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With AMADEE-18 finished, the crew having returned from “Mars” and our Mission Support Center having been rearranged into the regular suitlab, things are starting to get back to normal. For us, this also means welcoming a number of interns and researchers into the suitlab in Innsbruck. In today’s blog, Nils Kaufmann will start a new series of intern blogs, covering their time at the OeWF.
My name is Nils Kaufmann and I am currently finishing up my medical studies at the University of Manchester. I got involved with the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) through a slightly odd route. As part of our medical course, we need to have an elective, and I was unsure as to where to go for this. After attending a talk about space medicine in Manchester, I was interested in a talk by one the presenters, who had previously worked on the AMADEE-15 mission on the medical team. A couple months later when we needed to decide where we wanted to go, I got in touch with the presenter who suggested I apply to the OeWF. A few skype calls later, I was offered an internship with the OeWF for four weeks.
Now, when I mention to people that I am working with the OeWF, often following the confusion, I get asked “is that space medicine?” and “what are you going to do there?”. The answer to the second question is quite a lot! Having the AMADEE-18 mission going on, I got involved with the BioMedical Engineers (BMEs) just prior to the start of the mission. Attending the Analog Mission Basic Training (AMBT) and the Dress rehearsal allowed me to see how the roles in the MSC would evolve, in particular the BME team. I got involved in the pre-mission check up with a couple of field crew members, as well as help devise procedures during the mission itself.
My internship itself started during the end of the AMADEE-18 mission. I turned up for the last four days of the mission, and unfortunately it was a bit of a false start on my first day, with high winds interrupting the extravehicular activity (EVA) for the day. Nevertheless, I managed to participate as a member of the BME team for the EVA the following day, with a qualified doctor supervising me. Observing the telemetry from the suit, and experiencing the atmosphere in the MSC, especially with the 10-minute delay between the MSC and the field, was a fantastic experience. However, having had only such a short time in the MSC, has meant that I am keen to come back for more AMADEE missions in the future.
Once the MSC was dismantled (along with quite a few tears it must be said), I have been among the first to sink my teeth into the data from the mission, particularly focussing on one particular project, known as FATIGUE. My first task was collating all the data from the various spreadsheets to create a Master File. Now that that task is completed, I need to analyse the data using some software to find out if what the experiment found is significant. With a little less statistical ability than I would ideally like, I hopefully look forward to reporting some success in the next entry!
- 23.05.2019 - 01.09.2019: Exhibition: Austria in Space – a country takes off!
- 16.07.2019 - 25.07.2019: Summer School Alpbach 2019
- 26.09.2019 - 27.09.2019: Deutsche Astrobiologie Gesellschaft - 4th annual workshop
- 04.11.2019 - 06.11.2019: European Mars Conference
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