Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa descending into the caves of Sardinia, Italy at the start of CAVES 2013 – ESA’s underground training course.
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 caves is also comparable to spacewalking with the use of harnesses and safety devices.