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Astronauts

The pressure is on for aquanauts

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12 June 2012
Timothy rescue diver training
ESA astronaut Timothy Peake training for the PADI Rescue Diver certificate at ESA’s astronaut training centre in Cologne, Germany.

“The better diver you are, the better you will be at spacewalks,” explains Hervé Stevenin, head of the Astronaut Training Unit preparing ESA astronauts for spacewalks.

“Scuba diving is as close as it gets to experiencing weightlessness on Earth for long periods of time."

Credits: ESA–Dr. H. Rüb
Neemo base
ESA astronaut trainer Hervé Stevenin on a first dive to the Neemo underwater base.

Neemo missions train astronauts for life in space. Living and working in an underwater base is similar to space stations. During a 10-day mission ESA astronaut Tim Peake and six crewmates will live in cramped conditions, perform ‘waterwalks’ and will have to solve problems as a team.

The underwater base is almost 20 m under the sea off the coast of Florida.

Credits: ESA–Jason Poffenberger
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