Welcome on the blog!

Discover the latest news linked with the mission.. and more!

Asclepios I announcement

After searching during this summer for a partner to host the Asclepios I mission, we are pleased to announce that it will take place within the infrastructure of the new project partner, Nagra at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS).

Nagra (National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste) is the competence centre for radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland. Its mandate is to find solutions that guarantee the long-term safety of humans and the environment. Nagra’s test site at Grimsel inspired the “exploration” theme of Asclepios I. 

As a matter of fact, the Grimsel Test Site will provide an exceptional playground for simulating the lunar environment and conducting experiments with the necessary realism and equipment, while ensuring the comfort and safety of the Genesis crew. As the site consists of tunnels buried under mountains serving as a geological laboratory, it was decided to build the mission around those de facto “lunar caverns”.

To get a better idea of the location, you can watch the video of our first visit to the site. You can also learn more about the GTS and the mission on the page dedicated to Asclepios I.

Source: Comet Photoshopping GmbH, Dieter Enz.
2020 Hackathon

Between the 24th and the 26th of July, we held our first Hackathon. It was centered around the theme “Exploring the moon and living in a lunar base”. It was a brilliant experience for us as we were able to accompany students in their search for innovative solutions to the problems faced by the global space community. We provided support during the whole event and in return, they offered us their solutions. 

At the end, 80 students sat around in teams of 5 and carried a project focused on either Rover designs, anti-space-dust solutions, improving the lives of astronauts or hazardous material handling. At the end of it, we chose three projects to offer our support to, they are the DRAC01 project, the LEXICON project and the MAS project. They consists of: 

  1. The use of electromagnetic and electric fields to clean spacesuits of invasive and toxic moondust;
  2. A pressurized chamber that could be installed around a drill, in order to easily collect Lunar regolith, gaseous products and mineral samples;
  3. An array of seismometers to prevent moon earthquakes from endangering astronauts during their stay on our satellite.

We want to thank everyone who has applied and those who have participated. We have recorded each project’s presentation and they can be found in our Youtube playlist.

Analogue astronauts recruitment

On the 15th of June, the recruitment for analogue astronauts for the mission Asclepios II opened. We are looking for students all around the world to crew our “space” base for our second mission. This mission’s focus will be sustainability of the base and the mission both for ecological purposes and long term habitation. 

If you want to learn more on the procedure, you can check the dedicated page on our website. All it takes to apply is a CV and a motivation letter. The open recruitment phase ends on the 7th of July at midnight (Swiss time).

Mission postponement

 

3,2,1,… Wait, I’m picking up an anomaly. Abort the launch sequence.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, EPFL chosed to take sanitary measures to slow the spread of the virus. The school has therefore imposed the closure of the Lausanne campus to guests where our astronauts’ training was to take place. The launch of the Asclepios mission in April was therefore declared NO-GO by the project managers.

But a rocket has much more inertia than that, you don’t stop it with a snap of your fingers. At best, it can be deflected. The mission will therefore take place at a later date among the three backup dates planned in case of a firing incident. Far from being a half-tone failure, the postponement of the mission to the 2020/2021 school year will be exploited to ensure greater realism.

Dress Rehearsal

From the 28th of february to the 1st of march, our astronauts have performed a dress rehearsal of the april mission. The Asclepios managers were taking the role of MCC and following the procedures laid down for the mission. The activities of this event included workshop given by the astrnauts to exchange personnal skills among themselves as well as the assembly of the antenna of our radio-astro experiment. 

Critical Design Review (CDR)

 

 

The managers of the Asclepios project have to defended the mission planing in front of the EPFL laboratories. This public session aimed at presenting the project as well as obtaining the feedbacks of professionels in order to benefit from their experience.

Workshop in an extreme environment in Crans-Montana


The Asclepios astronaut crew as well as the project manager just did a workshop in the Swiss ski station of Crans-Montana. The workshop was lead by French polar explorer Alban Michon and took place between the 13th and 16th of february. Activities included building and living inside a tents camp, diving under the ice of the Moubra lake by day and by night as well as team building exercises. This was made possible thanks to the partnership with the economic promotion of the association of towns of Crans-Montana.