NASA extreme environment mission operations (NEEMO)

neemo

NASA’s underwater mission

There are many missions that are carried by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Most of then deal with the space programs but there is also one that deals with the underwater program.
Here, in this article on SAIKISITE, I am going to share with you all some really cool facts related to this mission by NASA.

 

Nemo isn’t only a fish !!

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All of you must be aware of the super-hit animated movie of 2003 ”Finding Nemo”.

But do you know that there is a NASA’s underwater training program also known as NEEMO (NASA extreme environment mission operations) ?

 
This artificial aquarium is situated in Florida, in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It is 62 feet below the surface and it is an only under sea research station in the world.
There is a fancy aquarium called as Aquarius, which is installed with various kind of research instruments and simulators. The person participating in this training mission are astronauts, scientists, and engineers, dwelling this Aquarius and are called Aquanauts. The training is functional for 3 weeks at a time.
 
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Pic Courtesy: www.nasa.gov
A newly formed NEEMO 19 group has just completed its mission underwater, they were blogging from beneath the sea and glorifying their explorations , adventures, and experiences of the deep sea. this team also completed the successful simulated “spacewalk” underwater.
Due to such striking similarities of space and deep sea, the program is also popularly known as NASA analog mission.
 

Why under water?

Under this routine practice program, NASA sends a group of astronauts under the deep sea which has comparable situations as is in space.
 
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Underwater training is much like space as underwater and depth of the Aquarius creates a condition of upthrust which is posed by water on the body of aquanauts which creates an antigravity-like conditions.
Other hurdles provided for the training are believed to be for future space explorations by the man in any corner of the solar system like on the moon, other planets, moons of other planet and even asteroids or may be even big space expeditions.
Also, now this is a necessary follow-up training given to astronauts spending months and years on space stations.
This kind of long under water expeditions are also helping scientists for the studies on the long-term effect of living underwater and living in space simultaneously and revealing facts and studies on biophysics and musculoskeletal system and dynamics.
 

Is it biologically possible to sustain underwater for so long?

Well, if you review human history then that nothing extraordinary exists today was possible then.
 
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Pic Courtesy: www.nasa.gov
 
Yes! Human biological functions are challenged because it is really an inhospitable environment to behold human existence but we have methods to either reduce or nullify its effect.
Living in depth of water results in decompression sickness or Caissons disease in which because of the high pressure underwater, it leads to the dissolution of NO2(nitrogen dioxide) gas in the blood, which is fine when the diver is  underwater but as the diver comes out in low pressure atmosphere the gas already dissolved in blood tends to ooze out very fast from our system.
 
An example in support:
You can understand it by imagining an LPG cylinder Gas leakage. When it is pressurized it sustains in a liquid form and as the pressure is removed it diffuses out as gas.
In the same manner, the NO2 gas oozes out when a diver comes out of deep sea very fast to cause many complications all together compiled as Decompression sickness. At times it can even be fatal .
 
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Pic Courtesy : en.wikipedia.org
But it can be managed by proper intervention like diving with a method known as saturation diving and by using Tri-gas mixture, and the most important one is by minimizing the effect of gas dissolution by resting at different depths for proper scheduled timing for proper decompression to avoid the syndromes related to decompression sickness.
U.S navy in 1959 published a decompression table :
10 min- 50 feet
17min- 40 feet
19min- 30 feet
50min- 20 feet
84min- 10 feet
This is equal to the total expenditure of 3 hours of decompression associated with 1 hour of work in real depth.
 
 
Newer methods are decompression chambers or decompression cylinders which do the same procedure to decompress but with an advantage of complete rest and no danger from the  deadly sea creatures.
So, this was all about the NASA’s NEEMOS mission and also on sustaining underwater. If you want to ask something or want to add something to it, please comment below in the box. Keep reading SAIKISITE.

Thank You !

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