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The International Space Station and DSV Alvin.

From Outer Space to Inner Space

History will be made today with the placement of one of the most extreme long-distance calls this side of a Moon landing. WHOI marine biologist Tim Shank--diving in Alvin on the East Pacific Rise--will place the first-ever call from the deep ocean to the International Space Station and NASA astronaut Sunita Williams. Shank is co-leader of a National Science Foundation-funded expedition to the famed hydrothermal vent field at 9N, 104W, site of an extensive underwater volcanic eruption in 2005-2006. Williams, as a crew member for Expedition 14 on the space station, is conducting and continuing experiments in plant, animal, and human biology in the extreme environment of space. She also deploys and tests technologies and materials for outer space exploration, much as the oceanographers are using advanced technologies to probe Earth's inner space. (Left: Courtesy of NASA; Right: Mark Spear, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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