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IMAGE: NEEMO 7  crewmembers exchange greetings
Equipped in EX14 suits, two NEEMO 7 crewmembers exchange greetings during a session of extravehicular activities.
*NEEMO 7 Journals
*Aquanaut Profile: Robert Thirsk

NEEMO 7 Journals

NEEMO 7, Robert Thirsk
Day 1, Monday, October 11, 2004

"Wow" is the first word that comes to mind as I reflect on my first day aboard Aquarius. It seems as though laws of physics that were familiar to me on the surface are strangely altered undersea. For instance, I have a constant feeling of pressure in my ears. The voices of my crewmates and I are ever so slightly "Donald Duck." Instead of gazing on trees and grass when I look out the kitchen window, I see schools of fish and the occasional aquanaut passing by.

The code of conduct for aquanauts is also different. Billy and James, our "hab techs," briefed us on the unique aspects of undersea life. Aquarius is certainly a confined and isolated habitat. There is a code of conduct to be followed by each crewmember so that we can be neat, courteous, and safe; and so that we will all still be the best of friends after eleven mission days together. I do not feel claustrophobic. The living area within Aquarius is something like that of a school bus ... plenty of space for all ... and the view out the window is spectacular.

The day has been so full of activity: two dive excursions, unpacking bags of hardware, setting up the computer network, and debugging some problems. We have dealt with a couple of problems (the boat that took us out to the habitat site had an engine problem, one of the camera housings leaked) but also claimed a small victory -- Craig confirmed a good robotic command link with Hamilton, Ontario.

I can already see that it will be a major challenge to stay on the mission timeline. We may run late during the first few days of the mission as we adapt to this strange new world. When time gets short, we will have to prioritize the most crucial activities and sacrifice timeliness on the less important. Working with our topside support team, we will sometimes need to make that difficult judgment call.

This first mission journal is short. The evening is late and we still need to have a "crew tag-up" before bedtime. Gotta go!

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 10/29/2004
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