Later this month, astronauts and crew members from NASA and the European Space Agency will begin an expedition that seeks to both train the crews for space and restore some of the state’s damaged Florida Keys Reefs.
In an underwater habitat near the Florida Keys, the crews will build and install a series of underwater coral tree nurseries as part of a group collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation and Florida International University. The expedition – the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 23, or NEEMO 23 – is expected to take 10 days, according to a press release from Coral Restoration Foundation.
The coral tree structures developed by the Coral Restoration Foundation are used worldwide as a means of growing large amounts of coral at a fast and efficient pace, the release notes.
“The nurseries that are being set up as part of NEEMO 23 are being established in environments that are very different from the nurseries that we have already,” Alice Grainger, communications director at the Coral Restoration Foundation, tells Orlando Weekly.