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Since I, Marko Lovric, a 23-year old physics student from Innsbruck, started at the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), I could have travelled to Mars and back again, that’s just one thing of all the stuff that I learned. Some of our diligent readers may have read my blog from last year, so in this blog I would like to tell you what happened since then, what I have done and how it affected my life.
One of my personal highlights was the testing week in January where I was promoted to the position of test lead. I was responsible for the humidity test of the suit and you won’t believe how nervous I was. However, everything went right with no mistakes so at that point I need to thank especially my team members who stood by my side and showed me every step that I had to make.
This brings me to the next highlight, the staff! I have never met so many nice and friendly people in one place like here in our suitlab in Innsbruck. No matter what problem you’re facing you will always find a helping hand and people who are really trying and willing to understand what you are doing, where the problem is and what the best solution would be. Some of my favourite memories are the fulfilling discussions that we had during our lunch breaks, like for example movie scenes and how it would be possible in accordance with the physics of our universe. Throughout different events like the ASE Conference, where over 200 astro- and cosmonauts from all over the world came to Austria, or the AMBT-Course (Analog Mission Basic Training) I met incredible people. I was also able to talk with them about opportunities for my future and job chances and this was the first time someone was able to give me an answer to my question what I could do with my physics degree after university. My dream job always considered something with space and now I am even more convinced in my future plans. The OeWF gave me the opportunity not only to take a look at the different jobs in the space industry but also ask the right people about their development and how they got there where they are today.
Last year I made the helmet lights of the suit. Once I was at the newspaper kiosk and saw the P.M.-Magazine with an article about the Aouda suits. As I was reading the article a child ran up to me and asked me what kind of spacesuit that is. With the answer that this is a space suit for Mars designed and mainly built in Innsbruck his mouth was shot open and telling him that I made the lights, I became his hero.
Of course, I am also working at the suitlab this year. Now as I gained some experience I was allowed to work on the delicate things of the suit like for example the OBDH (On Board Data Handling system) where I covered the circuit board with Kapton Tape and the improved the case a bit. I also worked on the PTT Device (Push To Talk) where I soldered LED lights inside of the suit and installed a reed switch for the Walkie Talkie. Next to some renovation work in our workshop and mounting four large monitors on the wall, I also helped other trainees with their work. For example, I helped Tobias with developing a cover for the PLSS (Personal Life Support System) so that we’re able to mount the suit to a vertical treadmill. Or I was allowed to test and therefore help to develop the A.I. of the gesture control in the glove. I got the chance to hold some presentations at schools and the “Junge Uni”, which is a project of the different schools in Tyrol where children can sit in the lecture rooms of the University and do different kind of workshops. I loved it! My first year on University I was study to become a teacher, so teaching and holding presentations especially about space is a thing that I really enjoy doing.
All through I really enjoy working at the OeWF. It’s a great opportunity for everybody and I never regret any day spending here in the suitlab. If it continues like that, you can look forward for Season 3.
Author: Marko Lovric, 23 years old, physics student in Innsbruck and now a ÖWF member for a year
- 26.09.2019 - 27.09.2019: Deutsche Astrobiologie Gesellschaft - 4th annual workshop
- 01.11.2019 - 03.11.2019: 5. OeWF Analog Mission Basic Training (AMBT)
- 04.11.2019 - 06.11.2019: European Mars Conference
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