Dutchman Thomas Wijn in “Marsmission” without ever being in a missile | Science

Together with five other “astronauts”, Dutch scientist and space enthusiast Thomas Finen left for Mars, and they didn’t need a rocket for it. In the Israeli Negev desert, scientists participate in a unique simulation in which they live for four weeks as they would like to do on the Red Planet.

They reside on a “space station” in Ramon crater, an area comparable to the surface of Mars in dryness and sandy terrain. They live and work there like future Mars travelers, and so they also do geological research outside the space station, for example. When the temperature is only 30 degrees in the Negev desert, they still have to wear suits that can withstand -60 from Mars.

All the inconveniences you might encounter if you were on the red planet are also part of the simulation here on Earth. For example, the planet Mars is so far away that communication via radio waves takes up to 10 minutes to reach Earth. Now the “astronauts” also have to wait before they can talk to the outside world. The simulation was done perfectly in order to find out as much as possible about life on the Red Planet.

astronauts on earth

The mission involving astronomer Thomas Wijn is organized by the Austrian Space Forum in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA). In the four-week mission, about 200 scientists will conduct about 25 experiments. The results pave the way for a real trip to Mars, eventually. In the coming years, the private space establishment will first want to run longer simulations that could take several years.

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Thomas Wienen, a scientist at Delft University of Technology, is one step closer to fulfilling his childhood dream by joining a “Mars Mission”: to become an astronaut. share with telegraph He’s very happy to be able to do this, but also realizes that this is probably the closest to space he’s ever come to: The European Space Agency has been looking for new astronauts since last spring. Of course I applied with 22,500 others.”

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