NEEMO 15 crewmembers, (from left to right) Takuya Onishi of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, Steve Squyres of Cornell University, and Shannon Walker of NASA, prepare to splash down and start their mission on Oct. 20, 2011.
NASA's NEEMO 15 expedition will simulate aspects of a mission to an asteroid. In this illustration, a configured rock wall can be seen near the underwater Aquarius laboratory.
NEEMO 15 crewmembers David Saint-Jaques and Steve Squyres receive training on Oct. 15, 2011 to familiarize themselves with the tools they will be using on their mission.
A portion of the NEEMO 15 Mission Control team receives instructions during a morning meeting on Oct. 17, 2011.
During a training session for the NEEMO 15 mission, planetary scientist Steve Squyres (left) and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (right) get familiarized with the underwater asteroid simulation wall.
NEEMO 15 crewmembers prepare to dive to the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory on Oct. 20, 2011.
Artist's concept of anchoring to the surface of an asteroid.
NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (JAXA), planetary scientist Steve Squyres, and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, pose outside the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory on Oct. 21, 2011. Habitat technicians and professional "aquanauts" Nate Bender and James Talek can be seen inside.
n one of the mission's extravehicular activities, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques experiments with tethering to a solid surface.
Steve Squyers maneuvers to an anchor point on "asteroid" rock wall during one of the extravehicular activities.
Steve Squyers (Cornell) and David Saint-Jacques (CSA) use translation lines to collect interesting samples on the surface. As part of the NEEMO 15 mission, the aquanauts are experimenting with different ways to move around and perform science on the surface of an asteroid.
Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi tests how to move around on a simulated asteroid wall.
Takuya Onishi (JAXA) and Shannon Walker (NASA) practice moving along a translation line tied to an anchor on the simulated asteroid rock wall.
Jeremy Hansen, of the Canadian Space Agency, serves as the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for NEEMO 15's Mobile Mission Control Center. A daily planning conference is conducted twice a day to summarize the day's activities and to plan out future tasks.
Two DeepWorker submarines are being used for the NEEMO 15 mission, one for science traverses, and another as a simulated Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV).
NASA astronaut Shannon Walker maneuvers around the simulated asteroid floor, collecting samples during this extravehicular excursion on Oct. 23, 2011.
Shannon Walker and Steve Squyers pose for a quick picture after completing their extravehicular activities.
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, in a foot restraint, is maneuvered around by Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to an ideal simulated sample point.
The NEEMO 15 aquanauts gather in the evening on Oct. 22, 2011 in their Aquarius habitat to discuss the next day's activities.
David Saint-Jacques moves around on a simulated asteroid and prepares his equipment to take some rock chip samples.
David Saint-Jacques uses a standard machinist hammer to chip off a piece of the simulated asteroid to collect in a sample bag.
Shannon Walker collects samples and stores them in her side pouch while her feet are secured to foot restraints on a large boom. Steve Squyers assists by maneuvering her on the boom.
The NEEMO 15 science team poses for a photo in front of the DeepWorker submarines. The team members represent multiple NASA centers, several government agencies, research organizations, and academia.
A NEEMO engineering crew diver simulates anchoring to an asteroid surface.
A diver anchoring to a simulated asteroid surface created for NASA's underwater NEEMO 15 mission.
Four members of the NEEMO 15 crew are pictured after they were forced to return to the surface on Oct. 26, 2011, six days ahead of schedule, due to safety concerns surrounding Hurricane Rina. From left to right: Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, and planetary scientist Steve Squyres.