For the past 14 years, we have always looked back on the last day of the year and reviewed our OeWF year. Despite saying goodbye to our first small satellite, ADLER-1, which burned up in June 2023, we launched a more powerful successor, ADLER-2, into orbit. A particular focus this year was on preparing for our next Mars simulation, AMADEE-24, which will take place in Armenia in spring 2024.1 The open day at HTL Steyr was all about our Mars rover Dignity. Graduate students Sebastian Eisner, Jacob Gobauer and Tobias Holzner have equipped the rover with new features, including an innovative camera system, as part of their diploma thesis. Their achievement was honored with the “VWA” Prize Astrophysics and Space 2023. 2 In February, we inspired teachers from all over Europe with space and astronomy topics during the LaScil Winter School in Portugal. The perfect conditions at the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve allowed us to teach pedagogical methods and let teachers experience space and astronomy. 3 ADLER-2 was launched into space in April on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This larger small satellite (6U), with a deployable APID wing (the “wings” were fitted with piezoelectric ceramic sensors), can now detect micrometer-sized pieces of space debris even more precisely. Photo: Spire 4 In April, an OeWF delegation visited Armenia, the host country for AMADEE-24, to explore the test site for the upcoming Mars simulation and signed the Memorandum of Understanding.
f.l. Mher Mehrabyan, Arman Darbinyan, Gal Yoffe, Reinhard Tlustos, Hayk Aslanyan, Gernot Grömer 5 At this year’s Analog Astronaut Conference in Arizona, not only the conference venue – the Biosphere-2 research site – but also the diversity of participants from all over the world and their insights into analog research were impressive. The OeWF was also represented with 4 members and 2 presentations.
f. l.: Miroslav Rozloznik, Gernot Grömer, Olivia Haider, Matej Poliaček 6 OeWF Education in Action: Numerous school and children’s university activities got young people excited about space. Adult education courses, such as the “VHS”, course with a visit to our spacesuit laboratory, leave lasting impressions. Photo: ÖWF/Elisa Amberg 7 The 600th anniversary of the astronomer Georg von Peuerbach was celebrated in Upper Austria with a 5-month cultural exhibition. The OeWF contributed with exhibits, space travel lectures, a photo exhibition by our mission photographer Florian Voggeneder and the crowd-puller “Ready for Space”. Photo: Laura Jurcevic 8 OeWF at the ESA Topical Team Analogs Workshop in ESTEC, Netherlands. Alexandra de Carvalho, Human Factors Team lead and Director Gernot Grömer discussed research gaps and trends for European analog research with a researcher from Europe. Our expertise in analog research is highly valued in these workshops. 9 A lot of preparation time has already gone into our next Mars simulation, AMADEE-24, and the official training kicked off at the beginning of September with our Dress Rehearsal I in Peuerbach. In addition to the AMADEE-24 experiment teams, the OeWF Mission Support Center staff, analog astronauts, GOST team and our Armenian partners were also on site. Photo: ÖWF/Arnaud Becker 10 Ready for Space? Absolutely!
The Public Day on September 2, 2023 in Peuerbach offered 2,000 interested people the opportunity to follow the training for the next Mars simulation live and talk to scientists. 11 Explore project launched: This innovative educational project aims to actively involve school students in space exploration while supporting the STEAM curriculum. A core element of the Erasmus+ project is that students can take part in a simulated moon or Mars mission themselves. The international project team launched the three-year initiative at a meeting in September. 12In 2023, Niklas Hedman received the Polar Star Award – the Austrian Space Award ®. The award was presented in December at our Mission Support Center in Vienna. A big thank you at this point again to Mr. Hedmann for his support in the context of UN-COPUOS activities, where OeWF Senior Advisor Rudolf Albrecht is part of the Austrian delegation working on important initiatives such as the Dark Skies Initiative.
f.l. Rudolf Albrecht (ÖWF), Niklas Hedman 13 Finally, we would like to draw your attention to our AMADEE-24 Video Spotlight series, which provides a perfect finale to 2023 and an inspiring start to #simulateMars 2024.
We interviewed all AMADEE-24 experiment teams and had them explain the experiments to us
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