Astronauts visit NR-1
Since my last entry, NR-1 dove near the Flower Garden Banks and took a look at some of the older mud volcanoes. We didn't see much activity because the mud mounds are pretty dormant, but it was good practice for the crew driving around the seafloor.
After that, we paid a visit to the port of Galveston, Texas where we picked up all our scientists and their equipment. They worked for days to set up their camera vehicle, Argus, and all their control and communications vans. My crew worked on the submarine to ensure all systems were go for the next dive. Well, that dive is tonight. I'll write daily updates on our expedition from the submarine vantage point, but Ill only be able to transmit them every couple of days when we surface. Unlike Argus, which is physically connected to the Carolyn Chouest, we on the sub can only send data back and forth when we are on the surface of the ocean.
While we were in Galveston, we had some very special visitors. Several of the NASA space shuttle astronauts from the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston came over to see us. As we talked, we realized that there are many similarities between being and astronaut and being a crewmember aboard Submarine NR-1. The equipment and the environment share many common features, although the shuttle travels at 18,000 mph while we travel only a couple of mph while we are near the ocean bottom. One of the astronauts, Jim Reilly, rode NR-1 during several missions back in the 1990s. He remarked that except for the feeling of weightlessness, looking out of the viewports on NR-1 was almost the same experience as looking out of the viewing windows on the shuttle.
Were excited about looking out of the viewports during this expedition!