AMADEE-20 Mars Simulation


Project description:

AMADEE-20 is a Mars analog simulation taking place in the Negev Desert in Israel. The project is managed by the Austrian Space Forum (Österreichisches Weltraumforum – ÖWF/OeWF) and hosted by the Israeli Space Agency. A crew of six analog astronauts will emulate selected aspects of a human Mars mission for four weeks in the Ramon Crater in the Negev desert which acts as a topographic and geological model region for the Red Planet.

A Mission Support Centre in Austria will support the crew by mimicking the “ground segment” of an actual Mars mission. The Mission Support Centre includes operations teams, flight planners, remote science support and the infrastructure, which is necessary in order to coordinate a complex set of experiments in the fields of engineering, geoscience and human factors. This mission is the 13th mission of its kind which is managed by the Austrian Space Forum.

The mission is aimed to study equipment behaviour involving the simultaneous deployment of instruments and robotic vehicles with humans-in-the-loop, including research-grade spacesuit simulators. Furthermore, it is intended to develop platforms for testing life-detection or geoscientific techniques, robotic support tools providing a high situational awareness and to catalyse the visibility of planetary exploration. Lastly, it is targeted to evolve the know-how of managing crewed missions to Mars by deploying a realistic Mission Support decision making framework. If you would like to have more information about the mission please visit the following website:

The project “An experiment to monitor team processes, crew cohesion and performance in interdependently working teams” called INTERTEAM, takes place within the AMADEE-20 mission. The project is led by Prof. Dr. Vera Hagemann (University of Bremen, Department of Business Psychology and Human Resource Management) and Dr.-Ing. Christiane Heinicke (University of Bremen, ZARM – Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity). As the crew belongs to a High Responsibility Team (HRT), the crew experiences a lot of stressors while working highly interdependently in complex situations, which enhances the already high impacted mental workload. In order to be successful, the team members need to adapt their communication by reprioritizing their objectives and by reallocating the workload dynamically. Next to the complexity of situations, the crew faces social complexity or crew complexity, which results from the interconnectedness between multiple agents through coordination requirements. In order to face these challenges effectively, team processes are significant for successful teamwork and high team performance. Team processes are the means by which team members work interpedently to utilize various resources and to yield meaningful outcomes. The central team processes are transition, action and interpersonal processes. They occur in cycles of joint actions, so called episodes, and are repetitive. Therefore, a continuous coordination through communication of the team members is necessary to enable a managed coordination of actions. Little is known about the relationships between the recurring transition, action and interpersonal processes within the episodes and the collective orientation of the team members, the communication and experienced stress in the team, the perceived workload and the development of cohesion, group efficacy, work satisfaction and work engagement and team performance. Thus, it is the aim of the INTERTEAM project to gain knowledge about the relationships between the processes and the other constructs as well as their importance regarding team performance in order to be able to make the work of the crew and HRTs in general safer and more effective.

Publications in the project here  


Project Partners:

Dr.-Ing. Christiane Heinicke

University of Bremen

ZARM – Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity

Dr.-Ing. Christiane Heinicke is head of the project Moon and Mars Base Analog (MaMBA).
She joined the ZARM in 2017, after having lived in a simulated Mars base herself for one year as part of a NASA-funded project.
Her background is in Physics (M.Sc.) and Engineering (Dr.-Ing.).

Prof. Dr. Vera Hagemann

University of Bremen

Faculty of Business Studies and Economics

Head of the Department of Business Psychology and Human Resource Management



Host agencies:

Austrian Space Forum (Österreichisches Weltraumform – ÖWF/OeWF)

The Austrian Space Forum is one of the leading institutions conducting Mars analog missions paving the way for the future human exploration of the Red Planet. Experts from a broad variety of disciplines as well as the spaceflight sector constitute the core of the OeWF’s continued endeavor. The OeWF in collaboration with national and international institutions from science and industry is working at the cutting edge of scientific research. In addition, the OeWF also contributes significantly to inspiring and educating young people in the sectors of science, technology and engineering.
The OeWF conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. The forum specializes on space sciences, (human) Mars exploration, Earth observation and Astrobiology. The work is published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at scientific conferences and communicated to both to specialists and the public. Furthermore, the Austrian Space Forum provides an interface for the Austrian space sector. It builds bridges between the space industry, academia, policy institutions, decision makers and opinion leaders and the public. The OeWF is an independent and competent point of contact within the Austrian or European space sector. It initiates, supports, and connects careers. The forum offers student internship, project involvements, supervise graduates at universities, and enable the participation in research and development projects. The OeWF builds and flies, explains and inspires. Hardware, hands-on projects, work in a laboratory or a workshop, and field experiments are the basis of the forum’s programs. Activities for elementary school students, evening events with audiences (sometimes with hundreds of attendees), flying water rockets, street-science and consulting for space sciences. Find more information about the OeWF on the following website



Israel Space Agency (ISA)

The Israel Space Agency is a national agency operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Agency is responsible for initiating, leading and coordinating all activities of the civilian space program. The Agency especially supports scientific research and development with real, economic potential such as the development of unique and innovative technologies. In addition, the Agency operates on the premise that all space related activities contribute to the Israeli economy, to the country’s international standing and also benefit its citizens in terms of agriculture, communications, monitoring of environmental pollution and research.

The Israel Space Agency’s goals are many and diverse. They include expanding cooperation and reciprocal relationships with various countries in the field of space, promoting infrastructure research studies in the academic sector and research institutes, investing in start-ups developing components for the Israeli and international space industry, the development and construction of satellites for civilian purposes and supporting the development of unique and innovative space technologies. The Agency also cultivates a cadre of future scientists, through space education and community projects, who will work in the field of space research in the future. In general, the Agency seeks to increase Israel’s relative lead in this field and position the country amongst the leading nations involved in space research and its exploitation. Another goal of the Space Agency is to strengthen the connection of children and youth to the field of space, in order to satisfy their great natural curiosity in this area and also to expand their knowledge and interest in space.  For the general public, the Space Agency organizes activities and events that offer interactive experience in space related subjects and also, throughout the year, organizes a range of activities including star gazing and astronomical activities, national competitions, technological initiatives in schools, training courses for instructors and more. Find more information about the ISA on the following website