“build a little, test a little” – NASA 



Analogue astronauts sent


Total no. of hours 

339 hrs



Why analoGUe missions? 

An analogue mission is a field activity set in a remote location with extreme characteristics that resemble the challenges of a space mission. These can be used to test the performance of new technologies destined for other planets, or put the human body through similar effects as living and working off-world, helping us learn, practice and prepare for the future. Existing analogue missions have sent crews to live in hostile environments such as deserts for several weeks, in some cases months, under the same physical, organisational, and technological restrictions that future astronauts will face.

The space environment is harsh and extreme, other planets frequently have fluctuating day/night temperatures, aggressive weather events, and unbreathable atmospheres. Moon regolith is very abrasive, highly statically charged and time delays also occur between planets and analogue missions help mitigate these problems well in advance before the launch. 


  • Locomotion
  • Communications
  • Remote operations
  • New instruments testing
  • Navigation
  • Human factors
  • Human performance
  • ISRU
  • Robot-human interactions 
  • Increase readiness level of systems engineering
  • Increase maturity of R&D technologies
  • Hands on experience 

EMMIHS-III (Feb 2020)

EuroMoonMars IMA HI-Seas is ESA’s EuroMoonMars and ILEWG campaigns to the International Moonbase Alliance analogue facility Hi-Seas in Hawaii. The overall focus of the EMMIHS campaign is on geological, physical, organizational, and psychological aspects of the HI-SEAS base and its direct surroundings. Individual mission goals are set to enable the studies that will allow us to explore and utilize the Moon and Mars in a safe, efficient, and inspiring way.

Lunar Zebro was one of the rovers tested in EMMIHS-III campaign. The main objective for the team was to test the leg design’s robutness over rough terrain and remote operations between Delft Ground Station and EMMIHS-III base in Hawaii.

Mission Outcome: Successful

DECOS (May 2020) 

Decos is a Dutch company, which has its headquarters located in Noordwijk. Their building looks like a meteorite that dropped on the Lunar surface; it symbolizes their dreams. They create efficient and economical solutions for their partners and for themselves. Their terrain has a grainy surface, obstacles from all sizes and craters. This is a perfect location to test the locomotion of the Zebro and to obtain visual data that will enable us to further develop the navigation software.

The rover could walk well on different kinds of grains (1 mm – 50 mm) and it could even go downwards on the steep crater walls. Going out of the crater was more difficult, it would remove the rocks under the legs and slip on the spot. Eventually, we managed to get the rover out of the crater by operating the rover manually.

Mission Outcome: Partially successful


CHILL-ICE mission

Lava tubes, Iceland
June 2021

IGLUNA mission

Verkehrshaus, Switzerland
July 2021
Swiss Space Center/ESA

ETNA mission

Sicily, Italy
Nov  2021
TU Delft