No, this isn’t an article about some ridiculous underwater video of a diver doing his best Michael Jackson impression while on the job.
This is about an iconic moment in history and the striking similarity between the two most isolating places we know of: Space and the Ocean.
French based Comex recently re-enacted the Apollo 11 moonwalk of Neil Armstrong and Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin on the floor of the Mediterranean. They weighted themselves to mimic the gravity on the Moon (1/6th that of the Earth) and recreated operations & procedures that were implemented on the moon over 44 years ago. According to their Press Release: “Doing this at the bottom of the sea has two advantages: reduced gravity such as the one on the Moon can be simulated underwater by modifying the buoyancy of the diver and because of the natural terrain of the selected site: it delivers a morphology that is comparable to the surface of the Moon.”
Ultimately, Comex is hoping to deliver subsea training capabilities for future missions not only to the moon, but to Mars and even asteroids. We’re nominating Ben Affleck as the guinea pig if his new Batman movie flops.
About the space/diving suit
“The company is using a specially designed spacewalk training suit named GANDOLFI which was initially designed for training astronauts of the former European Space-plane HERMES. During the mission, several soil samples were collected with tools similar to those used on the Moon surface. As a symbol, a European flag was also planted on the underwater test site.”