May 10 to 23, 2010
The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project, known as NEEMO, sends groups of astronauts, engineers, doctors and professional divers to live in an underwater habitat for up to three weeks at a time. These crew members, called aquanauts, live in Aquarius, the world's only undersea laboratory, located 3.5 miles off the coast of Key Largo, Fla.
As the commander, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield led the crew of NEEMO 14, aNASA Undersea Mission to test exploration concepts in an undersea environment off the Florida coast.
NEEMO 14 used the ocean floor to simulate exploration missions to the surface of asteroids, moons and Mars. The mission was designed to gain a better understanding of how astronaut crews interact with equipment including advanced spacesuits, a lander, a rover and robotic arms. The crew lived aboard Aquarius venturing from it on simulated spacewalks, operating the robotic arm and manoeuvring the vehicles much like would be done when setting up a habitat on another planet.