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NEEMONASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations
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The NEEMO 20 crew includes mission commander Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronaut Serena Aunon, engineer David Coan of NASA's extravehicular activity management office, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai.
The NEEMO crew and two professional habitat technicians will live 62 feet (19 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida International University's Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat 6.
From a console at the university, Anvari repeatedly has been successful in using surgical robots to operate on patients hundreds of miles away--and, in the case of NEEMO, almost 100 feet below the earth's surface.
NEEMO 18, a nine-day mission beginning July 21, will focus on studies in behavioral health and performance, human health issues, and habitability.
In the 2006 NEEMO 9 mission, SRI successfully demonstrated the first telerobotic surgery where a robotic surgical interface was controlled 1,500 miles away from a surgical robot that performed several tasks, including vascular suturing.
The NEEMO team is particularly excited about this mission as it is a huge milestone to have achieved 20 missions at Aquarius over the past 15 years," NEEMO Project Lead Bill Todd said.
The 10-day mission of the 15th expedition of NEEMO (NEEMO 15) is scheduled to begin in October 17, 2011.
The NEEMO 12 mission takes place on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, located more than 900 miles from Nashville and 60 feet underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.
The crew members of NEEMO 19 will test technologies and training techniques for use aboard the International Space Station and future deep space exploration missions.
Since 2001, NEEMO has completed 14 missons, with 1 through 13 primarily for astronaut training.
Previous research has shown that surgeons can adapt to latencies of 200 - 500ms," said Mark Reagan, NEEMO 9 Mission Director, NASA.
Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will command the NEEMO 18 mission aboard the Aquarius laboratory.