A timelapse video of cavenauts on ESA’s underground training course CAVES preparing their bags for a day of science.
CAVES – Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills – focuses on multicultural approaches to leadership, following orders, teamwork and decision-making. At the end of the course the astronauts will have a better understanding of how they function in a multicultural team and what they are skilled at, as well as areas for self-improvement.
The similarities between caving and spaceflight are highlighted throughout the course. Speleologists and astronauts adopt the ‘buddy system’, and both astronaut trainers and CAVES instructors repeat the same mantras of “slow is fast,” “check your gear, and then trust it,” and “always be aware of where you are and where your buddy is.”
This year’s participants are an even more international team than ever, including ESA’s Pedro Duque, NASA’s Jessica Meir and Richard Arnold, Japan’s astronaut Aki Hoshide, China’s Ye Guangfu and Russia’s Sergei Korsakov.