Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.
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Splash Down + 10 Days

This morning started out with Dave and I suiting up into our simulated lunar exploration suits (Superlite 17 Dive helmet with a simulated Primary Life Support System (PLSS)). This PLSS in conjunction with the weights that we were wearing allowed us to experience the same gravity as the Moon. We heading out from Aquarius to our undersea construction site. We continued the construction on the "Waterlab" structure that Nicole started a few days ago. This is the structure that simulates a lunar communication relay station. The Skuttle remotely controlled vehicle was also involved in our project. Today we mainly used the vehicle to provide camera views to Mission Control but we are planning on incorporating the ROV in collaborative constructive activities later in the mission. Carmel and the boys were able to go over to Mission Control and watch our Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). They were able to hear us and see views from our helmet cameras, the ROV camera and other cameras in the area. It was great to be able to say hi to them while standing on the bottom of the ocean 1000 miles away. Rumor has it that there was even some under-aged ROV operation going on.

After our dive we received word that a cargo ship had landed in the area of our habitat. Tim and Nicole deployed the ROV and started a search.

Tim flew the ROV to the vicinity of the reported landing coordinates we were given and then started a grid search with the ROV. Nicole took over the search and found the cargo ship in the vicinity of small coral reef about 300’ from the habitat. During the grid search Tim and Nicole drove the ROV along the bottom for specified distances and then would thrust up to an altitude that permitted a good view of the immediate vicinity in all directions, descend back down, land and continue on. The ROV did not have enough thrust to carry the payload back to the habitat. But fortunately the entire search was tracked via our LinkQuest tracking system. We have the bearing and range of the payload along with good pictures of the landing site. We will send out an EVA crewmember to recover the payload as soon as the schedule allows.

The rest of the day was spent accomplishing more medical experiments. Each of us took turns being mentored through ultrasound imaging of the structure of the knee (each of us also took turns as the "patient"). After the ultrasound, each of us was mentored though a simulated arthroscopy procedure. During the procedure we removed torn meniscus. It is really amazing what a person without formal medical training can accomplish with a good mentor.