[Image: NEEMO 16 aquanauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger and Tim Peake chat with NASA administrator Charlie Bolden while outside Aquarius undersea research station on June 20, 2012. CREDIT: NASA TV ]
"The ocean floor may seem a bit close to home for astronauts on a mission, but the underwater world provides a great dress rehearsal for a trek to an asteroid in deep space, two spaceflyers told NASA chief Charles Bolden today (June 20).
Bolden checked in with astronauts Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger of NASA and Tim Peake of the European Space Agency as the pair floated outside the Aquarius research station, about 62 feet (19 meters) deep a few miles off the coast of Key Largo, Fla.
Metcalf-Lindenburger and Peake are two of the four crewmembers on the 16th expedition of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations program, or NEEMO. The main goal of NEEMO 16, which began June 11 and wraps up Friday (June 22), is to help NASA prepare for a manned mission to a near-Earth asteroid.”