Nicole Watch

Things are heating up in the Press as the launch date gets closer. (25th at 1.34am) One of the sites they are quoting is the NASA bio site – here’s her link:

It refers to a NEEMO 9 expedition back in 2006: (Cute Nemo, geddit?)

Image : The NEEMO 9 crew prepares for a night dive. Canadian Astronaut Dave Williams (right rear) leads the crew, which includes astronaut/aquanauts Ron Garan (right front) and Nicole Stott (left front), and University of Cincinnati physician Tim Broderick (left rear). Credit: NASA

Three NASA astronauts and a Cincinnati doctor completed a successful 18-day undersea mission April 3 to 20, living and working under the ocean to test space medicine concepts and moon-walking techniques.

Canadian astronaut Dave Williams led the longest NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) excursion to date aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory off the Florida coast. NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Ron Garan and Dr. Tim Broderick of the University of Cincinnati rounded out the crew. Jim Buckley and Ross Hein of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington provided undersea engineering support.

During the mission, remote health care procedures were tested on a patient simulator in cooperation with the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. New long-distance medical care procedures, such as telemonitoring and telerobotic surgery, may help maintain the health of spacefarers. The techniques simulated in Aquarius can be used in remote settings on Earth, and may one day be used to respond to emergencies on the International Space Station, the moon or Mars. The aquanauts also walked on the ocean floor as a simulated lunar surface, using high-tech breathing helmets and weights to improve their balance in one-sixth gravity equivalent to the moon’s.