Press Release

MARS2013-Austria prepares for Mars: Morocco Mars Simulation

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2012
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MARS2013-Austria prepares for Mars: Morocco Mars Simulation

Between the 1st and the 28th of February 2013, the Austrian Space Forum, in partnership with the Ibn Battuta Center in Marrakesh, will conduct an integrated Mars analog field simulation in northern Sahara, near Erfoud, Morocco, in the framework of the PolAres research program.

Directed by a Mission Support Center in Austria, a well prepared field crew will further the preparation of future human Mars missions by conducting experiments mainly in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology, life sciences and other fields.

During the 28 day field simulation 20 experiments from 10 different nations will be conducted. In preparation of the field tests 23 tons of hardware will be shipped to Morocco. More than 100 people from over 20 nations and 5 continents will join efforts to take on one of the biggest mars simulations ever. During the mission more than 15 Gigabyte of data will be produced on a dayly bases and sent to the mission support center in Innsbruck/Austria using LTE by T-Mobile.


The MARS2013 Mars analog field campaign is designed to:

* study equipment behavior involving the simultaneous usage of instruments with the option of a human-in-the-loop (via the Aouda.X spacesuit);
* test life-detection or geophysical techniques, perform terrain tests for rovers and test concepts for high situational awareness of remote support teams;
* study northern Sahara as a model region for Martian deserts and extreme life; and
* serve as an outreach platform to enhance the visibility of planetary sciences.

All details, fotos and experiments can be found online:

For further questions please refer to:

Monika Fischer
Media Officer
Tel: +43 699 12134610

SpaceRef staff editor.