Inside the simulation that takes us closer to Mars

Think:Act Magazine "Own the future"
Inside the simulation that takes us closer to Mars

Portrait of Think:Act Magazine

Think:Act Magazine

Central Europe
July 18, 2019

A mock Martian base camp in Oman helps provide answers about sustaining life on the red planet


by Florian Voggeneder

Read more on the topic "Own the future"

It's the ultimate long-term project, but space exploration requires short-term planning too. How do you find out if you can live on another planet? Easy – recreate the conditions on Earth. In early 2018, a small crew of "analog" astronauts arrived at the place they would call home for the next four weeks: a simulated Martian base camp hidden in Oman’s inhospitable Dhofar desert. Organized by the Austrian Space Forum, the mission was to address one question: Do we already have the tools we need to sustain life on the red planet?

Imitation outer space

An analog astronaut stands in the Oman desert overlooking base camp, Kepler Station

An analog astronaut looks back to the hub of the simulated Mars mission, Kepler Station.

Laying the groundwork

Experiments in field spectrometry tested how resources might be evaluated 54.6 million kilometers from Earth.

Between fact and fiction

Gas flares from nearby crude oil processing plants illuminated Kepler Station's very earthly location, where team members' tasks included growing sprouts with experimental horticultural methods.

A self-contained world

Since spare parts will be in short supply on Mars, 3D printing is being looked at as a viable production option.

Far from home

Beyond logistical challenges, the mission also focused on how psychological obstacles, such as loneliness, can be overcome.

Further reading
Download our Think:Act magazine
Think:Act Edition

Your path to tomorrow, today


The actions of the present lay the foundations for the future. What does this saying mean in turbulent times? Consider a mix of solidity and flexibility!

Published July 2019. Available in
Subscribe to newsletter

Curious about the contents of our newest Think:Act magazine? Receive your very own copy by signing up now! Subscribe here to receive our Think:Act magazine and the latest news from Roland Berger.

Portrait of Think:Act Magazine

Think:Act Magazine

Central Europe