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Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-3749)

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

October 3, 2005
RELEASE : 05-295
NASA Reschedules Undersea Expedition
NASA is postponing its mission to test new space medicine concepts and extravehicular techniques in a unique underwater laboratory off the Florida coast. Due to Hurricane Rita, the ninth NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project, originally scheduled for Oct. 3-21, has been moved to next spring.

The three astronauts and doctor assigned to the mission will have time to complete their training, which was interrupted by the closing of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as Hurricane Rita approached the Texas Gulf Coast.

The mission will be in the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and operated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Aquarius experienced some external damage from the undersea effects of Rita.

The mission is a joint project involving the two agencies and the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario; the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center; the National Space Biomedical Research Institute; and the Canadian Space Agency.

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