The aim of Asclepios is to organize student-led space analogue missions which can be performed by students only, training them for their future space endeavors as astronauts, space engineers or members of the Mission Control Center. A space analogue mission is a simulation of life on another celestial body, such as the Moon or Mars. Six analogue astronauts, all students, will be isolated for 10 days in an analogue lunar base in the Alps, and will have to conduct experiments, take care of the base, and live just as scientists living on the Moon.
Asclepios is a [email protected] initiative, composed of 50 international students managed by EPFL students with interdisciplinary backgrounds. Supervised by EPFL professors and other specialized mentors from the European Space Agency or companies, the “learning by doing” approach is what makes our missions so innovative in the space field. There are about 10 analogue missions worldwide but we are the first one, as of now, completely made by and for students.
Asclepios’ science team has two goals. Train students to organize and conduct an analogue space mission, but also being a platform for researchers to test their protocols or prototypes through our call for projects. Team members will have to develop technical skills and collaborate with laboratories, apply their theoretical knowledge, take initiative and decisions, and work with other students, scientists and industries. Students taking part in an analogue mission will acquire a different set of skills compared to what is normally learned in a classroom. They will have to learn how to manage a large and interdisciplinary project, how to organize the communication and develop different research techniques. More technical skills will also be acquired by means of Bachelor and Master semester projects. Each year, a new Asclepios mission will occur, and by building upon our previous missions we hope to be more and more realistic.
This project is open to everybody, as long as you are passionate about space sciences and feel ready to commit yourself to this adventure!