Adriana Brown is a recent graduate of Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. She is currently in the first year of her Ph.D. at University of Michigan, where she works with Dr. Sierra Petersen to research the temperature and oxygen isotope evolution of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. Adriana is passionate about understanding paleoclimatology and large-scale planetary processes on both Earth and Mars and loves fieldwork. She served as MDRS Crew 272’s Crew Geologist and is delighted to be back at the station. On Earth, Adriana can often be found biking, reading Terry Pratchett, or religiously doing the New York Times crossword.
Executive Officer & Crew Journalist
Sara Paule provides research and grant proposal submission support to faculty at Earlham College where she serves as the Director of Grants and Sponsored Research. She has prior experience with research and development (R&D) and is looking forward to mission for the opportunity to be back on the side of producing knowledge.
For her research, she will examine the skills that analog astronauts use in their daily lives on mission versus which skills they enter simulation believing to be important and whether there is any change in those beliefs post-mission. Secondarily, she will look at past mission reports to analyze and code the content as a means of establishing commonalities and eventually best practices for reporting since communication effectiveness is a primary interest of hers.
Along those lines, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication. In her studies, she is most interested in leadership and internal/organizational communication, which promotes skills for effective team/departmental operation. She is excited to put her theoretical knowledge into practice in the field with her crewmates and to also test out what she has learned about marketing through her journalism role. She looks forward to serving on Crew 289 for the personal growth opportunities and to contribute to human pursuit of life on other worlds.
Health & Safety Officer & Crew Astronomer
Gabriel Skowronek is a senior in Physics at Purdue University and minoring in Astronomy and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Over the course of two summers, he worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory, studying fiber-optic based laser systems for sensing applications. He is passionate about space exploration in general and hopes to apply his knowledge in developing the next generation of optical devices to use for observing the universe. Outside of work and academics, Gabriel enjoys skiing, scuba diving, hiking or anything pertaining to exploring the outdoors.
Aditya Arjun Anibha
Aditya Arjun Anibha is a junior in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University with Minors in Computer Science and Business Economics. He is pursuing an integrated master’s in AAE intending to specialize in Astrodynamics with Autonomy and GNC applications. He is also passionate about Space Robotics and Satellites. He is the President of Purdue Space Program, A SEDS Chapter where he has focused on pioneering the Purdue community of student space enthusiasts towards collaboration, inclusivity and innovation at par with the industry. His current research projects involve transformable origami robotics for space applications, and developing novel autonomous asteroid navigation algorithms. On Earth in his free time, Aditya loves flying, cooking, tennis and playing the guitar.
Eshaana Aurora is a senior undergraduate student at Purdue University, currently in pursuit of a double major in Planetary Science and Mechanical Engineering. As the Crew Geologist, Eshaana is deeply immersed in her research, which revolves around the innovative integration of agrivoltaics within the MDRS Greenhab. In the quest to address the ongoing competition for land between agriculture and solar energy, Eshaana is determined to establish a mini agrivoltaic (AV) farm. Her research is strategically positioned to explore and adapt this system for extraterrestrial greenhouse modules, aligning with the imminent challenges of colonizing Mars.
Her study focuses on comprehending the impact of solar and artificial irradiation on crop yield—a critical consideration for future self-sustaining modules, especially in anticipation of dust storms that could lower the solar irradiation in a Mars-like environment. Her work not only addresses current challenges on Earth but also pioneers solutions for the future of space exploration.
GreenHab Officer & Crew Biologist
Riya Raj is a senior at Purdue University studying Civil Engineering. She focuses her research to go into sustainability, healthcare, and energy efficiency. Her ongoing research into indoor/outdoor air quality analysis with PM2.5, CO2, and TVOC and robotic systems for human health. Her work in the Purdue EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) Department inspired her to help with hands-on projects to provide better living for all communities! Riya also works with Dr. Marshall Porterfield in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department with the Purdue ERBSS (Engineering Research for Bioregenerative Sustainability in Space) group to research bioregenerative methods for efficiency in space applications. As Crew 289’s GreenHab Officer/Crew Biologist her work at MDRS will investigate multiple civil applications. She will help in the station’s GreenHab, conduct radiation experiments with hydroponic systems, perform LiDAR scans to map out terrain for future structures, and build indoor air quality sensors for monitoring/analysis.
Nathan Bitner is a third-year undergraduate studying Computer Engineering. Stemming from an interest in data science, he has participated in machine learning research with both Purdue’s Nursing department and CILMAR. Hobbies outside of school include reading, gaming, weightlifting and running.