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Ready for descent
- Title Ready for descent
- Released 25/08/2014 12:14 pm
- Copyright ESA/L.Bessone
ESA trainers and caving specialists are pictured here underground in Sardinia, Italy, to setting the scene for space-like astronaut training next month. The trainers descended into the caves on a ‘dry run’ without the astronauts, to test their planned tasks and operations, and are now finalising preparation of equipment and facilities after ESA declared ‘GO’ for CAVES 2014 last week.
CAVES 2014 will take place between 7–20 September in Sardinia – details on participants in this year’s event can be found here.
CAVES – short for Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills – offers astronauts, trainers and planners a chance to test space-like procedures while exploring uncharted caverns in new environments.
This year, the CAVES team are stepping up the space realism and exploration while testing more technology and procedures.
Clambering down to basecamp hundreds of metres below the surface using safety tethers is similar to conducting a spacewalk, and this year the procedures have been updated to include astronaut terminology.
In space, an object can quickly float away and be lost forever. While caving, dropped equipment can also be lost forever down crevices or in holes.
When passing equipment, cavers and astronauts must make sure the recipient is grasping the item before the first person lets go: ‘make before break’ in astronaut language.
No opportunity is missed to make the week-long stay underground resemble a space mission. The trainees will follow timeline and procedures, including handling equipment and communication protocols just as on the International Space Station.
- Id 318177
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