BIO-GEN partner for analogue Mars mission ICAres-1
On Sunday 8 October 2017, the ICAres-1 analogue Mars mission was launched at the Lunares space base in Pła, Poland. This is the third mission this year to simulate an expedition to Mars, following Poland Mars Analog Simulation 2017 and Lunar Expedition 1.
Habitat Lunares was established in July 2017 on the site of the former military airfield in Piła. In the 350 m2 area of the analogue space base, conditions are analogous to those that astronauts might experience in a real base on the Moon or Mars. The international ICAres-1 mission involves six astronauts, including four Poles, a German woman and a French woman. During their two-week stay at the base, the mission participants will conduct experiments in the fields of biology, psychology and medicine, as well as test innovative Polish technologies, i.e. the Blumil wheelchair and the VBioni bionic hand prosthesis. Biology research will use medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis), which were supplied for the experiment by BIO-GEN, the only legal breeder of these invertebrates in Poland. Over the course of the mission, the medicinal leeches will subjected to an assessment of their development potential under simulated Martian station conditions.
Analogue missions are carried out to test procedures, equipment and, above all, humans in situations that are unpredictable during proper cognitive missions in space. Thanks to missions such as those in the Lunares habitat, Poland is making a clear contribution to space ‘conquest’ research.