Isolated island provides training opportunity for Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen
Missions to Mars, the Moon or asteroids – all have been cited as possible future destinations for space exploration, but how can astronauts prepare today for the challenges of tomorrow?
By doing field work in remote, "desolate" environments on Earth, astronauts can train for the kind of rigours that will await them on planetary bodies.
During the Apollo missions one of the chief duties of the astronauts was the study of lunar geology. Lunar samples were selected and taken back to Earth. Likewise, astronauts today can take field expeditions to analogue locations such as the High Arctic to study unique geological formations.
On July 16, 2013, CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen will join Dr. Gordon Osinski of the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration at Western University on a geology field expedition to the Haughton impact crater on Devon Island. Located in Baffin Bay of Nunavut, Canada, this extremely remote and uninhabited island features one of the world's best exposed and preserved impact craters on Earth. For one week, Hansen will assist Dr. Osinski in studying impact cratering processes while learning methods and techniques for conducting geological fieldwork that can be applied to sites beyond our planet. The team will do so with only a minimum of supplies and support, dropped off by airplane and isolated from civilization as they rely upon each other to fulfill their mission objectives.
Weather reports from Devon Island's Haughton Crater are unavailable. However, here are the current weather conditions in Resolute, Nunavut, where the closest airport is located. The team took a Twin Otter charter flight from Resolute to the crater on July 16.
Jeremy Hansen sets out for geology field training on Devon Island
CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen explains why astronauts perform geology field training in remote areas and describes his upcoming expedition to Devon Island. Hansen will be in this High Arctic region July 16-25, 2013, accompanying Western University's Dr. Osinski and his team from the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration as they study an impact crater.
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