ESA astronauts Luca Parmitano and Pedro Duque, together with Eurocom Matthias Maurer took part in the second phase of their ESA ‘Pangaea’ planetary geological field training on a landscape very similar to Mars at Geoparque Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.
The highlight of the week was a sampling traverse inside a lava tube. Lava tubes are planetary caves. Many have been already spotted on both the Moon and Mars. Being underground structures, they are good shelters from radiation. They may contain subsurface water, and therefore be interesting in the search of extraterrestrial microbial life.