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Ground Based Study:    NEEMO 18
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
9 days

NEEMO 18 underwater extravehicular (EVA) activities evaluated tools and techniques for exploration tasks across gravity fields ranging from asteroids to the moons of Mars and the Martian surface. Techniques in response to the re-planning of exploration operations to account for varying time delays in communications were also addressed.

Accompanied by two lab technicians, the crew—Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), NASA’s Jeanette Epps and Mark Vande Hei, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA)—spent nine days living and conducting research 62 feet below the surface in Florida International University’s Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. They investigated tools, techniques and technologies that will benefit spacefarers aboard future International Space Station and long-duration exploration missions.

The mission’s scientific investigations focused on a suite of studies from NASA’s Human Research Program, covering behavioral health and performance, human health and countermeasures and human factors and habitability. These studies examined such issues as team cohesion and the ability of crewmembers to perform tasks while working under constraining factors including isolation, confinement, remoteness, circadian rhythm disruption, communication delays and work overload.

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