Jeremy Hansen sets out for geology field training on Devon Island

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Uploaded on July 12, 2013

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Jeremy Hansen sets out for geology field training on Devon Island

2013-07-12 - 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.

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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All of the astronauts, both within Canada and the other partner agencies, such as NASA, have been undergoing geology training for many years, and there’s a couple of reasons for that. One is, when you’re on the International Space Station, you’re always looking back upon our own planet, and so astronauts looking out the window sometimes pick out areas of interest. So understanding a little bit about what the geologist might be looking at helps us take better photographs. The other side of the geology training is the fact that we’re gearing up to go beyond low Earth orbit again. And any time we go to the Moon or an asteroid or, eventually, Mars, geology is going to be an important part of the science that we do on those surfaces, both to understand the history of our own planet and the solar system, but also to understand resources that we might utilize on the surfaces of those planetary bodies. So I’ve spent a lot of time learning geology both at NASA at the Johnson Space Center and recently in Canada.

I’ve had the opportunity over the past two summers to go on expeditions into Saskatchewan and the High Arctic, on Victoria Island, to investigate craters. So right now, I’m gearing up to go to the Arctic again. This time it’ll be Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic with Dr. Osinski. And this will be a different experience for me because Dr. Osinski has been to this crater before—he already has done research—and now, what we’ll be looking at is going back and having a closer look at some of the areas that he has an interest in, and questions that have come up since he looked at the samples he -collected and did some more rigorous research into what formed the crater on Devon Island. And so I’ll get to accompany him as we follow up on his research on Devon Island.

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