The best pictures of the year 2020

We are writing the last days of the year 2020 – a year, no one will forget anytime soon. For the first time, we had to postpone a planned Mars simulation. Also, our outreach & education activities were affected by the pandemic. Nevertheless, we were able to push forward many projects and initiated new ones – including the ADLER-1 Cubesat project, which will again fly OeWF hardware into orbit. 

School visit at the Graz International Bilingual School

1 We love to inspire the young generation for space & astronautics. This year, for example, we were at the International Bilingual School in Graz and got about 200 students excited about space.

Analog astronaut Dr. Robert Wild in front of the ÖWF office in Innsbruck.

2 Regular maintenance of our Aouda spacesuit simulators is important to prepare them for the next missions. The same applies to our analog astronauts, who also put on the spacesuit a few times this year for training purposes.  The picture shows analog astronaut Dr. Robert Wild in front of the ÖWF office in Innsbruck.

Christian Brommer, co-lead of Amaze explains the procedures for this experiment to the AMADEE-20 field crew.

3 Navigating with the eyes of the cameras: This is what the AMADEE-20 experiment AMAZE of the University of Klagenfurt in Israel will do. Christian Brommer, co-lead of Amaze explains the procedures for this experiment to the AMADEE-20 field crew.  This involves calibrating the drone using the “calibration map,” an array of QR codes, before the initial deployment.

Talents4Space 2day workshop at the AEC in Linz

4 An intensive 2-day workshop was held at the Ars Electronica Center for our Talents4Space presenters. Lecturers from ESA, ÖWF and the Ars Electronica Center introduced the prospective trainers to the world of Earth observation and Sentinel satellites. The Talents4Space lecture series for schools is coordinated by ÖWF in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and ESERO.

MEROP experiment training at the MSC in Innsbruck (c) OeWF (M. Aguilar)

5 Preparing for the next, big Mars simulation. Before the postponement of the AMADEE-20 mission, experiment procedures were diligently trained in Innsbruck. In the picture, for example, you can see the MEROP experiment from Portugal from the Institute of Systems and Robotics at the University of Lisbon.  MEROP uses a haptic remote control to help better estimate the positioning and workload of a robot. (c) OeWF (M. Aguilar)

MedAustron particle accelerator

6 For the ESA-funded PExTex (“Planetary Exploration Textiles”) project, OeWF numerically modeled how ionizing radiation interacts with the spacesuit textiles, and what radiation dose this leads to for the astronaut. The simulations were validated by experiments at the particle accelerator at the MedAustron Center for Ion Therapy and Research in Wiener Neustadt in collaboration with the Vienna University of Technology.

Mercator rover in front of the MSC in Innsbruck

7 Introducing: The Mercator Rover, named after Gerhard Mercator, the first cartographer to coin the term atlas. The rover is part of the EXOScot experiment, Graz University of Technology, and will produce detailed maps in the test area in Israel’s Negev Desert during the AMADEE-20 mission.

Serenity Barebone can be worn

8 With SERENITY we are developing the second generation of a space suit simulator. The biggest innovation here is the so-called “rear entry”. Here, analog astronauts will enter the suit from behind via the life support backpack.  Meanwhile, the torso (hard-upper torso, helmet, backpack) has been manufactured and can already be worn.

Astrobiology Special Edition on AMADEE-18

9 The special issue about AMADEE-20 has been published this year in the renowned journal “Astrobiology”. On 80 pages of expert-reviewed articles, the scientific experiments and results of the AMADEE-18 Mars simulation in Oman are described.

from left: Christian Federspiel, CEO Findus Venture, Landeshauptmann Thomas Stelzer, Gernot Grömer, Director ÖWF and Peter Platzer, CEO Spire Gobal.

10 In autumn, the ADLER-1 Cubesat project was presented to the public. The satellite, which is only 30x30x10 cm in size, is scheduled for launch as early as the end of 2021 and will analyze the distribution of space debris.  The Austrian project partners Peter Platzer (Spire), Christian Federspiel (Findus Venture GmbH) and Gernot Grömer (ÖWF) presented the project to the Governor of Upper Austria, Thomas Stelzer, prior to the press conference.

Johannes Kepler's historic Rudolfinic tables at the Linz State Library (c) OeWF/

11 A visit to Johannes Kepler’s historic Rudolfinic tables at the Linz State Library was among the highlights of Spire CEO Peter Platzer’s visit. These tablets represent a collection of tables, mathematical principles as well as also rules for predicting planetary positions. It is the last of Kepler’s major works that led to the calculation of Mars’ orbit around the sun. (c) OeWF/

First signal from an ADLER-1 Cubesat sensor

12 We have a signal! In the space suit and Cubesat laboratory in Innsbruck, the oscilloscope displays the very first signal from an ADLER-1 Cubesat sensor. An incentive for the entire team!

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