Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.

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Splashdown +1 day

Had a great first night's sleep in my Aquarius bunk. If you pay attention during the day, you can hear a constant crackling sound from outside on the hull (sounds a lot like the embers of a fire crackling as it goes out). At night, when everything is quiet and you're lying in your bed, you can't help but hear it. The sound is made by the snapping shrimp, also known as pistol shrimp. They use their powerful snapping claw to produce a large popping sound which wards off potential intruders/predators and to help capture food.  It's really a very soothing sound.

Today as aquanauts we spent the day inside the habitat (except for the required short swims to the gazebo for potty breaks), and started into the telemedicine portion of our mission. Most of the day was spent wearing EEG hair nets and performing different tasks on the computer to assess the impact on brain waves from latency in the communication signal and outside stressors. The task today is called the Box Draw, which very simply involves tracing a line with your cursor around a box maze -- you're supposed to do it as quickly and accurately as possible -- it gets interesting when there is a 750 millisecond latency in the signal and what you input doesn't show up on the screen until 750 ms later. One of the things they want to evaluate with these kinds of tasks is how the latency would affect a surgeon that is remotely performing surgery on a patient using a robotic platform.

Tomorrow we have our first Superlite (SL) 17 dive near the habitat. This is the dive rig with the helmet, and we get to walk around on the bottom. We're also going to be doing our first ROV operations, and to top off the day we'll be videoconferencing with the Expedition 12 and 13 crews that are currently on ISS.

As a close for the night, in addition to the many beautiful fishes swimming outside the windows, we just had a nice glimpse of a big sea turtle swimming by. Very cool!