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International Team now ready for next Mars analog mission in Israel in October 2020
Yesterday the Austrian Space Forum´s (OeWF) new analog astronaut class of 2019 concluded their challenging training at a formal ceremony at the London Institute of Physics. The graduation was one of the highlights of this year’s European Mars Conference that is suitably themed “Arrive, Survive and Thrive”. The new analog astronauts now complete a total of 13 individuals. The 2 female and 11 male analog astronauts come from Austria, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Currently the Austrian Space Forum is the only organization worldwide to conduct this challenging and highly specialized training.
As the analog astronauts now have successfully completed their training they are qualified to take part in the OeWF´s next Mars analog mission that will take place in Israel in October 2020. However, only 6 of the now 13 analog astronauts will go to the Negev desert to test equipment and working procedures for future human Mars exploration.
What is Analog Research?
“Analog research is designed to
test concepts, working procedures and equipment to find the weak spots
so the actual mission can be realized as safely as possible,” says Dr. Gernot Grömer, Administrative Director of the Austrian Space Forum and continues,“ the
purpose of simulating a Mars-mission on Earth is to prepare for future
crewed missions on the Red Planet. To perform the experiments, the OeWF
is one of only five research groups worldwide that has developed a
prototype spacesuit which is worn by the OeWF’s analog astronauts during
International Team and Cooperation Gernot Grömer says, ”International cooperation is definitely the key word when it comes to the Austrian Space Forum’s Mars analog missions. Institutions and scientists from all over the world take part in theses highly complex projects.
What is an Analog Astronaut?
The Austrian Space Forum’s analog astronauts are carefully selected experts who are trained to execute most of the science field activities while wearing the OeWF´s spacesuit prototype. They also act as a public face and represent the mission as STEM-ambassadors for media and educational activities. Analog astronauts conduct spaceflight-simulations in Mars-like regions on earth as well as test and evaluate workflows and human factors pertinent to human Mars exploration. Their training includes planetology, geology, astrobiology, media training, stress management, emergency care, fitness and above all operating the spacesuit prototype.
The OeWF is one of only five institutions worldwide which has so far developed such a prototype. It emulates the restrictions of an actual planetary surface spacesuit, like weight, resistance or limited sensory input, whilst protecting the analog astronaut from the environment and keeping him/her alive. An elaborate human-machine interface, including a sensor network and specifically developed software assist the analog astronaut during planetary surface operations. The 45kg heavy prototype has been developed to optimize interactions with other (robotic) components, like a rover, and minimize the risk of human contamination.
Short Bios of the eight new Analog Astronauts
Adam Crellin (United Kingdom)
Born in 1993 in Whitehaven, UK, Mr. Crellin studied at the University of Newcastle for a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences, shortly followed by an MSc in Space Physiology and Health at King’s College London. A strong advocate of UK human spaceflight activities, Adam Crellin was previously a co-founding member of the Human Spaceflight Capitalisation Office (HuSCO) and a National Point of Contact for the Student European Low Gravity Research Association. Currently, Mr. Crellin is a Graduate-Entry Medical Student at the University of Oxford and the British Army Reserve, and works as a Space Life Science Consultant. In his spare time, he is a seasoned scuba diver and mountaineer.
Adrianos Golemis (Greece)
Born 1987, lives in Germany, originally from Greece. Education as Medical Doctor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Master’s degree in Space Studies at the International Space University, France, and EASA Basic Short Courses on Aviation Medicine, King’s College London. He took part in a research internship on future Astronaut Selection Criteria for Mars (conducted by the European Space Agency ESA) and in a 14-month program of medical research in isolated Antarctic Analogue studies (Concordia Station, IPEV/ESA). Currently employed as flight surgeon, monitoring astronaut health during spaceflight. Dr.Golemis is fluent in Greek, English, French, good on German and has basic knowledge of Italian.
Anika Mehlis (Germany)
Born 1981 in Germany, she studied biology with focus on Microbiology at the Free University of Berlin, as well as Engineering for Environmental Technology and Recycling at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau. During her second university degree she worked as chemical-technical assistant at an environmental lab and as lecturer for Biology at the University of Cooperative Education Plauen. Apart from her PhD studies in Public Health at Bielefeld University, she works as a team leader in “infection protection and environmental medicine” in the Health Department Plauen, Germany. She is mother to three daughters. Anika Mehlis is fluent in German and English and has basic knowledge of French, Spanish and Latin.
Simone Paternostro (Italy)
Born in 1986 and originally from Italy, Dr. Paternostro holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, a Master’s degree in Space Engineering as well as a 2nd level Master’s degree in Space Transportation Systems and a PhD in Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy. Initially he worked as an AOCS/GNC intern at EADS Astrium (now Airbus Group), followed by a research position at the Institute for Aerospace Technology, Univ. of Nottingham. Currently he is employed as Multi-Increment Payload Planner/Complement Requirements Manager in ESA’s Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) where he manages payloads on board of the ISS (International Space Station). Dr. Paternostro fluently speaks Italian and English and has a basic knowledge of German.
Alon Tenzer (Israel)
From Israel. Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Computer Science and Aviation Science at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Master of Science in Neuroscience at the Weizmann-Institute of Science, Israel. A veteran of the Israeli Air Force, where among other positions he served as a software developer & team leader. He also worked as a researcher and data-scientist at the Weizmann-Institute of Science. Mr. Tenzer currently works as senior AI engineer where he leads artificial-intelligence-based industry projects in various companies in Singapore.
Thomas Wijnen (The Netherlands)
Born in the Netherlands in 1986, Dr. Wijnen did his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, followed by a research internship at the Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile, a master’s degree with distinction and a PhD in Astrophysics. He is captain in the Royal Netherlands Air Force Reserve and engaged in projects on space situational awareness for the Dutch Space Security Center. He currently works at the Technical University of Delft on satellite tracking. Dr. Wijnen holds a PADI scuba-diving and a parachute license and is fluent in Dutch and English. His language skills include intermediate Spanish as well as basic French and German.
Robert Wild (Austria)
Born in 1982, from Innsbruck, he did his BSc in Physics at the University of Arizona and his PhD in Physics at the University of Colorado. Dr. Wild’s research topics have included matter wave diffraction, the quantum mechanics of ultracold atoms, and laser-based trace gas detection. Currently, his focus is on laboratory studies of interstellar ions as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Innsbruck. He has published in scientific journals and is a trained Wilderness First Responder, Advanced Open Water Diver and fluently speaks English and German and has good command of Spanish.
Liad Yosef (Israel)
Liad Yosef is from Israel, he did his Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics at the Hebrew University Jerusalem and in Economics at the Tel Aviv University. He served in the Israeli Air Force (Talpiot Project) in the rank of Captain. In 2018 he took part in the ISU Space Studies Program which aims to further international cooperation in space related fields and activities. Currently he is an architect at Duda, Inc. He participated in a Mars analog mission in Israel as an analog astronaut as part of the DMars organization and is currently studying artificial intelligence in a study program in Israel. Besides Hebrew, Mr. Yosef is fluent in English and has good knowledge of Spanish.
ABOUT THE AUSTRIAN SPACE FORUM
(Österreichisches Weltraum Forum, OeWF)
The Austrian Space Forum is one of the world’s leading institutions conducting Mars analog missions, thus paving the way for the future human exploration of the Red Planet. Experts from a broad variety of disciplines as well as the spaceflight sector constitute the core of the OeWF’s continued endeavors that on a regular basis include national and international institutions from science and industry to work at the cutting edge of scientific research. On doing so the Austrian Space Forum is using its excellent contacts to opinion leaders, politics and media to further and internationally propagate Austrian top-level research. The Austrian Space Forum also contributes significantly to inspiring and educating young people in the sectors of science, technology and engineering. The OeWF offers internships to students and pupils, its experts supervise scientific papers on a regular basis. www.oewf.org
This article is available in: German
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