Astronauts receive training for moving a cave during ESA's astronaut training course in Sardinia, Italy.
Moving in a cave is similar to a spacewalk. It requires safety tethering, 3D orientation, with no-touch areas and exclusion zones. As in a spacewalk the view is often stunning.
ESA’s cave training prepares astronauts to work as an international team in real exploration conditions. Sending astronauts underground to survive and explore Sardinian caves in Italy for almost a week is just one element of their long training.
The caves are isolated from the outside world. The astronauts need to get used to confined spaces, minimal privacy, technical challenges and limited equipment and supplies for hygiene and comfort – just like in space.