Sol Summary – March 30th

Sol: 6

Summary Title: Ultrasounders

Author’s name: Arian Anderson

Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Summary: Today we had specialists in emergency medicine ultrasound teach our students how to do basic diagnostics. We also demonstrated how ultrasound has used new technology to reduce learning curves
Look Ahead Plan: Morning EVA and end of mission planning
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: Cold in the morning, sunny and warm in the afternoon. Blustery winds
Crew Physical Status: Crew is fatigued
Reports to be file: HSO, Operations Report
Support Requested: None at this time.

Operations Report – March 30th

Crew 278 Operations Report 30-03-2023
SOL: 5
Name of person filing report: Ben Easter
Non-nominal systems: None
Notes on non-nominal systems: N/A
Spirit rover used: No
Hours: 213.3
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No (per Director)
Opportunity rover used: No
Hours: 119.8
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No (per Director)
Curiosity rover used:
Hours: 226.2
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No (per Director)
Perseverance rover used:
Hours: 259.5
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%

Currently charging: No (per Director)
Sojourner rover used: No
Hours: 189.1
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No (per Director)

General notes and comments: None
Summary of Hab operations:
WATER USE: Approximately half tank (water run from town today)
Toilet tank emptied: No
Summary of internet: Working well
Summary of suits and radios: All working well
Summary of GreenHab operations: per Director
Summary of ScienceDome operations: N/A
Dual split: Heat or AC, On or Off
Summary of RAM operations: N/A
Summary of any observatory issues: N/A
Summary of health and safety issues: No issues
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: None

Final Mission Summary – Crew 275

Crew 275 – Mission Summary

Crew 275 – ISAE-Supaero (France)

Crew Commander: Jeremy Rabineau
Executive Officer / Crew Engineer: Quentin Royer
Crew Journalist: Marie Delaroche
Health & Safety Officer: Corentin Senaux
Crew Botanist: Adrien Tison
Crew Scientist: Alice Chapiron
Crew Astronomer: Alexandre Vinas


Crew 275’s rotation at MDRS marks the 10th time that students from ISAE-Supaero perform research in this station. We are very proud of the progress made between Crew 151, when two Supaero students joined an existing crew, and today: a fully student-run crew, conducting research over the course of a month-long mission at MDRS. This year, our aim was to focus on large-scale human factors experiments, ambitious technological demonstrations, and measurement campaigns in both atmospheric physics and geology.

It’s amazing how quickly we get used to extraordinary things. Upon arriving at the station a month ago, we were facing our dream, facing what we had worked so hard to attain, and for that reason we felt invincible. Over the past weeks, we have dodged storms, lived under Mars’ atmosphere, played by his rules, encountered obstacles, and sometimes unfavorable odds. It is difficult now to look back and see what we have accomplished: it all still feels part of our day to day, of routine operations, and the tiny steps along the way don’t yet add up to the monumental leap we have taken.


Artificial Intelligence for space exploration

AI4U is an artificial intelligence tool designed by the French space agency to assist astronauts in their tasks. AI4U has three functionalities: A « relax » mode, an « emergency » mode, and a mode to retrieve environmental data from all of the modules in the station (temperature, pressure, humidity, luminosity, etc.). The « relax » mode worked well, and thanks to the crew taking turns testing it, we managed to define interesting new tracks for improvement. The emergency mode was tested twice. During the first test, we had difficulties because the AI stopped the emergency protocol in the middle of the simulation, but we managed to finish the protocol successfully after a second iteration.

A second experiment with CNES involved artificial intelligence helping astronauts: EchoFinder. EchoFinder is an experiment conducted in collaboration with CNES and MEDES, consisting in testing a protocol for astronauts to perform ultrasounds without any prior training. This experiment has already been conducted in the past by Supaero crews. This year, the aim was to test a new Augmented Reality interface coupled with an organ detection AI. We have successfully completed the 12 planned sessions, each performed in pairs: the two crewmembers take turns in performing the ultrasound and being subject of the experiment. One injured crewmember did not take part in the experiment during the last week of the mission, and the other crewmembers took turns filling in for her. We have had several issues with this experiment one week into our rotation, mainly because our hardware did not support the EchoFinder software very well. With the help of the researchers from CNES, our crew engineer managed to transfer the software to a more powerful device, which has made the last 8 sessions much easier to perform. After our 4-week mission, we have succeeded in providing the researchers with a complete set of data, consisting in detailed reports of each ultrasound session as well as videos of every organ detected for each crewmember. The researchers at CNES will be able to evaluate the accuracy of their AI and how the AR interface can be improved.


Human factors: KTHitecture

Studying the impact of the architecture of an interplanetary space station on the global psychology of the astronauts is critical to optimize their performance.

For this study, we deployed environmental monitoring sensors throughout the station. Each sensor provided us with information about pressure, temperature, humidity, and luminance.

We also set up an Indoor Positioning System to track each crewmember within the MDRS. We connected 10 “anchors” spread around the MDRS, consisting in electronic boards remaining at the same location. Each crewmember wore a “tag”, which logged its distance to the anchors every 10 seconds.

Each crewmember also wore a smartwatch during the night, in order to monitor their sleep activity. A chestband was also worn during the day to measure ECG, heart rate, and accelerometry.

All 3 aforementioned datasets will be used to correlate the stress level of the astronauts to their location and the environmental conditions.

To measure the performance of each crewmember in the different modules, given different environmental parameters and levels of privacy, they all took psychometric tests throughout the mission.

Finally, we used 3D maps of the inter-crewmembers interactions, generated by questionnaires. This enabled us to follow the current team setup, the optimal team setup, the effectiveness of communications, the team atmosphere and performance, etc. We observed that the evolution was correlated to internal issues faced and friendships formed during the mission.


Atmospheric instruments measurements campaign

 This year’s atmospheric measurement campaign for CNRS researchers was a success. Dealing with rough and unpredictable weather, we had to solve many problems on the spot and adapt to the circumstances. We mainly measured the electric field (with the field mill and MegaAres), the particle concentration in the air (with the LOAC and PurpleAir) and the wind speed (with our weather station), in order to correlate these different parameters. We had difficulties setting up the instruments at the beginning of the simulation because of the snowy or windy weather, and because of a conductivity problem on the MegaAres antenna. We started the measurements at the end of the second week, although we had to perform regular maintenance EVAs to retrieve and reinstall certain sensitive instruments, given the variations in atmospheric conditions. We managed to measure the Canegie curve (daily variation of the Earth’s electric field, measurable in undisrupted and clear conditions which can be observed in the Utah desert), which is usually very difficult to obtain.





The aim of this project was to measure different characteristics of pre-identified asteroids. Unfortunately, as both of the robotic observatories were non-nominal during the entire simulation, or non-operational because of the weather, our crew astronomer could only capture a single picture of an asteroid on February 17th, thus the research project on asteroid lightcurves could not be completed. However, he will continue the project after the simulation, as he still has all of his credits on Skynet. As he couldn’t complete the astronomy project, he used the Musk solar observatory to take pictures of the sun.


Geology: The MetMet instrument

The MetMet is a geological instrument measuring both the magnetic susceptibility and the conductivity of a rock sample. It is designed to help find meteorites, but it has been proven to ease the classification of the different types of rocks present in a given area. The objective of this experiment was to see if the MetMet was a useful instrument to help collect geological samples during EVAs or to take measurements onsite for rocks that are too large to be collected. The idea was to pair the data of the MetMet with photogrammetry in order to geologically map the area. Unfortunately, we could only perform one geology EVA because of external factors. However, this EVA was a success, as we managed to collect samples and to analyze them with the MetMet. We will therefore be able to geologically sketch the area of Kissing Camel Ridge W.


Exploration: Photogrammetry

 The idea behind the photogrammetry experiment was to compare the efficiency of humans exploring and finding checkpoints in a given area, using either a 2D map or a 3D render. Each data point required a series of three different EVAs. The first one, to map the area in 3D, with a drone using photogrammetry. The two others were meant for the subjects to find pre-defined checkpoints using the 2D map and then the 3D map generated beforehand. The experiment went very well: we had time to render both North Ridge and Candor Chasma. We nevertheless encountered two issues while conducting these experiments. The EVA with the 2D map at North Ridge was shortened because of the high winds, therefore the EVA Crew managed to find only half of the checkpoints. Moreover, the EVA with the 3D map at Candor Chasma was conducted with only one subject because of external factors. We are quite happy with the data we have already, and we hope to pass on this experiment to the next Supaero crew.


Botany: Aquaponics

For Crew 275, the main botany experiment focused on aquaponics. Indeed, the Crew Botanist worked on a prototype before the mission and tested it for 5 weeks. This prototype was a success, however, as it was a prototype, no scientific data had been collected. He then decided to recreate a similar system in the GreenHab. The space available there being smaller, he decided not to build it with pipes but only with a tank. During the first few Sols, he built the system and ensured the safety of the fish. Then, throughout the mission, he monitored the plants’ growth, the roots’ length, and the water quality to be evaluate the added value of this kind of system. It is expected that plants should grow faster, that water can be saved over time, and that more plants can be grown on a given surface. All the data collected will be processed post-mission and compared to references in aquaponics and basic crops.

Besides this, another experiment was conducted on microgreens. This one was simpler because it only required monitoring microgreens’ growth over time. To do so, we took similar pictures every day with a fixed scale to measure their height. An additional objective was to see if an untrained subject was able to grow these types of crops without knowing anything about botany.


Monitoring Health and Water consumption

During the whole mission, the crew monitored their water consumption. The goal was to reduce as much as possible their use of water, while maintaining good hygiene and drinking as much as needed. With this in mind, we categorized our consumption of water and took note of the quantities used throughout the day. This experiment showed us that by being mindful of our use of water, it is possible to considerably reduce consumption.  The average water consumption was 51 L (13.5 gallons) per day. For a crew of 7, this represents 7.3 L (1.9 gallons) per day per person, which could be reduced even more with specific technologies. This is equivalent to a 1-minute shower, and less than a classic toilet flush on Earth (10 L).  50% of the consumption was dedicated to the restroom. Therefore a goal of less than 5 L per person per day could be achieved, including 2 L for drinking purposes.

Every morning, we also measured health parameters to keep an eye on the physical and mental health of the crew. To this end, we kept a sleep diary and monitored weight and body composition, temperature, as well as blood pressure and oxygenation. A 30-minute workout session was then organized by the HSO to keep all crewmembers in good shape and get them ready for the day, thanks to bonding activities and music.


Media Collection and Public Outreach


Our objective for this mission from a communications standpoint was first and foremost to reach middle and high school students interested in space and STEM in general. Throughout the entire mission preparation, the crew worked with OSE l’ISAE Supaero, an outreach initiative whose goal is to help students gain access to higher education and to promote STEM careers. During the entire year preceding the mission, we visited classrooms and welcomed students to our university to talk about space exploration and STEM studies. Our goal was to inspire as many students as possible to explore and engage with scientific fields. In this vein, we spent a week at the Lycée Français de New York with 6th and 10th grade students, using games and simple experiments to share our passion for space.

Other outreach initiatives destined for students included filming video capsules for the Cité de l’Espace, the French space museum, and writing simplified articles on various subjects pertaining to Martian exploration.

Once the mission had started, we focused on the two media visits of the rotation: the BBC and France Télévisions. The BBC film crew stayed for a day to film interviews for a documentary about Martian exploration, while the France Télévisions crew came to film a newscast for French television.

Journalist Report – March 10th

Sol 26 – It’s not over until it’s over… but now it’s over!

“’I’ve always wanted to see a Martian,’ said Michael. ‘Where are they, Dad? You promised.’
‘There they are,’ said Dad, and he shifted Michael on his shoulder and pointed straight down.
The Martians were there. Timothy began to shiver.
The Martians were there—in the canal—reflected in the water.”

– Chapter 26 of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Waking up to our last Martian sunrise was the strangest feeling, like ignoring the elephant in the room. We were due to return to Earth today, and staying focused in these circumstances was not easy! Nevertheless, Corentin led us for our final workout session of the mission, and we had breakfast, almost as if today was a normal day.

An EVA crew composed of Quentin, Alexandre, and Corentin then proceeded to perform the last EVA, in order to disassemble and bring back to the Hab all the atmospheric instruments deployed over the course of the mission: the LOAC, the field mill, Purple Air, the weather station, and the Mega Ares antenna. To be ready for any potential issue, Quentin had requested a 4-hour EVA for redundancy, but the crew ended up completing their objectives in under two hours. After a tear-jerking speech by Quentin over the radio and a few last photos with the station as a backdrop, the crew headed back to the station with their trunks full.
Performing my HabCom duties, I was half-listening to what Jérémy and Adrien were discussing while doing the dishes, and one question caught my attention – what if we had made different choices? In the sense: what if our paths had led us elsewhere than to where we are now? The very thought of there being a life in which I would not have lived through this experience threw me off completely, and for the first time, I felt that every choice I had made in my life had contributed to leading me here.

After lunch, we were “surprised” by a second emergency protocol simulation, during which we detected a breach in the GreenHab. Added difficulty: as planned by Quentin and Alexandre, a crewmember pretended to feel ill in the Science Dome during the sensor checks to disrupt the execution of the protocol. Despite it, the breach was sealed in time and the “ill” crewmember was safely returned to the Hab by our Health and Safety Officer. We continued finalizing and “disassembling” our experiments throughout the day; Adrien and Corentin took apart the aquaponic system, but not before they harvested all the greens it had produced! A feast awaits tonight, after we submit our last reports…

It’s amazing how quickly we get used to extraordinary things. Upon arriving at the station a month ago, we were facing our dream, facing what we had worked so hard to attain, and for that reason we felt invincible. Over the past weeks, we have dodged storms, lived under Mars’ atmosphere, played by his rules, encountered obstacles, and sometimes unfavorable odds. It is difficult now to look back and see what we have accomplished: it all still feels part of our day to day, of routine operations, and the tiny steps along the way don’t yet add up to the monumental leap we have taken. But in a little while, perhaps no later than tonight, we will feel even more invincible than on Sol 1: the scientific results we have produced and the friendships we have formed will appear, evidently, before our eyes.

At 5 pm, we opened both airlock doors, feeling the wind on our faces for the first time since we left Earth. If there had been water and canals in the Utah Desert, we might have seen some Martian traits showing through our very Earthly faces, smiling back at us.

EVA Report – March 10th

Crew 275 EVA 22 Report 18Feb2023
EVA # 22

Author: Quentin Royer (Crew Engineer)
Purpose of EVA: Retrieval of all the atmospheric instruments

Start time: 09:07
End time: 10:43

The 3 crewmembers drove with the rovers and arrived to destination at 9:17. They unloaded the rovers and headed towards the instruments. The EVA Crew started with the meteorological mast. No problem was encountered during its dismantlement, and it was safely packed.
The EVA Crew then began to dismantle the MegaAres antenna, and first retrieved the two hemispheres. As they were very light, and as there were high winds, the crew decided to bring the equipment which were already dismantled back to the Hab.
The rovers were loaded, and the crew departed the atmospheric instruments’ location at 9:50.
Then, the EVA Crew unloaded the rovers and put the equipment in the main airlock, for retrieval by the rest of the Crew located in the Hab.
The EVA Crew was back on site at 9:54. The disassembled the rest of the MegaAres antenna with no problem. Then, the LOAC was retrieved and packed.
The EVA Crew was back at the Hab at 10:34.

All the objectives of the EVA were completed.

Destination: Between the Hab and Marble Ritual, near the road

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): N4251000 E518500

EVA Participants :
• EVA leader: Quentin Royer (Crew Engineer)
• Alexandre Vinas (Crew Astronomer)
• Corentin Senaux (HSO)

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Drive Cow Dung Road 0110 to a place just before Marble Ritual

Mode of travel: Driving, even if the destination was less than 1 km away, the crew needed to transport heavy instruments that also take up a lot of space.

GreenHab Report – March 10th

GreenHab Officer: Adrien Tison

Environmental control: Heater

Average Temperature: 69.5°F

Average humidity: 21%

Hours of supplemental light: 0 hour

Daily water usage for crops: 2.64 gallons (from the blue tank) & 10.57 gallons (from the aquaponics system)

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes: 0gallons

Water in the blue tank: 44.23 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 11:10

Changes to crops: N/A

Narrative: Today was the last day of the simulation, I then had to stop my experiments. I used the clean part of my aquaponics water to water plants and crops so as to waste as little water as possible.

Plants and crops look good; however, it seems important to keep an eye on the spinach as it seems to become a little bit soft. It is sad to witness that at the end of my mission…

However, I can’t tell you how delightful it is to see beans growing since I planted these, same for radishes, and cucumbers thriving.

Thus, overall, everything is fine, and future crews will be welcomed with greens and carrots as I saw!

It is with great pleasure that I worked in this environment for 4 weeks and a greater pleasure that I think about future crews working there.

Harvest: (From my aquaponics experiment) 146 g of iceberg salad, 125 g of ‘salad bowl’ (lettuce), 50 g of ‘salad blend’ (lettuce), 47 g of kale, 33 g of spinach, 18 g of basil

Support/supplies needed: As I said in the narrative, spinach seems to start to struggle, it would be nice to keep an eye on them.

As suggested by Donald, we will let you keep the fish, they are in a white bucket next to the tomato plants. Can you confirm that you will take them so that we know for sure that we do not need to take them with us?

Operations Report – March 10th

Crew 275 Operations Report 10Mar2023
SOL: 26

Name of person filing report: Quentin Royer
Non-nominal systems:
• Toilet
• Spacesuit n°9
• Robotic observatory

Notes on non-nominal systems: None.

Spirit rover used: No
• Hours: 210.1
• Beginning charge: 100%
• Ending charge: N/A
• Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: No
• Hours: 114.0
• Beginning charge: 100%
• Ending charge: N/A
• Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: Yes
• Hours: 222.0
• Beginning charge: 100%
• Ending charge: 90%
• Currently charging: Yes

Perseverance rover used: Yes
• Hours: 256.3
• Beginning charge: 100%
• Ending charge: 85%
• Currently charging: Yes

General notes on rovers: Nothing to report.

Summary of Hab operations: The Crew conducted routine operations. An emergency depressurization protocol was simulated, and an emergency EVA was conducted, with Mission Support’s approval.
• WATER USE: 12.87
• Water: 317.24 gallons
• Static tank pipe heater: On
• Static tank heater: On
• Toilet tank emptied: Yes

Summary of internet: Starlink (MDRSCampus-Guest) is used during COMMS and during the day for emails and to handle the medical emergency. MDRScampus is used for experimental purpose.

Summary of suits and radios: One of the metal wires linking the collar to spacesuit n°4 broke. We replaced it with a small metal wire, as there doesn’t seem to be any long metal wires left.

Summary of GreenHab operations: The Crew botanist conducted routine operations and emptied the aquaponics system.
• WATER USE: 2.64 gallons
• Heater: On
• Supplemental light: No
• Harvest: 146 g of Iceberg salad – 125 g of “salad bowl” – 50 g of salad “salad blend” – 47 g of kale – 33 g of spinach – 18 g of basil

Summary of ScienceDome operations: No operations were conducted in the ScienceDome today.
• Dual split: Heat / From 10 pm to 7 am

Summary of RAM operations: No operations were conducted in the RAM today.

Summary of any observatory issues: The robotic observatory is non-nominal.

Summary of health and safety issues: None.

Questions, concerns, and requests to Mission Support:
• The lamp located on the right when entering the ScienceDome is missing a light bulb.

Sol Summary Report – March 10th

Crew 275 Sol Summary Report 10Mar2023

Sol: 26

Summary Title: It’s not over until it’s over… but now it’s over!

Author’s name: Jeremy Rabineau, Commander.

Mission Status: Nominal.

Sol Activity Summary:

For our last EVA, we had planned four hours to disassemble all the atmospheric instruments located at a site close to the MDRS. We wanted to make sure that no adverse events could happen and that the EVA crew would have enough time for all the operations needed. But they were very efficient, and did not meet any problem. As a result, everything was done in less than two hours, even though the high winds did not make the operations as easy as they could have been.

The aquaponics system has been also dismantled by our GreenHab Officer. He took this opportunity to harvest the crops that grew there during our stay. The fish are still in their bucket, waiting for Donald to retrieve them. Please keep us updated, if he is not able to retrieve them, so that we are aware of it and can bring them back to the store where we purchased them.

Once we were all gathered in the Hab, we used our last hours there to complete all the protocols remaining for our datasets to be complete, which was successfully done. Another emergency drill was performed with the help of AI4U, our assistant based on an artificial intelligence. When the alarm rang at 13:55, our Crew Journalist again took the lead of the operations. One team was sent to go through all the buildings and detect the one causing the non-nominal status. As they were in the Science Dome, they simulated another issue, as a crewmember pretended to faint. While the HSO took care of this crewmember, the others prepared for an emergency EVA. They quickly, but safely, left the Hab and fixed a fictive leak located in the GreenHab. The drill took 30 minutes, which is exactly the time limit that was fixed.

On their way back from the emergency EVA, the EVA crewmembers found some items from our burnable garbage flying around. They managed to bring some of them back to the Hab. We saw more of them along the pressurized corridors and tried to call Mission Support from 15:00. When we managed to reach them, we also took this opportunity to inform them about our wish to exit the sim, which was done a few minutes later, at 17:00.

Look Ahead Plan:

Now that we are out of simulation, we will complete the checkout list as well as the food inventory. We will also start gathering all our personal belongings and scientific material. At what time can the CrewCar be placed in front of the Hab so that we can start loading it? We plan to leave tomorrow at 12:00. We will fill the tank of the CrewCar in Grand Junction, park it at the Day’s Inn, and give the keys at the front desk.

Some water was spilled on the computer of the Commander. Now it does not turn on anymore. This computer contained the Final Mission Science Report as well as the Final Mission Summary. Would it be possible to send these to you tomorrow instead, so that we have time to write them again?

Anomalies in work: None.

Weather: Windy, low 3°C/37°F, high 12°C/54°F.

Crew Physical Status: One crewmember recovering from surgery after a broken collarbone.

EVA: EVA #22 dedicated to the disassembling of the atmospheric instruments conducted successfully. EVA #23 (emergency EVA) dedicated to a drill of an emergency protocol in the vicinity of the Hab also conducted successfully.

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, EVA Report, Operations Report, Journalist Report, GreenHab Report, HSO Report.

Support Requested: None.

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