Man is getting closer and closer to stepping foot onto Mars. Naturally, NASA is preparing its astronauts as much as they can, in order for them to survive with as much ease as possible. In order to do this, the space agency has considered all environmental descriptions of the Red Planet. After which, it has decided that the bottom of the ocean is the closest simulation that is possible.
According to Design & Trend, NASA plans to send a group of its best and brightest. This includes astronauts, engineers and scientists, who will soon find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Reportedly, the environment there is the perfect simulation for microgravity locations, like the International Space Station, as well as other space crafts. The expedition has been dubbed the "NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations" (NEEMO) 21.
The training formally began on July 21 and will last a total of sixteen days. During this time, the group will be testing out different tools and techniques, to see which works best in those types of conditions. Further, they will also need to practice living and moving about the space. The undersea habitat they are currently residing in is called the Aquarius.
The experiment is also going to give NASA a good understanding on communication - what will work and what problems could be caused. Additionally, it will give a more realistic time estimate for specific tasks,
AS Pulse Headline adds, this is all in order to prepare for future missions. More particularly, NASA's goal of sending a human to an asteroid by 2025 and ultimately Mars by 2030.
The first half of NEEMO 21 is being headed by NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman, followed by NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur. Wiseman was a naval aviator and a test pilot prior to his stint with NASA. In 2014, he spent 166 days aboard the ISS.On the other hand, McArthur was part of a the STS-125 shuttle mission in 2009. She also holds a doctorate in oceanography.