Mission Overview

Mission Facts

  • 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission (first ever NEEMO mission was in 2001);
  • Splashdown: October 20, 2011;
  • Return: October 26, 2011.

The Crew

  • David Saint-Jacques, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut;
  • Shannon Walker, NEEMO 15 Commander, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut;
  • Takuya Onishi, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut;
  • Steven Squyres, Professor at Cornell University;
  • James Talacek, Aquanaut, University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW);
  • Nate Bender, Aquanaut, UNCW.

The Habitat Aquarius

  • Located: about 19 metres below the surface, 5.6 km off Key Largo in the Florida Keys;
  • Aquarius itself, a 3-by-14-metre steel cylinder, provides 11 cubic metres of living and laboratory space for a six-person crew. The lab is equipped with computers linked to shore, as well as Internet, telephones, radios, and video-conferencing equipment;
  • This extreme hostile environment is analogous to human space flight and has been used in the training of Space Station astronauts and as a platform for research and technology development since 2001.