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As the sun sets on the Mars horizon, two astronauts approach the Ares Mining base camp. A wild sandstorm is raging around them, making it hard to see. Through the light cast down from the airlock shaft, one team member can be seen reaching out to open the door. It slides open and immediately, they both step in, leaving a cloud of dust behind them.

In this experience, participants will hone their crisis management skills in one of two conditions: 

Condition 1: Participants are immersed together with the team members inside the airlock. The door is locked and the air is becoming scarce. What should they do to survive? 

Condition 2: Learners are immersed in the control room of the Ares Mining base camp on Mars. They have to figure out what caused the airlock to seal and help the other team members get out safely. Will they make it on time?

Type of experience

Interactive Simulation

Learning areas


Team dynamics

Operations & Supply Chain


Decision making (bias)

Unique features

Randomized conditions 

Interactive interviews 

Conditioned responses 

90 min

10-12 min

Recommended learning time
Duration of VR
Learning objectives
  • Effective communication 

  • Building trust 

  • Personal and organizational resilience

  • After action review – conducting effective interviews

  • Process management and adapting action in times of uncertainty

  • Value-based decision making

  • Accountability - leadership in times of crisis


Thomas Hellwig, Daniel Landau, Alon Epstein

Mission To Mars - The Airlock

Developing and assessing crisis management skills
Experience segments - 3
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