NEEMO 14 Topside Report No. 1, May 7, 2010
NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations

"Plan. Train. Dive!"


An intense training week for the 14th NEEMO mission crew will conclude today with several “ Superlite” hard-hat dives on our full-scale mockups of the lander and rover. Also, the "Topside" team, based in our Mobile Mission Control Center, is hard at work with last-minute details on procedures, timelines and shore-based training.

The Mission Commander is veteran CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield, accompanied by NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and NASA/Wyle scientists Andrew Abercromby and Steve Chappell. James Talacek and Nate Bender, both professional aquanauts from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, complete the crew and will operate Aquarius and oversee safety during the mission. They will live for 14 days aboard Aquarius, the only operational undersea research habitat in the world.

NEEMO 14 is sponsored by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA HQ and the Space Life Sciences Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). The Mission Director is Bill Todd, along with the rest of the Topside Team: Monika Schultz, Pam Baskin, Mary Sue Bell, Heather Paul, Amanda Knight, Nick Skytland, Brian Bury, Juniper Jairala, Mike Gernhardt, Jason Poffenberger, Zane Ney, Lesley Lee, Roger Jones from JSC, Adrian Ecker from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Marc O’Griofa, Mike Downs, Issac Hutson from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Jack Li from NASA's Ames Research Center, and the entire staff from the Aquarius Reef Base. Aquarius is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility operated by the University of North Carolina Wilmington. It is located near Key Largo, Florida.

The major goals of this mission are to take advantage of the vast similarities between the sea floor and planetary surfaces to investigate advanced spacesuit design and explore operations concepts. A suite of Space Life Sciences experiments will be accomplished as well, ranging from behavioral health and performance to immunology and nutrition. The results will directly support the investigation of open questions and operational concepts that will enable NASA to continue it’s plan for planetary exploration.

"Splashdown," or mission start, will commence at 10:00 am EDT on Monday, May 10. Please join us by following along with the multiple Web cams supporting all of the mission activities. We will post a new Topside Report every two mission days.

Enjoy the images on the Analogs Flickr page from training week. See you Monday!