The first Romanian Mars mission - RoMars 2011

on 14 January 2011

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) coordinates, from 15 to 29 January 2011, the first Romanian Mars mission simulation, RoMars 2011.

Six young Romanian scientists will lead researchexperiments at the mars research base experiments MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station) Utah, USA, belonging to Mars Society. Because of its location, MDRS presents an ideal environment for the study of existing conditions on Mars and participating in a simulation mission is one of the preliminary steps to explore other planets - such analogous tasks taking place in the 60s within the program Apollo dedcated to the exploration of the Moon.

By sending his own crew, consisting of its researchers and collaborators, the Romanian Space Agency joins NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), which in turn participated in such simulation missions at MDRS. The 2011 RoMars crew, coordinated by Virgil Pop, ROSA researcjer, has six young Romanian members - three men and three women - with different specializations. Iulia Jivanescu - geologist of the mission - is 26 years old and is a researcher at ROSA, where she's working in space applications - Department of remote sensing and geographic information systems. Dragos Bratasanu - press officer of the mission, is 26 years old and is a researcher at ROSA, where he is working in satellite image processing and their application in combating the effects of natural disasters. Florin Mingireanu - the mission's engineer and astronomer- is 27 years old and is a researcher at ROSA, where he works in the field of propulsion and attitude control of satellites. Beatrice "Betty" Gilea - biologist of the mission - is 25 years old and is a biologist at ICAResearch & Development in Bucharest, where she examines the microbiological quality of food and drinking water. Haritina "Hari" Mogo┼čanu - biosafety and greenhouse hydroponics officer, astronomer of the mission, has 37 years, and is a specialist in environmental management, working in the Biosecurity Deparment of the Ministry of Agriculture from New Zealand.