From records to scientific research. The Hydronaut project simulates the flight of a human crew to an asteroid

This time we will not break records, but focus on science, agrees the team of the Hydronaut project, which prepared a second mission called “Science on board” in the Deep Lab H03 underwater science laboratory. The three divers will spend the first week of June below the surface of the quarry in Jesenný forty-eight hours. ”A year ago, during a week-long mission, we managed to test the station and confirm that it was safe and reliable. Now we can fully focus on science, “explains Jiří Schneider, the project manager of the unique scientific laboratory.

Thirteen meters below the surface, divers will study the effect of higher CO2 on the human body, cognitive brain function, stress levels, teamwork skills, humidity and the effect of lighting on the circadian rhythm of the human body. A several-hour underwater ascent is also planned, which, according to flight director Aleš Fiala, should simulate NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission – that is, the flight of astronauts to an asteroid and the collection of geological samples.

This time the crew will consist of three divers. Matyáš Šanda, designer and spiritual father of the Hydronaut project, will be complemented by speleologist František Harant and Slovak expert on hyperbaric medicine dr. Miroslav Rozloznik.

The decompression output, which is necessary for a safe return to the surface, takes the crew over two hours. Divers from the Liberec Water and Diving Rescue Service will once again take care of its safety. A mobile hyperbaric chamber will be prepared on site and divers will be supervised by specialist MUDr. Štěpán Novotný.

The Hydronaut project is an underwater laboratory for research into the effects of the extreme environment on human health and psyche. The specificity of this thirteen-year-developed laboratory is the high-pressure environment, which is suitable for scientific, university and materials research. It is the only underwater device of its kind in the world in which it is possible to simulate the influence of the space environment in terrestrial conditions.

The first test mission took place in 2020. The pair of professional divers František Harant and Matyáš Šanda then spent less than 170 hours under the surface and set a new Czech record in the length of their stay under water. The station thus proved its functionality and safety, which brought the Hydronaut project cooperation with ESA BIC Prague, CTU, Palacky University in Olomouc and other renowned institutions and companies.

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