The best images and videos of 2019

10 years ago, we started our year-in-review (take a look at 2009 in pictures), this time we also include videos for you!
2019 saw the training of the “Tardigrades”, our new class of analog astronauts, as well as the preparations for the upcoming Mars-simulation in Israel. We also developed a conceptual Mars rover, continued building out next-gen spacesuit simulator SERENITY, published in peer-reviewed journals and inspired again a whole lot of kids and teenagers and much more.

1 The right stuff: 8 women and men for our analog astronaut corpse
Towards the end of 2018, we selected from more than 100 highly qualified applicants 7 male and 1 female analog astronaut candidate. At the beginning of 2019, we finally revealed their names and who got to join the class of 2019, also nicknamed “the Tardigrades”.

Austrian Space Ball 2019 (c) OeWF (Philipp Hager)

2 The return of the Jedi
The second edition of the Austrian Space Ball event in February 2019 was a total success. In the beautiful Palace of Lower Austria (Palais Niederoesterreich), representatives of the national and international space sector danced until the early morning to traditional Viennese waltzing music. Besides actual space hardware, we had a group of jedi knights join us again. Photo: OeWF (Philipp Hager)

The Beetle Team (c) OeWF (Florian Ennemoser)

3 Hello world”: Introducing the „Beetle“-rover
During the special seminar „Construction of mobile robots” under the lead of Prof. Gerald Steinbauer of the Institute of Software Engineering at the Technical University Graz in cooperation with the Austrian Space Forum, the rover “Beetle” was developed. Based on the NASA JPL Open Source Rover, it was improved significantly. At the final qualification presentation in January 2019, the students demonstrated the functionalities of the vehicle. Photo: OeWF (Florian Ennemoser)

Representatives of the Israel Space Agency (left) and the OeWF (right) during the signing of the  Memorandum of Understanding

4 AMADEE-20 in cooperation with the Israel Space Agency
In early 2019, representatives of the Austrian Space Forum signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Avi Blasberger, Director General of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) in Tel Aviv for the upcoming AMADEE-20 expedition between 15Oct-15Nov2020.

OeWF director Gernot Groemer (right) explains Leonard Dudzinski the Aouda spacesuit simulator

5 NASA-visit at the OeWF spacesuit laboratory
NASA chief technologist for solar system exploration, Leonard A. Dudzinski, toured the OeWF spacesuit lab in an informal visit in Innsbruck, also discussing with OeWF interns. One of the main take-home messages was, that also NASA is increasingly open towards international cooperation, in particular to non-governmental organizations and private industry, like the OeWF.

Analog Astronaut Training, Geology (c) OeWF (Paul Santek)

6 A unique basic training
For our analog astronauts -hailing from Austria, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Greece and the Netherlands as well as Israel – a unique basic training started in spring 2019. At its heart – besides physical education, science lectures, psychological and medical training – of course, was the system competence training on the spacesuit simulators and the related hardware. Photo: OeWF (Paul Santek)  

AMADEE-20 Science Workshop, Team Tumbleweed (c) OeWF (Claudia Stix)

7 AMADEE-20 Science Definition Workshop
In May, the #AMADEE20 Science Definition Workshop took place in Innsbruck. Scientists & junior researchers from preliminary selected experiments presented their research questions & discussed potential collaborations. This was an important milestone for the #AMADEE20 science strategy and to plan the deployment of each experiment according to our exploration cascade. Photo: OeWF (Claudia Stix)

Interns 2019

8 Summer at the lab
When all office spaces are occupied and everyone is frantically researching, building and soldering, it is obvious that summer has arrived. Summertime means internship season, including high school internships and student vocational trainings – on average, the OeWF hosts 20 interns per year.

9 Serenity
2019 saw several important milestones for the spacesuit simulator like „Preliminary“ and „Critical“ Design Review. Also, the first hardware elements were developed and tested. There are many external partners embedded in this major project, including students of Tyrolean and Upper Austrian technical collages as well as the Management Center Innsbruck, all supported by the Förderverein Technik. This video provides a first impression of the students engagement – even worthwhile watching if you don’t speak German!.

Matthias König (, Schüler der HTL Innsbruck Anichstraße, arbeitet am Lebenserhaltungssystem des Raumanzuges mit und Lisa König (re.), Schülerin der „Modeschule Ferrari“ Innsbruck, am weltraumtauglichen Handschuh. Von links ÖWF-Direktor Gernot Grömer, Wissenschaftslandesrat Bernhard Tilg und der Tiroler Analog-Astronaut Robert Wild. (c) Land Tirol/Schwarz

10 Bernhard Tilg, member of the Tyrolean State Government as a guest
In October, Bernhard Tilg, member of the state government of Tyrol responsible for research, joined a status briefing for the SERENITY spacesuit and the AMADEE-20 expedition. For Mr. Tilg, the work of the OeWF is highly appreciated, as it “contributes to putting Tyrol as a space research state on the map, where top-notch developments are achieved”. Photo: Land Tirol/Schwarz

Analog Astronauts during the graduation ceremony

11 Training completed
The graduation ceremony marking the end of the analog astronaut basic training was hosted at the European Mars Conference in London at the Institute of Physics. As of today, the corpse of AA’s is now at an all-time high of 13 active members.

Ramon Crater, Negev Desert, Israel

12 Mars?
In October, an OeWF delegation visited the Negev desert in Israel, which will be the location for the upcoming international Mars simulation. The southern Negev is the location of the Ramon crater (see picture), a fairly unique erosion feature believed to exist on Mars in a similar fashion. – We think, that’s an excellent location for our AMADEE-20 simulation!

This article is available in: German