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New astronaut completes cave training in Italy

Reporter: Wu Haojun 丨 CCTV.com

07-23-2016 04:04 BJT

On Wednesday, Ye Guangfu, one of China's newest astronauts, was introduced to the public in Beijing. Earlier this month, he took part in a week-long training program in Italy organized by the European Space Agency.  He was the first Chinese astronaut to do so.

Isolation, High pressure, High risk...

Six days and nights' exploration and experiments in a cave.

This is where the six astronauts from China, United States, Russia, Spain and Japan trained.

"Cave training is very challenging. Normally, it's very hard for us to simulate the pressure of high risks in the simulator's training scene. The cave environment is extreme. In that case, risk awareness is imperative," said Huang Weifen, deputy research director of China's Astronaut Center.

36-year-old Ye is from Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan province.

The former air force fighter pilot was selected by China manned space authority in 2010.

Ye has logged 1,100 hours of flight time.

"The whole cave training was very hard and dangerous. But this was not the biggest difficulty for us. I think the biggest was how to cooperate with each other from different cultural backgrounds to achieve the best performance," Ye said.

"For astronauts from different countries, this training strengthened their mutual understanding and cooperation, which is very significant," Huang Weifen said.

Ye Guangfu was responsible for exploring unknown areas in the cave, analysing data and monitoring the underground environment. His performance was highly praised by his international counterparts.

The European Space Agency says the Italian program is designed to train astronauts' skills with a multicultural approach to teamwork, leadership and decision-making.

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