Zur barrierefreien Version / Accessibility-ready version

Visitors from outer space: AMAG welcomes astronauts to Ranshofen

Caption from left to right: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, German analogue astronaut Carmen Köhler and her American colleague Carl Walz during a tour of AMAG’s new rolling plant in Ranshofen.
US star astronaut Chris Hadfield during a spontaneous musical interlude with Bigband students at Braunau Technical College.

  • AMAG is a partner to Austria’s nation-wide Community Day
  • Astronauts’ visit to Braunau Technical College and Ranshofen Primary School promotes enthusiasm for science and research
  • Astronauts experience leading-edge technology on a plant tour in Ranshofen

As part of the Austria-wide Community Days, which are held during the 29th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers, AMAG invited three astronauts to Ranshofen on 5 October. The 2016 Planetary Congress was organised by Austria’s only astronaut, Franz Viehböck, in cooperation with the Austrian Space Forum. On Community Day, 100 astronauts and cosmonauts conveyed their passion for space across Austria.


Describing their experiences in space, Astronauts Chris Hadfield (Canada) and Carl Walz (USA) and analogue astronaut Carmen Köhler (Germany) acted as ambassadors for science, research and technology in the region. The programme included visits to the municipality of Braunau, Braunau Technical College and Ranshofen Primary School – a unique opportunity during which the astronauts gave exciting insights into their work. The programme was rounded off by an in-depth discussion with AMAG managers and an extensive tour of the new rolling plant in Ranshofen. The key messages were: overcoming fear and following one’s dreams and realizing them with the help of a consistent plan – regardless of how unachievable they may appear at first.


“Over a period of many years we’ve built a strong growth-based partnership with the aeronautics industry. As in aeronautics, people play a key role in high-tech production. Astronauts in particular are ideal ambassadors when it comes to performance, innovation and consistency. By participating in Community Day, we hope to instil an enthusiasm for science and technology in young people as the skilled workers of tomorrow and provide our employees with a platform for exchanging ideas with space experts,” as Helmut Wieser, CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG stated.


For example, the “singing” astronaut Chris Hadfield talked in his speech about his childhood dream of flying, his career − from studying mechanical engineering to serving in the Canadian Air Force to training as a test pilot to his mission on the International Space Station. He has already made three flights into space and also attracted attention on the Internet with a cover version of a David Bowie song. Although Carmen Köhler has yet to travel into space, the first female analog astronaut of the Austrian Space Forum has taken part in scientific experiments in a Mars-like environment. The trained mathematician underscored the high level of physical and mental fitness required for the job, which she demonstrated, for example, during a simulated Mars mission on Kaunertal Glacier in Tyrol. Another astronaut on board was the American Carl E. Walz, who holds the record for the longest time spent in space: a total of 196 days on the ISS.

About the ASE

Founded in 1985, the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) promotes international contact and exchange of opinions among astronauts and cosmonauts and currently counts over 400 astronauts and cosmonauts from 35 nations among its members. Since 1985 the ASA has convened during the Planetary Congress, which is held in a different country every year.

The Austrian Space Forum (ASF) is an organisation for space specialists and people with a passion for space. In collaboration with national and international institutions, the ASF conducts research in the field of space activities and operates satellite ground stations. It is also developing an experimental Mars suit and carries out internationally acclaimed simulations of Mars expeditions. The ASF’s educational mandate includes public-relations work and events on the subject of space and space travel, as well as cooperation with political and industrial organisations.




About the AMAG Group

AMAG is a leading Austrian premium supplier of high-quality aluminium cast and flat rolled products for highly varied industries such as the aircraft, automotive, sports equipment, lighting, mechanical engineering, construction and packaging industries. The Canadian smelter Alouette, in which AMAG holds a 20% interest, produces high-quality primary aluminium while safeguarding an exemplary eco-balance. In 2015, a workforce of around 1,700 generated a turnover of 913 million euros with an operating result (EBITDA) of 127 million euros.

To top