Undersea ‘aquanauts’ practise for moon trips

Date: 1/6/2006

A team of astronauts and divers have wrapped up a record-setting mission to the ocean floor — filled with undersea ‘moonwalks’ and robotic surgeries – this was all controlled by a doctor high and dry in Canada. The six aquanauts of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 9 mission, known as NEEMO 9, returned to the Earth’s surface after 18 days of underwater living aboard Aquarius, an undersea laboratory stationed 67 feet (20 metres) beneath the ocean surface, just off Key Largo in the Florida Keys. Every single thing that the aquanauts did on this mission directly related to exploration. They mainly wanted to see how they could collaborate efforts between the human astronauts and robotic explorers. A further goal for the NEEMO 9 crew included the assembly and operation of a surgical robot designed to allow physicians to dress wounds remotely with only an Internet linkup between them.

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