2017

Mission 1 - NEEMO XXII SeaTest Mission
Principal Investigator: Bill Todd, NASA/USF
Saturation: May 18-22
Total Days: 5
The dive EVA objectives included: Integrated EVA science operations (using the Coral in situ metabolism instrument, CISME); IV Support System (timeline tracking, EV crew real time tracking with "Navigator", Remote viewing of EV crew); Integrated Informatics (EVA Navigation & MCC crew tracking); EVA equipment transportation (testing modular tool transport system & small tool transport on EVA suit); Core sample acquisition (using UW drill for coral sampling); Testing of the UW tablet or iDive.

Mission 2 - Barrel Sponge Research
Principal Investigator: Joseph R. Pawlick, Ph.D., UNCW
Dates: 1-10 June 2017
Dr. Pawlick has been monitoring barrel sponges at Conch Reef since 1997. A major finding of this work has shown that although corals have steadily declined, barrel sponges have more than doubled. In June 2017 the group collected sponge tissue samples for genetic microbial analysis, investigated the role of sponges in cycling of carbon and nutrients on coral reefs, and deployed and tested the novel 3-D modeling imagery technique for quantifying the biomass of benthic organisms using GoPro video.

Mission 3 - NEEMO XXII
Principal Investigator: Bill Todd, NASA/USF
Saturation: June 18-27
Total Days: 10
NASA sent an international crew to Aquarius in July 2017 to prepare for future deep space missions during this 10-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 22 expedition which began on June 18, 2017. NEEMO 22 focused on both exploration spacewalks and objectives related to the International Space Station and deep space missions. As an analogue for future planetary science concepts and strategies, marine science was performed under the guidance of FIU marine scientists.

Mission 4 - U.S. Navy Operational Readiness Training Mission
Leg 1: July 12-17
Leg 2: July 21-26
Currently in progress, Navy divers will practice an operational readiness training scenario about core drilling that lead to the collapse of a structure after an earthquake struck, thus causing debris to be spread out over a large area on the ocean bottom. US Navy dive teams will use rebreathers to set up the debris field, program search patterns for an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) that will survey the bottom to identify the debris, and use hand held navigation and sonar systems to find and recover the debris.