3,2,1… NASA Blasts Off Deep Sea Training With SlideShark

"SlideShark iPad App Helps Deliver Time-Sensitive Information to Crew Members During Simulated Asteroid Mission to Help Combat Communication Delays"

WALTHAM, Mass.  — September 26, 2012 — Brainshark, Inc., the leader in online and mobile presentations, today announced that NASA used SlideShark to conduct and manage PowerPoint-based training during a 12-day, deep sea expedition this summer. The team from NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) brought SlideShark to a laboratory 62 feet below sea level – as part of a training program designed to determine the most efficient way for humans to explore an asteroid. The NEEMO crew relied on SlideShark to deliver critical training information and combat communication delays that would occur in an asteroid environment.

NEEMO periodically sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to conduct training at Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research station, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and located off Key Largo, Fla. The underwater crew members, known as aquanauts, undertake missions that last up to three weeks at a time. With NASA and the Obama administration setting a goal to have humans explore an asteroid by 2025, Aquarius provides an ideal training ground – with an extreme and low-gravity environment that is similar to space conditions.

This past June, an international NEEMO crew composed of six aquanauts traveled to Aquarius to simulate an asteroid mission – focusing, in particular, on developing techniques for fastening themselves to the surface in order to take samples and for coping with delays that would arise in communications. The crew members, all equipped with iPad 2s, needed iPad support for their PowerPoint training content during the trip. Prior to SlideShark’s launch last fall, there was no way to properly and reliably view and present PowerPoints on the iPad.

NEEMO crew members used SlideShark to:

  • View and show first-time training materials on mission scenarios – on their iPads and with PowerPoint animations, graphics, fonts and colors intact.
  • Follow step-by-step training videos, which were embedded in the PowerPoints and could be paused as needed. The videos contained instructions on how to perform complex maintenance tasks, which the crew had not previously encountered, on Aquarius. NASA knows there will be a need for similar video-based just-in-time training content for an actual asteroid mission – so crew members can have visual, step-by-step instructions on new tasks and/or items they may not have practiced recently. (Having video with sound in SlideShark is a newly available feature, and was pushed out early to the NEEMO team as a beta offering.)
  • Overcome communication delays. During an actual asteroid mission, there would be significant delays – about a minute in length – in communications between astronauts and the Mission Control Center (MCC). Because of these time-induced delays, the current, proven method of MCC guiding astronauts through each step of a problem isn’t practical for time-critical activities. As a result, NEEMO used SlideShark to give crew members iPad access to PowerPoint content and videos that address contingency scenarios and provide immediate, ready-made instructions.
  • Enable simultaneous access, by all team members, to the most current, approved training materials.
  • Provide offline access to PowerPoint training content on the iPad as well.

Joe Gustafson, Brainshark CEO, said: “We congratulate NEEMO on the successful expedition, and the innovative and important scientific work it’s conducting. We’re happy that SlideShark could play a role in delivering training to combat communication delays and help the crew members accomplish their communication goals. We look forward to future work together and to following NEEMO’s exciting progress.”

In addition to the free SlideShark app for individuals, SlideShark is available in a multi-user version for teams as well – serving as a platform to distribute, track and manage content in the cloud. For more information, please see www.slideshark.com and https://www.slideshark.com/TeamEditionInfo.aspx.

About Brainshark

Brainshark sales readiness software equips businesses with the training, coaching and content authoring capabilities to achieve sales mastery and outsell the competition. With Brainshark, companies can: prepare sales teams with on-demand training that accelerates onboarding and keeps reps up-to-speed; validate readiness with sales coaching that ensures reps master your message; and empower sales organizations with rich, dynamic content that can be created quickly and accessed anywhere. Thousands of companies – including more than half of the Fortune 100 – rely on Brainshark to identify and close performance gaps, and get better results from their sales enablement initiatives. Learn more at www.brainshark.com.