Lake Tahoe is known for its breath-taking landscapes and clear water. But under the surface, there's a secret very few people know about.
And that secret is that astronauts from all over the country are learning valuable skills in a space vehicle mock-up submerged 30 feet below.
Rocklin scientist Dr. Eduardo Diaz with AdvancingX said teams are given tasks to complete, but they don't know what those are until they're in the space vehicle under water.
"The reason is we want to assess how they resolve the problems that they're faced with," Diaz said. "How they work together in terms of communication in order to resolve challenges, unknown events, unexpected events."
Diaz said NASA's 2016 audit pointed to 32 identified risks that needed to be mitigated. Three of those Dr. Diaz said he could help.
"There's a lot of situations that can occur in a team design where if the team is not cohesive, there could be a breakdown in how things are accomplished," Diaz said. "That could lead to a detrimental event."
Astronauts aren't the only ones getting in on the action. The Placer County Sheriff's Department has also sent out dive teams.
Diaz says "Submersible X" has completed 17 dives so far.
AdvancingX offers applied research services to support the selection of astronauts and space tourists. Through their suite of services they select, oversee training, certify, monitor, and assess astronaut and tourism teams to support successful missions and customer experiences in isolated extreme environments.
AdvancingX applies the Organizational Team Index (OTI) to increase mission success by assembling the best possible teams planning to embark on long duration space missions (e.g. LEO, Lunar, Mars). As a result of their research, they identify the most important human factors known to influence team (1) success and (2) decision making, advancing behavioral research into actionable measures to support team outcomes.