Concordia crew and trainers at the French polar institute in Brest, France.
Each year, ESA sponsors a research medical doctor through the winter months to run experiments on the rest of the 15-strong crew. There are few other places on Earth that resemble the isolation and extreme climate astronauts will endure on other planets – an opportunity for ESA to test technology and learn how humans behave in close quarters.
Concordia is run by the French and Italian polar organisations to collect data for subjects as diverse as glaciology, astronomy and climate science. This year, ESA-sponsored Carmen Possnig from Austria has joined the crew for training and briefing at the French polar research institute in Brest.