UNDERGROUND ASTRONAUTS PREPARING FOR SPACE

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20:51:53
June
29 2016

UNDERGROUND ASTRONAUTS PREPARING FOR SPACE

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Caves offer a dark and alien underground environment with many analogies to space. Deep underground, our senses are deprived of many sounds and natural light. The procedure for moving along a cave wall resembles spacewalking and cave explorers need to stay alert, take critical decisions both as an individual and as a team, just as in space.

The CAVES - Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising - course focuses on multicultural approaches to leadership, following orders, teamwork and decision-making.

By the end, the astronauts have a better understanding of how they function in a multicultural team and what they are skilled at, as well as areas for self-improvement.

“We are very pleased to include the first female astronaut and first ‘taikonaut’ in this CAVES course,” says mission director Loredana Bessone, “creating an even better mix of cultures and experience to put the astronauts’ behaviour to the test.”

Science and technology

As with any astronaut mission, science and technology are an important part of the undertaking. This year the team will test new equipment to make 3D maps of the caves they explore using photograph-based measurements. They will set up basecamp further into the caves than ever before and talk with (above)-ground control via xFerra, a novel and powerful communication system that can transmit through 800 m of rock.

In previous years astronauts explored and charted areas in the Sardinian underground network and returned with a new species of crustaceans.

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Title CAVES underground
Released 23/06/2016 5:33 pm
Copyright ESA

Source by ESA_int


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