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Fisher's NASA Adventure (May, 2006)

Fisher's NASA AdventureOn Thursday, May 10, 2007, from 9:30am-10:15am, Fisher Elementary 5th Grade students took part in NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) program in which astronauts become aquanauts onboard the Aquarius underwater habitat! Fisher students were able to ask questions of aquanauts "live" during the program. Fisher is one of 24 schools across the country that will participate in this “live” NASA mission. Classes from New York, Louisiana, and even the UK participated on Thursday. Astronaut Hernandez was their contact and guide on this fourth day of the 12-day mission.

Similar in size to the International Space Station's living quarters, Aquarius is the world's only permanent underwater habitat and laboratory. The 45-foot long, 13-foot diameter complex is three miles off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, about 62 feet beneath the surface. A surface buoy provides connections for power, life support and communications. A shore-based control center monitors the habitat and crew. Six crew members are on this mission - a rookie astronaut, an experienced commander (been in space) a flight surgeon, another surgeon and two caretakers.

Fisher's NASA AdventureWith this program, NASA continues the Agency’s tradition of investing in the education of our country’s young people. NEEMO is directly tied to the Agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations, and career ambitions of America’s young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in STEM education programs to encourage their pursuit of educational disciplines critical to NASA’s future engineering, scientific, and technical missions.

NEEMO is looking forward to it’s 12th mission to the Aquarius habitat. While at the habitat, aquanauts are conducting activities involving:

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV)
Space Suits
EVA Tasks
Lunar Exploration Studies

All of these activities are being performed in this habitat to help prepare for the next schedule lunar mission in 2014. One of the experiments being conducted on this mission (germination) was submitted by young people. Fisher students, as well as others participating in the video conference, asked great questions about the challenges faced by the crew and what their day-to-day activities include.