Image of the Week: Aquanaut to astronaut
26 Jun 2012
Last week British ESA astronaut Tim Peake completed his underwater NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) training. He emerged from the Aquarius 20m underwater base off the coast of Florida where he and the team of aquanauts had spent 10 days living and working.
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Tim Peake and Dorothy Lindernburger complete Extra Vehicular Activities.
Credit: ESA / Herve Stevenin.
The primary objectives of the NEEMO 16 mission were to test the equipment and operational concepts needed for exploration to near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). The near-zero gravity environment presents a unique challenge where anchoring, tethering, and translating devices will be necessary for surface operations.
This image shows Tim Peake (left) and NASA astronaut Dorothy Lindenburger (right) testing the installation of a Geophysicial Array on an Asteroid. Tim is secured by the feet to a Portable Foot Restraint carried by a mini Sub simulating a Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV). Dottie is wearing a Jetpack.
Manned deepwater submersibles acting as SEVs (as shown the background of this image, piloted by NASA astronaut Serena Aunon) were used to interact with Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) crewmembers to test the efficiency of different operations.
Neemo missions train astronauts for life in space. Living and working in an underwater base is similar to space stations. Tim and his five crewmates lived in cramped conditions, performed ‘waterwalks’ and solved problems as a team.
This image was taken by ESA astronaut trainer Herve Stevenin, more are available on his Flickr photostream.
Find out more about life underwater.