Fragile Oasis

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Splashdown-4

The morning was spent going over the habitat systems and emergency procedures. Aquarius is an amazing facility and is very similar to a space craft in many ways. In the afternoon we dove on Conch Reef with the Kirby Morgan masks that we will use when we scuba during the mission. These are full-face masks which have communication equipment incorporated into mouthpiece. These masks allow us to communicate with each other, the habitat, and Houston. During the dive we entered one of our fill stations. Fill stations are small air filled domes strategically located on the ocean floor within our work areas. During extended excursions outside the habitat we can swim up underneath and up into the fill stations, take our masks off, have something to eat or drink, and fill up our air tanks.

We also did air sharing drills on the ocean floor beneath the Aquarius habitat. It was very interesting kneeling in a sand patch beneath Aquarius doing our drills with a very large Eel a few feet from us poking straight up out of his hole watching us very intently. I think we'll be seeing him again. After our dive training we returned to Key Largo and trained on the Super Lite 17 dive helmet which we will use to simulate the space suits we will use in future lunar surface exploration. We will use this equipment to develop procedures and gain experience for future space exploration. In the evening we packed our clothes that will be placed in steel pots and brought down and stowed in the Aquarius habitat.