Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Analog astronauts” isolate themselves for future missions in the false Martian desert

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A group of “analog astronauts” will live on a fake version of Mars for four weeks to prepare for the challenging environment on the Red Planet.

The mission, organized by the Israeli space agency, takes place in the Negev desert and is managed by the Mission Control of the Austrian Space Forum with a built-in 10-minute delay to simulate the time difference between Mars and Earth.

You will be housed in a habitat similar to the design of the astronauts when and when they visit Mars on future missions. Geologically, the makeup of the Negev Desert is very similar to that of Mars, and researchers say it’s an ideal place to test the practices.

“This is our first mission in which our analog astronauts live and work completely independently in their living space for three weeks. A small support team on site will be available for technical problems and maintenance work, but will not be allowed to interact with the analog astronauts, ”said Dr. Gernot Grömer, Director of the Austrian Space Forum.

The simulation, known as AMADEE-20, will see five men and one woman wearing an “elaborate spacesuit prototype” when they go outside or drive the rover.

The 45 kg suit simulates the wearing of a pressure suit as it hinders movement and is equipped with medical telemetry – with scientists looking for weak points in the system so that real missions run smoothly.

“This method makes it easier to understand the advantages, but also the limits of future space missions on foreign planets. It also helps in the development of so-called “Remote Science Operations”. These scientific processes, which do not take place on the test site, are intended to support the analog astronauts as efficiently as possible in researching the terrestrial analog environment of Mars, ”said Dr. Bigger.

The isolation phase begins today and lasts until October 31st. The team will conduct tests on human behavioral techniques – like mindfulness – to help them cope with prolonged isolation, as well as developing life awareness, 3D printing techniques for aerospace-grade plastics, and other geoscientific techniques.

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