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Scientific data are being analyzed and will advance the development of the Austrian Space Forum’s spacesuit simulator “Aouda“
On 16. August the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) concluded the world’s highest altitude Mars analog mission “AMADEE-15”. For two weeks scientists from 19 nations conducted the simulated exploration of a Mars glacier at an analog test site on the Kaunertaler glacier in Tyrol/Austria. Lead by the OeWF the scientists gathered valuable information to prepare future manned Mars missions. During AMADEE-15 the OeWF’s analog astronauts conducted the Austrian Space Forum’s first night-EVA (extravehicular activity). They also set the record for the highest altitude simulated EVA at 2887 m sea level. Preliminary feedback from participating science institutions confirms the success of the mission: valuable and significant data was gathered. After analyzing it during the following months the results will be presented at a special conference in spring 2016. The conclusions will be used by the Austrian Space Forum to further the development of its spacesuit simulator “Aouda” and to prepare its next Mars analog mission. Suitable locations are being scouted all over the world.
“AMADEE-15“ is the Austrian Space Forum’s eleventh Mars analog mission. About 100 scientists, technicians and engineers from Europe and the USA trained to explore a Mars rock glacier and hereby gathered valuable data.
“For 2 weeks AMADEE-15 put Austria in the center of analog Mars exploration. 19 nations participated, more than a million people learned about the mission and its objectives“,
says Dr. Gernot Grömer, president of the Austrian Space Forum.
“The Austrian Space Forum proves Austria’s ability to play a notable role in the preparation of future manned missions”,
Engaging the public all over the world
Apart from its research projects the OeWF aims to raise enthusiasm for space flight and space exploration among the public and especially younger people. Media all over the world covered the Mars analog mission “AMADEE-15“ on TV, radio, newspapers and the internet. The mission was also successfully promoted on social media channels. Thus more than a million people where able to follow the mission closely and got a first hand account of one of today`s most engaging research sectors.
Significant data to be analyzed, results to be presented in spring 2016
The data obtained during the two week mission on the Austrian glacier will be analyzed to further the development of the tested scientific methods and equipment. Participating scientists expressed approval regarding the mission’s development and conclusion.
Dr. Christine Moissl-Eichinger, Graz Medical University, is the PI of the astrobiological experiment „Glacier-MASE“. Satisfied with the gathered data and the execution of the experiment she stresses the challenges of the tests her team developed:
“By using syringes to probe the glacier for microbiological life and thereby to obtain sterile samples we put the abilities of the analog astronauts, the spacesuit simulator and our equipment to a rigorous test. However OeWF’s experts succeeded to confirm life at the Mars analog site.”
“Glacier-MASE“ is part of an EU-funded project, executed by a consortium of research institutions, Graz Medical University being one of them.
Numerous of the participating science teams already have stated their interest in participating in the next OeWF Mars analog mission. Such as the Polish team of OBRAM S.A. developing the shower “FOG” that uses water vapor to save water. During the mission analog astronauts used the shower after every analog EVA and provide valuable feedback for its refinement.
Also the Italian Mars society’s experts look forward to give their 3D virtual Mars reality “V-ERAS” another try as part of a future simulation. Using oculus rift they are developing a system to provide future Mars astronauts with a highly realistic landscape of the red planet to prepare and to train for their EVAs.
“After finalizing data analysis we will present and discuss the results at a specially held science conference in Vienna in spring 2016. At the same time we are already looking for a suitable Mars analog site to conduct our next mission. We are scouting all over the world to find the place that fulfils our requirements“,
outlines Dr. Gernot Grömer the next steps of the Austrian Space Forum.
„I would also like to thank our extraordinary partners, we had the privilege to work with during AMADEE-15: Kaunertaler Gletscherbahnen, who operate the glacier’s skiing areas and T-Mobile Austria“,
ads the OeWF’s president.
Press photos: www.oewf.org/en/press/photos/
This article is available in: German
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