7 Ways Exploring the Ocean Is Like Exploring Outer Space


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You’ve possible learn that people know extra concerning the floor of the moon than we do concerning the backside of the ocean. What you could not know is: as a licensed diver, you have got lots in widespread with astronauts.

Featured picture photograph credit score: NASA

1. Astronauts Discover in Pairs and Do Buddy Checks

Each time you do a buddy check, you’re doing the identical factor astronauts do earlier than each spacewalk. Whether or not you’re exploring underwater or in outer area, it’s essential to verify all of your life help techniques are working correctly and all the time convey a buddy.

A female astronaut in a EVA suit smiles and waves to a scuba diver
Photograph Courtesy: NASA

2. We Good Our Expertise in a Pool

Each astronauts and divers apply important expertise in a pool earlier than heading to open water/outer area. Water is the closest factor we've got to microgravity right here on earth, in order that’s why NASA constructed an enormous indoor pool referred to as the Impartial Buoyancy Lab (NBL). The 12 metre/40 foot-deep, 23.5 litre/6.2 million-gallon pool incorporates a full-size duplicate of the Worldwide Area Station (ISS).

Sidenote: it’s (apparently) potential to lease the NBL. Who needs to go in with me for the BEST party ever?

In Episode 6 of PADI’s Dive Stories Podcast, Dr. Jessica Meir talks concerning the similarities and variations between scuba diving and spacewalks. You'll be able to take heed to her in depth interview under, or in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

three. Hawai’i and Florida are Fashionable Coaching Locations

Florida has all of it: wrecks, reefs, manatees, and an underwater area base. On the Aquarius Laboratory 20 metres/65 ft under the floor, ESA and NASA astronauts spent 16 days underwater in an “analog” mission to Mars. 

The Huge Island of Hawai’i, house to the world-famous manta ray night dive, can also be the place NASA conducts simulated missions to Mars and the Moon. Study extra concerning the Hawai’i Area Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat.

four. #Astronautproblems are Additionally #Diverproblems

Have you ever ever tried to itch your eye underwater and skilled a disappointing “toink” whenever you keep in mind, “oh yeah, I’m sporting a masks.” You’ll discover many relatable moments like these in astronaut Chris Hadfield’s e-book about life on the International Space Station.

5. All of the Gear

Our our bodies weren’t designed for underwater or outer area environments, that’s why each divers and astronauts want an air area (helmet or masks) to see and an air provide. Divers who discover at excessive depths, like Dr. Sylvia Earle, put on fits that look just like what astronauts put on on spacewalks.

6. “Alien” Life

The ocean is residence to numerous “alien” life varieties together with:

7. Our Oceans Are Already Residence To Unusual Objects From Area

In a distant a part of the Pacific, there's a pile of area junk. When one thing falls out of the sky, area scientists want an enormous goal to hit, one which’s removed from civilization.

Point Nemo is situated between the Pitcairn Islands, Easter Islands and Antarctica. It’s 2575 km/1600 miles from the closest landmass, which suggests astronauts on the ISS are literally nearer to earth than any of us are to our planet’s area graveyard.

The location is estimated to be 4000 metres/13,100 ft deep, however in the event you might dive there, you’d discover:

  • A SpaceX rocket
  • The MIR area station
  • 6 Russian Salyut area stations
  • ESA cargo ships
  • Japanese cargo craft
    … and probably the lair of Cthulhu
Two NASA astronauts wearing dive helmets working underwater
Photograph: Karl Shreeves

Get Astronautical

In the event you’ve all the time dreamed of visiting outer area, however don’t have $55 million US to book a trip to the ISS, a scuba diving certification is a wonderful various. Enroll within the PADI® Open Water Diver course or attempt a Discover Scuba® Diving® Expertise. 

For those who’re already a licensed diver, set a course for the U.S. Area and Rocket Middle the place you'll be able to dive of their 7 metre/24 foot-deep astronaut training tank. Or, apply to work as a diver at NASA’s NBL.

Scuba Diver and Astronaut at NASA's NBL

Additional Studying
Could Humans Ever Live Underwater?
Astrology for Scuba Divers
NASA’s NEEMO Project

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