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AbGradE workshop 2017

AbGradE`s second workshop, on the theme of “Human exploration of the Solar System”, took place at the Ole Rømer observatory in Aarhus, Denmark, on the 13th of August 2017. This was also the second event we organised this year, after the conference in Tartu, Estonia, the preceding week. As for our previous workshop, it was also organised just before the annual EANA conference (14-17 August).

An icebreaker day was organised the day preceding the workshop, to give the attendants the opportunity to already meet and interact. After having a guided sightseeing tour through the gorgeous city of Aarhus and strolling in the streets, participants reconvened for dinner.
The workshop itself started by a welcome speech from the AbGradE committee, followed by short pitches from the 20 participants, to introduce themselves and their research. This year`s keynote speaker Cyprien Verseux then presented his experience participating in the one-year Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation IV mission (HI-SEAS IV), an analogue habitat for human spaceflight to Mars.

After the lunch break, participants were grouped in four teams to work on predefined topics relative to the Human exploration of the solar system. The topics were: Let`s go back to the Moon, Travel to really cool places: Icy Moons of the outer Solar System, Exploit Asteroids, and Conquer Mars. Each group had to design a space mission related to the topic they were assigned to and worked under the supervision of Cyprien Verseux (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”), Tina Šantl-Temkiv and Carolina von Essen (both from Aarhus University).

The four groups then presented their mission projects - Return to the moon, Exploit asteroids! A technological step towards human exploration of the solar system, Human mission to Mars, and Enceladus microbial life exploration - and answered questions from the other groups and the supervisors.

After some closing remarks, the participants had some free time until the evening, when Mads Andersen (Aarhus University) gave a presentation of the remotely-controlled SONG telescope in Tenerife. The use of the telescope was then demonstrated by observing Saturn’s main moons and the Eagle nebula.