Meticulous pieces of training are being observed by NASA for setting the stage for future moonwalks by simulating lunar lighting conditions. NASA’s Artemis mission, ready to bring astronauts to the Moon’s South Pole, is already undergoing rigorous training.
The official Twitter account for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston shared a sneak peek of these efforts this week by posting a photo of several astronauts training at the bottom of a dark, neutral buoyancy pool that simulates lunar conditions.
NASA press release said that the divers at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) were setting the stage for future moonwalk training by imitating lunar lighting conditions. The Neural Buoyancy Laboratory is an astronaut training facility and the neutral buoyancy pool is operated by NASA and located at the Sonny Carter Training Facility, near Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
“At the Moon’s the South Pole, the Sun will remain no more than a few degrees above the horizon, resulting in extremely long and dark shadows,” NASA said in the release. “To prepare astronauts for these challenging lighting conditions, the team at the NBL has begun preliminary evaluations of lunar lighting solutions at the bottom of the 40-foot deep pool.”
These simulations included turning off all the lights, lining the pool walls with blackout curtains to minimize reflections, and using an underwater cinematic lamp to create the conditions ahead of upcoming training for astronauts.
The mission has been described as the “Next Giant Leap” by NASA’s official Twitter account for Artemis. Getting the first woman and person of color to the Moon provides some of the much-needed depiction in STEM and space exploration. According to NASA, the mission could boost the economy, too.
Any contributions to make the government look more like the Americans it serves are great, but along with job creation and NASA’s ultimate goal to establish the first “long-term presence” on the Moon, is indeed ecstatic.