Follow this link to go to the text only version of
NASA -National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Follow this link to skip to the main content
+ Text Only Site
+ Site Help & Preferences

+ Home
+ NASA Home > Mission Sections > NEEMO > NEEMO 11
Print ThisPrint This
Email ThisEmail This

NEEMO 11 Mission Journal

JSC2006-E-40695 -- NEEMO 11 astronaut/aquanauts Sandra Magnus (left) and Robert Behnken (right) with astronaut/aquanaut Timothy Kopra outside the habitat Image above: NEEMO 11 astronaut/aquanauts Sandra Magnus (left) and Robert Behnken (right) take a moment to pose for a photo. Astronaut/aquanaut Timothy Kopra joins his crewmates for the photo from outside the habitat. Image credit: NASA

Monday, Sept. 18, 2006
Mission Day 3
Crew Journal

Today we had another exciting day in the Aquarius habitat. The activities started with the first team of aquanauts performing a coral science collection activity while simulating the conditions on the moon. We use a combination of the effects of water buoyancy, a special suit, and a lot of lead weights so that the team weighs the same here outside Aquarius as they would on the moon. Under these conditions they simulate the same sorts of activities that we expect to perform when NASA returns astronauts to the moon. The pictures of the coral were really neat to see. Just like during the hookah dives last night, the bright colors of the coral showed up in the pictures they took! The crew also used some underwater navigation equipment to accurately identify the location of the coral patches, as well as the location of the man-made items they found.

During the second dive of the day, the team finished construction of the LunaSea base and located a suitable location for tomorrow's final construction task. Remember from yesterday that LunaSea is a plastic structure designed to simulate constructing a communication tower on the moon. LunaSea is made up of 3 modules, a base, and a few pieces of additional support. Unlike on the moon, the sea floor near Aquarius has a lot of man-made items that we need to avoid. Some of these items are valuable sensors used to collect information about the conditions here near Aquarius. Tomorrow's task will involve raising the tower to its final height and flying the NEEMO 11 flag, which should occur before lunch!

During both of these dives, a team from a control room at the Johnson Space Center in Houston tracked the crew's movements and directed their activities. The team in Houston had a lot of suggestions during the dives, similar to how the mission control team has a lot of suggestions for the crews on the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. This makes finding a good location for the construction challenging! Our friends were also able to watch and listen to activities on the webcam, so even way below the water surface they can keep up with what we are doing.

Two of the divers completed their hookah dives this evening. They had a chance to see the bright colors of the habitat under the dive light, just like the other two divers did last night! They were really excited to have the chance to dive at night. One of the team members was able to wave to his family who was watching the webcam from Houston!

Be sure to watch the final LunaSea construction activities tomorrow!

 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 7
"The six of us bonded as a team and will cherish the photographs from this mission, reminding us of the special time we spent down here under the sea."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 6
"Today we began the journey back to the surface and to dry land."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 5
"Just like the feeling of floating in space, it is hard to describe what it feels like to walk around on the bottom of the ocean."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 4
"The dive was very successful and we were happy with how much we were able to do and the topside team got a lot of good information about construction in extreme environments."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 2
"It was really interesting to see how just the weight distribution for this simulated space suit could dramatically change how difficult or easy it was to do different activities."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Mission Journal Number 1
"We dove off the boat and descended through the clear blue water to the habitat."
+ Read More
 NEEMO 11 Pre-Mission Journal
"The number of fish just swimming around the structure was amazing and included very large goliath grouper!"
+ Read More
+ Back to Top

FirstGov - Your First Click to the US Government

+ Freedom of Information Act
+ Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ Privacy Policy and Important Notices
+ Inspector General Hotline
+ Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
+ Information-Dissemination Priorities and Inventories
Editor: Amiko Kauderer
NASA Official: Brian Dunbar
Last Updated: September 25, 2006
+ Contact NASA
+ SiteMap