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Regina Wieser, a physics student at the University of Innsbruck, has been an intern at our Spacesuit Lab this summer. In this blog, she describes her experiences during the internship.
This September I was fortunate enough to get a look behind the scenes of analog research at the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) and about what it takes to keep humans alive on Mars.
My name is Regina Wieser; I am a physics student at the University of Innsbruck and a space enthusiast. My first taste of the OeWF was back in June when I took part in the Introductory Course to Space Suit Systems. Over the course of two days I learned everything about historic space suit designs, the biomedical factors involved in designing a suit, the OeWF AOUDA space suit simulator, and so much more.
During this workshop, a humorously-titled game called ‘Kill the Astronaut’ acquainted me with the vast array of challenges a space suit must be able to handle in order to keep an astronaut alive on Mars. Analogue research ensures that every potentiality has been tested and prepared for, so that when humanity finally steps foot on the Red Planet, the astronauts are protected from anything the Martian environment might throw at them.
This September I had the opportunity to work with the electronics & computing team in improving the thermal control system; to make sure our analog astronauts don’t overheat in the desert, or catch a cold in a chilly environment. In order to make an efficient system, we have to know how much heat develops inside the suit under a plethora of varying conditions. To investigate this, I wrote a program to simulate the heat inputs and outputs of a human body inside our space suit simulator to help us choose the right components for our suit.
During the last couple of weeks, I was also able to plan and conduct several experiments to help us asses and select appropriate filtration systems and materials. For one of these experiments I built a station to test the filtration efficiency and air-flow loss created by different filters.
My internship at the OeWF has been an amazing experience, and I can’t believe that I am nearing its conclusion. My time here has allowed me to take on responsibility and work on fantastic projects surrounded by delightful and brilliant people. Thank you all for everything. I can’t wait to return!
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- 16.07.2019 - 25.07.2019: Summer School Alpbach 2019
- 26.09.2019 - 27.09.2019: Deutsche Astrobiologie Gesellschaft - 4th annual workshop
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