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NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab visit, Houston, TX


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#1 echeng

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:19 PM

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Joe Holley of Marine Visions took me on a tour of the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab today! It was really, really cool to get to see astronauts training.

Posted Image

More photos on the Wetpixel home page:
http://wetpixel.com/...-buoyancy-labs/
eric cheng
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#2 Scubamoose

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:49 PM

WOW! Very cool! But they didnt let You go UW with the astronauts to take some pic's?

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#3 echeng

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:19 PM

Not this time! We didn't even try because it was so last-minute...
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#4 jonny shaw

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 10:40 PM

Not this time! We didn't even try because it was so last-minute...


I would love to have a swim in that pool... how deep is it?

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#5 stewsmith

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:56 PM

It must be a hard life being Eric Cheng. What a great experience that must have been Eric. Thats certainly a big pool. What next Eric on the moon.

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#6 loftus

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:18 AM

Yeah, way cool. I've often thought how I'd love to do a pool shoot there. :D I've been researching pool filtration systems, but can't find out if there's anything special they do.
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#7 spaceflight

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:43 AM

I've been researching pool filtration systems, but can't find out if there's anything special they do.


The concept is the same as a basic swimming pool, just on a much larger scale.

They use a fully automated filtration system which consists of 6 sand filters. The sand filters are the same design as a small swimming pool, but these are about the size of a small car.

The entire contents of the pool is filtered every 19.5 hours.
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#8 loftus

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:46 AM

The concept is the same as a basic swimming pool, just on a much larger scale.

They use a fully automated filtration system which consists of 6 sand filters. The sand filters are the same design as a small swimming pool, but these are about the size of a small car.

The entire contents of the pool is filtered every 19.5 hours.

Thanks for that. Probably most important is a clean room and gear that goes into the pool. Good to know it's nothing special. I've just added a second portable filter to run for 24 hours or so before a shoot. Now I have 2 DE filters; of course my problem is an outside pool. (But I'm working on that :D )
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#9 allen

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

Cool, I have been hoping to visit the lab sometime. A friend has spent some time in the pool wearing one of those fancy white suits before he did a few walks on the wide side.

#10 ehanauer

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 08:10 AM

Good luck getting into the pool. When I wrote an article for Skin Diver Magazine on Mike Gernhardt eight years ago, I kept running into brick walls at the NASA press office. I had the run of the deck, but for underwater they assigned one of their photographers to shoot photos for me. According to the press office, a Hollywood production company had recently paid a million bucks for a half day use of the NBL. That was a bit over my budget.

Mike later invited me to his shuttle launch, STS 104. It was a night launch, and liftoff turned night into day. From 3 miles away (the only people closer were the astronauts), we not only saw and heard the rocket, but felt it in our chests. Within 15 seconds, all that's left is a light in the sky. We had waited around 5 hours for those 15 seconds of sound and light, but it was worth it.

It was my all time favorite assignment.

Edited by ehanauer, 25 July 2009 - 08:12 AM.

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#11 Scubamoose

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:24 AM

I would love to have a swim in that pool... how deep is it?


Quote from Erics text:
Wiki says that the pool "is 202 ft. (61 m) in length, 102 ft. (31 m) wide, and 40 ft. 6 in. (12 m) deep, and contains 6.2 million gallons (23.5 million litres) of water"—enormous!
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#12 ScubaLuke

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:15 AM

Back in the 80s the NBS was at Marshall Space Flight Center where I was working at the time. Lockheed had a dive team there that did most of the work but they used to use certified divers from the rest of the work force there as safety divers. If you were on the list you might end up getting called once or twice a month to act as a safety diver. They even gave you hazardous duty pay for your time in the tank.

I tried to get on as a safety diver after I got certified but there were too many people in line ahead of me and then the NBS was moved to JSFC.

But a 'friend' of mine was on the list and every time that he dived in the NBS he'd call me up and say, "Hey, I dove in the tank today. They pay me extra for that, you know."
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