Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Mars" tweetup in Austria!

Aouda X suit testing. Credit: ASF

The Austrian Space Forum has announced they will be holding a "Tweetup" for 20 Twitter users to visit a Mars Analog cave in the Dachstein mountains in Austria. The ASF will be testing their Aouda X space suit simulator in these mountain caves, which should make for an interesting tweetup experience.

If you're in the area, I would highly encourage you to apply for this Tweetup! Should be a fun education experience:


While I knew the Austrian Space Forum did lots of cool Mars Analog projects through their PolAres group (http://www.oewf.org/cms/polares.phtml), I had never heard of the Dachstein mountains as an analog before.

Checking it up on the web, it seems the Dachstein mountains are composed primarily of limestone deposited during the Triassic era, and are home to a large number of caves and dinosaur fossils.

Using dinosaur sites as space analog is nothing new. The Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville Utah resides in a layer of Jurassic era sediments called the Morrison Formation, and there are actually dinosaur bones within sight of the habitat.

Large dinosaur bone near MDRS. I'm on the right!

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