by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Nov 14, 2017
An expedition of astronauts, planetary scientists and engineers is off to Spain's Canary Island of Lanzarote to learn best how to explore uncharted planets. The training will equip space travellers with a geologist's eye.
This is the last leg of the intensive Pangaea campaign for astronauts to become effective explorers for missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids.
The crew will explore and collect samples in Lanzarote, also known as the island of a thousand volcanoes, with the best field geology and planetary observation techniques.
ESA astronaut Pedro Duque will use his experience from last year's course and act as a crew communicator from 'ground control' for astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
"Astronauts must learn the skills from field geologists to obtain scientific data. We also need to learn from each other how to communicate efficiently," says Pedro.
"Pangaea gives participants a solid knowledge in the geology of the Solar System from leading European scientists," adds course director Francesco Sauro.
There is also a lot in store for the ESA engineers who are designing the next space exploration missions - the training will put their protocols and operations to the test.
How to read a landscape
The dry climate and a well-preserved landscape turn the island into a unique geological museum. While lava flows resemble vast plains on the lunar surface, its volcanoes are similar to those in some regions of Mars.
"Learning to observe geological features is not too different from learning the words of a new language. And some rocks are like open books," points out science coordinator Matteo Massironi.
In the week ahead astronauts will get to recognise interesting rocks and assess the most likely places to find traces of life - on Earth and on other planets.
On 20-24 November, Pangaea-X will bring together commercial partners, space agencies and research organisations to test instruments, scientific procedures and operations.
"Pangaea-X will improve our understanding of how humans and robots can work together on geological field traverses. We're simulating the future of our planetary explorers," explains project leader Loredana Bessone.
Talinn, Estonia (ESA) Nov 03, 2017
When is the last time you used space technology? Probably a matter of minutes ago, if you took bearings on your phone, checked the weather or withdrew money. Starting Friday, European Space Week celebrates space for the rest of us - as a source of services, jobs and business opportunities. Hosted in Talinn, Estonia, 3-9 November, European Space Week is bringing together space stakeholders, ... read more
Caves at ESA
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|