HomeAstronomy & SpaceAstronomer’s training in volcanic land

Astronomer’s training in volcanic land

ESA’s Pangaea geological training course gave the opportunity to a team of astronauts, engineers and geologists to travel one of Europe’s volcanic hot spots, Spain’s Canary Islands to learn how to explore the Moon and Mars.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, ESA engineer Robin Eccleston and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins has been selected to land on Moon for Artemis missions. These three are the candidates of Pangaea training course.

The team has already learned how to identify a rock sample traces of life during a field trip to Italian Dolomites and Germany’s Ries crater.

The team is now exploring Canary Islands, which is well preserved as a unique open-air museum. Some parts of this Island resemble some areas of Moon and Mars. In this Island they understood the relationship between volcanic activity and water, which are the key factors behind life.

Despite of the barren soil in these areas, microorganisms live inside the rocks and the team has examined these microorganisms to understand life.

Moon and Mars both have volcanic eruptions like Earth. Currently, Mars is a cold and dry dessert but billion years ago Mars surface has been shaped by water and volcanoes like Earth.

Through this training course, astronomers learn to test chemistry and mineralogy of soli and then they choose their different path to examine another planet’s soil.


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