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Canadian astronaut living on Atlantic Ocean floor for a week
10-09-2014

An astronaut is spending a week living at the bottom of the ocean to simulate and prepare for future space missions. Jeremy Hansen is currently on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean at the Aquarius Reef Base in Florida, about 20m (65ft) below the surface.

He has been tweeting images of his underwater adventure, including an early morning snap of a passing barracuda. In one message posted online he said, “In bed for first night sleep under 20 metres of ocean. I got the top bunk! “I hear water surging back and forth and other strange sounds.”

The Canadian told CBC before the mission, “For me, mentally, I’m preparing to go on a space mission for the next seven days. We’ll be going to space walks, if you will, out of the habitat every day and exploring the ocean floor as if it were an asteroid or the surface of Mars.”

The 38-year-old is the exploration lead for NASA’s extreme environment mission operations. He will guide a four-man crew for the week-long event. He said, “There’s a hole in the floor that's open to the ocean all the time, and the air pressure keeps the water out, and we just go in and out.

“One of unique things I'm really excited (about) is just to see the ocean life. It’s kind of like a big aquarium for me.”