Mission Plan – April 16th


Hypatia I’s Mission

Hypatia I is an all-female, multidisciplinary, and intergenerational crew, selected to participate in an analog mission to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in April 2023. Its goals include (i) conducting research related to Mars and to space exploration more broadly, (ii) developing scientific outreach and communication activities, and (iii) promoting STEM careers, particularly among young girls. The Commander of Hypatia I is Mariona Badenas Agustí, who was part of another MDRS Crew (LATAM IIII) in 2019. Inspired by that experience, Mariona made it her
goal to return to the MDRS with a team of leading Catalan female scientists. Her goal was clear: to perform high-quality space-related research and to encourage young people to pursue scientific careers. The Hypatia project was launched on February 11, 2021, coinciding with the International Day for Women and Girls in Science. On that day, Mariona Badenas Agustí and crew member Carla Conejo González (Executive Officer) met to discuss the possibility of creating Hypatia I and selecting its crew. After two years and a half of hard work, the Hypatia I team is grateful to the MDRS Executive Team for the
opportunity to conduct a Martian mission and work towards achieving our goals.

Research Projects

One of the main goals of Hypatia I is to conduct space-related research during its rotation at the MDRS. Different research projects, led by the members of Hypatia I, will be carried out in four major disciplines:

Space biology
Scientific communication

Some of these research projects include:

Observation of the ‘Martian’ sky
The MDRS is a unique place to observe the night sky thanks to its low light pollution and the dry climate of the desert. The station has two telescopes with which the properties of star clusters will be studied, asteroids and other minor bodies will be searched for, and astrophotography will be used as an outreach resource for the public. Circadian rhythms in space One of the most important challenges of a future manned trip to Mars are human limitations. Astronauts have been found to have problems with sleep because they work long hours, face drastic changes in their routines, have different hours of light than on Earth, and face environmental factors that disrupt their circadian rhythms. The members of Hypatia I will use wristband devices to monitor neurophysiological constants related to sleep for 24/7 with the aim of detecting any imbalances that may affect their health and mission performance.

Aquaculture on Mars
Mars is a hostile planet to live on and grow food because the environmental factors are different from those on Earth. However, future human settlements will need resources to feed themselves. The members of Hypatia I will study how gravity alteration affects the DNA of cells, using a model fish that is used in many laboratories around the world: the zebrafish.

Single-cell intelligence
The Blob (Physarum polycephalum) will become one more member of the Hypatia I mission. It is a macroscopic single-celled organism that can move several centimeters per hour. Despite not having a nervous system or brain, the Blob is capable of learning and solving complex nutritional problems, such as finding the shortest path to feed itself. In hostile environments, the Blob can survive for decades in a state of hibernation. Inside a safety cabin designed for the mission, the Blob will be subjected to various conditions that will allow us to study its learning and decision-making abilities.

Martian GPS
The different rovers that have arrived on Mars navigate the surface of the red planet using various satellites orbiting around it. These connections are not constant and can fail. At the MDRS, we will explore two ways of navigating through the Utah desert. The more classic way is to use the stars as a reference in the night sky. The more innovative way is to use the constellation of CubeSats nano-satellites orbiting above to navigate the surface.

Iron batteries powered by urine
Batteries are a key element in a manned space mission, but one of the greatest burdens of future trips to Mars is that rockets can not carry too much weight if they want to save on fuel. Therefore, this research project aims to test batteries based on iron chemistry, an abundant material on the red planet, that will use the urine of the crew to function.

Daily reports to planet Earth
The crew of Hypatia I will have to write a daily report that explains day by day the activities of the crew at MDRS. The document will also include a description of the progress of the different research projects. At the same time, it will also include photos of the highlights of the day to stay in touch with Earth.


Biographies, photos and mission patch – April 16th

Crew biographies, photos and mission patch

Mariona Badenas-Agustí
Crew Commander & Crew Astronomer
Mariona Badenas Agusti earned a degree in Astrophysics from Yale University, a master’s degree in Astrophysics, Cosmology, and High Energy Physics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, she uses computational tools and observations from space telescopes to study stellar evolution and to discover and characterize exoplanets (planets in orbit outside the Solar System). In parallel, she spends much of her free time giving educational lectures on the universe and space exploration. Outside academia, she is very interested in the aerospace industry and is a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council and also of Women in Aerospace Europe.

Carla Conejo González
Crew Executive Officer & Crew Biologist
Carla Conejo González is the co-founder of Polaris, a science-travel app. She is also the former Head of Science Programs at the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera. She earned a degree in Human Biology by the Pompeu Fabra University, a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Industry by the same university and a postgraduate’s degree in Science Communication by the University of Vic. She has done research in neurobiology at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, in Spain, and the University of Bologna, in Italy. She has worked as scientific advisor and documentalist in the TV3 program Quèquicom. She has also been a volunteer and Director of International Relations in MAGMA, Association for Promoting Youth Research, representative at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the USA, and Vice-President of the science diplomacy association Scientists Dating Forum. She combines her passion for science education and outreach with travelling to get to know this special planet that we have been lucky to inhabit.

Ariadna Farrés Basiana
Crew Scientist & Health and Safety Officer
Ariadna Farrés Basiana has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics by the University of Barcelona. Specialized in astrodynamics and celestial mechanics, she has devoted part of her scientific career to the study of the use of solar sail for missions in the Earth-Sun system. Currently she works with the Flight Dynamics team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, as an expert on the impact solar radiation pressure has on Liberation point orbits, and studying how to minimize the cost of station-keeping maneuvers. Collaborating with the James Webb Space Telescope and Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

Laia Ribas
GreenHab Officer
Laia Ribas is a senior researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She studied at the University Autonomous of Barcelona where she obtained her Ph.D. in biological sciences in 2006. She worked as a postdoc at the Imperial College of London, United Kingdom. She leads her own research team (Repro-Immune Team) to study the effects of the environmental factors on the sexual phenotype of fish, focusing on the interactions between the reproductive and the immune systems. She is interested in identifying molecular markers with the aim of improving aquaculture production. She is a member of SONET and participated in the awarded Nüwa project to design a city for 1 million people on Mars. She is committed to outreach by participating and leading projects, e.g. Sex in the Sea-ty.

Núria Jar
Crew Journalist
Núria Jar is a freelance journalist, specialized in science and health. She currently collaborates with the radio program El Matí de Catalunya Ràdio, the public science news agency SINC and the magazine Muy Interesante. She also co-directs the 5W Magazine podcasts and coordinates the radio workshop for the Master’s Degree in Scientific, Medical and Environmental Communication at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). With more than 10 years of experience in journalism, she has worked for the main Catalan and Spanish media outlets, such as El País, La Vanguardia and TV3, as well as international journals, such as Scientific American. She recently produced the audio series ‘The Coronavirus Scientists’, funded by COVID emergency funds for journalists from the National Geographic Society. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards, such as the Concha García Campoy Award in the written press category for the report ‘Cuando el médico se convierte en paciente’, published in La Vanguardia. She has a Degree in Journalism from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Master’s Degree in Scientific, Medical and Environmental Communication by UPF. She is also a member of the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication and the Spanish Association of Scientific Communication. She has also taken an active part in different editions of the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) in Seoul, South Korea, and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Neus Sabaté
Crew Engineer
Neus Sabaté is an ICREA Professor at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona and co-founder of Fuelium, a spin-off company that aims at developing and commercializing paper-based batteries for single use portable devices. Physicist by education, she has devoted her scientific career to the development of microsystems such as physical sensors and power sources. She is the leader of the Self-Powered Engineered Devices Group (SPEED) that focuses on the development of sustainable diagnostic devices that contain a minimal amount of electronic components and extract the energy required to perform the test from the sample under analysis. Her research has been granted by relevant institutions like the European Research Council or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is highly motivated to take her research out of the lab and test it in real environments as a first step of a successful deployment of her inventions to society.

Cesca Cufí-Prat
Crew Mission Specialist
Cesca Cufí Prat is an aerospace engineer specialized in space systems. She is graduated in Aerospace Engineering at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, Spain) and earned a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with a specialization in Space Systems at Institute Supérieur de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE Supaero, France). She has been working on the field of attitude and orbital control systems (AOCS) for the last three years in Airbus Defence and Space where her work is currently focused on high precision instruments for Earth observation.

HSO Beginning of Mission Checklist – April 16th

Crew 280 HSO Beginning of Mission Checklist 16-04-2023

Submitted by: Laia Ribas Green Hub Officer on behalf of Crew HSO Ariadna Farres

Crew: 280

Date: 16/04/2023

Part 1: Using the attached Safety Equipment Inventory, locate, test and confirm operation of all safety equipment. List any equipment not found and/or missing:

Part 2: Locate and confirm the emergency escape routes in the Hab are functional and clear:

  1. Stairs – there is a problem with the third step of the starway and this is a safety issue

  2. Emergency window – OK

  3. Commander’s window – OK

Part 3:

Inventory First Aid kit and note what needs to be refilled:

Note any safety issues:

Note any health/environmental issues:

Note any missing or recommended health and safety supplies:

Safety Equipment Inventory 2022-2023

Part 1:

HAB Upper deck

HAB Lower deck


Green Hab

Science Dome


CO monitor



X Not working



Escape ladder



Fire blanket




Fire extinguisher






First Aid











Propane alarm




(channels 1 and 22)






Small fire extinguisher

Smoke alarm






Tow rope


Part 2:

Every emergency escape routes are functional and clear:

  1. Stairs

  2. Emergency window (ladder)

  3. Commander’s window (ladder)

Part 3:

Here is the inventory of the first aid kits found in the lower Hab:

In the American Red Cross closet:

  • BZK antiseptic towelette : 4

  • Alcohol prep pads: 5

  • CPR face shield:1

  • Gauze bandage roll: 0

  • First aid scotch: 1

  • Antibiotic ointment: 1

  • Hand sanitizer (full package): 10

  • First aid burn cream: 3

  • Pairs of nitrile exam gloves (full package): 2

  • Plastic bandages (out of 25): 25

  • Burn dressing: 1

  • 2 eye pads and 1 eye wash full

  • Instant cold compress: 1

  • Pair of scissors + tweezers: 1 + 1

In the First Aid closet (with mirror):

  • Nitrile examination gloves: 0

  • Fingertip pulse oximeter: 1

  • 3 coated caplets of Ibuprofen for a 50 caplets box + box Ibuprofen NSAID

  • One forehead thermometer

  • Electronic blood pressure monitor

  • Box of 25 masks

  • Over 300 hundreds cotton swabs

  • 0 full nail polish remover bottle

  • ¾ + 1/5 full isopropyl alcohol (antiseptic) bottles

  • Almost full Witch hazel bottle for skin irritations and minor cuts

  • 2 bottles (473mL+946mL) almost full of hydrogen peroxide antiseptic bottles

  • Triangular bandage: 6

  • Dramamine tablets: 12

  • Self-Adhering Sport wrap: 1

  • Athletic tape: 1

In the Small first aid kit box in the closet:

  • Large gauze pad: 1

  • Rescue blanket: 0

  • Small bag with many different-sized bandages

  • Alcohol wipe: 5

  • Dramamine : 2 orange flavored tablet (out of 2)

  • 7 alcoholic swipes

  • 5 gauze bandages

Here are the first aid kit to be refilled:

  • Rescue blanket: 0

Safety issues:

There is a problem with the third step of the stairway and this is a safety issue.

No health/environmental issues

No missing or recommended health and safety supplies

Sol Summary – April 16th

Crew 280 Sol Summary Report 16-04-2023
Sol: 0
Summary Title: A rough but hopeful start
Author’s name: Mariona Badenas-Agustí, Commander.
Mission Status: N/A (the simulation has not begun yet)
Sol Activity Summary: Crew 280 arrived at the MDRS in the early afternoon. After settling in, we received training for all the facilities and main procedures. Unfortunately, a crew member was not feeling well, so our Health & Safety officer drove her to the hospital in Moab, accompanied by our Crew Journalist. If everything goes well, they will come back to the base tomorrow in time for the start of the simulation.
Look Ahead Plan: We will continue our training tomorrow morning at 10AM. In the afternoon, the crew will conduct two training EVAs at Marble Ritual (one at 2-3PM, and the other one at 4-5PM).
Anomalies in work: Nothing to report besides the robotic telescope and autoclave not working.
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds. Low 36F/High 72F.
Crew Physical Status: Our mission specialist is not feeling very well, but we are confident that she will feel better soon! More updates to follow tomorrow.
EVA: None.
Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Mission Plan, EVA request, HSO Pre-Mission Checklist, Operations Report.
Support Requested: None

Operations Report – April 16th

Crew 280 Operations Report 16.04.2023

Crew 280 Operations Report 16-04-2023
SOL: 0
Name of person filing report: Neus Sabaté – Crew Mission Specialist
Non-nominal systems: robotic observatory
Notes on non-nominal systems: Replacement parts are scheduled to be installed during crew 261 rotation
Spirit rover used:
Hours: NA
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: yes
Opportunity rover used:
Hours: NA
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: yes
Curiosity rover used:
Hours: NA
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: yes
Perseverance rover used:
Hours: NA
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: yes
General notes on rovers: (used only for training today)
Summary of Hab operations:
Water (static tank): 158 gallons
Static tank pipe heater (on or off): off
Static tank heater (On or off): off
Toilet tank emptied: YES
Summary of internet: used from 13:00 to 21:00 for personal communication and reports
Summary of suits and radios: still not used – training pending
Summary of GreenHab operations: /
WATER USE: It has been refilled
Heater: Off
Supplemental light: Off
Harvest: None
Summary of ScienceDome operations: NA
Dual split: /
Summary of RAM operations: taking tape to measure water tank level
Summary of any observatory issues: see above
Summary of health and safety issues: crew engineer Cesca Cufí felt sick with stomach ache and has been taken to the Moab Regional Hospital for a check. HSO Ariadna Farrés and Crew Journalist Nuria Jar accompanied her.
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: none
Crewcar info:
Mileage: 215613
Oil level: fine
Gas level: was full upon reception, refilled up to full tank at Hollow’s Mountain upon arrival
We observed damages on the plastic protectors from the windows (see pictures attached).

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