Analogue research and data analysis supporting and preparing lunar and planetary space missions

Analogue planetary research (APR) describes the development and testing of space exploration strategies including scientific, technical, operational, social and medical aspects in terrestrial environments under simulated space or planetary conditions [Hettrich S. et al. (2015),]. As such, APR can be performed in analogue planetary simulation, for example Lunar or Martian analogue missions, where future crewed or robotic space exploration missions are simulated and evaluated towards their performance.

With increasing popularity of analogue planetary simulations as test-beds to develop and test technologies, techniques and operational procedures for planetary missions in facilities such as HiSeas, MDRS, LunAres or similar facilities, this session invites contributions in the field of analogue planetary research including, but not limited to:

- data analysis about sites for future exploration
- results and lessons-learned from Lunar / Martian analogue missions
- field tests for space exploration hardware, software and techniques
- scientific contributions through analogue research
- geological field work during planetary simulations
- future analogue mission concepts
- transferring APR results into actual space exploration missions

Convener: Sebastian HettrichECSECS | Co-convener: Bernard Foing
vPICO presentations
| Wed, 28 Apr, 11:45–12:30 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Wed, 28 Apr

Chairpersons: Sebastian Hettrich, Bernard Foing
Bernard Foing, Henk Rogers, Michaela Musilova, Sabrina Kerber, Charlotte Pouwels, Marc Heemskerk, Nityaporn Sirikan, Agata Kolodziejczyk, Iona-Roxana Perrier, Amanda Spilkin, Nancy Vermeulen, Julien Villa-Massone, Irene Schlacht, Michael Waltemathe, Elke Hemminger, Adrien Tavernier, the EMMIHS EuroMoonMars-Intl MoonBase Alliance, HISEAs Team, and the EMMPOL EuroMoonMars Poland Team and the ILEWG EuroMoonMars Team

We give an update on ILEWG EuroMoonMars Results, with emphasis on activities and field campaigns that took place in 2019-2020 including lunar astronautics events during 2020 pandemics. We present life and research at Moonbase from EuroMoonMars campaigns EMMIHS HISEAs, EMMPOL Poland that simulated science and operations at future Moonbases. EuroMoonMars is an ILEWG programme  following up ICEUM declarations as a collaboration between ILEWG, space agencies, academia, universities and research institutions and industries .

EMMIHS campaigns (EuroMoonMars-IMA International Moonbase Alliance- HiSEAS): EuroMoonMars 2018-20 supported field campaigns at  IMA HI-SEAS base on Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The International Moonbase Alliance (IMA), an organization dedicated to building sustainable settlements on the Moon, has been organising regular simulated missions to the Moon or Mars at HI-SEAS. In 2019, the EuroMoonMars campaigns were launched at HI-SEAS, bringing together researchers from the European Space Agency, VU Amsterdam, ILEWG and IMA. Six scientists, engineers, explorers, journalists spent two weeks at the HI-SEAS station performing research relevant to both the Moon and Mars there. Research and technological experiments conducted at HI-SEAS will be used to help build a Moonbase .

EuroMoonMars during 2020 Pandemics We had to replan and adapt EuroMoonMars workshops and fields events. A number of hybrid and virtual events could be organized following safety distancing instructions. We conducted 35 weekly plenary EMM teleconferences (Fridays 17h CET) and many EMM splinter groups meetings.

2020/06 EMM Iceland CHILL-ICE Scouting. A small team explored locations and collaborations for installing a deployable research habitat in lavatube for May 2021. 

2020/10 EMMPOL EuroMoonMars Poland. We were able to organise in controlled safety conditions 2 one-week Moonbase isolation simulations, in order to conduct a number of research investigations, human factors studies, with 5 crew supported by a remote support team.

*Acknowledgements: We thank ILEWG EuroMoonMars field campaigns crew 2016-2020 (including the EMMIHS crew and remote support team from EMMIHS 1-4 and  EMMPOL1 &2 .

How to cite: Foing, B., Rogers, H., Musilova, M., Kerber, S., Pouwels, C., Heemskerk, M., Sirikan, N., Kolodziejczyk, A., Perrier, I.-R., Spilkin, A., Vermeulen, N., Villa-Massone, J., Schlacht, I., Waltemathe, M., Hemminger, E., Tavernier, A., EMMIHS EuroMoonMars-Intl MoonBase Alliance, HISEAs Team, T., and EMMPOL EuroMoonMars Poland Team, T. and the ILEWG EuroMoonMars Team: Life & Research at Moonbase: ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns results 2018-2020, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15626,, 2021.

Agata Kolodziejczyk, Matt Harasymczuk, and Karolina Lagiewka

Analog simulations of space missions transform from educational activities to advanced interdisciplinary research related with future Moon and Mars exploration. Here we present results from Analog Simulations Campaign 2020 at Analog Astronaut Training Center in Poland. We organised 10 analog missions starting with six missions BRIGHT engaging 9 students, mission ETERNITY, DESTINY, and two EMMPOL missions engaging 18 people, what gives 27 analog astronauts in total for the whole campaign. Analog astronauts were supported by the Mission Control Center. Several experts from various disciplines - professional researchers, participated remotely in this project. Analog astronaut samples of serum, urine, stool and saliva were transported and analysed in professional laboratories of Collegium Medicum at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. 

Organised analog simulations had a common scientific and operational objectives. The main aim was to study life in isolation to support the general public in pandemic times. Missions were organised in specially equipped with environmental sensors isolated AATC habitat in the South of Poland. We collected multiple physiological and psychological data related with stress, motivation and efficiency of analog astronauts during their missions. We observed changes in physical activity, appetite, circadian rhythms, mood, and motivation, as well as interesting results from physiological samples. We defined the most critical aspects of life in isolation and tested putative solutions for improvement of the comfort of such type of existence. Based on our 4 month studies, we characterised a list of common problems strictly related with life in isolation, which were observed in tested groups. At the end, we propose solutions to improve life and well-being in restricted spaces.

How to cite: Kolodziejczyk, A., Harasymczuk, M., and Lagiewka, K.: Remote research in lunar and martian analog international missions to rise knowledge about life in isolation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8684,, 2021.

Jari Joutsenvaara, Marko Aittola, Marko Holma, Ossi Kotavaara, Eija-Riitta Niinikoski, Sakari Nokela, and Teemu Öhman

Callio Lab, the host of Callio SpaceLab, is a unique underground infrastructure located at the depths of the Pyhäsalmi mine, Finland. It is one of the cornerstones of the ‘Callio – Mine for business’ concept. The Callio concept aims to create and maintain an economically feasible environment for all mine re-purposing activities at the mine site. [1,2].

The Pyhäsalmi mine is one of the deepest base metal mines in Europe with a depth of 1.4 km. The underground mining operations are ending in 10/2021. While the mine is closing, new doors open for various underground re-use activities with access 24/7 to underground facilities. With mine-wide optical network access, the re-use activities can be remotely monitored securely online. The mine infrastructure, including its underground facilities, offers a unique testing and analogue simulation environment, for example, for the future Lunar and planetary missions. Such a habitat environment can be used, for example, to develop and test instrumentation (e.g., detectors, drills, tools, and rovers), construction, maintenance, and food, energy and mineral resource production technologies, as well as to study solutions and psychological impacts related to architecture, underground lighting, crew interaction, and team performance. The multidisciplinary University of Oulu, Finland, supports the scientific work at the site. The scientific activities are coordinated by the Kerttu Saalasti Institute of the same university [3]. Currently, six underground laboratories are operational, including cosmic ray monitoring, underground food production (insect -farming, hydroponic greenhouses), underground safety and rescue training, intelligent and biodynamic underground lighting, and isotope analysis facility.

The Pyhäsalmi Mine is situated in a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit formed ca. 1.9 Ga and offers excellent possibilities for testing and simulating resource extraction for future Lunar and planetary missions in a safe and effective manner. Due to the origins of the ore deposit, most wall rocks along the tunnels represent submarine mafic volcanic rocks. Moreover, the rocks contain some ancient saline water pockets. The water samples analysis has shown traces of Firmicute, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria species common in deep subsurface environments. The water pockets are sealed and equipped with valves for future analyses. [4].

In our talk, the possibilities and development plans of the Callio SpaceLab are discussed in further detail.


[1] Callio Lab – Underground Center for Science and R & D,, 8 Jan 2021

[2] Mine for Business – Callio – Pyhäjärvi, Finland,, 8 Jan 2021

[3] Kerttu Saalasti Institute,, 8 Jan 2021

[4] Miettinen H., Kietäväinen R., Sohlberg E., Numminen M., Ahonen L. & Itävaara M.. Microbiome composition and geochemical characteristics of deep subsurface high-pressure environment, Pyhäsalmi mine Finland, Frontiers in Microbiology, p. 1203, Vol 6, 2015.   

How to cite: Joutsenvaara, J., Aittola, M., Holma, M., Kotavaara, O., Niinikoski, E.-R., Nokela, S., and Öhman, T.: The deep underground Callio SpaceLab, Finland – Sustainable living, sustaining life, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14129,, 2021.

Luís Lopes, Shashank Govindaraj, Wiebke Brinkmann, Simon Lacroix, Jakub Stelmachowski, Fran Colmenero, Joseph Purnell, Kevin Picton, and Nabil Aouf

The PRO-ACT project studies, designs and develops the establishment of a lunar base with the support of a multi-robotic platform, entailing different features, tasks and capabilities. The activities are inline with the preparation of the commercial exploitation of in-situ resources and planetary exploration research by assembling an ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilisation) system tested in a lunar analogue setting. The vision of PRO-ACT is based on the extraction of oxygen from lunar regolith which serves as oxidizer for fuel and artificial atmosphere generation for habitats and 3D printing of relevant structures using regolith for construction purposes.

The main goal of PRO-ACT is to implement and demonstrate the cooperative capabilities of the multi-robot system in a Moon-like environment. PRO-ACT uses three robots: Veles - a six-wheeled rover; Mantis - a six-legged walking system; and a mobile gantry. The final demonstration tests are set for early 2021.

Work implementation for the final deployment on the lunar analogue comprises: 1) during simulations, the planned mission scenarios and functional tests of the sub-components are carried out, to gain results of the real systems as well as to check the function of the developed software on the involved robotic systems; 2) remote testing of the robotic elements are implemented with the goal to integrate the software developed in the project and develop the first functional tests of the robot systems with the implemented software, 3) onsite demonstration of the project in Bremen, Germany, in a lunar analogue setting. For this indoor lunar analogue environment it was decided to create and set up a testbed with regolith simulant for testing purposes. It will be possible to replicate realistic simulation conditions (eg. navigation, mobility, autonomy) as found in the moon, which are adequate to certify the project’s goals.

The final demonstration will be conducted in the Space Exploration Hall at DFKI in Bremen. During the project, it was decided to build a large test field (with an area of 48m²) in front of the crater in the Hall, which will be filled with granulate/simulant (fill level 20-30 cm) in order to carry out moonlike mission scenarios with the involved robotic systems. The challenge was to find the appropriate granulate: the choice fell on using sand from the Baltic sea with grain size of 0.1-1.0mm, with the majority in the larger fraction. This simulant presents both relevant geomorphological and space exploration lunar conditions that are necessary for the certification of PRO-ACT’s activities, while complying with necessary health regulations. Other considered options included EAC-1A, the European Astronaut Centre lunar regolith simulant 1, which is a special mixture of 0.2-1.0mm (65% 0.2-0.5mm and 35% 0.5-1.0mm), but this is very dusty and hazardous to health in enclosed rooms, such as the Space Exploration Hall. It was, therefore, disregarded due to health and safety conditions.

To keep lunar fidelity up to a maximum, the final demonstration setup will include, besides the referred simulant, boulders (~2m), slopes of different angles, the Hall’s crater, light/darkness conditions controlled by a light system and environmental dryness. 

How to cite: Lopes, L., Govindaraj, S., Brinkmann, W., Lacroix, S., Stelmachowski, J., Colmenero, F., Purnell, J., Picton, K., and Aouf, N.: Analogue lunar research for commercial exploitation of in-situ resources and planetary exploration - Applications in the PRO-ACT project, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9180,, 2021.

Marc S. Boxberg, Fabian Baader, Leonardo Boledi, Qian Chen, Bernd Dachwald, Gero Francke, Johanna Kerch, Ana-Catalina Plesa, Anna Simson, and Julia Kowalski

The icy moons of our Solar System, such as the Saturnian moon Enceladus and the Jovian moon Europa, are scientifically highly interesting targets for future space missions, since they are potentially hosting extraterrestrial life in their oceans below an icy crust. Moreover, the exploration of these icy moons will enhance our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System. For their eventual in-situ exploration, novel technological solutions and simulations are necessary. This also includes model-based mission support to assist the development of future melting probes which comprise one option to access the subglacial water.

Since 2012, several national projects under the lead of the DLR Explorer Initiatives develop key technologies to enhance our capability for the in-situ exploration of ice and to sample englacial or subglacial water. In 2020, the DLR Space Administration started the TRIPLE project (Technologies for Rapid Ice Penetration and subglacial Lake Exploration). This project develops an integrated concept for a melting probe that launches an autonomous underwater vehicle (nanoAUV) into a water reservoir and an AstroBioLab for in-situ analysis. All components are developed for terrestrial use while always having a future space mission with its challenges in mind. As part of a second project stage, it is envisioned to build the TRIPLE system and to access a subglacial lake in Antarctica in 2026.

To deliver key parameters such as transit time and overall energy requirement, a virtual test bed for strategic mission planning is currently under development. This consists of the Ice Data Hub that combines available data from Earth and other planetary bodies – measured or taken from the literature – and allows the visualization, interpretation and export of data, as well as trajectory models for the melting probe. We develop high-fidelity thermal contact models for the phase change as well as macroscopic trajectory models that consider the thermodynamic melting process and the convective loss of heat via the melt-water flow.

In this contribution, we present previous field test data obtained with the melting probe “EnEx-IceMole” from field deployments on temperate glaciers in the Alps and on Taylor Glacier in Antarctica together with the thermal contact models. We explore the validity and accuracy of the models for different terrestrial environments and use the findings to predict the melting probe behaviour in extraterrestrial locations of future space missions.

How to cite: Boxberg, M. S., Baader, F., Boledi, L., Chen, Q., Dachwald, B., Francke, G., Kerch, J., Plesa, A.-C., Simson, A., and Kowalski, J.: Concepts to utilize planetary analogue studies for icy moon exploration missions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13052,, 2021.

Mahid Ahmed, Nina Kopacz, and Inge Loes ten Kate

Lava tubes have been detected on Mars and because of their subsurface nature are shielded from the harsh conditions at the surface. If water intersects with the Martian lava tubes, a life nurturing environment may exist locally in these tubes. Lava tubes on Iceland and the Azores may support similar conditions as lava tubes on Mars and have been shown to contain a wide variety of microbes. [Planetary Analogues and Lava Tube ] (PELE) field expeditions have been setup to understand the relationship between microbes and susbtrate and the preservation of microbes in deeptime within these systems. Within such systems biogenic and hydrothermal alteration processes are not necessarily mutually exclusive and a good understanding of the mineralogy helps distinguish one from the other. Here, I have performed an analytical study analysing basalt mineralogy from recent lava flows from Iceland and Azores islands, attempting to distinguish between biogenic and hydrothermal signatures. I used a workflow of semi quantitative analysis using viewing thin sections under a light microscope to understand textural information. This was supplemented by  ImageJ software and using SEM+EDX for point analysis of regions of interest to shed light on our areas of interest. My results showed some ambiguous features linked to alteration in a sample in the north of Iceland related to clays or spherulites, in the Azores vesicle infill of clays or devitrified glass were seen with potential bio signatures including carbon,calcum and phosphorous. These results may indicate environmental factors leading to location specific alteration or related to lava rock mineralogy. Contamination effects cannot be ignored and must be taken into consideration when reviewing these results. Overall these analyses will contribute to the larger PELE outcome by providing a complimentary workflow that can be used to assess biosignatures and specific regions of interest within lava tube rocks.


How to cite: Ahmed, M., Kopacz, N., and ten Kate, I. L.: ‘Terrestrial lava tubes as analogues for Mars – a review of the mineralogy and biosignatures of lava tubes from Iceland and the Terceira islands.’, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16044,, 2021.

Marc Heemskerk, Charlotte Pouwels, and Sabrina Kerber

CHILL-ICE (Construction of a Habitat Inside a Lunar-analogue Lava tub - Iceland Campaign EuroMoonMars) is focused on a safe and efficient preparation for future lunar human settlement for research, communication, and commercial purposes. In order to do so, a team of Early Career Scientists from EuroMoonMars will set up an analogue mission in the Stefánshellir lava tube on Iceland. The goal is to develop a prototype space habitat that can be transported into and set up in the lava tube by three (3) analogue astronauts; this means that they will be limited in their field of vision, have limited movement, have more momentum and a 'bigger body' to work with, and they will have limited amounts of time (in sim: 'Oxygen') available. Within eight (8) hours, they will need to set up the habitat and communication systems to give Mission Control (MC) the all-good. Failure to do so results in the termination of the mission and the analogue astronauts will be picked up again and transported back to MC.

In the scenario where the crew has complied with these mission objectives, they will spend two consecutive nights in the base and focus the rest of their time on research EVA's. These EVA objectives include: Robotics and rover operations, solar system observations, telecommunications, (RAMAN-)spectrometry, astrobiology, lava tube flow stratigraphy, and UAV-protocolling. To ensure an overall campaign success, there will be two of these short analogue astronaut campaigns, with a period of two days in between to adjust protocols where necessary and exchange information and lessons learned. 

As a preparation for CHILL-ICE, there have been two earlier EuroMoonMars missions to Iceland to investigate the possibility and feasibility of an Icelandic lava tube campaign. In September 2018, we have scouted several locations to see what lava tube or lava field would be the optimal fit in terms of size, reachability, tourists or remoteness, medical support locations, earlier damage to the natural environment, and proper entrances. The decision was made to go to the Hallmundarhraun lava field, a 2-hour drive towards the Northeast of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. During an envoy mission in June 2020, we focused on specific lava tubes within this lava field, including Vidgelmir, Surtshellir, and Stefánshellir, where the choice was eventually made for the latter. The easternmost gallery of the Stefánshellir lava tube proved to be both wide and high enough to construct a habitat in, with a relative safe entrance via the skylight, reasonable natural lighting and airflow, connection to a larger subsurface system for astronautical and robotic exploration, and previous damage to the cave made it easier to get permits.

The current field campaign is planned from the 24th of May until the 6th of June and will also focus on (inter)national outreach and act as a basis for the national Icelandic space sector and their international relations.


We would like to thank the previous EuroMoonMars teams for their support during this and the previous missions, as well as SpaceIceland, the IcelandicSpeleologicalSociety and our many other partners.



How to cite: Heemskerk, M., Pouwels, C., and Kerber, S.: CHILL-ICE: On-site Preparation for an Analogue Mission in Iceland, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16189,, 2021.

Michaela Musilova, Bernard Foing, and Henk Rogers

Lava tube exploration has become an important part of discussions relating to the search for life on Mars by both humans and robots. On Mars, lava tubes may contain biosignatures and existing lifeforms. Alternatively, on the Moon, lava tubes may serve as sheltered environments for the construction of human settlements. Nevertheless, lava tubes can also be difficult environments for robotic operations and they can pose a safety hazard to humans as well. It will thus be extremely important to prepare for lava tube exploration by humans and robots in analog environments on Earth. The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat is a lunar and Martian analog research station located on the volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The International MoonBase Alliance (IMA) organises missions at HI-SEAS, during which crews of six analog astronauts perform research and technology testing relevant to the exploration of the Moon and Mars. The missions that take place at HI-SEAS can be of varied duration, from several days to several months, depending on the needs of the researchers. They are open to space agencies, organizations and companies worldwide to take part in, provided their research and technology testing will help contribute to the exploration of the Moon and Mars. Since the HI-SEAS habitat is located on lava flows, its surroundings provide valuable access to performing high-fidelity planetary science fieldwork with very little plant or animal life present, and a wide variety of volcanic features to explore, such as lava tubes, channels, and tumuli. This terrain is also ideal for rover and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) testing because of its great similarity to the basaltic terrains on the Moon and Mars. HI-SEAS crews have performed a number of biochemical and geophysical research projects in the lava tubes accessible to them near the habitat. They explored and collected research samples while wearing Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) analog spacesuits and following strict EVA protocols. These activities are very challenging for the crew, due to the bulky gloves and EVA equipment they have to wear, while performing precise biochemical research that is sensitive to contamination. The crews also have to take into consideration their safety, their limited life support systems during EVAs and a number of other factors relevant to space exploration missions. Further studies will be needed to assess how best to combine scientific goals with human exploration goals during future human missions, which may use lava tubes as a resource as well as a key site for scientific research.

How to cite: Musilova, M., Foing, B., and Rogers, H.: Simulating lava tube exploration research during analog lunar and Martian missions at HI-SEAS in Hawaii , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14600,, 2021.

Simone Andolfo, Anna Maria Gargiulo, Flavio Petricca, Ivan di Stefano, and Antonio Genova

The future robotic exploration of planetary surfaces will require autonomous and safe operations to accomplish outstanding scientific objectives. The main goal of space robotic systems consists in expanding our access capability to harsh environments in the solar system (e.g., Martian polar caps, icy moons). However, the operations of systems onboard landers and rovers are still mainly commanded and controlled by ground operators. To enhance the efficiency of future rovers, we are developing a robust guidance, navigation and control system that enables safe mobility on different terrain and slopes conditions, including the presence of obstacles.

High slippery terrains, such as sandy-loose soils, could prevent the rover locomotion, affecting its safety. Furthermore, the presence of these demanding terrains may impact on the rover navigation, leading to inaccuracies in the Wheel Odometry (WO) measurements because of wheels’ loss of traction. Therefore, we implemented a navigation algorithm based on Visual Odometry (VO) that is the technique based on the processing of stereo-camera images captured at successive times during the vehicle’s motion. This method is fundamental to help WO during operations that require fast responses and high-accurate positioning. We also adopted a LIDAR sensor to improve the position estimate accuracy by processing measurements associated with well-known terrain features.

We present here numerical simulations of rover navigation across different terrain conditions by using accurate dynamical models, including the deformability of both wheel and terrain. VO and LIDAR data are simulated and processed to determine the positioning accuracies that enable safe navigation. The results are in full agreement with the existing (i.e., Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)) and future (i.e., ExoMars) rover performances. Our algorithm allows reconstructing the rover trajectory with higher accuracies compared to the localization system requirement of the NASA MER rovers (i.e., 10% error over 100 meters traverse).

How to cite: Andolfo, S., Gargiulo, A. M., Petricca, F., di Stefano, I., and Genova, A.: Safe Navigation and Visual Odometry-based Localization for Planetary Exploration Rovers , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15702,, 2021.

Sofia Manimanaki, Dimitris Mitrogiannis, Ioannis Baziotis, Maria Psychoyou, Ioannis Papanikolaou, Stamatios Xydous, Constantinos Mavrogonatos, Thomas Bartzanas, and Brad Sutter

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth. According to the vision of circular bioeconomy, the management of nutrient-rich wastewaters should include both treatment and utilization goals (Battista & Bolzonella, 2019). Consequently, the application of in-situ resources utilization (ISRU), using typical Martian soil (e.g., Yen et al., 2005), is vital for the sustainability of future long-term settlements on Mars.

Martian soil simulants, provided by The CLASS Exolith Lab from the University of Central Florida, were tested for their phosphorus sorption capacity. Sorption of phosphate anions (PO4-P) from aqueous solutions (AS) of KH2PO4 and sodium bicarbonate, as well as from hydrolyzed human urine (HU) was examined at a preliminary stage, using three Martian soil simulants (MGS-1; Rocknest soil, MGS-1S; M-WIP Reference Case B and MGS-1C; M-WIP Reference Case C; Cannon et al. 2019). In particular, isothermal, kinetic, pH, temperature, initial sorbent concentration (5 g soil simulant/L AS or HU, 10 g/L and 15 g/L) and desorption experiments were carried out, the duration of which ranged from five days to three weeks.

The percentage of phosphorus removal was up to 60 % for the aqueous solutions and 24 % for the hydrolyzed human waste. The sulfate-rich simulant (MGS-1S) exhibited the best results. The major phases of MGS-1S are: gypsum, plagioclase, basaltic glass, pyroxene, and olivine. Temperature and the initial pH seem to be the dominant factors affecting P sorption. Equilibrium between sorbent and AS was achieved between five and seven days, as indicated by kinetic experiments. Isothermal experiments at 25 ⁰C with AS of different P concentrations displayed a linear correlation between adsorption capacity (q) and P-concentration (r2=0.98). Maximum q was observed at 8.5 and 27 mg/g for AS and HU experiments respectively, when 5 g/L of initial sorbent concentration was used. X-ray diffraction (XRD) of the sorbents treated with AS showed the presence of the newly formed phases berlinite and brushite. Perhaps due to hydrolysis of the pre-existing illite, aluminum bound with the solution’s phosphates, forming berlinite and buffering AS’s pH to lower values. Formation of brushite is possibly indicative of gypsum (predominant phase in the raw material) dissolution subsequently releasing sulfate anions. In a similar approach, XRD evaluation of the sorbents treated with HU revealed the newly formed phases calcite and hannayite. Phosphate and ammonia ions were likely to bind to the sample and were precipitated within newly formed calcium-bearing phases.

These experiments form a preliminary study of Martian soil simulants, and initial results indicate a possible use of Martian soils as waste recipients or as fertilizers in future missions.


Battista, F., & Bolzonella, D. (2019). Waste and Biomass Valorization, 10(12), 3701-3709.
Cannon, K. M., Britt, D. T., Smith, T. M., Fritsche, R. F., & Batcheldor, D. (2019). Icarus, 317, 470-478.
Yen, A. S., Gellert, R., Schröder, C., Morris, R. V., Bell, J. F., Knudson, A. T., ... & Blaney, D. (2005). Nature, 436(7047), 49-54.

How to cite: Manimanaki, S., Mitrogiannis, D., Baziotis, I., Psychoyou, M., Papanikolaou, I., Xydous, S., Mavrogonatos, C., Bartzanas, T., and Sutter, B.: Phosphorus interactions with Martian soil simulants, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13410,, 2021.

Jourdain Mcilquham, Anouk M Borst, Elyse J Allender, and Bernard Foing

Geological context of recent lunar landing sites using multispectral analysis. (Mcilquham J, Borst A, Allender E and Foing B)

The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) was a guest instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 mission. The instrument collected spectral data, ranging from 430 nm to 3000 nm at an average resolution of 140 m/pixel. This research utilises M3 spectral data to visualise and understand the geology of lunar landing sites visited by Chang’e 4 and 5. The aims of this study are aligned to lunar exploration goals produced by the National Research Council. We use Python scripts to undertake data analysis, creating site maps using continuum removal methods and assigning RGB image channels to highlight absorption features of interest. The Chang’e 4 landing site is located on the lunar far side within the Von Karman crater, located in the large South Pole Aitken impact basin. At Von Karman lunar mantle or lower crustal material may be exposed in the central peak. This could provide valuable insights into lunar geological history. We create maps to visualise the location of pyroxene end-members and olivine-rich rocks of the Von Karman crater, adding data to understand the composition of the deeper lunar lithologies. Orbital data presented in this study can be compared with ground-truth data gathered from the Yutu 2 rover to confirm the minerals present. More recently the Chang’e 5 mission provided a further landing site for study. Using the same methods as presented above we will compare its spectral composition to the Chang’e 4 landing site. Our maps can help to understand the key factors used to determine a suitable landing site and potentially a suitable location for a lunar base. By comparing Chang’e landing sites this study provides a unique insight into the craters in which they landed, allowing direct comparisons to be drawn. Preliminary findings identify non-mare units within the Von Karman crater as well as various Ca-rich and Ca-poor pyroxene-bearing lithologies.

How to cite: Mcilquham, J., Borst, A. M., Allender, E. J., and Foing, B.: Geological context of recent Lunar landing sites using Multispectral analysis. , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16055,, 2021.

Daniël den Heijer and Bernard Foing

The lunar south pole is of particular interest to researchers because of its unique geographical features. It contains craters where the near-constant sunlight does not reach the interior. These craters are of enormous importance in the process of human exploration of the moon.This research aims to develop an identification algorithm applied to LROC data to characterize and identify potential regions of interest on the lunar south pole. Such areas of interest include (surroundings of) lava tubes, skylights, crater detection for age estimation, and planning traverses for the Artemis successive missions.Identifying these regions will be done using machine learning techniques such as a deep convolutional neural network that will be trained on labeled data and are then used to identify and characterize new regions of interest.

How to cite: den Heijer, D. and Foing, B.: Machine Learning applied to Lunar Data to Characterize Potential Sites for Future Science, Mobile Exploration, Utilization, lunar Bases and Moon Villages., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16141,, 2021.

Marco Veneranda, Jesus Saiz, Guillermo Lopez-Reyes, Jose Antonio Manrique, Jesus Medina, Francois Poulet, Stephanie C. Werner, and Fernando Rull

NASA/Mars2020 and ESA/ExoMars missions will look for traces of present or past life on Mars. To do so, both Perseverance and Rosalind Franklin rovers have been equipped with a wide set of spectroscopic systems to investigate the geochemistry and mineralogy of Martian rocks and soils. As spectroscopic techniques are acquiring an increasing importance in the field of Mars exploration, many research groups are trying to estimate and optimize their potential scientific return by carrying out representative analytical studies in the laboratory.

In this framework, PTAL is a research project founded by the European Commission through the H2020 program, which is aimed to provide the scientific community with a novel library of terrestrial analogue materials that have been selected based on their similarity to well-known Martian geological contexts. Planned to be released to public on January 2022, the PTAL platform ( will provide future users with access to complementary spectroscopic and diffractometric data gathered from over 100 terrestrial analogues.

In detail, the XRD analysis of each analogue was carried out to gather a reliable overview of samples mineralogy. Then, LIBS, IR and Raman spectrometers were used to collect additional elemental and molecular data, these being the key analytical tools onboard NASA/Perseverance and ESA/Rosalind Franklin rovers. Beside the use of commercial spectrometers, the RLS ExoMars Simulator, the MicrOmega-Flight (FS) (Spare Model) and the ChemCam-FS were also employed to collect LIBS, Raman and NIR spectra (respectively) qualitatively comparable to those that will soon gathered on Mars.

In addition to analytical data, the PTAL platform will also provide direct access to a dedicated software (SpectPro) for spectral visualization and treatment [1]

To conclude, future users can also request physical access to the terrestrial analogues, so that the data contained in the PTAL library can be combined with further analysis in the laboratory.

To obtain further information about the PTAL project, please use the QR code provided in Figure 01.

Figure 01: PTAL QR code

Acknowledgements: This work is financed through the European Research Council in the H2020- COMPET-2015 programme (grant 687302) and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, grant PID2019-107442RB-C31).

References: [1] Saiz J. et al., (2019) EGU general Assembly, 21, 17904.

How to cite: Veneranda, M., Saiz, J., Lopez-Reyes, G., Manrique, J. A., Medina, J., Poulet, F., Werner, S. C., and Rull, F.: Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (PTAL) a novel database to support rover missions to Mars, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1775,, 2021.