The Portuguese American Journal reads "A team of seven astronauts, including three women, coming from five countries speaking eight languages, commanded by two women, will transform the Azores into a global hub for astronaut training.

This pioneering project, officially unveiled on November 8, is scheduled to unfold from November 22 to 28, marking the first of its kind in Portugal.”

According to Expresso, CAMões is the first mission of its kind in Portugal and aims to put the Azores on the map of training sites for astronauts

“The Azores offer us, through these lava tubes and these volcanic caves, a geological context that is a space for astronauts to train, study, do science, test technologies and do their space training”, says the INESC researcher TEC Ana Pires in an interview with Expresso.

An analogous mission - explains Ana Pires, who had returned from a mission of this type in the Thar Desert, in India - is a simulation in which analogous astronauts live as if they were actually in space. “We are in our habitat, we only go outside with space suits. We do our tests, our field work and go back to the habitat.”

This is because, she adds, “there is talk of building base camps on the Moon and Mars. And, in fact, Mars and the Moon offer these structures that are very similar to those we have here in the Azores and on the island of Terceira and which can protect humans from radiation.”

Thus, the objective is to carry out “a series of tests to understand that natural and geological environment and ways to conserve it and make it safe for humans to live in.”

“The objective is to still be an exploratory edition, to understand where we can improve and then, in the future, open it to the international community so that the selected candidates can propose their own experiences and investigations, as I also did, for example, when I went to the United States", explains Ana Pires, who is also the first Portuguese woman to complete NASA scientist-astronaut training.

The CAMões mission will be led by the Montanheiros Association, in partnership with INESC TEC (Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science), the University of the Azores, the University of Aveiro, the Lusófona University and the Portuguese Space Agency, “ among other institutions and companies”.

Related article: Astronauts simulate lunar environment in the Azores