Michael DeBakey (seated) and Canadian astronaut Dafydd
Williams observe remote telesurgery experiments from Johnson
7, Topside Team
Day 9, October 19, 2004
One of the
things we who work on the NEEMO team take great pride in is the
dedication with which we support educational outreach. Over the
course of this mission we've supported 7 different events, most
of which had a handful of schools involved. Two of the events were
streamed live to the internet. The students ranged from grade school
to medical students, and spanned from Alaska to Florida, California
to New Jersey, and, of course, across Canada as well. As an example,
for one of these events Bob participated in an Ontario medical student
conference that was taking place at Queens University in Kingston,
Ontario. Over 400 medical students from 5 Ontario medical schools
were gathered at Queens University for a conference on “Medicine
in Unusual Environments”. The session entitled “Telementoring: Skills
development for the next generation of aerospace medicine professionals”
involved a videoconference link-up between the students, Bob in
the habitat and Dr. Anvari in Hamilton. Dave Williams was the moderator
at Queens University. The event was very successful and ended with
a standing ovation from the students. We're excited to be involved
in an effort that can use events like this to educate the next generation
of students of the beauty and fragility of the oceans, as well as
some of the work NASA and NOAA do.
the flip side, missions like this tend to generate a lot of media interest. Doing
"Public Affairs Office," or PAO events is a standard part of a NEEMO mission as
well. Like Educational Outreach events, these are great training for our astronauts
because they will be doing lots of these on their future space missions. And they're
real. Whatever was said or done will be out there for the world to see! This mission
has generated the usual interest in the U.S. (Space.com and CNN to name a couple),
as well as a long list of Canadian media (Hamilton Magazine/Canadian Medical Association,
the Calgary Herald, the Canadian Press, LaPresse, and CBC.) A Google search just
now on "NEEMO 7" yielded 9,480 hits!
a side note, the " Topside" team would like to recognize Mike for its first "
Heros of Waterlab" award. Mike made the following observations in his latest journal
: "It is truly moving how much pride a group of whacko type A perfectionists can
take in a rickety lattice of PVC pipe! She looks good out there on the sea floor,
as good as any platform NASA has ever built. Pirate flag notwithstanding."
the spirit, Mike!