NASA Fishes For Tools To Tackle Asteroid

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Astronaught Shannon Walker of NASA and astronaut David Saint-Jacques of Canada test moving a probe in the waters off Key Largo, Florida. The program, part of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) is meant to test equipment and man’s reactions for a human rendezvous with an asteroid.

Astronaught Shannon Walker of NASA and astronaut David Saint-Jacques of Canada test moving a probe in the waters off Key Largo, Florida. The program, part of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) is meant to test equipment and man’s reactions for a human rendezvous with an asteroid.

NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

These voyages are years away but on Monday, astronauts are heading underwater to take part in a simulation that will help them figure out how they might explore one possible new destination: A near-Earth asteroid.

Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger flew on one of the last space shuttle missions. She even helped prepare Atlantis for its final launch.

“It was a very bitter sweet time,” says Metcalf-Lindenburger, who really wants to get to space again. But in the meantime, she’s commanding a four-person crew that’s putting on scuba gear instead of space suits.

She says we all have to move on.

“Like in all things. I just had my daughter finish up her last day of preschool before she goes off to kindergarten. We have to shut chapters and begin new chapters and we had to do that in the space program too,” Metcalf-Lindenburger says.

Her crew will spend two weeks working underwater, which is the best approximation on this planet of what it would be like to operate in the zero gravity of an asteroid.

Continued here:

(1) NASA Fishes For Tools To Tackle Asteroid
URL: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/10/154669076/nasa-fishes-for-tools-to-tackle-asteroid?ft=1&f=1007



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