Operations Report – September 28th

MDRS Operations Report 25-28-SEPT-2021

Name of person filing report: Shannon Rupert and Crew Engineer David Laude

Reason for Report: Routine daily

Non-nominal systems: Autoclave

Action taken for non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Generator: Nothing to report

ScienceDome Dual Split: Off

Solar— Nominal, providing all power

Solar— SOC % Last 24 hours:

Average 68.3

Minimum 47

Maximum 100

Note on solar: Nothing to report

Diesel Reading – Empty, tank to be removed soon

Propane Reading, station tank – 80%

Propane Reading, director tank— 74%

Propane Reading, intern tank— 72%

Propane Reading, generator— 80%

Ethanol Free Gasoline – 5 gallons

Water (loft tank): 41 gallons

Water Meter: 152,297.4 gallons

Water (static tank) – ~ 450 gallons

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water in GreenHab – gallons Unknown to me at this time. Will report after I find out how to measure it. Too late now.

Water in ScienceDome: 0 gallons

Water (Outpost tank) – 130 gallons

Hab toilet tank emptied: no

Perseverance rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Sojourner rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Spirit rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Opportunity rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Curiosity rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Notes on rovers: We will get hours on the first EVA.

ATV’s Used: (Honda, 300, 350.1, 350.2, 350.3): Yes

Reason for use: parked at Outpost

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 0 Gals

# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 1

Notes on ATVs: One of the 350’s is still acting as a sign because the battery is dead. I will move tomorrow

HabCar used and why, where? Yes, for water and supplies

CrewCar used and why, where? Yes, to Grand Junction to pick up crew

Luna used and why, where? Yes, but only moved on campus

General notes and comments: Nothing to report

Summary of internet: All old accounts are nominal. New service still not working.

Summary of suits and radios: We tried on both styles. All of us picked the single piece unit. The two piece is too flawed. The lower helmet ring is too far forward as it causes the head to be forced against the back of head restricting movement and constant muscle tension against it. Also, the rear ring clamps are forced against the frame making them difficult to open or close. On some helmets the upper ring front down-pointing latch section is bent backward causing it not to engage lower clamp mate. That is easily fixed with pliers, but every time the helmet is set down the front rests upon that small piece. We would send photos if requested. Regarding the one piece, unit 7 had no fan when switched on. One battery connector had slipped off a battery terminal. Reattachment was firm, but since it came off, I will make it hold better tomorrow by crimping the female connector. One radio has suddenly become erratic and unusable. With an in-situ crew of 4, we have spares.

Campus wide inspection, if action taken, what and why? Nothing to report

Summary of general operations: RAM and SciDome were cleaned. Four signs built by the work party had pier blocks attached and they were deployed-two along Cow Dung Road stating where our land begins and ends, and two on the driveways to restrict unauthorized personnel from driving to the station. So far tourist reactions are mixed.

Summary of Hab operations: All but a few food items supplied to the crew. Lower deck cleaning completed.

Summary of Outpost operations: Nothing to report.

Summary of GreenHab operations:

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Building was cleaned today but still some things to do before it is complete

Summary of RAM operations: Organized and cleaned. Tools used to assemble 4 heavy warning signs.

Summary of any observatory issues: Robotic observatory is down.

Summary of health and safety issues: All crew nominal.

Questions, concerns, supplies needed and requests: A few food items to come. Body temp thermometer coming. Smoke detector for RAM requested.

Journalist Report – September 28th

Forwarded on behalf of Remote Crew Journalist Stuart Hughes:


By Stuart Hughes, Remote Crew Journalist

One of the buzzwords of the moment is “hybrid” or “blended” working.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we’re living two parallel lives – one
of them in person and the other in the virtual spaces of Zoom and
Microsoft Teams that have become our natural habitat over the past 18

So it is with MDRS Crew 228. We are perhaps the first “hybrid” crew.
Our original mission date was for April 2020. Then COVID struck and
turned all our lives upside down. Remaining travel restrictions mean
we’ve been unable to come together in the Hab as we’d hoped and
planned for. As if to add insult to injury, the long-awaited news of
the lifting of the travel ban to the US came just last week – although
the changes won’t come into force in time for us to jump on a plane
and join our crew mates. So while half the crew carry out our mission
on “Mars,” the other half are watching on with more than a twinge of
jealousy from our home countries.

Prior to our original mission date I sought some advice on how to
approach a space analog mission from Anastasia Stepanova. Anastasia is
an engineer at the Russian Academy of Science. She spent a total of 10
months participating in space simulations with the Mars160 and SIRIUS
projects. When I met Anastasia, little did I know that COVID-19
lockdowns were just around the corner and the whole world was about to
gain more experience of living in isolation than any of us could have

In my job as a BBC journalist, I’m plugged into the news cycle all
day, every day. I confess that suddenly being cut off from that
constant stream of information was the thing I was fearing most during
my time at MDRS.

Anastasia trained as a journalist, so I asked her how she coped with
living in an information black hole.

"We didn’t have the internet, only an internal server, but the
psychological team would send you information if you requested it,”
she told me.

“Funnily enough, nobody in our crew asked for any news, apart from
space news! I was asking for space news – so they sent me screen grabs
from space.com. But we didn’t know what’s going on in the world.

“I liked that. I had a little break from all that. A digital detox is
the best thing I had – I still miss it! It’s harder when you’re in
civilization but I still try to go to the countryside on the weekends
and not check my phone for a whole day."

Not being able to monitor the TV news bulletins for months on end may
not have troubled Anastasia Stepanova but there were some reminders of
home she yearned for while taking part in analog missions.

“You start to miss smells and sounds,” she admitted.

“In the last simulation (SIRIUS) we had a really artificial
environment. We were in a hermetic chamber and we had a unique
atmosphere, totally independent from Earth’s. The air pressure was 3%
higher than on Earth to keep dust particles out. We had the sound of
the ventilation but we didn’t have the sound of the wind or rain or
waves. We didn’t have pleasant smells. When mint appeared in the
greenhouse everyone came there to smell it and remember the Earth. You
also miss colours and lights. I think the design of a future space
station is very important. It should be a mixture of high tech and
very earthy.”

I asked Anastasia for her personal tips for coping with the
confinement of an MDRS mission, never anticipating that I’d soon be
using them inside the four walls of my own home in London!

"Always separate the professional from the personal,” she advised.

“If you discuss something and have a disagreement, don’t take it
personally. Keep your sense of humour – in all my crews we had a sense
of humour, and it saved us so many times. When we had conversations
that were on the edge, jokes would lighten things up and we could move
on. If you feel a bit irritated, try to put yourself in the other
person’s place or go and do some exercise.

“If something bothers you, calm down first and then discuss how you
can sort it out. That’s the key. I know it’s hard, especially when
you’re in there and everything seems so big. But just breathe out,
breathe in, do some yoga or meditation, write, play video games or
listen to music. I did yoga in front of the greenhouse, so I had my
"Earth corner." Just take some time for yourself and then you can

Although it’s frustrating not to be able to be alongside my crew mates
at MDRS, my frustration dissolves into nothing when I remind myself of
the overarching goal – to create a permanent human presence on Mars.

As Anastasia Stepanova says, “For the first time ever in history maybe
we’ll build a life on Mars. Maybe we’ll be the ones who see how the
whole conception of our existence changes – and that’s amazing.”

The pandemic that has ruled our lives for too long will pass and the
chance to fulfil my long-delayed dream of visiting MDRS will come. If
there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s the importance of patience
and the ability to overcome disappointments and setbacks.

The end goal is worth the wait.


Sol Summary – September 28th

Sol: 1

Summary Title: The Orange Bucket

Author’s name: Jin Sia (HSO)

Mission Status: Nominal, Hab fully prepared for in-sim operations

Sol Activity Summary: We started the day with breakfast pancakes made
by Dave, during which we discussed how our daily routine will run for
the next few sols. Then, we got to work cleaning the Hab lower deck
and the RAM. After a thorough vacuuming and mopping, including Inga
and Lindsay going over every square inch of the lower deck with paper
towels, the floors are now sparkling clean. We hope they won’t get too
dirty again if we keep our EVA boots confined to the airlocks –
perhaps this is a bit optimistic, given that we are surrounded by
literal mountains of dust! After a lunch of broccoli cheddar soup made
by Lindsay, we tested out the EVA suits by donning and doffing them on
the lower deck, then walking through the tunnel between the Hab and
the RAM. We found that the old style of spacesuits worked best for us
if the straps are secured properly. However, a ferocious Martian dust
storm (that contained a suspiciously large amount of liquid water)
quickly forced us back into the Hab. I proceeded to make a Malaysian
staple, Chinese-style fried rice. It turned out to be the best fried
rice I’ve ever made – does this mean that restaurants use freeze-dried
ingredients for fried rice?! Overall, it was a productive day that
ended with us all being very well-fed. We may find we’ve gained weight
at the end of this…

Look Ahead Plan: Inga will begin her psychological journal pilot study
later tonight. We also hope to file a plan for our first two EVAs on
the Red Planet tomorrow, if weather permits.

Anomalies in work: We encountered issues with the new spacesuit neck
rings that made them uncomfortable to wear. We will contact Dr. Rupert
to discuss next steps.

Weather: Warm and sunny this morning, but a thunderstorm came near the
Hab late in the afternoon. We did not need to evacuate to the lower

Crew Physical Status: All crew nominal, feeling better than yesterday.

EVA: None today.

Reports to be filed: GreenHab, Science, Photo, EVA request

Support Requested: RAM seems to be missing a smoke detector,
requesting an additional one to put there.


Science Report – September 28th

Crew 228 Science Report 28Sep2021
Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer Inga Popovaite
Group Processes Study:

Continuing data collection for the study (University of Iowa IRB# 201911141) on small group interaction in space analog environments. This is an ethnographic study during which Inga Popovaite is documenting interactions between a group of people that live and work in a confined environment. It is the final part of her dissertation in which she examines group dynamics from socio structural perspective.

Other research projects:
Nothing to report.

Inga Popovaitė,


Science Report – September 28th

Crew 228 Science Report 28Sep2021
Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer Inga Popovaite
Group Processes Study:
Continuing data collection for the study (University of Iowa IRB# 201911141) on small group interaction in space analog environments.
Other research projects:
Nothing to report.

Inga Popovaitė,


Greenhab Report – September 28th

Crew 228 GreenHab Report 28-09-2021

Crew Scientist/GreenHab Officer: Inga Popovaite

Environmental control: Kept up at 65F at night; temp higher during the day.

Average temperatures: ~70-80F during the day; kept at 65F at night

Hours of supplemental light: N/A

Daily water usage for crops: ~20-25 liters (more on a hot day, less on a cloudy/cooler day)

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes:

Water in Blue Tank _____ gallons (~3/4 full)

Time(s) of watering for crops: 7.30, 12.30, 16.00, 19.30

Changes to crops: Seeds are sprouting nicely!

Narrative: Mostly caring for the seedlings; bigger plants are watered once a day. I plan to plant carrots, chamomile, some lettuce and other crops during my tenure here for the upcoming crews to enjoy.

Current crops: Seedlings/sprouting: tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, other.

Mature: green onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, aloe, rosemary, basil, cilantro, micro greens, mint, other.

Harvest: 10 grams of green onion, 5 grams of basil. Ready to harvest: cherry tomatoes, spinach, green onion, micro greens, other herbs

Support/supplies needed: None

Next GreenHab report: 01Oct2021

Inga Popovaitė,

Crew 228 Biographies

Lindsay Rutter, Crew Commander

Lindsay Rutter is a JSPS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tsukuba. She studied bioinformatics and statistics during her doctoral training, interning as a software engineer, data visualization analyst, and computational biologist at several institutions. She now applies these quantitative skills toward astrobiology and space life science projects, primarily studying biological data from the International Space Station.

Lindsay is a co-founder and co-chair of International Standards for Space Omics Processing, a member of NASA GeneLab analysis working group, and an affiliate member of NASA Network for Life Detection. She believes investigating whether life exists beyond Earth could prompt some of the most profound philosophical discoveries about humanity’s relation to the universe. During the mission, Lindsay will use a handheld DNA sequencer to test human operations of life detection on Mars. Her participation is supported by an Emerging Space Leader Scholarship from the Mars Society.

Lindsay loves exploring new horizons: she recently earned a Ham Radio license and, on Halloween Eve, she jumped out of a plane dressed as (an uncharacteristically frightened) Wonder Woman. She adores the artistic process, agnostic to the medium, and looks forward to creative writing and film projects answering questions from elementary students during the mission.

David Laude Executive Officer / Crew Engineer

David was present for the impressive launches of Apollo 11, the first Space Shuttle launch and several illuminating Shuttle night launches. He has met two lunar astronauts and like many others, dreamed about space exploration and being a crew member on the first human journey to Mars. David began a lifelong passion for electronics and space technology in elementary school. By the end of middle school he competed in four science fairs, taking 1st Place in three and 3rd Place in one. As a teenager he repaired radios and TVs and experimented for hours with electronics and model rockets. He designed and built a model that extended wings after engine cutoff and glided to a landing. He also designed and constructed his own audio and electronic measurement equipment that later became an asset to his formal training.

David served in the U.S. Air Force. Later, obtaining Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering degrees, he designed state of the art integrated circuits for Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil), Ford Aerospace, Ford Motor Company and Linear Technology Corporation (now Analog Devices). He has been recognized for his designs of integrated circuits requiring no redesign, five patents, technical papers, and presentations at conferences.

David is a lifelong learner in several subjects and enjoys working with talented people. He is a founding member of The Mars Society. He also has formal training in anthropology and archaeology. Hobbies include radio-controlled airplanes, electronics, music composition, musical instrument synthesis and antique radio restoration. David also enjoys adventure, hiking, snow skiing and traveling. Utah, with its stark beauty and remote desert areas, is one of his favorite states to visit.

Inga Popovaite, Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer

Inga Popovaite is a PhD candidate at the department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Iowa. She has MA degrees in Sociology (University of Iowa) and Nationalism Studies (Central European University) and BA in Journalism (Klaipeda University). Her dissertation investigates gender, emotions, and status in space analog environments. Inga will use her time at MDRS to collect primary data for this study.

Originally from Lithuania, Inga plans to move back to the EU after getting her PhD and to continue sociological research on group processes in space analog environments. Inga is interested in how society-wide inequalities and cultural stereotypes shape small crew interactions in isolated, confined, and extreme environments. She has published articles that discuss gender, isolation, and space in The Conversation US and SpaceNews. She is the lead author of a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments that explores gender gap in simulated EVA participation in analog missions. You can read more about her research on her website popovaite.com.

In her free time, Inga swims, bikes, reads science fiction, knits, and makes things with her RaspberryPi.

<photo here. I will send it as a separate file when needed for better quality>

Jin Sia, Health and Safety Officer

<Let me know when the website is to be updated and I’ll email the original photo>

Jin Sia is a Master’s research student at Western University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with an interdisciplinary specialization in Planetary Sciences. Under the supervision of Dr. Jayshri Sabarinathan, he is helping to develop multispectral imagers for the exploration of the Moon and beyond. He graduated from his Bachelor of Applied Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo, where his final project was developing a nanothermite space welding system.

Jin was born in Malaysia and moved to Canada at the age of 15 to pursue an education closer to the cutting edge of space exploration. He dreams of one day setting foot on Mars, and hopes to use MDRS as a stepping stone to that goal. Jin believes that the human exploration of Mars is a key milestone in not only opening up a better future for humanity in space, but also to inspire everyday people to live with a cosmic sense of purpose.

At MDRS, he will be conducting research on using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to facilitate EVA planning and to allow crews to build on the knowledge of the crews who came before. Furthermore, he will be representing the Mars Society of Canada as a member of its board of directors, where he serves as its Vice-Chair and Chief Diversity Officer. Through them, he will blog about his experiences with the aim of making space analog research more accessible and familiar to the public.

Jin enjoys powerlifting, piano, and reading on a variety of topics. His favorite works of science fiction include Dune, the Red Mars trilogy, and the Xeelee Sequence.

Crew 228 – Areonauts – CrewBiographies.docx

Crew 228 Mission Plan


The MDRS 228 crew is an international crew selected by the Mars Society. Our team will travel to the Mars Desert Research Station this year to help put humans on Mars. We are engineers, artists, sociologists, astronomers, biologists, journalists, and physicians, who hail from all walks of life and eight nations. But most of all, we are explorers.

Although we started as a group of strangers who have never met before in person, we share a common goal to serve as “one small step” toward sending humankind to Mars. Over the 2.5 years, we have been carefully preparing for a productive mission on the red planet from all across the globe.

From September 26 to October 9, 2021, we will reside together as “analog astronauts” at the MDRS. Together, we will conduct activities in simulated space conditions. Many compelling experiments cannot be swiftly performed in space due to limitations in time, money, and equipment. Simulated missions like ours can provide humankind with crucial data about the validity of potential space exploration operations.

We will also be proudly wearing our mission patch, conducting research activities, and performing outreach projects. To see more about the symbology of our mission patch and details about our research and outreach activities, please view our mission website at:



Gender, emotions, and status in space analog facilities: ethnographic data collection (University of Iowa IRB #201911141)

By: Inga Popovaite

During her time at the MDRS Inga will collect data using participant observation methodology for the last chapter of her dissertation. This project is approved by the University of Iowa IRB (#201911141). This study will examine crew interactions from the structural (as opposed to the individual) perspective, and will contribute to the growing body of literature that examines group processes in isolated, confined, and extreme environments.


Gender, emotions, and status in space analog facilities: emotion journal pilot study (University of Iowa IRB #201911141)

By: Inga Popovaite

In addition to participant observation, Inga plans to test data collection instruments for another part of the research project that examines gender, emotions, and status in space analog environments (University of Iowa IRB #201911141). Crew members will be given individual journals and will be asked to write daily entries based on provided prompts. The prompts ask participants to reflect on their emotions, experiences, and interaction with other crews during the day. Unlike the actual future study, this time crew members will be asked to provide feedback on their experience while journaling, such as time commitment, challenges, etc. The goal of this task is to improve journals as data collection instruments before using them in the future.

MDRS GIS map update

By: Jin Sia

In collaboration with: Marc Levesque

The current GIS map of MDRS is in need of updates. Marc Levesque has requested that the necessary changes be communicated back to him by sending him physical copies of the map that have been marked up. Dr. Shannon Rupert has marked up one map of the area with corrections.

Additionally, Marc will provide the crew with new four copies of the map. He has requested that one of them also be marked up with the crew’s and Shannon’s edits.

Both edited maps will then be collected by Jin and mailed to Marc. Marc will then transfer these edits into the MDRS GIS map, which is in digital form.

Jin will also collect answers to the following questions and deliver them to Marc to determine next steps:

– What MDRS geographic data is currently archived in the NAD27 datum?

– What is the reason that the current MDRS standard geographic projection is NAD27?

– If the geographic data have been stored digitally in NAD27, could they be migrated to WGS84 as the new standard?

GIS mapping of MDRS area

By: Jin Sia

In collaboration with: Marc Levesque

Jin will experiment with setting up a GIS map that is a ‘living document’ meant to be updated by crew after crew, permitting the accumulation of scientific data beyond the two-week length of a rotation. The map is designed with the primary objective of facilitating EVA planning by presenting data in an easy-to-use digital format, with both scientific and safety information readily available. During the rotation, Jin will refine the workflow for entering and retrieving data.

The project aims to answer the following research questions:

– How can GIS minimize the time, effort, and required expertise for the planning of an EVA?

– How can GIS maximize scientific return and safety for the execution of an EVA?

– What workflow is best for adding and updating geographic data in a digital map?

– What insights can be extracted from the accumulation of geographic data?

The detailed project plan is available on request.

Future MDRS Research Project Conceptual/Exploratory Investigation

By: David Laude

Dave has been thinking of investigating the prospects of a research project for my next rotation should I be so fortunate. Dave doesn’t know if this particular project has been done before and I think it’s a good use of some time at MDRS. Dave would need most or all crew member’s voluntary participation. It’s very simple and can provide very important insights. What would a nascent Martian colony want to be different on Mars from the culture and civilizations on Earth for the better? Why not ask those in a Martian sim? Dave expects that two 1 hour sessions might be enough time.This type of research is outside his area of expertise and so he has reluctance to try a full research project during Crew 228.

In-situ, real-time metagenomics analysis of MDRS regolith using the Oxford MinION

By: Lindsay Rutter

In this project, Lindsay will add to a unique body of astrobiological research that has been conducted by scientists at MDRS. She will add the next logical “stepping stone” in this stream of work that started 16 years ago. Below is a timeline of the previous work and how her project will build to it.

2005: Moran et al. confirmed the presence of methane in the Utah desert soil around MDRS (Moran et al. 2005). The authors provided preliminary evidence (using growth medium) that the methane could be derived by microbes, a finding that, if verified, would be intriguing given that methanogens were not known to survive in desert regolith.

2011: Direito et al. (Direito et al. 2011) and Thiel et al. (Thiel et al. 2011) conducted 16S rRNA studies and PCR-based detection surveys at MDRS. Both groups confirmed high bacterial diversity in the Utah desert soil.

2020: Maggiori et al. (Maggiori et al. 2020) performed the first metagenomics study of Utah desert soil around MDRS using the nanopore sequencing technology of the Oxford Nanopore MinION (Jain et al. 2016). Metagenomics (the study of genetic material collected directly from environmental samples) is a new approach that allows biologists to examine all members in a microbial community at once (regardless of whether they can be cultured). They characterized a rich microbial community that included several methanogens, which verified the unexpected preliminary evidence from 2005 that methanogens can indeed survive in desert conditions.

This proposal would represent the first to investigate not just the microbial diversity (metagenomics), but also the microbial ecology (metatranscriptomics), of the Utah desert soil around MDRS. This would allow us to increase the resolution and understand not just what microorganisms are present, but also what biochemical pathways and substrates they use to survive. Overall, the project will use MinION to sequence DNA and RNA to identify methane-producing metabolic pathways of the methanogens that were recently

detected for the first time in the desert environment.

Maggiori et al. (Maggiori et al. 2020) performed their MinION sequencing on MDRS samples returned to their home lab. In contrast, Lindsay will perform “handheld” MinION sequencing in-situ at the MDRS as a proof-of-concept that sequencing can be done in remote space analog environments far away from sequencing facilities, all while under planetary exploration operations.

Mars City State Design for 1,000,000 Population: An Integrated Model-based Approach towards Martian Settlements

By: Marufa Bhuiyan

Mission plan: Marufa will be based in Hawaii during the mission and she plans to do virtual meetings with the crew to discuss Mars city state design for 1,000,000 population. In real-time it may take 100 years but we are talking about “imaginary time” here (at a 45 degree angle). Every crew can choose their locations, strategy and projects to contribute their ideas for a self-sustaining city on Mars. We are pleased to inform that Marufa’s abstract got selected last year, and this year’s conference i.e. 24th Annual International Mars Society Convention will be held on Oct 14-17, 2021. You can register here: https://www.marssociety.org/conventions/2021/. She will be speaking in a panel for 25 mins and 5 min Q & A. Before she speaks in the conference, she will be happy to share her internal databases, presentation and tools with the crew for Mars city state design for 1 million population. It should be fun, we can take each-others feedback for a case scenario e.g. let’s imagine if you were given the planet Mars, how would you like to rule! 🙂


Areonauts sharing their mission with elementary, middle, and high school students

By: Lindsay Rutter, Stuart Hughes, Yuzo Shibata, Olympiou Charikleia, Marufa Bhuiyan, Ludo Valentini, Inga Popovaite, Jin Sing Sia, and David Laude

This project is led by Stuart Hughes and Lindsay Rutter, with participation from all other crew members (Yuzo Shibata, Olympiou Charikleia, Marufa Bhuiyan, Ludo Valentini, Inga Popovaite, Jin Sing Sia, and David Laude). Lindsay Rutter gave virtual presentations about our mission to elementary students (4th and 5th grade), middle school students (7th grade), and high school students (11th grade) through the program “Skype a Scientist”. All together, the presentation about our mission was seen by about 250 students, many of whom sent in questions afterward.

Ludovica will also present the crew 228 and their mission to some high school classes in her hometown in Italy. The students will be encouraged to raise any questions and/or curiosity they might have about spaceflight analogs, Mars and the topic in general.

During the mission, our crew will answer all student questions at least in written format. The questions from the students spanned various fields from space farming to life support system engineering to planetary science to space medicine. With diverse expertise, our crew will work together to answer the questions as best as possible.

After we answer all questions in written format, we will select about 20 questions and answer them in video format. The in-situ crew will show off the habitat while answering questions and the remote crew will show how they support the mission remotely. Stuart Hughes will then collect the footage of our answers and edit it into an engaging and dynamic video. We will then send the video to all classrooms that participated. We will also send mission patches to several of the classrooms.

Areonauts at the Space Week 2021

By: Ludovica Valentini

Supported by the whole crew

Ludovica will present the crew 228 and their “hybrid” simulation, at the MDRS and from remote, during the Space Week 2021 organized by a municipality in the Italian region Marche. This will be achieved thanks to the in-situ crew collecting material such as videos and photos, and thanks to the contribution of the remote crew supporting with editing the footage from “Mars” and providing inputs and feedback about their remote simulation.

Media outreach

By: Inga Popovaite

Inga will be filming videos and taking pictures for Lithuanian media and for the University of Iowa alumni magazine.

Blogging from Mars

By: Jin Sia

On behalf of: Mars Society of Canada

Jin will be writing daily diary entries to be posted to the Mars Society of Canada’s website. These will be targeted at informing the general public about what life is like in a Mars analog.

Future Cafe on Mars: Year 2049

By: Marufa Bhuiyan

Following the instructions below we can envision how the future cities on Mars will look like in our Future Cafe 2049:

● Brainstorm ideas/drivers

○ Pick 2 drivers

○ Label poles: yes/no , high/low, more/less etc.

● Describe each quadrant:

○ Give each a name

○ Think about all the sectors

● Imagine waking up in that future. How would it feel or look?

● Consider your case

● Name one action you would need to do in each future for your cause to be successful.


Movie nights

By: All crew

● Galaxy Quest

● Spaceballs

● Moonbase 8

● Away

Discussion nights

By: David Laude

David is initiating evening discussions about anything interesting that each crew member in turn can suggest.

Radio Reception Experiments

By: David Laude

David Laude has a 1924 radio with him. The crew is planning to set it up to see what signals can be caught from Earth.

Star Party: Find your constellations and name them if you can!

By: Marufa Bhuiyan

Marufa plans to lead a start party helping other crew members identify stars and constellations. She will introduce history, science and mythology connected to the visible night sky.

The Bradbury Landing Novel Ideas Club

By: Lindsay Rutter

Our crew can hold a book club to discuss our favorite books related to space exploration. For starters, we can discuss two books, Gila Lost and Found: Search and Rescue in New Mexico (by Marc Levesque) and Strangest of All: Anthology of astrobiological science fiction (by Julie Nováková).

Lindsay has virtually corresponded with Marc Levesque for about two years. Marc was crew commander of MDRS Crew 216 and will command another MDRS mission in April 2022. He is Incident Commander with the New Mexico State Police Search and Rescue, where he manages rescue missions for lost, injured, and stranded individuals. He worked for the US Antarctic Research Program in the 1980s, where he provided science support in one winter-over and two austral summer missions. Marc recently published this book and kindly sent a copy to Lindsay at the Rock Shop of the Hanksville Spaceport. Lindsay will bring the book to MDRS to share with the crew. We can discuss how some of the search and rescue schemes can be applied to Mars EVAs.

Lindsay met Julie Nováková at an AbGradCon conference, where Julie provided access to her book about the search for extraterrestrial life. The book is an anthropological format with short science fiction stories (mostly written by scientists) about possible scenarios of discovering life outside of Earth. Ethical scenarios are also raised. We can discuss these stories and engage in constructive debates about the ethics related to this field of life detection exploration.


Direito, Susana O. L., Pascale Ehrenfreund, Andries Marees, Martijn Staats, Bernard Foing, and Wilfred F. M. Röling. 2011. “A Wide Variety of Putative Extremophiles and Large Beta-Diversity at the Mars Desert Research Station (Utah).” International Journal of Astrobiology. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1473550411000012.

Jain, Miten, Hugh E. Olsen, Benedict Paten, and Mark Akeson. 2016. “The Oxford Nanopore MinION: Delivery of Nanopore Sequencing to the Genomics Community.” Genome Biology. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-016-1103-0.

Maggiori, Catherine, Jessica Stromberg, Yolanda Blanco, Jacqueline Goordial, Edward Cloutis, Miriam García-Villadangos, Victor Parro, and Lyle Whyte. 2020. “The Limits, Capabilities, and Potential for Life Detection with MinION Sequencing in a Paleochannel Mars Analog.” Astrobiology. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2018.1964.

Moran, Mark, Joseph D. Miller, Tim Kral, and Dave Scott. 2005. “Desert Methane: Implications for Life Detection on Mars.” Icarus. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2005.06.008.

Thiel, Cora S., Pascale Ehrenfreund, Bernard Foing, Vladimir Pletser, and Oliver Ullrich. 2011. “PCR-Based Analysis of Microbial Communities during the EuroGeoMars Campaign at Mars Desert Research Station, Utah.” International Journal of Astrobiology. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1473550411000073.


Crew 228 Areonauts- MissionPlan (1).docx

HSO Pre-Mission Checklist – September 26th

HSO Pre-Mission Checklist
Jin Sing Sia, HSO

Submitted by: Jin Sia
Crew: 228
Date: 2021/09/26

Smoke alarms:
– Upper deck: Functional
– Lower deck: Functional
– RAM: None found, please advise on location
– GreenHab: Functional
– ScienceDome: Functional

CO alarms:
– Upper deck: Functional
– Lower deck: Beeping very soft, recommend battery replacement
– GreenHab: Functional

Fire extinguishers:
– Upper deck: Charged
– Kitchen: Charged
– Lower deck: 1 charged, 1 empty
– GreenHab: None found, recommend transferring one from ScienceDome
– ScienceDome: 2 charged
– RAM: Charged

Fire blankets:
– Kitchen: Ready
– RAM: Ready
– ScienceDome: Ready

First aid kits:
– Lower deck: Inventoried, items missing
– EVA room: Inventoried, minor issues found
– ScienceDome: Inventoried
– GreenHab: None found
– RAM: Inventoried

Jumper cables:
– EVA room: No longer there
– HabCar: Did not get chance to check
– CrewCar: Did not get chance to check

Emergency exits:
– Round window: All levers can be actuated
– Stairs: No non-nominal issues
– Commander’s room window: Unobstructed but no breaking tool
available; please advise if tool is required
– Emergency ladder: Transferred to correct compartment under sofa

HabCOMM radios on and working: Checked by work party crew

Noted safety issues:
– Toiletries cubbies: Contaminated with rat poison, toxicity hazard.
Strongly recommend thorough cleaning removal of poison block before
– Engineering airlock: External door does not seem to close properly,
please advise
– Hab ladder: Falling hazard. Recommend minimum three-point contact at
all times, descend backwards only. Crew members should give way to
those descending. Only one crew member on ladder at all times.
– Fire extinguishers: Placement in ScienceDome and RAM are
non-obvious. Recommend moving to more conspicuous locations and
conducting safety tour to familiarize crew with locations once in-sim.

Noted health/environmental issues:
– General crew fatigue noted. Concur with command decision to start
sim later in day on Sep 27.

Missing health and safety supplies:
– EVA first aid kit in hab lower deck: Loose gloves unsealed and
dirty, throat lozenges unsealed and dirty, large syringe unsealed and
dirty. Recommend discard.
– Diabetic kit in hab lower deck: Blood glucose tester has low
battery. Recommend battery replacement, but for later crews.
– First aid kit in Hab lower deck: Missing tape, ointment for burns
(only antiseptic available), ice pack, aspirin. Recommend replacement.