Prepare for Mars.

FORTIS becomes official timekeeper for the AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Mission

In February 2018, the Austrian Space Forum – in partnership with the Oman National Steering Comittee for AMADEE-18 – will conduct an highly international Mars analog field simulation in the Dhofar region, Oman. Directed by a Mission Support Center in Austria, a small field crew will conduct experiments preparing for future human Mars missions in the fields of engineering, planetary surface operations, astrobiology, geophysics/geology, life sciences and other.

FORTIS is extremly proud of being the official time keeper for the mission. The Official Cosmonauts AMADEE-18 Chronograph will be assisting all experiments done on this extraordinary mission. 

Official Cosmonauts AMADEE-18 Chronograph


Conducting field research in a representative environment is an excellent tool to gain operational experience and understand the advantages and limitations of remote science operations on other planetary bodies.


This field mission is designed to be:

  1. an opportunity to study equipment, procedures and workflows under Mars analog conditions with  humans-in-the-loop.

  2. a platform for testing life-detection or geophysical techniques, terrain tests for rovers and increase the situational awareness of remote support teams,

  3. studying the test site as a model region for Martian deserts and extreme life,

  4. serving as an outreach platform to enhance the visibility of planetary sciences

Mission Milestones

  • May-Dec2017: AMADEE-18 mission specific training

  • 01Feb-07Feb2018: AMADEE-18 Mission preparation week

  • 08Feb2018: AMADEE-18 Landing Day

  • 08Feb-28Feb2018: AMADEE-18 Mission simulation phase

  • 25-27Mai2018 (tbd): AMADEE-18 Science Workshop


The actual field mission will take place during four weeks in February 2018. Based upon 12 preceding Mars analog missions, the Austrian Space Forum has established a mission support infrastructure, trained and certified flight controllers and field crew members as well as a programmatic roadmap to implement a coherent strategy.

Field activities will be scheduled through a “flight plan”, supported by a remote science team and directed by flight controllers at the Mission Support Center in Austria. An expert media team will ensure a high international public visibility.

The AMADEE-18  Test Site in Oman

The deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman, have a resemblance to various Mars surface features, such as sedimentary structures dating back to the Paleocene and Eocene, salt domes of the South Oman Salt Basin and ancient river beds. The test site offers a wide range of sand and rocky surfaces combined with a broad variability in inclination. The nearest major city is Salalah, expected temperatures at the test site in February typically range between 16-27°C with less than 10 mm of precipitation.