7 Mission Commander Robert Thirsk, representing the Canadian
Space Agency, prepares his SCUBA gear for a training dive.|
7, Robert Thirsk
Day 2, Tuesday, October 5, 2004
How well an astronaut, pilot or surgeon prepares
for her or his flight or surgical operation largely determines their
success. If preparation has been thorough then actually flying the
space/aircraft or performing the surgical operation should be easy.
Like most other endeavors, the success of NEEMO 7 will be largely
determined by the quality of pre-mission preparation and training.
Our support team of managers, mission planners/controllers, and
instructors has done a superb job of preparation. The job of my
crewmates and I is now to assimilate all the operational knowledge
and skills related to this mission.
It is a mistake to think that education ends with
graduation from high school or college. This is especially true
for astronauts and aquanauts. This week's NEEMO 7 training is like
drinking from a fire hose. The amount of new information related
to payloads, systems, diving and potential emergency situations
I use mnemonics and catchy phrases to help recall
important information. "The surface is not an option,"
"If you feel uncomfortable about something, stop," "Box
the north," "Stay ahead of the timeline" are phrases
that probably mean nothing to you but will help our crew accomplish
our mission objectives and keep safe in difficult circumstances.
training is challenging but there is nothing else that I would rather
be doing. I feel fortunate to be involved in an undersea mission.
Another catchy phrase I saw on a car bumper today read "A bad day
at the ocean is better than a good day in the office!"