Astronauts flock to the Spanish island to learn – The New Indian Express

Astronauts flock to the Spanish island to learn - The New Indian Express

by Specific Information Service

LOS VOLCANES NATURAL PARK: Kneeling on the sting of a deep crater, astronaut Alexander Gerst makes use of a chisel to gather a pattern of volcanic rock that he rigorously positioned inside a white plastic bag. Gerst is just not on the moon, even when it seems to be like him. It’s in the course of Los Volcanes Pure Park on the island of Lanzarote in Spain’s Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa.

Due to black lava fields, craters, and volcanic tubes, Lanzarote’s geology might be eerily much like that of the Moon and Mars — a lot in order that the European House Company (ESA) and NASA have been sending astronauts to the island prepare for years.

“This place has lava similar to the one we discover on the moon,” mentioned Gerst, a 46-year-old German astronaut working for the European House Company. He mentioned the island was a “distinctive coaching floor”.

Gerst, who has accomplished two missions on the Worldwide House Station, is one in every of a couple of dozen astronauts who’ve taken half within the European House Company’s Pangea coaching course in Lanzarote over the previous decade. Named after the traditional supercontinent, Pangea seeks to present astronauts in addition to area engineers and geologists the talents wanted for missions to different planets.

Trainees discover ways to establish and gather rock samples, carry out in-situ DNA evaluation for microorganisms, and report their findings again to the mission management heart. “Right here, they’re placed on the sector for the expertise of exploring the terrain,” mentioned Francesco Sauro, the course’s technical director.

Gerst mentioned the Pangea coaching course, which he has simply accomplished, helps put together astronauts to work in a distant location themselves. He accomplished Pangea coaching with Stephanie Wilson, a senior NASA astronaut. Each are potential candidates for upcoming NASA missions to the Moon.

Named after the goddess who was the dual sister of Apollo in historical Greek mythology, the Artemis program goals to return astronauts to the lunar floor as early as 2025, though specialists consider the timeframe might slip.

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