GMV takes part in the Mars simulation mission AMADEE-18

In the frame of the high visibility Mars analog mission AMADEE-18, led by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) in partnership with international research organizations, next month a field crew of 15 members from 8 nations will conduct experiments preparing for future human Mars missions in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology, life sciences and others.


During the one-month mission, a team of six analog astronauts from the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) will descend on the stark landscape of Oman’s Dhofar desert to live in isolation and conduct a series of experiments in an exercise that simulates a mission to Mars.

Joao Lousada, member of GMV INSYEN, Analog Astronaut and Deputy Field Commander at OeWF will take part in this mission that includes a vast spectrum of experiments on astrobiology, geology, human factors and exploration, among others. As part of the experiments, the crew will use a drone, robotic rovers and an inflatable greenhouse to simulate Mars missions. Another team will run the Mission Support Centre (MSC) from Innsbruck, Austria, with a 10-minute signal delay between the two teams, mimicking the signal travel-time between Mars and Earth.

Joao Losada

Born in Portugal in 1989 Joao Lousada studied Aerospace Engineering in Lisbon, doing his master thesis at the University of Victoria, Canada, on satellite attitude determination and control. Presently he works in GMV Insyen as Flight Operations Engineering for Columbus, controlling the subsystems of the European module of the ISS, at the Columbus Control Center in Munich, Germany. He is also a certified parachutist and rescue SCUBA diver.

The analog astronauts for this mission are carefully selected and trained to operate the OeWF space suit simulator Aouda and execute the different scientific experiments and field activities. They also act as a public face and represent the mission as STEM-Ambassadors for media and educational activities.

Also Laura Zanardini, another member of GMV INSYEN, will participate in the mission as Flight Director inside the Mission Support Centre. There she will manage the mission planning and execution, ensuring that the scientific objectives of the mission are fulfilled. During the mission she will hold a TEDx talk in Linz 

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