Astronauts Explore Caves in Mock Space Mission (Photos)

Ascending to the Camp Site

ESA–V. Crobu

The cavenauts climb towards their underground camp site which will be their home for the next six days. This photo was taken on September 9, 2012.

Discovering Wonderland

ESA–V. Crobu

CAVES, an abbreviation of Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills, prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively and solve problems as a multicultural team while exploring uncharted areas using space procedures. This photo was taken on September 9, 2012.

Cavenauts Watching an Exercise

ESA–V. Crobu

The cavenauts watch an exercise. From left: Mike Fincke, Drew Feustel, Soichi Noguchi, Nikolai Tikhonov, Andreas Mogensen and David Saint-Jacques. This photo was taken on September 6, 2012.

Food Tasting

ESA–V. Crobu

If you are going to spend six days underground in Sardinian caves, it is best to be well prepared. Choosing the right food to keep energy and morale levels high is very important. This photo was taken on September 4, 2012.

Swinging Exercise

ESA–V. Crobu

Astronauts practice their cave diving techniques. This photo was taken on September 6, 2012.

Eccentric Speleothem

ESA–V. Crobu

The cavenauts sit by a speleothem, a mineral deposit that forms in a cave. This photo was taken on September 5, 2012.

Just Add Water

ESA–V. Crobu

ESA astronaut food on display during a CAVES 2012 tasting session. This photo was taken on September 4, 2012.

All Astronauts With Their Complete Team

ESA–V. Crobu

The cavenauts team. This photo was taken on September 3, 2012.

More Ghosts

ESA–V. Crobu

Cave photography is both a science and an art! Usually a lens exposure of around 30 seconds is used to give enough time for multiple flashes to light up different areas of the cave in order to get the correct illumination. It doesn't have to be a flash, sometime helmet lights or flashlights can be used but then the white balance has to be adjusted for the different frequencies of 'white' light that is used. This photo was taken on September 4, 2012.

Macro Photograph of Insect

ESA-F. Sauro

Cavenauts study the biolgy with a macro photograph of an insect. This photo was taken on June 5, 2009.

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