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NASA Social Networks Science

NASA Space Habitat Research Goes Undersea 55

PSandusky writes "NASA is preparing to make use of Aquarius, the underwater laboratory off Key Largo, for an extended period of time to research the effects of isolation in habitats situated in extreme environments. Planned areas of research include extravehicular activity logistics and crew health and performance. According to NASA's factsheet (PDF), the mission will include some communication with schools and social media sites. "
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NASA Space Habitat Research Goes Undersea

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  • This is RIDICULOUS! (Score:5, Informative)

    by john.r.strohm ( 586791 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @07:40PM (#32106108)

    It has been DONE.

    Tektite I, in 1969, put four men in a habitat, and kept them there, for over 58 days. That was a record at the time. They were working during the dive, doing excursions. During Tektite II, multiple 10-20 day missions were carried out. NASA was involved in those.

    A significant portion of the work in the Tektite projects was looking at human factors, specifically including psychology. Dr. Bob Helmreich of UT Austin was involved. (He was also the UT SCUBA club faculty sponsor for several years.)

    Aquarius is 62' down. My recollection was that Tektite was at 45', that being the deepest you can use air for long-term saturation without risking whole-body oxygen toxicity issues.

    There is NOTHING being done here that couldn't be done on dry land. ESA and the Russians are doing a similar project, all indoors in a big warehouse. Much of what they want to learn, about isolation psychology, they SHOULD be learning from the International Space Station, since they have crews spending much longer periods aboard ISS.

    I don't like to put NASA down, but THIS project is a waste of time and money.

  • by criptic08 ( 1255326 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @08:10PM (#32106372)
    As a precision to the parent's correct post, Warehouse isolation studies are referred to as simulations while these underwater tests are analogs. Analogs include unreproducible stresses found in real conditions (underwater and polar stations mainly) unlike simulations. The distinction is crucial when studying isolation psychology and psychiatry.

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