The AMADEE-20 Mars habitat is the home of our 6 analog astronauts since more than 20 days. It consists of a crew module (6x12m), short corridor, a science & command module (radius 9 m) and an airlock. The habitat is provided by the Israel Space Agency and D-MARS, based upon the foldable D-MARS station design .
From the door of the expedition base, a few small steps to the left an autonomous rover passes by. A few giant leaps to the right is an array of solar panels. The landscape is rocky, hilly, tinged with red. Purposefully it resembles Mars.
Here, in the Ramon Crater in the desert of southern Israel, a team of six – five men and one woman – have begun simulating what it will be like to live for about a month on the red planet.
Their AMADEE-20 habitat is tucked beneath a rocky outcrop. Inside they sleep, eat and conduct experiments. Outside they wear mock space suits fitted with cameras, microphones and self-contained breathing systems.
The Austrian Space Forum is running the project together with the Israel Space Agency and local group D-MARS.
With AMADEE-20, which was supposed to happen in 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19, the team hopes to bring new insight that will help prepare for that mission, when it comes.
Altogether they will carry out more than 20 experiments in fields including geology, biology and medicine and hope to publish some of the results when finished.