Human body responses during cave expeditions: a systematic review and potential future implications
Coffey E BJ
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Since 2008 the European Space Agency has studied the possibility of using caves as a natural platform for astronaut training, investigating analogies with space and with International Space Station (ISS) missions. With this purpose in 2011 a new ESA training programme named CAVES was launched, involving astronauts from Partner Space Agencies. During five editions of CAVES, from 2011 to 2016, 28 astronauts from space agencies around the world (ESA, NASA, JAXA, ROSCOSMOS, CSA, CNSA) have taken part in the training. CAVES has been recognised by all participant astronauts and, in particular, by experienced spacefarers, as a very realistic spaceflight analogue, providing unique multicultural operational team training opportunities, in one of the best space analogue environments available on Earth. The space community has thoroughly recognized the value of the experience that speleology is acquiring in cave exploration, to be applied for future planetary missions, both on current and future orbital and surface and subsurface missions on planetary bodies..