The CAVES 2014 crew look back on their underground mission. In September the crew of five spent six days exploring the Sa Grutta caves, collecting scientific data and testing equipment and protocols. How have their experiences helped them to prepare for space exploration?
Held each year, CAVES teaches astronauts to explore the underground system of the Sa Grutta caves in Sardinia, Italy, as a team, delving deep underground to perform scientific experiments as well as chart and document their activities.
The CAVES course – Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills – is run by the European Astronaut Centre to simulate spaceflight. Seasoned International Space Station astronauts as well as rookies participate in the course and share experiences while learning how to improve leadership, teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving skills.
The cavenauts participating in this year's campaign are ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Mirsurkin and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and ESA engineer & Eurocom Matthias Maurer.
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