NASA Buoyancy Laboratory Astronaut Lunar Moon South Pole Mission Artemis
NASA’s Artemis program will finally return humans to the Moon, or more specifically the lunar south pole, by 2025, and to train, they are using the agency’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) to simulate the dark conditions as well as long shadows. Located at the Sonny Carter Training Facility, near the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, this training facility consists of a diving tank that is 202-feet length, 102-feet wide, and 40-feet deep, filled with 6.2 million gallons of water.

Astronaut trainees wear special suits that are designed specially to provide neutral buoyancy to simulate the microgravity that astronauts would experience during spaceflight. The pool contains full-scale mockups of the International Space Station (ISS) modules and payloads, along with visiting vehicles like the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) HTV, SpaceX Dragon, and the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus.

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This testing and evaluation involved turning off all the lights in the facility, installing black curtains on the pool walls to minimize reflections, and using a powerful underwater cinematic lamp, to get the conditions just right ahead of upcoming training for astronauts,” said Megan Megan Dean, NASA public affairs specialist.

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