The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) is conducting its 11th Mars analog simulation in August 2015. This time, the simulated, manned Mars mission is being conducted on the Kaunertal glacier in Austria. Accompanied by BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik know-how.
Soon, an astronaut will be floating in the vast expanse of outer space, specifically on the red planet Mars, wearing a helmet that has been optimized with know-how from the voestalpine subsidiary BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik GmbH & Co KG. The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) and international partners are conducting a two-week Mars simulation mission on rock and ice glaciers in Kaunertal, Austria from August 3 to 15, 2015. The analog astronauts in spacesuit simulators will use robotic vehicles to simulate exploration of the planet Mars.
BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik optimizes the helmet
This spacesuit simulator, the Aouda spacesuit simulator, is one of the OeWF’s ongoing research projects. The OeWF defines the spacesuit as a 45 kg “spaceship to wear” that must be able to handle all eventualities of space exploration. Development of the spacesuit simulator is an ongoing process. Recently the OeWF was looking for a competent partner for a necessary redesign and approached voestalpine. Subsequently, the spacesuit helmet was optimized with the help of BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik in cooperation with Taibinger & Co. Sondermaschinenbau in Kindberg, Austria. The following helmet components were redesigned:
- The existing aluminum design was revised—the new helmet is made of titanium (Ti-6Al-4V).
- The provisional locking system was optimized. The new system now has a suitable, airtight data connection for the suit’s required data cable (USB 3.0). The astronauts can now open the lock themselves in an emergency situation.
Thanks to its research and innovation edge, BÖHLER Schmiedetechnik was able to forge the ultralight, yet highly durable titanium parts for the spacesuit, making an important contribution to the OeWF project.
Spacesuit for song contest video
This spacesuit was also used in the video of the Swedish winner of the ESC 2015. The video was filmed on location in the Dachstein caves in Upper Austria.
A prototype of the helmet will soon be showcased at voestalpine Stahlwelt.