NASA Sets Media Opportunities for NEEMO Undersea Mission (USA)

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Journalists will have the opportunity to cover the 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, or NEEMO, from up close or afar. The mission was originally scheduled to start Oct. 17, but tropical storm conditions in the area of the undersea laboratory required a delay.

Journalists are invited to visit the Mobile Mission Control Center, which supports the underwater crew of the NEEMO mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquarius Undersea Laboratory. The laboratory is located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in Key Largo.

On Oct. 24, the NEEMO crew will be available for satellite interviews from 3 to 4 p.m. CDT. On Oct. 26, astronaut/aquanaut Shannon Walker will conduct interviews during an underwater simulated spacewalk from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Other interview slots are available on a limited basis with Walker, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takuya Onishi, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Steven Squyres of Cornell University.

The live satellite interviews will air on NASA’s Live Interview Media Outlet channel. The channel is a digital satellite C-band downlink by uplink provider Americom. It is on satellite AMC3, transponder (9C, located 87 degrees west, downlink frequency 3865.5 MHz based on a standard C-band, horizontal downlink polarity. FEC is 3/4, data rate is 6.0 Mbps, symbol rate is 4.3404 Msps, transmission DVB-S, 4:2:0. The interviews also will be simulcast on NASA Television.

The 2011 NEEMO mission will be the first to simulate humans visiting an asteroid. A six-member crew, led by Walker, will spend 13 days beneath the surface in the Aquarius habitat, the world’s only underwater laboratory. They will test concepts and techniques for asteroid exploration.

Other crew members include James Talacek and Nate Bender of the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.

In addition, NASA astronauts Stan Love, Richard Arnold and Mike Gernhardt will participate in the mission as pilots of the DeepWorker submersible, a small submarine that will serve as an underwater stand-in for the Space Exploration Vehicle, which may someday be used to explore the surface of an asteroid.

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Source: NASA, October 20 , 2011

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