Buoyancy Laboratory Fast Facts
technicians George Brittingham and Sharon McDougle assist
STS-114 Commander Eileen Collins as she prepares to practice
emergency water bailout procedures in the Neutral Buoyancy
Buoyancy Laboratory, or NBL, pool is 62 meters (202 feet) in length,
31 meters (102 feet) in width and 12 meters (40 feet) in depth --
6 meters (20 feet) above ground level and an equal distance below
The pool holds
22.7 million liters (6.2 million gallons) of water.
Water in the pool is recycled every 19.5 hours.
The NBL is
12 times larger than the Weightless Environment Training Facility
The 500 truckloads
of cement required to pour the foundation stopped traffic for several
It took more
than a month to fill the pool with water.
spend seven hours training in the water for every hour they will
spend spacewalking during a mission.
Ross was the first suited astronaut in the pool.
A medical team
is present during all training exercises to monitor the condition
of all dive personnel.
in the pool have two-way communication capability with flight controllers
in the Mission Control Center, which is several miles away.
Mobility Unit, or EMU, suits worn by astronauts in the pool weigh
about 127 kilograms (280 pounds).
train for emergency water bailout and rescue in the NBL pool.