Video: Astronauts take their first steps on 'Mars'
February 6, 2018 | 11:26 AM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]

Marmul: The setting sun gives the dry Martian surface the two astronauts are gingerly walking on in their spacesuits an even redder tinge. With the light fast fading, Joao Lousada and Stefan Dobrovolny know they'll have to work fast.

But the scene playing out in the video is not on Mars. It's right here in Oman.

Lousada and Dobrovolny are analogue astronauts from the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF, or Oesterreichiches Weltraum Forum), and are in Oman with the rest of their team to take part in AMADEE-18, the OeWF's Mars simulation mission in the Sultanate.

Oman was chosen because its topography and mineral composition are very similar to that on Mars, and the experiments being carried out here will determine their success when a manned mission to the Red Planet is launched in future.

One of the most important experiments being conducted is the field testing of the Aouda spacesuit, one of the first prototype suits being developed for exploration on Mars.

Four space organisations are currently working on space suits for Mars, with the OeWF the only European body involved in this research.

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