Training astronauts underwater in gigantic swimming pools has become absolutely critical to EVA (extra-vehicular activity), that is, walking in space. No other technique for simulating zero-gravity is available for extended periods of time. In this program, senior curator Michael Neufeld will use illustrations to discuss how “neutral buoyancy” training was effectively invented by a small company outside Baltimore in the mid-1960s, then adopted by NASA to solve its EVA problems during the Gemini program. Astronauts at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at the Johnson Space Center will join the program by video to discuss their experiences with neutral buoyancy training.
This program is made possible through the generous support of Boeing.