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Behind the ScenesBehind the ScenesTrainingNEEMOTrainingNeutral Buoyancy Lab


The NEEMO 6 crewmembers began their mission in the Aquarius habitat in the Florida Keys on July 12. They ascended to the surface from the coral reef ending their underwater stay on July 21. During this period the crew studied its underwater surroundings, engaged in science on the human body, evaluated future equipment for the Space Station and prepared for living and working in space.

NEEMO 6 crewmembers
The NEEMO 6 crew, from left, are Commander John Herrington and Mission Specialists Tara Ruttley, Nicholas Patrick, and Doug Wheelock.

Mission CommanderJohn HerringtonInterview
Mission SpecialistNicholas PatrickInterview
Mission SpecialistDoug WheelockInterview
Mission SpecialistTara Ruttley (64 Kb PDF)Interview
Mission DirectorMarc ReaganInterview

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Mission Objectives

NEEMO 6 objectives included support for NASA's new Vision for Space Exploration. The objectives also sought to simulate International Space Station (ISS) activities as future Expedition crews train for their stint onboard the orbiting platform.

The NEEMO 6 crew practiced long-duration space habitation in an underwater facility known as Aquarius off the coast of Key Largo, Fla. The Aquarius is similar in size to the Zvezda Service Module, which is the living quarters for the Space Station. As the Station grows in size and complexity, new equipment proposed for the ISS will require engineering evaluations. NEEMO 6 conducted some of these evaluations. Attention was given to anti-microbial and wireless tracking technologies as well as exercise equipment. Crewmembers also exited the Aquarius on diving excursions simulating spacewalks and built underwater structures analogous to ISS assembly activities.

Scientific research was performed on the human body in anticipation of the body's response to microgravity. Living in microgravity for days or months can cause a number of physiological, psychological and behavioral changes, both during flight and after landing. Crewmembers also studied the coral reef surrounding their habitat in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 08/03/2004
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