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NEEMO 2

IMAGE: Dan Tani and Marc Reagan

Aquanauts Dan Tani, left, and Marc Reagan.

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*NEEMO 2 Journals
*Aquanaut Profile: Marc Reagan

NEEMO Journals

NEEMO 2, Marc Reagan
Day 2, Tuesday, May 14, 2002

I woke up cold this morning. The bunk is about as wide as my shoulders (well, wider than that, but not by much), and the hull wall curves right over it. Sometime during the night I must have grounded myself against the hull, which is a huge heat sink. I was NOT wanting to get up this morning, but I knew my only chance at a computer connection would be early so I reluctantly started the day.

The sea life parade was outstanding today. Before staging out this morning, a sea turtle decided to visit. He swam all around our home, and spent considerable time outside the main viewport. They are my favorite creature of the deep. They are so slow and majestic. Once Mike and I got outside, Suni and Dan met us and stopped us to make sure we looked underneath the habitat before proceeding. There was a nurse shark close by, like a silent sentry. I saw more lobster and several spotted eagle rays too.

Our objective of the day was to put distance tags on our main excursion lines every 25 feet, and to check to quality of our communications back with Houston, in four different orientations at each tag. The comm difficulties from yesterday were still with us, and it quickly became apparent that we were never going to get the task done as envisioned in the time allotted. We decided to continue tagging every 25 ft, but to only do the comm test every 100 ft. We had to end the dive after getting only about 450 feet tagged on a line that goes out about 1000 ft. It makes our first good test case for the support team in Key Largo and in Houston to replan based on mission priorities.

At noon today, the other big milestone occurred: we officially became aquanauts. Not "certified trained as aquanauts," not "wannabe aquanauts," but real aquanauts. Welcome to a pretty exclusive club. In case you were wondering, there is no door prize, but the job benefits are outstanding. Technically, the term aquanaut is limited to those who stay underwater for 24 hours or more.

Also, at lunch we had a little brevity. We have four methods of communication down here: a cell phone, which is expensive and to be used sparingly, a Polycom system for doing videocons (over the internet and using ISDN lines from the shorebase), PCs with Netmeeting (over the internet), and a direct phone to the watch desk (like a "bat phone."). So we're all preparing our lunch and the cell phone rings, which shouldn't happen, because, after all, who has the cell number? Ryan answers it and here's roughly what we hear: "Hello?... No, I'm sorry, you've reached an undersea habitat... Yeah, like under the sea... Oh yeah, we're living down here for nine days... Uh huh... You can check out our web site... " We were in stitches. Ryan was so polite and patient. Turned out is was a legal secretary looking for someone.

Well, that's all for now. Tomorrow we start our construction tasks. That ought to be fun, as well as more challenging and a test for our diving techniques.


Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 06/14/2004
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