Away Teams & Field Reports

ESA Away Team Training: Tricorders Detect Underground Life

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
December 15, 2023
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ESA Away Team Training: Tricorders Detect Underground Life
Examining a cave organism with ESA’s Electronic Fieldbook — ESA

Astronauts from five space agencies around the world take part in ESA’s CAVES training course– Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills.

The six cavenauts of this edition of CAVES are ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Jeanette Epps, Roscosmos’ cosmonaut Nikolai Chub, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Josh Kutryk and Japan’s space agency Takuya Onishi.

The three-week course prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively in multicultural teams in an environment where safety is critical.

As they explore caves they encounter caverns, underground lakes and strange microscopic life. They test new technology and conduct science – just as if they were living on the International Space Station.

The six astronauts have to rely on their own skills, teamwork and ground control to achieve their mission goals – the course is designed to foster effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, leadership and team dynamics.

Credits: ESA – A. Romeo larger image


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻