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The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) is a national network of aerospace specialists and space enthusiasts. The organization serves as a communication platform between the space sector and the public and is embedded in a global network of specialists from the space industry, research and politics. Therefore, the OeWF enables the strengthening of the Austrian space sector with public outreach, technical workshops and conferences and other space activities.

The Forum has a small, but highly active pool of professional members contributing to space endeavours, mostly in cooperation with other space organizations, both Austrian and international. The spectrum of our activities ranges from simple classroom presentations to 15.000-visitor space exhibitions, from expert reports for the Ministry of Transport to space technology transfer activities for terrestrial applications.



In 2006 the Austrian Space Forum conducted the "AustroMars" mission,[1] a Mars analogue simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. For the first time the crew, the support team and the experiments as well as the major part of the hardware came from Austria. Apart from the scientific stimulus AustroMars also focused the public view on space activities and - closely associated with enormous involvement of the media tightly associated with massive involvement of media - presents a young scientific landscape in Austria being a top performer in the field of European space-travel.


Aouda.X during the Mars2013 dress rehearsal

PolAres[2] is an interdisciplinary programme of the Austrian Space Forum in cooperation with international partners to develop strategies for human-robotic interaction procedures and to emphasise planetary protection, in preparation for a future human-robotic Mars surface expedition. Part of the PolAres program is developing an Mars analogue space suit. Since 2009 the Mars analogue space suit Aouda.X was developed and tested in several field tests and simulations.

Rio Tinto Simulation 2011Edit

Mars analogue field simulation in Southern Spain in April 2011, together with international experiments including ESA eurobot vehicle.[3]

Dachstein Mars Simulation 2012Edit

A Mars Analogue-Field-test between the 27th of April and the 1st of May 2012, together with international partners. The test took place in the mammoth and giant ice caves in the Dachstein Area in Austria. Aside from testing the newest version of the Forum’s Spacesuit simulator Aouda.X, teams from 10 different nations (from the US, Europe and New Zealand) tried geophysical techniques, instruments and ideas for future manned missions to cave systems on Mars.[4][5]

Mars2013 - Morocco Mars Simulation 2013Edit

Between the 1st and the 28th of February 2013, the Austrian Space Forum – in partnership with the Ibn Battuta Center in Marrakesh – conducted an integrated Mars analogue field simulation in the northern Sahara near Erfoud, Morocco within the framework of the PolAres research programme. Directed by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria, a small field crew conducted experiments preparing for future human Mars missions mainly in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology and life sciences. Two space suit simulators (both Aouda.X and the new Aouda.S) and a number of rovers were used in the field.[6]

The desert base camp at the northern location was named Camp Weyprecht on February 11. There was also a satellite location about 80 km further south that was named Station Payer. These names were in honor of the two leaders of the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition of 1872–74, which tied in nicely with the long-term goal of the PolAres research programme to do an analog expedition to the arctic.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "AustroMars Mission". Austrian Space Forum. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  2. ^ "PolAres Research Program". Austrian Space Forum. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  3. ^ "New Space Suit Technology Tested at Rio Tinto". NASA. Archived from the original on 5 March 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Dachstein Mars Simulation". Karst Worlds. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Dachstein Mars Simulation Mission Report". Austrian Space Forum. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Mars2013 mission description". Austrian Space Forum. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Mars2013 mission collaboration" (PDF).[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit