Astronauts Complete Underground Training Course

September 22, 2012 / Italy, Europe
Cosmonaut Nikolai Tikhonov on his way back to Earth's surface after spending six days underground as part of ESA's CAVES course.

Photo by V. Crobu/ESA

After a six-day mission underground, the team of astronauts who took part of in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CAVES 2012 training course have returned to the surface.

CAVES, an abbreviation of Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills, is a program that helps prepare astronauts to work together safely and effectively in solving problems in a difficult environment.

Last month we were lucky enough to have course designer Loredana Bessone write an article highlighting some of the lessons the course hoped to instill in its attendees.

This years course once again took places in the Sa Grutta caves of Sardinia, Italy. It brought together an international team of astronauts from USA, Japan, Canada, Russia and Denmark who spent their time underground exploring and surveying, conducting speleological research, and testing wireless communication equipment on loan from CNSAS, the Italian alpine and speleological rescue organisation.

CAVES is perhaps the most physically demanding astronaut training that I have taken part in, and perhaps also the most rewarding. Andreas Mogensen, ESA Astronaut


Cavenauts return to Earth [European Space Agency]

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