Mars Analogue Mission may come to Oman
February 27, 2017 | 5:23 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: Along with Israel, Oman is in the final selection of candidates to host the Austrian Space Forum’s next Mars Analogue Mission “AMADEE-18”.

The main purpose of a mars simulation on Earth is to prepare for future crewed missions to the Red Planet. To perform the experiments, the Austrian Space Forum’s (OeWF) is one of the five research groups worldwide to develop the prototype spacesuit “Aouda” which is worn by OeWF’s Analogue-Astronauts during its missions.

In 2015, the OeWF and international partners conducted its 11th analogue mission AMADEE-15- a two-week Mars simulation mission on a rock glacier in the Kaunertal, Austria that resembles Martian terrain.

The OeWF location scouts are lead by Mars Expert Dr. Gernot Grömer, President of the OeWF and Alexander Soucek, OeWF board member, who will be in Oman along with other experts from the organisation from March 17 to 21.

Dr. Grömer, emphasise the importance of Mars Analogue Missions, “Through testing equipment, software, procedures and workflows that will be implemented in future human missions to Mars we try to find out what is not yet working, what needs to be redesigned, rethought. After all, it’s better to find the flaw in Mars-equipment here on Earth rather than on Mars where spare parts are a 6-months-journey away at best.”

Hosting this mission would increase Oman’s visibility as a high-tech nation with a vibrant research sector, which is soon to engage with cutting edge space exploration.

It would also add to the country’s reputation as an internationally connected regional Research and Development leadership nation.

The Austrian Space Forum (Österreichisches Weltraum Forum, OeWF) is a national network for aerospace engineers, scientists and people with a passion for space.

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