Kaunertal Glacier Field Test 2010

During a several days field test at the Kaunertal glacier in July/August, the Aouda spacesuit simulator was tested together with a georadar. At the same time the OeWF team tested also contamination vectors to ensure “clean” sample extraction.

“Never before we brought the suit and the tester to suchlike limits”, says Sebastian Sams, Operations lead for the second test day of the Austrian Space Forum “now we know how far we can go with the suit in context of surefootedness and challenging ground.”

For the astrobiology experiment the researcher were allowed to drill into ice of the glacier crevasse. This was a real challenge for the spacesuit as the ice was very hard and therefore the drill was exhausting. On the next day, in the area below the crevasse the georadar was used for a pilot measurement. A 100 m wide area was measured and the raw data were evaluated by  Dr. Helmut Hausmann from the ZAMG. Ulrich Luger and Daniel Föger were the analog astronauts for the field test. For the first time the technical infrastructure of the Remote Science Support Team was tested, were the scientist could participate virtually and look the analog astronaut “over the shoulder”.

In total the analog astronaut conducated 9 working hours inside the spacesuit (U. Luger: 6h, D. Föger, 3h).

Project Leader Gernot Grömer:

“This time we invited the press to see the spacesuit simulator Aouda during work and to convey the fascination for spaceflight. Its the first time, that we admitted the press at one of our field tests.
The media echo was respectable with report from regional newspaper to announcements in french and russian press agencies.”

 

This article is available in: German

Austria/Kaunertal 2010

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