EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Callio SpaceLab – Sustainable living, sustaining life

Jari Joutsenvaara1, Antti Tenetz2, Julia Puputti1, and Ossi Kotavaara1
Jari Joutsenvaara et al.
  • 1University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Nivala, Finland (
  • 2More than Planet project manager, Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre

Callio SpaceLab is an initiative for international space testing, R&D for future human space exploration. SpaceLab's extremely confined environment of the mine and surroundings provide testbeds to simulate human space exploration, analogue astronaut training and experiences for space research and systems in extreme environments on Earth.

Many steps need to be taken here on Earth to put a (hu)man on the Moon and later on Mars. The Earth-based simulation environments are called Terrestrial analogue sites or space analogues. Some analogues are more general, but some have characteristics similar to the extra-terrestrial conditions: e.g., Venus has an analogue environment at Mt. Etna (1), Italy, Mars at Atacama desert (2), Chile and Moon (3), Mauna Kea, Hawai, USA.

Space analogues research covers many topics ranging from testing of habitats and other constructions, fieldwork, in-situ resource utilisation and vehicles; some concentrate on low gravity  (simulated, e.g., in pools) and confinement from the existing world in enclosed environments.

Callio SpaceLab is a concept being developed at the Pyhäsalmi mine, Finland. It is one of Europe’s deepest  (1.4 km) base metal mines. The underground mining ended in 8/2022, but that is just the beginning. The Pyhäjärven Callio is developing the site for a second life, including underground pumped-hydro energy storage, a solar park, FUTUREMINE testing environment for autonomous mining equipment, and more (4,5). Research activities are coordinated by the University of Oulu´s Kerttu Saalasti Institute.

In order to survive on the extraterrestrial landscapes Moon and Mars, one needs to bring enough protection to sustain life and activities. Mine is a suitable terrestrial analogue test environment for confinement studies, biology, astrobiology, in-situ resource utilisation, scientific drilling, rover testing (inclines up to1:7), communications systems testing, space design-, art- and culture projects, etc. (6). The mine has extensive connectivity. Deep space communications can be simulated for different missions, from spaceflights to extraterrestrial bases and activities both on surfaces and in the depth of space objects and celestial bodies.

The site´s hosting rock is a massive volcanogenic sulfide (VMS) deposit formed 1.9 Ga (7). Exploration drilling has found saline water pockets dated at least 30 Ma old. The water samples have shown traces of bacteria common to deep subsurface environments (8).



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  • Joutsenvaara J.,  et al. Callio Lab - the deep underground research centre in Finland, Europe. 2021.
  • Tenetz A., More than Planet - Deep residency and workshop, creative Eu-project - 2022-2025.
  • Imaña M,  et al., 3D modeling for VMS exploration in the Pyhäsalmi district, Central Finland in. In: Proceedings of the 12th Biennial SGA Meeting. 2013. p. 12–5.
  • Miettinen H, et al., Microbiome composition and geochemical characteristics of deep subsurface high-pressure environment, Pyhasalmi mine Finland.

How to cite: Joutsenvaara, J., Tenetz, A., Puputti, J., and Kotavaara, O.: Callio SpaceLab – Sustainable living, sustaining life, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15409,, 2023.