Plenary 2: Host Plenary – How to Live and Work on ISS, Moon and Mars

Monday 1 October 2018, 18:15 – 19:30

Location: Bremen Conference Center – DLR Hall


Today’s visions of sending astronauts to Moon and Mars do not seem to be scheduled for a far distant future anymore. It is not the question of whether, but when we will be ready to go. ZARM (Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity) wants to focus the Host Plenary on research under space conditions and the practical requirements for working and living in space. We aim to show how the foundations for future extraterrestrial astronautic missions are being laid out.

Our guests will give short presentations (TED talk style) on their scientific work and their personal experience focusing on the following questions:

  • Why is research under space conditions so important?
  • What are the demands of an ideal workplace on ISS, Moon or Mars?
  • How does the living and working environment influence the team dynamics?
  • What are the technical and architectural specifications for a habitat that allows human beings to physically and psychologically cope with extreme living conditions?
  • What are the expected benefits of astronautic missions to Moon or Mars?



Marc Avila


Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM), University of Bremen,




Full Bio

Marc Avila studied mathematics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and at the University of Glasgow. From 2005 to 2008 he did his doctorate on fluid mechanics at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona. Half of his graduation time he spent at the Arizona State University as a research scholar. After his graduation, he was a postdoc at the Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation in Göttingen working with Prof. Björn Hof. From 2011 to 2016 he held a professorship for simulation in nano- and microfluidic mechanics in the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Since March 2016 he is the Executive Director of the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) and Professor for fluid mechanics at the Faculty of Production Engineering of the University of Bremen. For his work on turbulence he received the Young Scientist Award of the European Mechanics Society in 2009, and in 2018, he was awarded the Richard-von-Mises Prize of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM). He aims at supporting the new generations of young scientists and engineers, as well as increasing the impact of science beyond the scientific community.



Takuya Onishi


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA),




Full Bio

Takuya Onishi is a JAXA astronaut.

He received a Bachelor’s degree in March 1998 from the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo.

After working as a co-pilot of Boeing 767 in All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA)’s Flight Crew Center, he was selected as an astronaut candidate by JAXA in February 2009 and joined JAXA in April 2009. He has completed all basic training requirements, thus he was certified as an ISS astronaut in July, 2011.

From July to October 2016, he stayed on the ISS for 113 days as a flight engineer for the Expedition 48/49 mission. He maneuvered the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and became the first Japanese astronaut to capture the Cygnus spacecraft in space. He built a new experimental environment in Kibo and conducted many experiments for both JAXA and International Partners.


Hanns-Christian Gunga

Head of Work Group,

Center for Space Medicine and Extreme Environments,



Full Bio

Prof. Hanns-Christian Gunga has been the head of the work group space medicine and extreme environments  since 2003. He studied geology, palaeontology and human medicine at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and Berlin. Finishing medical school, he wrote his doctoral thesis about the famous German physiologist Nathan Zuntz (1847-1920). In 1997 he wrote his habilitation thesis about the regulation of erythropotein in humans in extreme environments. From 2004-2009 Prof. Gunga was the holder of the Nathan Zuntz Professorship.

As a student of Prof. Karl Kirsch at the Free University Berlin, Department of Physiology, he first encountered the topic of human adaption to extreme environments. Karl Kirsch initiated this research field in the late 1970’s, as a student of Prof. Otto Gauer.

Prof. Gunga’s main interests are evolutionary physiology, thermo-physiology, gravitational physiology, cardio-vascular physiology, high altitude and polar medicine as well as the history of sciences.


Christiane Heinicke

Team Lead – Moon and Mars Base Analog (MAMBA),

Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM), University of Bremen,




Full Bio

Dr.-Ing. Christiane Heinicke has studied Applied Physics (B.Sc.) at the Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany and Geophysics (M.Sc.) at Uppsala University in Sweden. She obtained her PhD in the field of magnetohydrodynamics in Ilmenau in 2013. After working on the fracture mechanics of sea ice at Aalto University in Finland, she moved to Hawaii where she spent twelve months at a research base under Mars-like conditions. In 2017 Christiane Heinicke joined the Center of Applied SpaceTechnology and Microgravity (ZARM) at the University in Bremen, where she leads a team designing and constructing a prototype for a habitat on Moon or Mars (MAMBA – Moon and Mars Base Analog).