Astronauts on ESA's 2016 underground training course CAVES pose for a picture in front of a cave entrance. From left: cosmonaut Sergei Vladimirovich, ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, taikonaut Ye Guangfu, Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jessica Muir.
Caves offer a dark and alien underground environment with many analogies to space. Deep underground, our senses are deprived of many sounds and natural light. The procedure for moving along a cave wall resembles spacewalking and cave explorers need to stay alert, take critical decisions both as an individual and as a team, just as in space.
The CAVES – Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising – course focuses on multicultural approaches to leadership, following orders, teamwork and decision-making.