21/10/2013 14:28 BST | Updated 21/12/2013 10:12 GMT

European Astronauts Recreate Moon Landings Under The Sea (PICTURES)

No European has ever walked on the Moon.

But as of last month, two Europeans have at least walked on the bottom of the sea while pretending to be on the Moon.

The European Space Agency has published pictures of an extraordinary-looking mission in which astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and astronaut instructor Hervé Stevenin simulated the Apollo 11 landings underwater.


The training concept was an extension of techniques long used to train astronauts under water. By adjusting buoyancy, it was possible to recreate the level of gravity experienced by astronauts on our natural satellite.

Apollo 11 Under The Sea mission was performed off Marseille on 4 September, with equipment not dissimilar to that used during the original mission by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.

"The Gandolfi suit is bulky, has limited motion freedom, and requires some physical effort – just like actual space suits. I really felt like I was working and walking on the Moon," said Jean-François.

Hervé added: "This suit could be adapted to improve ESA’s training at the European Astronaut Centre. Comex’s underwater training ground is also an amazing environment to simulate the Moon or even Mars. I really felt out of this world – only the colour of the water reminded me that I was on Earth."

Check out the pictures of the mission below.