Mission News

    NASA's Undersea Crew is Heads Above Water

    NEEMO 9 Crew
    Image above: The NEEMO 9 crew prepares for a night dive. Canadian Astronaut Dave Williams (right rear) leads the crew, which includes astronaut/aquanauts Ron Garan (right front) and Nicole Stott (left front), and University of Cincinnati physician Tim Broderick (left rear). Credit: NASA

    Three NASA astronauts and a Cincinnati doctor completed a successful 18-day undersea mission April 3 to 20, living and working under the ocean to test space medicine concepts and moon-walking techniques.

    Canadian astronaut Dave Williams led the longest NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) excursion to date aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory off the Florida coast. NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Ron Garan and Dr. Tim Broderick of the University of Cincinnati rounded out the crew. Jim Buckley and Ross Hein of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington provided undersea engineering support.

    During the mission, remote health care procedures were tested on a patient simulator in cooperation with the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. New long-distance medical care procedures, such as telemonitoring and telerobotic surgery, may help maintain the health of spacefarers. The techniques simulated in Aquarius can be used in remote settings on Earth, and may one day be used to respond to emergencies on the International Space Station, the moon or Mars. The aquanauts also walked on the ocean floor as a simulated lunar surface, using high-tech breathing helmets and weights to improve their balance in one-sixth gravity equivalent to the moon's.

    + Read the final NEEMO 9 topside report
    + Read the NEEMO 9 Press Release

Meet the Mission Team

  • Dave Williams

    Dave Williams

    Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dave Williams was the commander of the NEEMO 9 crew.

    › Read interview
    › View biography  →
  • Nicole Stott

    Nicole Stott

    An avid SCUBA diving enthusiast, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott joins the crew of NEEMO 9 as a precursor to future long duration flight aboard the space station.

    › Read interview
    › View biography  →
  • Ron Garan

    Ron Garan

    Selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000, astronaut Ron Garan has logged over 4,000 hours in more than 30 different aircraft.

    › Read interview
    › View biography  →
  • Tim Broderick

    Dr. Tim Broderick

    A physician with the University of Cincinnati, Tim Broderick is working with NASA to develop medical technologies for future space missions.

    › Read interview
    › View biography
  • Jim Buckley and Ross Hein

    Jim Buckley and Ross Hein

    Engineering support for the mission was provided by Jim Buckley and Ross Hein of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Related Sites

NEEMO 9 Journals