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Crew of Underwater NASA Mission Available for Interviews

NEEMO crew member
NEEMO 18 crew member ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet wraps up rehearsals and training in his dive helmet off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, July 2014. Credits: NASA

NASA currently is working in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to evaluate tools and techniques in preparation for future spacewalks on a variety of surfaces and levels of gravity, ranging from asteroids to the moons and surface of Mars. The crew of the 14-day underwater mission will be available for media interviews via phone or Skype between 4 and 4:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 29. The interviews will air live on NASA Television. 

To participate in the interviews, contact Amiko Kauderer at by 5 p.m. Monday, July 27.

This is the 20th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission, which allows crew members to perform underwater some of the tasks, experiencing similar challenges, as they would in space. The NEEMO crew, along with two professional habitat technicians, is conducting the mission in Florida International University’s Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat about six miles off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, and 62 feet below the surface of the Atlantic.

The NEEMO 20 crew includes mission commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronaut Serena Aunon, engineer David Coan of NASA’s extravehicular activity management office, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai.

Opportunities to interview individual NEEMO 20 crew members also are available. Aunon is available for interviews via phone or Skype between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 27. Coan is available between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 28 and Wednesday, July 29. Additional opportunities may become available as the team’s timeline evolves.

The crew members of NEEMO 20, which began July 20, are testing time delays in communications caused by the distance of potential mission destinations. The crew also is assessing ESA-sponsored hardware that allows crew members to use a tablet, smartphone and a head-mounted interface to read the next step in a procedure so they can keep their hands and eyes on the task.

The crew members are sharing their NEEMO 20 experiences on Twitter at:


For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:


Stephanie Schierholz                                                                    
Headquarters, Washington
Amiko Kauderer
Johnson Space Center, Houston