HONOLULU. Hawaii - Greek astronaut trainee Avgoustos Pantazidis is being trained at the Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, where the Hi-Seas space simulation facility is located. Pantazidis is participating in the simulation of a mission to the Moon EMMIHS IV under the auspices of the European Space Agency (ESA) through the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG).
"The specific facility was created and is funded by NASA and is curently considered the best space simulation habitat in the world" Pantazidis said to Athens-Macedonian News Agency and added: "I am the first Greek to participate in a mission at this installation, which is a great pleasure and honour for me."
The mission lasts fifteen days and the six-member team aims at carrying out specific experiments but also to test new technologies intended to staff a base on the Moon in the future.
In parallel he said, "we will study the lava tubes in the area because in caves like these will be built the first bases on the Moon and Mars. But the most important factor for a mission to another planetary body such as the Moon is the human factor, that is, us. That is, how much we can mentally and physically endure in conditions of isolation far beyond what the modern world has to offer us and far from nature. The communication with the "outside world" is limited, the only direct contact we have is with the Mission Control, while the communication window is open for only two hours each afternoon."