October 11, 2021 21:49 GMT
The “analog astronauts,” made up of a woman and five men, will live in isolation for three weeks, conducting science experiments for future manned missions to the red planet.
The isolation phase of the 13th analog mission to Mars of the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), conducted jointly with the Israel Space Agency, began Monday. Six people, pretending to be astronauts, will live and work in a specially developed habitat In the Negev desert, in Israel, with the aim of preparing a manned exploration of the Red Planet.
During the mission, called AMADEE-20 and which began at the Ramón Desert Mars Analog Station – or D-MARS, also located in the Negev Desert – more than 25 experiments will be conducted, two of them in cooperation with the European Union Space Agency (ESA), according to mentioned OeWF in a statement on its official website.
Team “Analog astronauts”, consisting of a woman and five men From Germany, Austria, Israel, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, it will conduct research aimed at facilitating future manned missions to Mars. To do so, they would remain isolated for three weeks in an environment that sought to reproduce the conditions of that planet. In addition to science experiments, they will take outdoor picnics in a prototype “spacesuit” developed and manufactured by OeWF.
From a geological point of view, Mitspe Ramon Hole, 500m deepLocated in the Negev desert, it comes close to the conditions of Mars; However, temperatures from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius are much higher, even in winter.
More than 200 researchers from 25 countries are taking part in AMADEE-20, initially scheduled last year but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the thirteenth mission of its kind run by the Austrian regulators. Previous operations were carried out in the Moroccan territory of the Sahara, in the state of Utah (USA), in Spain and Oman.
The longest mission of this type, MARS-500, was carried out in Moscow (Russia) between 2007 and 2011, as a 520-day psychological isolation experiment involving Russian, European and Chinese crews.