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A New Journey into Earth for Space Exploration

18 Sep 2019, 07:01 UTC
A New Journey into Earth for Space Exploration
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Astronauts from five space agencies around the world take part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. (Credit: ESA – A. Romeo)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Six astronauts, five space agencies and a fresh start into underground worlds to help prepare for living on other planets. ESA’s latest training adventure will equip an international crew with skills to explore uncharted terrains on the Moon and Mars, this time with a focus on the search for water.

The CAVES training course takes astronauts to the depths of Earth to improve their communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills.

After a week of preparations above and underground, the ‘cavenauts’ are
set to explore a cave in Slovenia where they will live and work for six
days.

“It is all part of a simulation, but the experience is the closest you can get on this planet to the environmental, psychological and logistics constraints of a space mission,” explains course designer Loredana Bessone.

“The training involves real science, real operations and real astronauts with the best speleologists in the field,” she adds.

Astronauts squeeze through a tight spot during ESA’s underground ...

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