Fatal accident in Sardinian caves

Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico (CNSAS), the Italian national alpine and speleological rescue organisation has reported that a fatal accident happened in a Sardinian cave, Italy, on September 18. This is the location where  ESA’s CAVES training course took place.Rescue operations were initiated immediately but could not save the life of the local caver, who suffered a fatal fall. Specialists are working to retrieve his body. The cave had been the site of ESA’s astronaut training course, but the astronauts  had already left the cave several hours before the accident. The victim, Luigi Mereu, 32 years old, was a member of the local speleologist group Gruppo Grotte Nuorese that was helping...


CAVES day two

Our cavenauts come across challenging underground terrain and go for a swim. Matthias Maurer explains: YouTube

Matthias Maurer in CAVES 2014. Credits: ESA-V. Crobu

CAVES day one

The first day underground for our cavenauts. YouTube

Experiment training. Credits: ESA-R.DeLuca

CAVES science overview video

Join Jo De Waele, CAVES science coordinator for an overview of this year's science for our intrepid cavenauts. YouTube

Learning how to take pictures of caves. Credits: ESA/S.Sechi

CAVES 2014 introduction video

Loredana Bessone introduces the fourth edition of CAVES: the newly arrived cavenauts introduce themselves, test their equipment and get wet. YouTube

ESA Caves 2014 team 
Credits: ESA\R.DeLuca

Day 1 training finishes with a splash!

Hello ESA CAVES 2014 followers! We just finished Day 1 of training here at the CAVES Training Centre located near Nuoro, Italy, and all I can say is WOW! The entire team is on location and working...

Matthias Maurer cropped

Meet the team: Matthias Maurer

Astronauts are busy beings. No matter how far in advance we plan their activities, at some point some very important matter can take precedence, and they have to dash off. In the space business we’re ready for this— we  nominate...

Alessandro Boesso emerging from Sardinian Grutta cave with Paxi Credit:ESA/L.Bessone


This simple yet powerful little word perfectly describes what I have been feeling fairly constantly since I joined the CAVES team only a few months ago. The preparation of this very special space analogue course, that brings...