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Aquarius - an Analog to Space Travel

"Living in Extreme Environments"

Join NASA Quest and the Johnson Space Center's Distance Learning Outpost

May 15, 2002
View the Archive

Photo of Aquarius and link to site

Picture courtesy NOAA and UNC Wilmington. Aquarius images are 1999, University of North Carolina at Wilmington. All rights reserved. Aquarius is owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and operated by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW).

The world's only underwater laboratory

Join us live from underwater, off the coast of the Florida Keys, in a submersible deep-sea habitat called the Aquarius. NASA is interested in exploring the different ways this facility could help them understand and prepare for long-term space travel.

Living underwater parallels living in space in many ways. The time frame for missions involves long periods of time away from normal environments and families. Communication with others is not always immediate. In both environments one cannot readily come home. The Aquarius is also about the same size as many of the International Space Station (ISS) modules.

Our on-camera hostess, Sherri Jurls, and our studio guest, NBL Operations Specialist Chris Borne, will guide us through the hour, providing some background information and also answering questions about the NBL and the Aquarius.

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO)

Using the similarities Aquarius has to the ISS, astronauts will be training in the habitat. During their stay on Aquarius, the astronauts will answer your questions live about their adventures in space and in the underwater habitat (and how they compare), while you are viewing live footage of the astronauts and the Aquarius at work.

Astronaut/Aquanaut Crew involved:

photo of astronaut Mike Fincke photo of astronaut Dan Tani photo of astronaut Suni Williams photo of aquanaut Marc Reagan
Mike Fincke

Preparing for the Webcast

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare ahead. If you don't already have it, you must download and install RealPlayer 8 Basic for best webcast viewing. This player is free. Don't forget, once it is downloaded, it must be installed.

Next, you should try to look at some of the background information provided, especially the NASA expert's bio. Also, check out:

How Do I Participate
NASA Quest Chat Lesson

Participating in the Webcast

If for some reason you cannot join us for the live webcast, you can input your question ahead of time, and then watch the archive later to see if your question was answered during the webcast. It's not near as cool as being there live, but it is very helpful when there are scheduling conflicts. Also, remember that all of our chat rooms are moderated.

More Info

To learn more about the history of Aquarius, and follow the missions and adventures of the world's only underwater laboratory, check out: http://www.uncwil.edu/nurc/aquarius/.

NASA expert Bill Todd has already had the opportunity to live and work aboard the Aquarius submersible deep-sea habitat. To learn more about his adventures, read his field journal.

Check out the archive from the last NEEMO webcast October 25, 2001.

Take a virtual tour of the ISS for comparison to the Aquarius, provided by the Distance Learning Outpost.

Aquarius Writing Contest -- Grades 8-12

Win a trip to Aquarius! In 1000 words or less, tell why "I want to live 10 days under the ocean in Aquarius because . . ." The deadline is May 31, 2002. Contest is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW).

link to Aquarius site

Aquarius Partners


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