space Agency and Cornell University professor Steven Squyres, who was also a NEEMO 15 crew member.
To request interviews with the NEEMO 16 crew during the mission, contact Brandi Dean of NASA at [email protected], Rosita Suenson of the European Space Agency at [email protected], Akiko Niizeki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency at [email protected] or Fred Gorell of NOAA at [email protected]
The NEEMO mission is sponsored by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Program. For more information about NEEMO and the crew and links to follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/neemo
For more information about NASA analog field tests, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs
Image Caption: External view of Aquarius. Credit: NASA