End-mission Research Report – April 12th

[category science-report]

Living on Mars

Regarding the advancement of everybody’s experiment, here is a quick summary:

Biomedical team (Alba, Arnaud, Imane, Loriane):

Up to today, the biomedical team has collected all the blood serum and saliva samples planned for the mission. The TAP micro device and the HemoCue worked very well. Concerning the salivary tests to study aMMP-8 using the ORALyzer, all of the tests planned are done and if compared to the values prior to the mission, there are reduced levels for the majority of the crew members. However, it’s too early to draw any conclusions; results will be fully analyzed once back in the lab in Belgium when the rest of the measurements in the samples will be performed. Additionally, we’ve gathered physiological data using the Oura ring, which tracks sleep quality and quantity, heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation, and body temperature. To ensure impartiality, we’ll analyze this data after the experiment concludes. We’ve also collected fecal samples and conducted 12-hour urine collections from all crew members, before and during the simulation and will collect a last one once back in Belgium. Furthermore, subjective sleep quality and stress levels were assessed through questionnaires (Perceived Stress Scale-4 and -10 items, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and PROMIS sleep disturbance) to further examine the relationship between physiological and behavioral measures. A self-assessment questionnaire assessing mood states and their fluctuations (POMS-f) was also administered at the beginning and the end of the simulation to assess these emotions over the experience. The questionnaire will be analyzed by our psychologist to know whether the effects of confinement (confined space and cut-off social networks) had an impact on mood states of the crew members. Finally, prior to the mission, the crew members completed the Golden Personality Profiler, and to date, the characteristics of their personality profiles have been discussed with the group psychologist and received personalized consultation. These results will help determine whether it is possible to predict the mood states experienced (using the POMS-F) during the group confinement.

Maxime’s experiment to understand the movement of dust in the Martian atmosphere is a success, despite having suffered some setbacks. The station, nicknamed “Dusty,” was composed of a tripod and three sensitive trap cameras, and a Vantage Vue Weather station was installed on Sol 2 but did not transmit because of low battery and the wind indicator was broken. On the morning of Sol 3, a maintenance EVA was done to fix the station and change the battery, and it has been successfully transmitting precious data ever since. The current windy weather is perfect for the experiment as we can see from the hab that some dust is being picked up by the wind in the area of the Dusty Station. We are monitoring its status from the Hab; the sturdy metal tripod looks like it is enduring the harsh weather conditions; a recent EVA revealed the wind indicator was damaged again, it was quickly fixed. A quick check of the cameras showed that the station indeed recorded some dust activity, that means the experiment was very successful.The station transmitted data for 10 Sols, and was recovered after the end of the simulation on Sol 12.

Hippolyte’s experiment examines crew interactions with an artificial intelligence (AI) system to support decision-making and task execution. By capturing verbal communications with the AI in individual sessions, the goal is to assess the effectiveness of human-AI dialogue and aim to improve this communication. Hippolyte intends to broaden this investigation by incorporating AI interaction tests during Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), aiming to enrich the dataset with varied results that reflect different operational contexts. All the collection of data went smoothly. There was no problem with the AI and it was promptly accepted by the crew as the data collection went on. The results will be examined once back to Earth and in Belgium.

Louis’s experiment aims to explore how UAV technology can enhance future crew efficiency in Martian exploration by mapping the planet’s landscape using drones and automatic flights. In the initial phase, Louis focused on trial and error, dedicating three EVAs to his experiment. His efforts began with familiarizing himself with flying a drone in a spacesuit, followed by executing his first automatic flight to capture images of a specific area, validating the feasibility of automated flights. With the successful completion of the initial automatic flight, Louis shifted his focus to more complex landscapes and experimented with various flight parameters. Despite a first non conclusive flight, all the others were a success. He then shifted his attention to processing the data acquired during these flights to identify potential enhancements for the next phase of the experiment, a second and precise data collection.
With refined data by optimizing the fight parameters and putting Ground Control Points (GCP) into the mapping process, Louis enhanced the different 3D models produced by the software. This last step corresponds to a major success for Louis’ experiment.
Romain’s data collection for his experiment went smoothly. Those collections, which happened on Sol 1, 4, 8 and 12 for the drone and the TapStrap, a device constituted of 5 rings that you wear on the basis of your fingers to communicate and send messages by moving your hand, occurred with no trouble whatsoever despite the quick winds on Sol 4. All the data from these experiments will be analyzed once we go back to Earth with the help of fellow scientists and university professors. I also have been working on a scientific letter trying to verify the veracity and precision of data we have from the black hole in the middle of our Milky Way, SrgA*. I am going to determine if the approximation of a Schwartzsheild Black hole is precise enough or if we shouldn’t do that approximation and consider it as a Kerr Black hole.

Copyright © The Mars Society. All rights reserved. | Main Site