In Photos: Astronauts from China and Europe Take Sea Survival Challenge

A New Team

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

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.


Stephane Corvaja/ESA

Chinese astronauts returning from space must be prepared for a water landing. In a first, ESA astronauts join a CNSA training for sea survival.

Crossing Boundaries

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

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

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

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."

Shenzhou Mock-up

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

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

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

ESA's Matthias Maurer climbs from the Shenzhou capsule. Before jumping into the inflatable boat, Maurer changed into a insulation and buoyancy suit.

Jumping In

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

During the training, Maurer jumped from the capsule into the ocean as a Chinese astronaut waited in the inflatable boat.

If By Sea

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

Another part of the sea survival training included practicing rescue procedures with a ship and a helicopter.

And By Air

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

A helicopter raises sea survival participants out of the ocean.

A New Experience

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

ESA's Samantha Cristoforetti jumped from the Shenzhuo capsule during the sea survival training.

Collaborating at Its Best

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

ESA's Cristoforetti took part in the CNSA's sea survival training with Chinese colleagues in Yantai, China.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the 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, 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.