How does NASA train it’s astronauts for spacewalks on the International Space Station? Mainly, in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. The question often comes up, and this week it was coming from TheChive.com asking “does NASA really need the largest indoor body of water in the world to help train our astronauts?”
Author Lee Hutchinson details a day in the life at the NBL, and provides a unique behind-the-scenes look into all the work that goes into making a successful training event happen. From SCUBA divers to crane technicians to the astronauts themselves, this article is a must-read!
As noted in the artice, NASA doesn’t know where the Z-Series suit will be going, so it is designed with flexibily (in mission and mobility) including a suitport interface to reduce egress/ingress time and difficulties associated with an airlock.
Despite being named one of Times’ best inventions of the year, Z-1 is just a prototype that NASA will be building on with Z-2 and Z-3 revisions. NASA recently finished testing the suit, which means work on the Z-2 can’t be far off.
We look forward to more information on Z-2, and as it becomes publicly available, we’ll share more.
Update: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will speak with astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, commander of the 16th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission, and her fellow crewmate Timothy Peake of the European Space Agency at 3:10 p.m. CDT today, June 20, as they perform their final “spacewalk” of the mission, 63 feet below the ocean’s surface.
On June 11, Metcalf-Lindenburger joined ESA Astronaut Tim Peake and JAXA Astronaut Kimiya Yui along with others to the bottom of the sea to simulate deep-space exploration activities in the 16th expedition of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO).
In this video, Metcalf-Lindenburger talked to SPACE.com while outside Aquarius, on a simulated spacewalk.