President of the Austrian Space Forum, Gernot Groemer

“As humans, as researchers, as explorers we go beyond what is known today. And we dream, because dreams are maps into the future.”

PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRIAN SPACE FORUM, GERNOT GROEMER

We would like you to meet our ambassador Gernot Groemer, the president of the Austrian Space Forum! He has been involved in many Mars-expeditions simulations from the Highest-ever Mars simulation at almost 3000m altitude on a glacier, to the lowest Mars simulation in ancient ice caves. Gernot has also completed more than 100 hours of Extravehicular Activities (“Spacewalks”) in one of the most advanced spacesuit simulators on Earth!

Read more about his craziest adventures, accomplishments and more about him and Tespack!

1. What projects have you worked with Austrian Space Forum?

I have led 11 Mars-expedition simulations in remote areas of the planet – ranging from the Utah Badlands, the ancient terrains of the Spanish Rio Tinto area, high alpine glaciers at 3000 m and the Northern Sahara. We are building spacesuit simulators for the first human mission to the Red Planet and test them in Mars-like environments on Earth. High tech meets high aspirations.

2. Why did you choose this field?

As a field researcher we are explorers with that insatiable itching for things remote – we love to open previously closed doors to new knowledge, unlocking the secrets of our Solar System.

3. What are your biggest achievements?

  • More than 100 hours of Extravehicular Activities (“Spacewalks”) in one of the most advanced spacesuit simulators on Earth, 30 min of weightlessness during parabolic flights
  • Highest-ever Mars simulation at almost 3000m altitude on a glacier, lowest Mars simulation in ancient ice caves.

4. How do you fill your spare time?

I am a volunteer paramedic at the Red Cross Ambulance Service, both loving to be on the street, or also to teach as a paramedic instructor new EMT’s and paramedics. Otherwise, I have a passion for Science Fiction (well, that’s probably a common thing in our field).

5. How do you experience being outdoors or exploring new places?

  • Nothing beats standing in a spacesuit simulator in the middle of a Mars-like desert and watching the stars. Realizing, we, as species, are standing on the shoreline of a cosmic ocean yet to be explored. During those precious moments, who wouldn’t feel that itching for remote horizons?
  • Travelling first makes you speechless, and then it transforms you into a storyteller.” (Ibn Battuta, 1309-1368) I love sharing the narratives of my journey, exploring new frontiers, on that magic place where untouched nature, unexplored peaks meet high tech and human intellect.

6. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Standing with a full spacesuit in front of a fully active Tesla Coil shooting with 6 Megavolt-lightnings at the suit for a test emulating Martian dust devil discharges. Those are moments, where you have to trust the math skills and the engineering ingenuity of your team. And the training of our paramedics in stand-by.

7. What is your motto/quote?

“As humans, as researchers, as explorers, we go beyond what is known today. And we dream, because dreams are maps into the future.”

8. What motivated you to collaborate with Tespack?

I love cutting edge technology when being in the field, because it enables getting an extra step further. Tespack is both a refreshing new company and has an enthusiastic and competent team, delivering well thought-trough products which stand up to our standards. And I love their style of getting things done.

9. What is your favourite Tespack product and why?

Probably as simple as it may sound: the small Mini-5k – although it is small, it gives you quite some independence when out in the field. It might not replace the power outlet in your home, but it allows you to do basic stuff outdoors.

10. Projects involved with Tespack
Solar Backpack for Mars!