More than 10 experts shared experiences with analogue missions

More than 10 experts shared experiences with analogue missions

More than 40 attendees, 13 speakers from 6 different countries, and many questions. That was Get-together: Analogue missions, a unique event that took place on the 3rd of March at the Czech Aerospace Research Centre in Prague.

The beginning of the event was focused on the Czech environment. Aleš Svoboda, a reserve ESA astronaut, gave the opening speech about the importance of analogue missions and his experiences from survival training. He also stressed the opportunities for research and business that analogue missions bring. On behalf of Hydronaut Project spoke Miroslav Rozložník. He presented the European Mobile Underwater Research and Training Facility (Hydronaut), the history, and the activities of this project. He also announced the opportunities for future collaboration: during 2023 and 2024 there will be several surfaces based simulated missions in Prague. Then, in 2025, Hydornaut is preparing for an underwater simulated space mission, part of the World’s Biggest Analogue. Our newly incubated startup ICEE.Space mentioned their experiences from several analogue missions CHILL-ICE. Besides that, they stressed the importance of incubation in ESA BIC Czech Republic and their planned activities in the Czech Republic including the new analogue mission CASTHELS (Czech Analogue in Subsurface Terrains for Humans in an Extreme Lunar Simulation). Another startup, Entrant also shared their visions for the future. Lucie Ráčková mentioned main focus will be on microgravity-friendly and extreme environment-friendly smart garment. Modern Assembly Residential System, or simply MARS Buildings, presented its vision of housing and habitats for analogue missions in the future.

During the second panel, we discussed the importance of research and health. The Biomechanics and Assistive Technologies Research Group from the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering CTU in Prague introduced their collaboration with Hydronaut. During the analogue mission, they focused on real-time cognitive load monitoring, especially emotion monitoring (categorized seven emotions). Dr. Vratislav Šálený (Brno University of Technology, BUT) gave an interesting speech about his work connected to habitats, especially the new HELP habitat (please find more information about habitats and the role of BUT in this article).  Martin Lulák had a unique inside into the research expeditions to Arctica and Antarctica and pointed out the similarities with the analogue missions. Hungarian startup MindRove incubated in ESA BIC Hungary introduced its product – wearable biosensors and a tablet application.

The last third session was dedicated to foreign speakers and their projects. We had the honor to listen about LunAres Research Station by Leszek Orzechowski, an analog research station for crewed space mission simulation, located at the post-military airport in Poland, its analogue mission ICAres-1 and newly planned mission ICAres-2. Similar to LunAres Research Station is Astroland, European Moon Mars analog training and scientific space lab with its habitat Ares Station presented by Manuel Leira Casanueva. Sahba El-Shawa presented two main goals of the Jordan Space Research Initiative: the establishment of an analog R&D facility in Jordan and fostering technological research initiatives, as well as community and stakeholder engagement, and to organize the first analog mission in Jordan this year. Gernot Grömer, Director of the Austrian Space Forum, introduced the Analog Mars Missions, specifically AMADEE-20, Mars Mission Simulation in Israel in 2021. For the future, the upcoming mission will be AMADEE-24 in Armenia. Eleonore Poli from CHASM (Conference on Human Analogue Space Missions) focused on current issues for analogue missions, which are mainly lack of communication, funding, and public awareness. She also mentioned conferences and activities organized for analogue space missions crews and agencies.

We want to thank all participants for a wonderful time full of inspiring projects and ideas. Hope we will meet all of you during the next Get-together in Prague!