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Hi! My name is Emmanuelle Aubert and I am currently writing from the Austrian Space Forum, in Innsbruck, Austria. What I am doing there? That’s a long and nice story… but let’s start with the beginning…
In beginning of October, I was attending the International Astronautical Congress, in Bremen. Between two conferences about how a lunar habitat should look like and what is the best instrument to drill the surface of Mars, I heard a very interesting call: The Austrian Space Forum was looking for motivated people to become analog astronaut! Was I interested in? Hell yes! Was it too short to candidate? Kind of… especially due to the different deliverables required: curriculum vitae, motivation letter and a 2-minute video. I let you guess what occupied my following evenings, but it was totally worth the try: I got selected for the second selection phase.
And so, I went to the B-selection phase and met the 28 other candidates. And what candidates! It was like half of the were working in space agencies, with some brilliant expertise in awesome fields. The first test just put us down… I could see my lack of knowledge in Geography (or do you know the name of the Gulf between Sweden and Finland?), in sport (do you know where Usain Bolt was gold medallist in 2009?), in general culture (do you know you wrote the Carmen Burana Opera?). Anyway, I had to continue and do my best for the other tests.
And that’s what I did! Today, I am participating at the last stage of the selection process: the C-selection round. Actually, I am done with all the tests, the dice are cast. But during those three days, I learnt a lot of things. Running at 6am in the woods is not a big deal when you are surrounding with people smiling and motivated. Counting rice with chopstick is frustrating, but feasible. Having thirty minutes to prepare a 5-minute TED-talk is stressful but also feasible. Picturing a black hole with 7 other mates is lot of fun and still feasible ?
Some exercises were stressful, some were tiring – like reaching your limits on a bike –, but on the whole, it was such a pleasant time. Thanks to the selection, I met very inspiring and motivated people. Not only do we share a common goal, being part of this human and science adventure to work for the future of crewed mission, but we also share the same team-spirit.
This has been awesome, I am very grateful and proud for having been so far in the selection. I would like to say thanks to the Austrian Space Forum, thanks to the other candidates – who are now my friends. Hope to see you soon and as we say in French, Au revoir!
- 23.05.2019 - 01.09.2019: Exhibition: Austria in Space – a country takes off!
- 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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