Swimming Lessons

Astronauts had to swim before they could walk.




In 2003, with his STS-116 shuttle flight still almost four years off, astronaut Robert Curbeam, Jr., practices space station assembly tasks underwater. The Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory pool is 202 feet long, 102 feet wide, and 40 feet deep. It holds more than 6 million gallons of water, and it took more than one month to fill the pool. Astronauts will spend seven hours in the water, training, for each hour they plan to spend in EVA.

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