ASE XXIX Planetary Congress, 03-07 Oct 2016, Vienna

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) brings together over 400 astronauts and cosmonauts from 37 nations. In 2016, the annual ASE congress – the XXIX Planetary Congress- was held in Austria between 03-07Oct2016. During the Community Day on 05Oct2016, 100 astronauts and cosmonauts conveyed the fascination of space activities across Austria.

Since 1985, the ASE convenes for the Planetary Congress each year in a different country. This event in 2016 was scheduled for 5 days in Vienna and is a mixture of technical/scientific lectures and cultural activities. Due to their extraordinary public outreach potential, the participants engaged in education activities, met with opinion leaders, the media and industry as well as the general public during the Community Day. The ASE 2016 was hosted by Austria’s cosmonaut Franz Viehböck in cooperation with the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF).

The Planetary Congress is a highly renowned international event, one of its highlights is the traditional “ASE Crystal Helmet” ceremony – one of the most prestigious awards in astronautics. In 2016 the Crystal Helmet was awared to Prof. Johannes Ortner. The congress combines the experience and results from human spaceflight activities with challenges of our society ranging from health, environmental concerns and biodiversity, future technologies to space exploration and the quest for new horizons.

A major focus was on inspiring the next generation of explorers in STEM subjects. In particular, school visits and the interaction with young professionals –which were carefully prepared by preceding projects- were a central element of the ASE 2016. Traditionally, space exploration also offers a leverage for gender topics and is known to encourage a more balanced gender diversity on the STEM fields.

During the Community Day itself, the astronauts were split into small groups and visited 129 events across Austria, visiting schools and universities, encouraging representatives of the industry to consider space activities, meet and greet regional and local decision makers and opinion leaders whilst enjoying Austrian hospitality and visiting key locations. In total 12,000 people in Austria met personally with an astronaut or cosmonauts.

ASE 2016 Project Report Public (13 MB)

ASE 2016 Project Report Public V3.2


ASE 29 key messages:

  • From 03-07Oct2016, Austria hosted the Association of Space Explorers XXIX Planetary Congress 2016 upon invitation of Franz and Vesna Viehböck. The Austrian Space Forum was selected as the organizing committee and was supported by industry, academia and governmental entities.
  • Astronauts are highly respected global ambassadors for research, development and culture. They fascinated the next generation of explorers during the Community Day where 100 astronauts were welcomed in dozens of events across the nation.
  • The ASE congress was a platform for showcasing R&D topics in and from Austria and was an efficient leverage mechanism for boosting Austria’s image, catalyzing industrial and policy networking within the aerospace sector and promulgating STEM gender balance in the field.
  • The event sparked a stimulus for a positive attitude of the general public and the next generation towards research, technology and innovation.

ASE 29 Social Media #ASE29 #BornToXplore:

Besides classic media outreach an important aspect was to cover the ASE congress via Social Media. Therefore we created the Social Media Ambassadors Program which invited Social Media affine people with a high interest in space topics to the congress in Vienna.  The OeWF #ASE29 Social Media Team reported about the #ASE29 congress via OeWF and ASE channels and via Twitter & Instagram generated 16 Mio impressions and reached 4.9 Mio people via the main hashtag #ASE29

Social Media Reichweite 24Sep - 24Okt 2016. Getrackt via Keyhole

Social Media reach 24Sep – 24Oct 2016. Tracked via Keyhole


Born To Explore student contest:

With the Born to Explore contest the OeWF called for both elementary, high-school and university students to voice their vision on where space exploration will take us.  From mehr then 100 applications we found 3 main winners and in addition several school classes and groups won an astronaut visit during the community day.  Learn more: Born to Explore Contest – a short summary of the winning entries

ASE Award Dinner

Born to Explore Winners with Mag. Ingolf Schädler (BMVIT) (left) and Dr. Gernot Grömer (OeWF) (right). (c) OeWF (Thomas Weilguny)

Blog articles

<strong>How do you determine if an area is suitable for a Mars analog mission?</strong>

How do you determine if an area is suitable for a Mars analog mission?

Several factors must be considered to determine whether an area is suitable for Mars analog missions on Earth. First and foremost, the physical and geological characteristics of the terrain must be studied.  Therefore, soil and sediment samples from Armenia, collected […]
<strong>Wie bestimmt man, ob ein Gebiet sich für eine Mars-Analogmission eignet?</strong>

Wie bestimmt man, ob ein Gebiet sich für eine Mars-Analogmission eignet?

Um herauszufinden, ob ein Gebiet für Mars-Analogmissionen geeignet ist, müssen verschiedene Faktoren berücksichtigt werden. Zuallererst müssen die physischen und geologischen Eigenschaften des Geländes untersucht werden.  Deshalb wurden nun Boden- und Sedimentproben aus Armenien, gesammelt bei der Vorerkundung möglicher AMADEE-24 Mars […]
[Infographic] Hard work. No pay. Eternal Glory – Volunteering for the Austrian Space Forum. Where to start?

[Infographic] Hard work. No pay. Eternal Glory – Volunteering for the Austrian Space Forum. Where to start?

Our international Mars simulation take us to Mars-like regions on Earth. Directed by a Mission Support Center in Austria, small field crews conduct experiments to prepare for future human Mars missions. But there are many ways to work as a […]
[Infografik] Freiwillige Mitarbeit beim Österreichischen Weltraum Forum. Wie geht das?

[Infografik] Freiwillige Mitarbeit beim Österreichischen Weltraum Forum. Wie geht das?

Unsere internationalen Mars-Simulationen führen uns in Mars-ähnliche Regionen auf der Erde. Unter der Leitung des Mission Support Centers in Österreich führen kleine Feldcrews Experimente für zukünftige, astronautische Mars-Missionen durch. Es gibt aber auch noch zahlreiche andere Möglichkeiten für eine Mitarbeit […]
The best pictures & video of the year 2022

The best pictures & video of the year 2022

On the last day of the year, we look back on a year full of space activities and research projects. The launch of the ADLER-1 cubesat in January 2022 was certainly a milestone at OeWF: For the first time, hardware […]
<strong>Die besten Bilder & Video des Jahres 2022</strong>

Die besten Bilder & Video des Jahres 2022

Am letzten Tag des Jahres blicken wir zurück auf ein Jahr voller Weltraumaktivitäten und Forschungsprojekte. Der Start des ADLER-1 Kleinsatelliten im Jänner 2022 war sicherlich ein Meilenstein im ÖWF: Erstmals ist vom ÖWF gebaute Hardware im Weltraum und sammelt wertvoller […]
ÖWF und SCERTAS GmbH kooperieren, um Industrie- und Forschungsprojekte sicherer zu machen

ÖWF und SCERTAS GmbH kooperieren, um Industrie- und Forschungsprojekte sicherer zu machen

Die Mars Analogmissionen des ÖWF im AMADEE Programm finden zwar auf der Erde statt, aber sind nicht frei von Risiken. Schließlich geht es für die teilnehmenden Personen solcher Missionen in möglichst entlegene und isolierte Gebiete auf der Erde. Deshalb werden […]
ÖWF and SCERTAS cooperate to improve safety of industrial and research projects

ÖWF and SCERTAS cooperate to improve safety of industrial and research projects

The Mars analog missions of the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) within the framework of the AMADEE program take place on Earth but are not devoid of any risk. Indeed, for participants of such missions it means being sent to very […]
AMADEE-20 Rückblick Teil 5

AMADEE-20 Rückblick Teil 5

Unsere Analog-Astronaut*innen sind speziell ausgebildete Raumanzugtester. Sie werden nach einem umfassenden Auswahlverfahren selektiert und durchlaufen eine mehrmonatige, intensive Grundausbildung, bevor sie bei technischen Tests undMars-Simulationen eingesetzt werden. Während der AMADEE-20-Mission testete unser sechsköpfiges Analog-Astronaut*innen-Team mithilfe von Raumanzugsimulatoren verschiedene Experimente und […]


The ASE2016 wouldn’t be possible without the support of our partners. They not only enabled us to offer all public sessions for free moreover they supported us to bring astronauts, cosmonauts and taikonauts to all federal regions in Austria during the Community Day on 5th October 2016.

ASE 2016 Partners

This article is available in: German

Austria/ASE 2016

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Wir verwenden Cookies um unsere Webseite bestmöglichst für Ihren Besuch zu gestalten. Bei weiteren Verwendung unserer Seite akzeptieren Sie unseren Einsatz von Cookies.