Mars analog mission
How the Mars analog mission works
ÖWF / Florian Voggeneder
Never before has a human set foot on Mars. But preparations for doing so in the foreseeable future are in full swing. In settings analogous to conditions on Mars, highly trained astronauts have been isolated from their normal environments on Earth, enabling them to test equipment and workflows for astronautical and robotic explorations of the Red Planet. Gebrüder Weiss is supporting this research by delivering the Austrian Space Forum’s equipment from Innsbruck to the project site in Israel’s Negev Desert. The simulation there was successfully completed between October 4 and October 31. Here are the key facts in a nutshell.
Contact with Earth
The Mission Support Center followed the project closely from its base in Innsbruck, Austria. To simulate the time lapse in communications between Earth and Mars, each signal and message was delayed by 10 minutes.
The mixed-gender crew of six analog astronauts operated in complete isolation.
More than 20 experiments were conducted during the mission, with a total of 200 scientists from 25 countries participating. Their research focuses are biology, medicine, psychology, engineering, geology and architecture.
The perfect attire
Special “spacesuit” weighing 45 kg were created for outdoor simulations. On the surface of Mars, astronauts would need a 150 kg suit to guarantee oxygen supply. However, Mars only has about a third of Earth’s gravitational pull, so a 150 kg suit there is roughly equivalent to a 50 kg suit here.