A New Team
On Aug. 14, 2017, European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts Samantha Crisoforetti and Matthias Maurer trained with their counterparts with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in Yantai, China. For the first time, non-Chinese astronauts participated in this sea survival training. See photos of how this first-of-its-kind joint space exercise here.
Chinese astronauts returning from space must be prepared for a water landing. In a first, ESA astronauts join a CNSA training for sea survival.
ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer, with an ESA flight surgeon and training specialist, participate in a briefing during the sea survival training to learn about cultural differences and approaches.
A New Suit
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti wears a Chinese flightsuit. During the "superbly planned and conducted" training, Cristoforetti had the opportunity to "practice capsule egress in the ocean with decent waves."
Part of the sea survival training included the group wearing pressure suits inside a Shenzhou spacecraft mock-up that was dropped into the ocean.
Riding Atop the Capsule
ESA's Matthias Maurer climbs from the Shenzhou capsule. Before jumping into the inflatable boat, Maurer changed into a insulation and buoyancy suit.
During the training, Maurer jumped from the capsule into the ocean as a Chinese astronaut waited in the inflatable boat.
If By Sea
Another part of the sea survival training included practicing rescue procedures with a ship and a helicopter.
And By Air
A helicopter raises sea survival participants out of the ocean.
A New Experience
ESA's Samantha Cristoforetti jumped from the Shenzhuo capsule during the sea survival training.
Collaborating at Its Best
ESA's Cristoforetti took part in the CNSA's sea survival training with Chinese colleagues in Yantai, China.
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Christine Lunsford joined the Space.com team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with Space.com, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.