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Photos: NASA goes underseas to moon walk

Three NASA astronauts and a Cincinnati doctor are living and working under the ocean this month to test space medicine concepts and moon-walking techniques.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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1 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Extravehicular activity

A crew member participates in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) for the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project. During today's EVA, astronaut/aquanauts Dafydd R. (Dave) Williams and Ronald J. Garan Jr. performed various tasks in a reconfigurable center of gravity backpack to simulate moon walking. The crew is spending 18 days, which began April 3, on an undersea mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, located off the coast of Key Largo, Fla.

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2 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Surveying and mapping

NEEMO-9 astronaut/aquanaut Nicole P. Stott and University of Cincinnati physician Tim Broderick perform survey and mapping activities using a navigational device to record the coordinates of landmarks of interest within a 150-foot radius of Aquarius.

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3 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

The wet porch

Stott and Garan welcome a fellow aquanaut arriving with camera in the wet porch of the Aquarius undersea habitat. The wet porch is the entrance and exit for the underwater laboratory. Similar to an upside-down empty glass submerged in water, it uses atmospheric pressure to keep the ocean out of the habitat. In the foreground, wet suits drip as they dry out.

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4 of 4 Bill Detwiler/ZDNET

Preparing the 18-day stay

Crew members prepare for their stay inside the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory. Williams leads the crew of four, which includes Garan, Stott and Broderick. NEEMO 9 is a cooperative project of NASA, NOAA, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Centre for Minimal Access Surgery in Canada.

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