Watch Live As Underwater Astronauts Drill Into The Ocean Floor

by Elizabeth Howell on July 22, 2014

Two unidentified divers participating in a past NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) increment. Credit: NEEMO/Facebook

Two unidentified divers participating in a past NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) increment. Credit: NEEMO/Facebook

How do we send humans to asteroids or Mars? While the answer is complex, one part of it is to say “a simulation mission at a time.” That’s one of the roles of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project, which now is seeing its 18th crew temporarily live in a habitat 62 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean’s waves.

Astronauts spend time in the small Aquarius habitat and every so often, venture outside — including right now that goes until about 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. UTC). Luckily for us virtual aquanauts, there are six possible livestreams to choose from — so have fun figuring out which is the best view! You can catch all the action at this web page.

And if you miss today’s, another one is scheduled for tomorrow around 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. UTC).

The NEEMO 18 crew includes Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps and Mark Vande Hei, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

“Today, during EVA tasks, Aki and Jeanette will deploy the boom, set up the core drill, and use it to collect samples from the ocean floor,” the NEEMO Facebook page stated.

Learn more about the mission on the NEEMO website.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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