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INTERVIEW with THOMAS J. LUGER from AUSTRIA
Team & Task(s)
Thomas Luger, MD, is the head of the Biomedical Engineer (BME) Team and has the overall responsibility with regards to medical issues during MARS2013. He provides support for all issues relating to crew health and medical data management, including pre-flight preparation, real-time monitoring, real-time conferences and post-flight rehabilitation. He is furthermore available to assist with health related issues amongst the Mission Support Centre (MSC) staff. Thomas Luger lives and works in Tyrol.
Space & MARS2013
How did you first get in touch with the topic of space / astronomy / analog research?
I found exposure to space through my father who woke me one night in 1969 to follow the first moon landing live on TV. It was an impressive experience. My interest in Mars was sparked by my son Ulrich who is an analog astronaut.
When did you first hear about the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF)?
Due to my son’s involvement and Gernot Grömer through the Red Cross in Innsbruck.
How did you learn about the “MARS2013” mission?
I have been involved in preparing for MARS2013 since the Rio Tinto Mission.
Why did you choose to participate?
First, I believe that professional medical monitoring of the analog astronauts and the telemetry of the environmental conditions in the spacesuit is mandatory for the Mars simulations. And in addition to safe conditions an emergency MD should be present at all times. Secondly, it is scientifically interesting to establish a medical database and to use those findings for real Mars flights and Mars surface missions to allow for greater medical care in the future. That is one of the goals of these analog simulations.
What was your first impression when you got involved with the OeWF team?
Dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism and a little bit of being a freak or put in a different way: Dedication = to push beyond your limits during your free time, Enthusiasm = break new scientific ground together, Professionalism = to contribute your own knowledge on a very high level Being a freak = meant in a positive way to have fun while you are working together.
What is your personal goal in this mission?
To work together for a common goal but also having fun while being a professional and scientist.
Work, Life & Family
What I do for a living:
Anaesthesia doctor, Emergency medical doctor, scientist.
A typical day in my life looks like this:
Unfortunately too much work and too little time for my family.
This is how I spend my spare time:
My day does not end after an eight-hour workday and 25-hour shifts are added during the month. If I have time, I love being active like going mountain biking, Nordic walking, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, swimming, but also sauna, surfing the web, reading, listening to music and viewing art.
I have been married for 32 years and my wife Christine and my children are the centre of my life.
How my friends would describe me:
You would have to ask my friends!
Me, Myself & I
These things are precious to me:
Enjoy creation in all its diversity.
What drives me crazy:
Being superficial in doing things.
Something I would never do:
One important thing other people should know about me:
I am in the midst of life and yet only a human.
To relax I absolutely need:
Serenity and depending on my mood music ranging from pop to classic.
For this I would do almost anything:
Esterhazy cake (from the medical point of view: permitted only once a year, unfortunately!)
Something that once changed my life:
When I saw my wife Christine for the first time.
What is the most unusual / challenging / exciting / scary / funny thing you ever experienced?
The most challenging thing was organizing a petition for the reformation of the Catholic Church in 1995 while I was finishing my habilitation thesis at the same time.
Goal(s) & Motto
Something I would love to learn or to achieve:
Every decade in my professional and private life reveals undiscovered territory.
My Motto / A saying I can identify with:
In veritate libertas! (In truth lies freedom)
This article is available in: German
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