Crew 281 Mission Plan
The mission will be completed with 5 crew members. There are several research objectives for the mission described in the Research Projects section of this report. The mission plan is based around a 2 week mission to the red planet where the crew will conduct research, trial equipment, develop procedures, and provide a learning experience for the crew members.
● Megan Kane: Commander and Greenhab Officer
● Ritupriya Patil: Executive Officer and Crew Scientist
● Rachel Jones: Health Safety Officer
● Ana Pires: Crew Scientist
● KC Shasteen: Crew Engineer
The plan calls for 2-3 people to do EVA’s every day with the remaining crew members staying inside the hab. The plan is for the EVAs to occur primarily in the mornings. This will permit time to review any materials and prepare end of day EVA reports. Each EVA will include a 15 minute prebreath for safety of the crew.
The normal operations of the hab will be maintained as directed by the MDRS Handbook and Mission Support. Days will be split between operations, research, shared crew activities, and individual crew time. While each crew member has their research and operations focus, the activities will be supported by the entire crew. The crew engineer will be assisting with all of the technical aspects of the mission operations and research.
Greenhab – Megan
Two items of research related to the greenhab will be conducted:
propagation of Cacao (Chocolate) and
passive watering techniques to reduce labor and water consumption.
For propagation of Cacao three varieties of Cacao fruit will be used to propagate from seed. The research will be conducted in the Science Dome as the growth chamber needed for the early stage propagation is located there.
The passive watering system will be installed in the Greenhab. The process will involve selecting up to 10 planters in the greenhab to water using terracotta watering spikes. The consumption of water and labor time will be tracked for the control planters (using watering jug) and the test planters (using terracotta spikes).
Science – Ana
The research presented herein is related to geo-technologies and geomaterials characterization, for future construction and engineering on Mars. The main goals are to:
determine a traverse planning of the area;
carry out a geological and geomechanical characterization;
measure the rock and minerals hardness with 2 type of equipment Schmidt Hammer and Equotip (non-destructive testing equipment);
determine scanlines to carry out a geological assessment with a specific datasheet to register all the data;
collecting rocks and soils samples for future laboratory tests;
test a rock sampling device (scoop prototype) in a real environment and register all the adjustments/improvements for the future application in the field of ISRU.
Another part of the research is concerned with the long-term human presence on Mars and extreme environments. Therefore, it is important to test and wear clothes that can be appropriated to these type of missions. Ana Pires has been collaborating with researchers involved in the field of engineering materials, so the Crew will try a prototype of smart textiles (t-shirts and boxers) for extreme environments. The Crew will provide feedback about the use of these textiles during the mission for future improvements.
Science – Ritu
The research involves investigation of drone technology for efficient and safe extravehicular activities in Mars habitat exploration. There is an ongoing effort for space agencies worldwide, and the safety of astronauts remains a top priority during EVAs. This proposal aims to investigate the use of drone technology to
assist analogue astronauts in Mars habitat exploration, with route planning,
emergency medical assistance, and
video documentation of the EVA activity.
Ham Radio – Rachel
Communicate with Dayton Ham Radio Convention – Call in to the booth to connect to the ISS.
Interacting with the ARISS booth at the ham radio convention
Connect to 1 or more additional analogs: University of North Dakota, HISeas and/or SAM at the Biosphere. Connection will be either via HAM radio or zoom. These will be part of the simulation contacting other Mars bases.
STEM Education Videos – Rachel & Ana
With the assistance of the crew Rachel will record a series of educational videos related to STEM. These videos will be published later this year.
HUMAN RELATIONS / STEAM Archive (SFAN|Portuguese GeoTech Vision) – APires
During the mission Ana would like to get to know each member of the crew, conducting interviews, to understand and register the state of mind, aspirations, and goals of each member of the Crew and to register her personal experience.
Ana would also like to register images and videos during the mission, for STEAM activities in Portugal, under the scope of “SFAN|Space For All Nations” initiative (International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, PoSSUM Program).