top of page

AMADEE-24 Mars Analog Research Mission in Armenia Comes to an End

AMADEE-24 Mars Analog Research Mission in Armenia Comes to an End

“AMADEE-24” Flight crew, welcome back to the Blue planet!: The “AMADEE-24” Mars Analog Mission has marked its conclusion, the preparations for which lasted for about three years, and the official launch was in March in the village of Armash in Armenia's Ararat province.

“AMADEE-24” stands as a prestigious program in the field of analog space technology research, organized and implemented this year by the "Armenian Aerospace Agency" and the "Armenian Space Forum," with management overseen by the "Austrian Space Forum."

The Mars Analog Station resided in Armenia, while the flight control, flight planning, remote science support, and on-site media teams were operating from Vienna. Representing various space research institutions and agencies, over 250 scientists from 26 countries participated in the mission.

“Being here today is one of the baby steps towards the human exploration of Mars. We are very proud that we were not the first to bring Space to Armenia for the first time: It has been integral to Armenian innovation culture many decades ago already. Whatever the path to Mars looks like, people will remember that one of the first steps was taken right here, in Armash. I am very proud that we have been working in such a close relationship with Armenian partners, particularly with the group of Armenian young professionals and students that were trained and were part of the Mission Support Center,” mentioned Gernot Grömer, the director of the Austrian Space Forum, adding that due to the Armenian-Austrian close relationship, they made many networks and friendships, far beyond the science dimension, spanning diplomatic and cultural dimensions as well.

The project’s execution culminated from years of hard work. Three years ago, when the Austrian Space forum sought a site for the mission, Armenia featured on the list of the host countries. Due to its geological and topographical similarities to the Red Planet, among a dozen of other observed locations, the village of Armash was chosen as the testing ground for the "AMADEE-24" Mars Analog Mission. 

It was at the “Imaginary Mars” or “Armash Mars Analog Station,” that a team of highly trained analog astronauts isolated themselves on March 12 to conduct 13 experiments with various rovers and robotics within almost a month, preparing for future human and robotic exploration missions to Mars. The conducted experiments included Genes4Mars, Astronaut performance and health monitoring with biomarkers, Hort³Space focused on development of innovative and autonomous cultivation systems for future long-term space missions. Other experiments were IAQHabitat, FarSide, Staying Alive, PRESSURE, EIEE, HUMANISE, MEROP, SAMPLE, iROCS, and ALIX. 

"It is crucial for Armenia to integrate into European and global scientific circles and articulate our space ambitions. Our aspiration was one day to become a significant contributor to the largest projects in the industry. Today, many Armenian experts are actively involved in global space endeavors. Our dream is to present Armenia to the world as a country driving forward space exploration programs. In this respect, this was a very important initiative,” emphasized Mher Mehrabyan, a member of the group hosting the “AMADEE-24” Mars Analogue Mission in Armenia. 

Hayk Aslanyan, a member of the Armenian initiative group of the project, reflected, “This project wasn’t without its challenges, but it proved feasible, serving as a stepping stone towards even bigger and more significant initiatives. Following the mission's conclusion, the Armash Mars Analog Research Station will continue to operate, and we will prepare for new large-scale programs.” 

During the mission’s closing ceremony, the guests welcomed the analog astronauts already back on “Earth,” had an opportunity to engage with them, capture moments, as well as familiarize themselves with the robotic tests of the scientific experiments.

“It is a great pleasure to see your smiling faces again. Our crew feels honored to have been part of this mission, conducting scientific experiments and exploring Armenia. Our deepest gratitude goes to the entire mission staff for their incredible teamwork,” shared Anika Mehlis, Commander of the analog astronaut crew.

At the end of the event, as a gesture symbolizing successful cooperation and course of the mission, Gernot Grömer presented the Armenian side with a crystal-encrusted souvenir melding rock samples from around the world with Martian meteorite. 


The project was implemented with the support of the Ararat Municipality and the National Assembly Friendship Group Armenia-Austria. The general partner was GTB Holding, strategic partners were Aren Mehrabyan Foundation, Engined AM, Instigate and "Real School", SASTIC, LIGA and technology partners were Team Telecom Armenia, VEGA, PROFAL․ Among other partners were SasText, Shell, and Dili 


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page