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Mission 6 — International Bio-Medical Research Mission

Principal Investigator: Bill Todd, NASA/United Space Alliance
Training: October 4-8
Mission: October 11-25

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 7, October 2004

This project is being conducted by CMAS in collaboration with CSA and NASA (CMAS is a not-for-profit group located at St-Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario and supported by the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.) The Principal Investigator on this project is Dr. Mehran Anvari. The co-investigators are Dr. Paul Whelan and Dr. Julian Dobranowski. The Mission Director is Bill Todd from United Space Alliance/NASA and the Mission Commander is Dr. Robert Thirsk, CSA Astronaut. The project goal is to evaluate the ability of tele-mentoring and tele-robotics in performing emergency diagnostic and a number of emergency surgical and interventional therapies in a confined environment as found on ISS environment.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), North Carolina, USA operates the National Undersea Research Center (NURC) for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They currently manage and operate the Aquarius habitat, an underwater research facility off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, USA. NASA has utilized this facility for 6 previous undersea space analog research missions. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), which is a program within NASA, has executed and managed all previous missions.

The goal of this project is to test Medical and Surgical Tele-robotics & Tele-mentoring technologies during space-analogue mission in extreme Environment (Aquarius Underwater Habitat), in order to assess feasibility and utilization on ISS


  1. To assess feasibility and limitations of medical and surgical tele-robotic and tele-mentoring surgical techniques for spaceflight, using off-the-shelf commercial tele-robotic hardware, during the space-analogue mission in extreme environment (Aquarius Underwater Habitat).
  2. To obtain training for CSA and NASA astronauts through the performance of spaceflight science and operations objectives in a space analogue environment.


  1. For CMAS, to use the Aquarius habitat as a space analog environment for long duration space flight research during a 11-day research mission to test tele robotic surgery concepts and procedures and surgical tele mentoring;
  2. For NASA and CSA astronauts, to use the facility to perform emergency diagnostic and surgical tasks on a simulated patient's model aided by tele mentoring and tele robotic connectivity to CMAS/ St. Joseph's Hospital.
  3. For CSA & NASA, to develop leadership skills, teamwork, and adaptation to extreme close confinement; and,
  4. For NASA and CSA astronauts, to perform space-analog sciences.