Astronauts Train to Survive — on Ground

PARIS, July 14 (UPI) — Officials says astronaut candidates in the European Space Agency are being given survival training — how to survive on the ground, that is.

Astronauts must be ready to face anything in space, but must also be prepared for anything on land if, for example, a spacecraft returning from the International Space Station had to make an emergency landing in the sea, desert, tropical rain forest or on a glacier, in summer or winter, an ESA release said last week.

Before being rescued, they could have to rely on very basic items and the emergency packs in their Soyuz capsule, making survival training a vital part of basic training for all astronauts, the ESA said.

The current six candidate astronauts were flown by helicopter to a remote location where they had to set up camp, make a fire and find food by fishing or trapping animals, and preparing and cooking their food with primitive tools.

After three days, they were ‘rescued’ by helicopter, but the relief was short-lived. They were forced to jump into the sea, inflate a life raft and were left to float alone in the Mediterranean until the next morning.

After the survival training, candidates are now on the last leg of their training before they can be officially called astronauts next autumn, the ESA said.

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