Astroland Interplanetary Agency

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Astroland Interplanetary Agency
An external view of the Ares station (AAC)
OrganisationSoviet Salyut program
LocationCantabria, Spain
First mission date2019
Mission capabilities
Typical crew size5
Maximum crew size8
Typical mission duration6 days
Operational history
Days occupieddays
Total crew46
Total EVAs20+
Technical data
Internal volumeunknow 3
Footprintunknown 2

Astroland Interplanetary Agency is a Spanish interplanetary agency based in Cantabria Spain. Astroland operates the first permanent, plug-and -play subsurface analogue station  inside a cave of 1.5 km long and 60 meters high in Santander, Spain. Astroland is an aerospace startup acting as a research organization, whose main objective is to envision future living capabilities on Mars.


Astroland Interplanetary Agency has for main goal to develop the skills and technology necessary to establish human colonies on Mars, with a focus on the habitat. The aim is to facilitating functional human habitats, that will be first deployed on the Moon and then on Mars. The first step has been to set up the first and only permanent plug-and-play subsurface analogue station worldwide which provides fully equipped operational scenarios analogue to Mars /Moon lava tubes, since according to previous scientific research one of the most sensible things to do to be protected from the harsh Martian environment will be to settle underground, in the old Martian lava tubes.Astroland Interplanetary Agency initiated the work on the project in 2016 and it took two years to convince the authorities to use the Cave in Arredondo (Cantabria) Santander. There are two main components of the agency: Ares Station and the Space Center.

Facility and equipment

The Ares Station serves as base for the mission and is located an 1h drive away from the Space Centre.

The Space Centre

It is a 5-module complex located at the Science and Technology Park of Cantabria. This experiment facility is the training camp for the Astrolanders, and of course, the Mission Control Center where every single aspect of the mission is monitored remotely, from the Astrolanders vital constants and metabolic parameters, to audio and visual contact, communications with the station are time delayed to simulate the time it takes for each message to travel from Earth to Mars.

The participants first go through remote training program. These trainings include: mental, physical, nutritional, technical, and moral couching.  Then, the next phase consists of physical, psychological and operational training at the Space Center: induction to caving, rope climbing and abseiling, rescue and self-rescue techniques, decision making and risk assessment, confine spaces awareness, claustrophobia, stress, coping with emergencies and risks such as slips, trips and falls .

Ares Station

Ares Station is the cave where the mission takes place. Before entering Ares Station, the Astrolanders, analogue astronauts of the Astroland missions, are geared up in astrosuits (spacesuits simulators for analogue missions).

The Astrolanders stay in the main habitat called Alpha Base, which has a capacity

of 8 crew members, fully equipped with all the necessary welfare facilities: sleeping cubicles, vacuum toilets, physical exercise tools, work stations. Astrolanders eat lyophilised food during the mission.

Scientific facilities (in the Ares Station)

The Ares station also has high resolution microscopes, hydroponic culture laboratory and 3D printers.

Technical systems

EVA systems and environment

At the deep end of the cave there is also an exploration outpost, a life capsule with capacity for 2 people. The exploration outpost is located near a lake within the cave, and main EVA experiment focus on sample collection of soil and bacteria from the walls of the cave.


Any meta-info you want to provide about the missions

Caption text
Mission Crew Start date Duration (days) Comments
Mission 01 (inaugural)
  • Fernando Gonzáles (Spain)
  • Dr. Carmen Köhler, (Germany)
  • Mikolaj Zielinski, (Poland)
  • Sofia Rubio, (Spain)
  • Jose Luis Cordeiro, (Venezuela)
2019 2
Mission 02 Commander Dr. Ana Caño

Other 5 crew members unknown

2 Filmed by
Mission 03 Commander Dr. Antonio Guillen

Other crew 7 members unknown

2 Mission realised for the BBC
Mission 04 Commander Dr. Carmen Köhler

Other crew 6 members unknown

2 In collaboration with the German TV DW
Mission 05 Commander Inigo Muñoz

Other 9 crew members unknown

3 In collaboration with National Geographic
Mission 06
Mission 07