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NASA Astronaut Candidate Field Geology Training in Taos County, NM

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S71-23772 (11-12 March 1971) --- Two members of the prime crew of the Apollo 15 lunar landing mission collect soil samples during a simulation of lunar surface extravehicular activity in the Taos, New Mexico area. Astronaut James B. Irwin, lunar module pilot, is using a scoop. Astronaut David R. Scoot (right), commander, is holding a sample bag. On the left is a Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer.

Questa, NM
— May 8, 2018

NASA has been using the Rio Grande Gorge area in Taos County, New Mexico for geology training since the Apollo missions in the 1960s. Since 1998, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology has assisted NASA with the training program. The 14-member astronaut class of 2017 will travel to the BLM Wild Rivers Recreation Area in June of 2018 for four days of intensive earth science education, including geologic mapping. We have been selected by NASA due to our expertise in the geology of the field area, our extensive experience in providing field support for large groups, and our familiarity with NASA’s field training program. We are contracted to provide geologic support, and field camp operations and management for the group of 34 people, which includes geology instructors from NASA and several universities, as well as veteran astronauts.

Bureau co-P.I.s are Paul Bauer and Mike Timmons. Other team members are Adam Read and Matt Zimmerer.