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CAVES 2016 In Pictures: How Astronauts Train for Space by Cave Diving

Extraterrestrial Terrain

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The Sardinian caves, the location for the CAVES training, definitely present an alien atmosphere. Here, the explorers investigate the largest chamber at Dolines hole.

Being Goofy

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Part of the CAVES training experience involves working with a multicultural team, learning how to work as a team, understanding multicultural differences and banding together to communicate well. The "cavenauts" pose for a fun pic at Dolines hole.

Spacious Caverns

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The 2016 CAVES crew tested newly developed 3D modeling techniques utilizing standard cameras. These techniques could easily be used while exploring other planets. Here the crew crosses through the Dolomites hole.

Learning Autonomy

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Another aspect of the CAVES training prepares astronauts to complete expeditions outside the safety of the International Space Station where they will be responsible for safety, planning and equipment maintenance. Here the crew explores the Dolomites hole.

Experimental Practice

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Experiments on substances found on a new planet will provide critical information about the environment and habitats there. While exploring the Dolomites hole, "cavenauts" sample water from a pool.

Practicing a Role

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Each astronaut received a role assignment for the CAVES training. NASA's Jessica Meir, as expedition biologist, carefully captures bugs from a pool.

Camp Duties

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NASA's Ricky Arnold shared commander and campsite duties with Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide. Here Arnold recovers the inflatable boat used to cross Baikal Lake.

Thinking Small

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As expedition scientist for environmental science ESA astronaut Pedro Duque sampled microbes for further study.

Teamwork

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The ability to work together and get along is crucial for a team on a mission such as the CAVES training or exploring other planets. The 2017 CAVES astronauts showed great ability to collaborate. The diverse group poses for a picture at Rainbow Lake.

Taking Lead

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During his time as expedition commander Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide communicated daily with the Ground team, relaying pertinent information about the mission using the TEDRA system.

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