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VIDEO: Six Astronauts Enter Isolation for AMADEE-24 Mars Simulation in Armenia

Updated: Mar 21

Six Astronauts Enter Isolation for AMADEE-24 Mars Simulation in Armenia

The Austrian Space Forum, in collaboration with the Armenian Space Agency, began its much-anticipated AMADEE-24 Mars analog simulation in Armenia on Tuesday, March 12. This groundbreaking mission aims to prepare future astronautical missions to Mars by simulating the conditions and challenges of living and working on the Red Planet. The team at The Armenian Report traveled to Armash village in Armenia to interview the astronauts and capture their isolation. [Interviews can be found on The Armenian Report YouTube Channel.]


Six analog astronauts, comprising two women and four men from Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, will undergo isolation from March 12 to April 5, 2024. Their mission? To conduct a series of experiments in human factors, robotics, and geology crucial for planning successful Mars missions. Over 200 scientists from 26 countries are participating in this international endeavor, highlighting the global significance of the project.


Photos by Liana Tourian

The analog astronauts will reside and carry out their tasks within a specially designed habitat. Venturing outside the habitat will require donning the OeWF’s Mars suit prototype, mimicking the conditions astronauts would face on Mars. Communication with the Mission Support Center in Vienna, Austria, will be subject to a 10-minute delay, simulating the distance between Earth and Mars.

Equipped with drones and robotic vehicles, or rovers, the analog astronauts will explore and map their environment, collect soil samples, and transport heavy loads. Throughout the mission, they will be cut off from the outside world, relying solely on their team to tackle challenges and complete tasks.

On-site specialists will ensure the safety of the crew and address any repair needs without direct interaction with the analog astronauts.

The simulation in the province of Ararat was chosen for its geological and topographical resemblance to Mars, providing an ideal setting for testing equipment behavior and conducting scientific experiments. AMADEE-24 will contribute to the development of exploration mission architectures, advance life-detection and geoscience techniques, and enhance our understanding of planetary sciences and human exploration.

Moreover, the mission serves as a catalyst for increasing the visibility of planetary sciences and human exploration while refining the management of future human missions to Mars. By deploying a realistic model for a Mission Support Center and decision-making framework, AMADEE-24 is paving the way for the next frontier in space exploration.


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