- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) - Astronauts will become aquanauts twice this summer at an underwater laboratory in the Florida Keys.

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations training activities are scheduled for July and September at Aquarius Reef Base, a pressurized lab that sits on the ocean floor a few miles off Key Largo.

A nine-day mission starting July 21 will focus on human health and behavior. A seven-day mission starting Sept. 7 will evaluate communications operations for the European Space Agency. Both missions also will experiment with technology that could be used for exploring in varying levels of gravity, from asteroids to Mars and its moons.

Astronauts from NASA, Europe and Japan will participate in the missions.

The grandson of ocean exploration pioneer Jacques Cousteau is currently living in Aquarius for a 31-day underwater living experiment.


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