Arriving in Sardinia for the CAVES 2013 campaign, the crew is welcomed by the support team. Introductions follow and the crew members are kitted out with their equipment.
CAVES, ESA's unique training programme for astronauts, takes place over a couple of weeks in Sardinia's Supramonte. Six astronauts spend two weeks deep in caves, in the dark and cold. They are separated from the outside world, doing scientific research and daily tasks together, as a group, just like in space. Moving in the cave system is also comparable to spacewalking with the use of harnesses and safety devices.