You know that Apollo astronauts visited craters on the moon. But did you know that some of them also visited Craters of the Moon right here on earth? Discover more about this Apollo Astronaut Training in Iceland.
In 1965 and 1967, two groups of American Apollo astronauts visited Iceland to study geology and practice collecting samples, under the guidance of Icelandic and American geologists. The Apollo geology field exercises were intended to develop the astronaut’s observational skills in recognizing basic geologic structures. In Iceland, there is a lot of geological variety. There are places and areas like those in the north of the country that really resemble extraterrestrial worlds. This provides astronauts with a much more realistic training than what can be found outside our planet.
Apollo Astronaut Training in Iceland:
Nine of the twelve men who would later set foot on the moon between 1969 and 1972, came to Iceland to train for their missions.
For those who do not know, the Apollo program began before sending the first man to the moon. Therefore, extensive training was necessary. It was the first time that the human being would come out and put his feet on another celestial body.
Therefore Askja was chosen. The type of rock resembles the lunar surface. The whimsical shapes of volcanic lava also produce an uneven surface perfect for practice. The astronauts did so, tucked into their suits as if they were really out there.