Australia’s first astronaut candidate, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, has given the Australian Antarctic Program’s latest recruits some tips for surviving the extreme, confined and isolated Antarctic environment.

Speaking from Germany, where she is undertaking training with the European Space Agency (ESA), Ms Bennell-Pegg said there were many similarities between working in Antarctica and space, including the importance of teamwork.

“ESA looks for people that can take tough decisions, but can also be told what to do,” she said.

“So that balance between leadership and followership.

“The number one thing that’s important is humility. Be open with each other. Have psychological safety with each other, and that will help pull you through the challenges, whether that’s technical or emotional.”

Like Ms Bennell-Pegg, who is working towards joining a mission to the International Space Station in a few years’ time, our newest Antarctic expeditioners are preparing for their own journey of exploration and discovery.

More than 100 new recruits are currently in Hobart training for their deployment south, learning about fire safety, medical support, environmental responsibilities, personal qualities and conduct, and field safety.

See the full interview between Australian Antarctic Division Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeff Ayton, and Ms Bennell-Pegg, on YouTube @AusAntarctic Science TV.