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Jeremy Hansen explains why astronauts need to be comfortable in the water


Uploaded on July 25, 2016


Jeremy Hansen explains why astronauts need to be comfortable in the water

2016-07-25 – Did you know that astronauts do a lot of their training in a pool and that some mission simulations are held in the ocean? Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen explains how important it is for astronaut candidates to have good swimming skills. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, ESA, NASA)


Jeremy Hansen: I thought it would be a good time to share with everyone that it's really important that astronauts are comfortable in a water environment. They need to have reasonable swimming skills. There's a few reasons for that. 

We do a lot of our training in water, even at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. When you're in a spacesuit, it's not like you're swimming or you need swimming skills, but prior to doing a run in that pool you often do scuba dives in that pool to get to know the environment you're going to be working in and around the International Space Station. 

I've also for example spent a week living under the ocean on a NEEMO mission in a habitat off Key Largo, Florida, called Aquarius. In situations like that, you have to be very comfortable in the water, be able to hold your breath, able to do skills like empty a helmet full of water while holding your breath. 

So being able to swim, being able to work in the water, being very comfortable in the water is going to be something that we're definitely looking for when we're recruiting our next astronaut.


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