Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beaumont, we have a problem!

We have had quite a unique experience to follow this week. One of Canada's very own astronauts, Jeremy Hansen, has let us tag along on his adventures in training for a future mission in space. I have had a lot of kids turned on to science and wanting to be astronauts when they grow up.  Amazing!!
NEEMO 19 team getting ready for their last day aboard Aquarius
Jeremy has been spending a week as a member of NEEMO. "NEEMO is a NASA mission that sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to live in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research station, for up to three weeks at a time. The Aquarius habitat and its surroundings provide a convincing analog for space exploration" - NASA
"Back alive with all body parts! Night dive as cool as expected. Luminescence, feeding frenzy, squid..." - JH
Before he spent his week under the sea he put a shout out for simple experiments to do, both at sea level and 19 meters below the surface of the ocean near Key Largo, Florida.  See more about it and the lab we challenged him to try HERE.

He accepted our challenge and gave it a try on the surface before going into the deep.  See all about it HERE.  

The results were not at all the same as they were here in Edmonton.  This prompted great discussion about the scientific method and variables that may have altered the experiment.  I always tell kids that science is a process and most of the time your results are inconclusive but lead to refining the experiment and coming up with an even better plan.  

Yesterday he gave our experiment a go while aboard Aquarius with almost three times the atmospheric pressure pushing down on them!!  Here is what he discovered.
 The scientific process at work!  So now we have to come up with an even better experiment with more controlled variables and see if we can do it ourselves here in Beaumont. 

I sent this blog post out into the Twitterverse and broke the internet.  Seriously my phone went CRAZY with notifications.
Here are a few more pictures Jeremy took while out exploring the ocean.  So cool. 
"This wave of small blue Creole Wrasses surrounded us causing a feeding frenzy of Groupers and Barracuda." - JH
"Oh baby! Night dive time. A taste of what's in store just swam by. What you can't see won't hurt you right..." - JH (Anyone else hear Heart singing "Barracuda" while reading this??)

Now this is just for fun.  William Shatner and Chris Hadfield became Twitter friends while Hadfield was aboard the ISS last year.  Jeremy Hansen was trained and gave ground support for Hadfield and his mission.  So from science fiction to science fact, this is just funny ...

 NEEMO Mission 19 has wrappped up and the aquanauts had to decompress for 16 hours before coming to the surface.  So what do you do for 16 hours?

What a great week in science!!!!!

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