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  • Undersea 'Asteroid Mission' Wraps Up Off Florida Coast; 'It catches the eye'

    Astronauts don't typically need to contend with turtles or fish in the middle of a spacewalk. But a team of spacefarers learned how to manage these distractions during a just-finished undersea mission that simulated asteroid exploration. The crew of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 19 (NEEMO 19) lived in the Aquarius lab, which is located 62 feet (19 meters) beneath the waves off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Their week-long mission concluded Sunday (Sept. 14). NEEMO 19 commander Randy Bresnik, a veteran of the STS-129 space shuttle mission in 2009, observed that a fish swimming by is actually not all that different from the distractions that may present themselves during a real spacewalk (also known as an extravehicular activity, or EVA). [The 9 Coolest Mock Space Missions] "It catches the eye. You certainly admire the beauty of it, but you don't want to get too distracted," Bresnik told Space.com Friday (Sept. 12) from the Aquarius lab. "It isn't too different than regular EVAs, where you have the world going by at six miles a second in the field of view." Getting ready for deep space As with predecessor mission NEEMO 18, which ran from July 21-28, the astronauts tested out techniques that could be used to manage communications delays on an asteroid mission. Exploring a space rock about halfway between the Earth and Mars would introduce a 10-minute delay, Bresnik said. NASA is trying out a procedure in which astronauts would complete a circuit of the sites they need to visit on the asteroid, sending the information back to Earth. By the time they return to the first site, communications would have had a chance to travel to and from mission control, letting the astronauts act on any instructions from the ground. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, commander of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 19, d … This is not just an academic exercise. NASA aims to capture a near-Earth asteroid and drag it into orbit around the moon, where ...

  • Florida: 'The Grouper' reclaims world record, stays 51 hours underwater

    Allen"The Grouper" Sherrod broke the world record for salt water duration diving. LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA— It's no fish tale. After 51 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds underwater, "The Grouper" rose from the seas in triumph — back to the land where he belonged. Allen Sherrod, a determined diver with a dream, reclaimed the world diving record Saturday for the longest time submerged in open saltwater. Related  The Grouper breaks the world record  Photos: Scuba diver breaks record, stays 51 hours underwater  Diver aims for world record off coast of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Video Diver seeks to break record, for the second time Maps Windjammer Resort, Lauderdale by the Sea, Fl. The record was a title that Sherrod, known as "The Grouper," originally claimed in 2011 with a 48-hour-and-13-minute dive off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. When a diver off Malta broke it last year, Sherrod set out to clinch the record once more. "The only challenge was doing the time," Sherrod said shortly after returning to land. "Just hanging out and not getting excited about getting out too early." Spectators on the beach cheered as they saw the diver raise his arms toward the sky in victory. His pruned hands were ashen and swollen. He knew precisely what he craved after more than two days on a mostly liquid diet of Gatorade and a rice-meal energy drink. "I'm ready to eat my grouper tenders, eat some fries and take a nap," said Sherrod, 48. The two days and nights spent by Sherrod underwater all began about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, when he plunged into the ocean. Two divers stayed by Sherrod's side at all times to keep watch. They closely observed his rising chest as he slept and even checked for messy handwriting on a magnetic board that could clue them in to any decline in his physical state, said lead safety diver Jose Mijares. "He had sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation," he said. "He goes through emotional roller coasters." Sherrod easily entertained himself with the world th ...

  • 1,000 Feet Down: Man Sets New Deep-Dive Record

    An Egyptian man recently took the ultimate plunge for the sake of science. Setting a new Guinness World Record for the deepest scuba dive, the man dove more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) below the surface of the Red Sea. When asked why he decided to dive deeper than any person had before, Ahmed Gabr, 41, told the media that he was hoping to prove that humans could survive the conditions of deep-sea immersion, according to Guinness World Records. Diving off the coast of Dahab, Egypt, Gabr reached a depth of 1,090 feet 4 inches (332.35 meters). The previous record holder for the deepest scuba dive, Nuno Gomes of South Africa, also dove off the coast of Dahab, in 2005, reaching a depth of 1,044 feet (318.21 m). [7 Amazing Superhuman Feats] To put these depths into perspective, three American football fields laid end to end would measure 900 feet (274.32 m) long — less than the distance these divers reached underwater. Most recreational scuba divers only dive as deep as 130 feet (40 meters), according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. It took Gabr only about 12 minutes to reach the record depth, which he achieved with the help of a specially tagged rope that he pulled along with him from the surface, Guinness World Records officials said in a statement. However, the trip back up to the surface took much longer — about 15 hours. Returning too quickly from such depths is associated with a number of health risks, such as decompression sickness (also known as the bends) and nitrogen narcosis from excess nitrogen in the brain, which Gabr luckily avoided. Gabr has been training for his world record attempt for four years, according to Guinness World Records. In addition to serving as a special forces officer in the Egyptian army, Gabr has also taught as a diving instructor for 17 years. Original article on Live Science. Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritt ...

  • Dive into the world's deepest swimming pool at 130ft

    Not for the faint-hearted, this swimming pool reaches a depth of 130ft, equivalent to the height of nine double-decker buses piled one on top of the other. Renowned architect Emanuele Boaretto designed the pool, which is located within the four-star Hotel Terme Millepini in Montegrotto Terme, Italy. The swimming centre features underwater caves and a unique suspended, transparent, underwater tunnel for visitors to experience the depth of the pool without getting wet. There are platforms at various depths, ranging from -1.3 metres, to -12 metres, before the walls of the pool narrow into a well-like funnel which plunges straight down to -40 metres. Divers can wear simple swimming costumes with their oxygen tanks, as the water is maintained at a temperature around 32-34°C. Before The Deep Joy's completion this year, Nemo 33 in Brussels, Belgium was the world's deepest pool at a depth of 113 ft. ...

  • Water discovery: Divers found a bottle of coffee beans in the wreck of the Sulina, a Romanian cargo ship which was sunk in Black Sea after being struck by a Soviet torpedo during the Second World War

    70 years in the brewing: Divers find WWII coffee beans in torpedoed boat - and make them into a nice hot brew

    Divers found coffee in the wreck of the Romanian ship Sulina, sunk during World War Two by a Soviet submarineThe beans were in a dark green stoppered bottle and were brought to the surfaceThe divers made a brew using the beans, despite them being over 70 years old, and described the taste as 'very rich'The cargo ship was part of a convoy travelling from Constantsa, Romania, to Nikolayev, Ukraine, when it was sunk By Ted Thornhill for MailOnline Published: 08:16 EST, 22 September 2014 | Updated: 20:05 EST, 22 September 2014 Some people won't touch food or drink that's just a day or two past its best-before date. But when some divers found a 72-year-old bottle of coffee beans in a ship wreck, they couldn't resist brewing up with them – and they were amazed that they made a hot beverage with one hull of a taste. The beans were brought up from the wreck of the Sulina, a Romanian cargo ship which was sunk in Black Sea after being struck by a Soviet torpedo during the Second World War. Water discovery: Divers found a bottle of coffee beans in the wreck of the Sulina, a Romanian cargo ship which was sunk in Black Sea after being struck by a Soviet torpedo during the Second World War Examination: A diver holding the bottle of coffee beans that had been brought to the surface from the wreck Despite the ship's violent end, the bottle of beans was salvaged with the stopper still in place. Not content with making the extraordinary find, the divers who explored the 545-foot-long vessel decided to open the bottle and brew up the cup of coffee the world had waited 72 years to experience. Photographer and diver Andrey Nekrasov, 42, said: 'We brought up a dark green bottle, which had been floating near the ceiling of the mess cabin. 'We could hear something moving around inside the bottle, like beads. When we opened it up, we could smell the bitter aroma of coffee. Brewing up: Coffee beans from the wreck being poured into a coffee grinder (left) and being distribu ...

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