Uploaded on November 14, 2013
CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen explores otherworldly caves
2013-11-14 - The caves are dark, dangerous and alien-like. The astronauts are wet, uncomfortable and dirty. All in the name of science! Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen gives us a new perspective on exploration and explains why training in caves is just like working and living in space. Make sure to watch until the very end!
A video of the Canadian Space Agency with European Space Agency footage and photography by Vittorio Crobu and Sirio Sechi.
(Credits: Canadian Space Agency, ESA)
Jeremy Hansen: Welcome to our home.
Tooth brushing in the cave.
We have no idea what we're going to find. That's true exploration.
For the last three and a half days in this cave, my role has been as the Commander. And one of the jobs of the Commander is to balance the exploration of the cave. And there are many things we have to take into account. We want to explore further into the cave, we want to map the cave. But in addition to that, we're doing something very important here, and that is science.
This expedition, for us, is very similar to life on the International Space Station because we're doing science in this cave on behalf of scientists who aren't here. And on Space Station, the exact same thing happens. We are tasked to do science on behalf of scientists on the ground.
We're looking at the wind characteristics of the cave, the water, the air characteristics of the cave, and, very interestingly, the life forms that we find in the cave. We're taking samples and looking for new biology. We know we have to do our very best while we're here in the cave to get all the science we can, to do it properly, to record the data, so that when we come out of the cave, when we hand it to the scientists, they can finish the work and retrieve the results.
One of the risks of being in the cave is the lack of communication and the difficulty to have people come and extract you or provide medical care. We've run a hard line communication into this main base camp, but when we leave this base camp for up to ten hours at a time during the day, we are often out of communication. And we're testing a piece of equipment called T-GER (ph), which allows us to communicate with teams on the outside through the surface of the rock.
One of the most rewarding experiences is the perspective that this expedition provides the team members. It's amazing to see the beauty of the caves. And I looked at this mountain that we're in from the outside, and now I have a completely different image of it from the inside. A beautiful, new perspective, and that is something that exploration gives to us.
(Laughter) I made it.