NASA's NEEMO Expedition Will Begin This Summer, Team To Engage In Mars-Like Simulations

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Jul, 25, 2016, 03:41 PM
Tags : Mars, NASA, neemo
Deep-Sea Lab Will Train Astronauts for Asteroid Mission
(Photo : Getty Images)

NASA astronauts will train deep beneath the ocean for deep space missions. The space agency looks to prepare their astronauts by putting them in an extreme environment, a feature that both the Red Planet and the ocean have in common.

On its website, the space agency wrote that a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists will travel to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean this summer and "prepare for future deep space missions and the journey to Mars." The expedition is called "NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations" 21 (NEEMO).

"Isolating crew members at the bottom of the ocean simulates life and work for astronauts in microgravity environments like the International Space Station, or in spacecraft that will travel to asteroids and planets in the future," wrote NASA. "During the 16-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 21 expedition beginning July 21, an international crew will explore tools and techniques being tested for future space exploration by living in simulated spacecraft conditions and conducting simulated spacewalks outside of their undersea habitat, Aquarius."

Once inside Aquarius, the crew will engage in a variety of experiments, including testing a mini DNA sequencer that will also be used on the International Space Station. Also, the group will test a telemedicine device and collect samples for marine biology and geology studies.

NASA looks to simulate realistic space situations. For example, the crew will engage in a mission that will test communication delays, a problem they could encounter in space and Mars.

"NEEMO 21 astronauts and crew will pioneer complex tasks on the seafloor utilizing the most advanced underwater navigation and science tools which are methodically choreographed to mimic a Mars exploration traverse," NEEMO Project Lead Bill Todd said. "Equipment can fail, communication can be challenging and tasks can take longer than expected. Other tasks go just as planned. All cases are equally beneficial. It's how we learn and how we are able to assemble all of this together so that someday we're prepared for the unexpected when we are living on and traversing the Martian surface."

Check out the interactive page that NASA has provided that details the expedition in full. 

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