EMC 2017

The European Mars Society Conference

The European Mars Conference 2017 (EMC17) was the annual meeting of the European Mars Societies focussing on human and robotic exploration of the Red Planet.
The 17th EMC offered a communication and discussion platform for disciplines ranging from engineering, science, mission programmatics and space operations, space policy and arts. As in the past years scientists and people with a passion for Mars exploration were meeting in order to learn more about Mars and exchange experience, information and views.

Highlights included updates on current and future Mars missions, expert panels, a student forum and the science and operations behind the major international Mars analog simulation “AMADEE-18” in Oman.

This year’s EMC17 was hosted by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) and the University of Innsbruck.

EMC17 Final Report

This was the European Mars Conference 2017


Friday, 22Sep2017 - EMC17 Student Forum & Registration
09:00-10:30: Opening of the EMC17 student forum
Student Forum session 1

  • Searching for Life on Mars, Michaela Musilova/Slovak Organization for Space Activities
  • Testing 3D-printing technology, Michael Müller/OeWF, PMAS 2017

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00-12:30: Student Forum session 2

  • Spelunca–settlements in Martian caves, T. Treichl, A. Pflügler, P. Friedl, BG/BORG St. Johann
  • Manned flyby mission to Mars and Venus, A. Khokhlov et al
  • Stability of Martian subsurface ice in caves, Sophie Gruber/Austrian Space Forum & Univ of Innsbruck

12:30-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-18:00: General EMC17 Registration

14:00-15:30 Student Forum session 3

  • Project X-1, Thibault Paris, Arno Passeron/École polytechnique, Association Planète Mars
  • Chasing NASA- an introduction to propellers, Benedikt Stingl/ TU Munich

European Rover Challenge, Lukasz Wilczyński, European Space Foundation

15:30-16:00: Jury meeting (closed meeting)

16:00-17:30: OeWF Suitlab Tour Group 1


  • Opening ceremony of the EMC17 and Announcement of best student contributions
  • The Mars Analog Missions of the Austrian Space Forum, Gernot Grömer / Austrian Space Forum

19:00 City tour & Dinner

Saturday, 23Sep2017 - EMC17 Conference Day 01
09:00-10:30: Morning opening statements
Technical session 1

  • Keynote address by Armando Azua-Bustos/ Centro de Astrobiología, Spain
  • The AMADEE-18 mission

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00-12:30: Technical session 2

  • Melanoma or Mars? Tricia L. Larose, Mary Van Baalan/International Space University
  • #simulateMars – Social media in space communications, Olivia Haider/Austrian Space Forum
  • Space weather monitoring for a Virtual Reality Simulation of a Martian Settlement, N. Narayanan, A. del Mastro, G. Bruno, H., Planet Mars, Italy

12:30-14:00: Lunch break

14:00-15:30: Technical session 3

  • Preparing a lunar rover, Tibor Pacher, Matyas Hazadi/Team Puli Space
  • Underactuated scout robot, Łukasz Wiśniewski, Space Research Centre, Warsaw University of Technology
  • Presentation of the student forum winner

15:30-16:00: Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30: Technical session 4

  • Impact of human safety on the design of space systems, Jürgen Herholz/German Mars Society
  • The Poland Mars simulation, Reinhard Tlustos, Sebastian Hettrich/Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)

Keynote address by Robert Zubrin/The Mars Society

17:30-17:45: Conference group photo

18:30-22:00: Conference dinner (Location: Villa Blanka, Weiherburggasse 8, Innsbruck)

Sunday, 24Sep2017 - EMC17 Conference Day 02

09:00-10:30: Technical session 5

  • Keynote address: The ESA ExoMars Mission, Jorge Vago/European Space Agency
  • Exploring life on Mars, Pierre Brisson/Mars Society Switzerland
  • Miriam-2 parabolic flight test, Tanja Lehmann, Klaus Bayler/German Mars Society
  • Co-designing a Martian community, Federico Monaco, Irene Lia/University of Parma

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00-12:30: Technical session 6

  • Keynote address: Policy initiatives of Explore Mars, Artemis Westenberg/Explore Mars

Panel discussion
“Going Red: Mars exploration, space advocacy, citizen science and policy as allies or adversaries? “

  • Artemis Westenberg, Explore Mars
  • Gernot Groemer, Austrian Space Forum
  • Lukasz Wilczyński, European Space Foundation

12:30-13:00: Closing ceremony

13:15-14:30 European Mars Society Chapters Meeting (invitation only session)

13:15-14:30: OeWF Suitlab Tour Group 2

Conference Photos

Find all photos on our Flickr album

ECM17 Student Forum

On Friday, 22Sep2017, students between 15-25 years had the opportunity to present in 15min oral presentations their scientific work on Mars and space exploration.  The presented topics ranged from the applications of latest technologies, engineering and natural sciences.

The student presentations were given to a panel of space experts and will received a constructive feedback on their presentations. The best presentation was then presented a second time in the main conference to the international audience.

Sophie Gruber was announced as winner of the student contest for her presentation on “Stability of Martian subsurface ice in caves”. Runners-up winners were Arno Passeron and Thibault Paris
for their project on a 3D-printed spacesuit for Mars. Special mention was extended to Teresa Treichl, Astrid Pflügler and Patricia Friedl from BG/BORG St. Johann for their concept for settling
in caves on Mars.


University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck. (EMC17 auditorium: lecture hall 6)

Download our official EMC17 Posters

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Gernot Groemer, Austrian Space Forum, Austria
  • Gian-Gabriele Ori, D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, IRSPS Department and Ibn-Battuta Center, Italy/Morocco
  • Jean Pierre Paul De Vera, DLR Institut für Planetenforschung, Germany
  • Michaela Musilová, Slovak Organisation for Space Activities, Slowakia
  • Akos Kereszturi, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Astrophysical and Geochemical Laboratory, Hungary
  • Jesús Martínez-Frías, Instituto de Geociencias, Ciudad University, Spain

Organizing Team

Host: Austrian Space Forum (OeWF)


  • Gernot Groemer (OeWF)
  • Thomas Ußmueller (Univ. of Innsbruck)
  • Silvia Prock (Univ. of Innsbruck)
  • Sophie Gruber (OeWF)