Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency

June 10, 2014 12:30 ET

Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen Takes Part in NASA Undersea Mission

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 10, 2014) - Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Jeremy Hansen has explored impact craters in the High Arctic and lived and trained in deep caves. He will now take part in the NEEMO 19 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) analogue mission set to begin September 7.

Jeremy will spend 7 days under 19 meters of water in extreme conditions that closely resemble a space environment. As well as testing exploration concepts, he will take part in spacewalk simulations, and will evaluate tools and techniques for exploration tasks in varying levels of gravity ranging from that of asteroids to the gravity of Martian moons and Mars itself.

The NEEMO missions' rationale is based on the similarity of the undersea laboratory Aquarius' environment to that aboard the ISS. The habitat is similar in size to modules of the station. It provides a convincing analog to space exploration. Much like space, the undersea world is a hostile, alien place for humans to live. NEEMO crew members experience some of the same tasks and challenges underwater as they would in space including delays in their communications with the surface. Jeremy will be the fifth Canadian astronaut to be a crew member of a NEEMO mission.

Quick facts

  • NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen and and Herve Stevenin, ESA's Head of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Training at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany, will also be part of the crew.

  • David Saint-Jacques took part in NEEMO 15 (2011), Chris Hadfield served as commander of NEEMO 14 (2010), Dave Williams participated in NEEMO 1 (2001) and NEEMO 9 (2006), and Robert Thirsk took part in NEEMO 7 (2004).

  • NEEMO 19 consists of a multi-disciplinary team that will take part in the 7-day mission aboard Aquarius, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) underwater facility. Aquarius is located 19 meters below the surface, 5.6 kilometers off Key Largo in the Florida Keys.

  • NEEMO missions are designed to test equipment and techniques applicable to space exploration. The crews live aboard the Aquarius laboratory, venturing from it on simulated spacewalks where they can perform research and drills pertinent to mission objectives.


"NEEMO missions are a challenging and exciting aspect of astronaut training. The research we conduct during those missions allows us to test new technologies and exploration concepts in conditions similar to the ones we'll experience in space. They are a great opportunity to help me expand my knowledge and develop new tools for future space exploration."

CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen

Associated Links

Simulating space under the Earth, under the sea

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations

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