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This is the Mission Support Center in Innsbruck with the daily update, bringing you the news about yesterday’s MARS2013 events.
The MARS2013 teams and experiments continue to deliver great scientific results. The expeditionary team at Station Payer continued to be engaged in geological research, collecting more rock and soil samples from the surrounding area.
At the same time, the Payer team also experimented with using ATVs for moving around the local terrain. Whereas an analog astronauts fully suited in the cumbersome Aouda.X suit can only move at an average speed of 5.5 km/hr, riding on an ATV increases their speed by up to 35 km/h, and makes their work much easier. The expeditionary team will leave Station Payer and rejoin the main base at Camp Weyprecht on Thursday
Camp Weyprecht likewise continued their work from the day before in testing the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle, as well as doing some work on the MEDIAN and Hunveyor experiments.
The weather remained a challenge for both teams, with heavy winds and sandstorms causing issues with some experiments. Unusually for the desert (to say nothing of Mars, which has not seen rainfall for at least 3.5 billion years, if ever!), there was even some rain in the evening.
Yesterday was also an exciting day for the crew in the Mission Support Center, as we received a camera team from the Austrian national broadcaster ORF to do a feature for the local “Tirol heute” news on the MARS2013 mission.
The journalists received a guided tour through the MSC and its different functions, and later interviewed analog astronaut Christoph Gautsch at Station Payer, and Flight Director Christoph Ragonig and Remote Science Support (RSS) specialist Robert Terlevic at the MSC.
During the interview with Christoph Gautsch, which took place with the 10 minute time delay active, he answered questions about his impressions of the local terrain and the setup of the base camp, about the challenges of wearing and working in the 45 kg heavy Aouda.X spacesuit simulator, and about how he experienced the differences between the preparation for the mission and the actual life in the desert.
The feature will air tonight Wednesday at 19:00 on the ORF2 show “Tirol heute”, or it can be watched as a streaming video at https://tvthek.orf.at/programs/70023-Tirol-heute. See also the article at https://tirol.orf.at/news/stories/2572346/ (in German).
In other news, OeWF member Rudi Albrecht gave a presentation on Mars2013 at a meeting of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in Vienna yesterday morning, which generated a great deal of interest in the mission from the other participants.
About the experiments
The Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (“Cliffbot”) is a cable-suspended rover designed to traverse and explore cliffs that are inaccessible to human astronauts. Hunveyor is a robot that can monitor local weather and environmental parameters. MEDIAN uses a set of nanolanders to detect and measure local sources of methane.
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