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Nursing alumnus trains with NASA

Over eight days at sea, Joey Biddix worked with astronauts and Navy specialists to prepare for a water recovery mission.

Five individuals posing in a row wearing blue NASA flight suits.

A nursing degree can take individuals to the most extraordinary and unexpected places, as evidenced by Joey Biddix ’12, a UNC School of Nursing graduate. Currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, Biddix recently embarked on a remarkable journey — training for NASA’s Artemis II mission.

This training brought together astronauts, underwater medical teams, search and rescue specialists and the crew of the USS San Diego. “Our teams were training for something that hasn’t happened in 50 years: a joint water recovery mission with NASA and the U.S. Navy,” Biddix said. “We trained every step of the way — from when the space capsule splashes down in the Pacific to flying the astronauts to the ship.”

This intensive training program, conducted over eight days at sea, simulated various scenarios for a joint water recovery mission, including the upcoming NASA Artemis II mission that will send astronauts beyond the moon in the Orion spacecraft. The collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Navy emphasizes the critical importance of multidisciplinary teamwork in preparing for complex space missions.

Biddix’s participation highlights the indispensable role that nursing professionals play in such endeavors, ensuring the safety and well-being of astronauts during critical phases of the mission.

“We rehearsed normal scenarios as well as situations that don’t go well and someone may need surgery. It was very cool getting to work with the astronauts as well as the different Navy medical teams. Everyone played an important role in getting the Artemis team safely onboard,” Biddix said.

Learn more about NASA’s Artemis II mission.