Mission Summary – Crew 184

Mars Desert Research Station

 End of Mission Summary

Crew 184 – Mars Society Crew #1

Striving Towards Analog Research Success

(Team STARS)

 

Crew 184:

Commander/Astronomer:                                       Thomas Horn (United States)

Executive Officer/Greenhab Officer:                    Trisha Randazzo (United States)

Crew Engineer:                                                            Joshua Hunt (United States)

Crew Scientist/Outreach Officer:                           Akash Trivedi (United Kingdom)

Crew Journalist:                                                           Willie Schumann (Germany)

Crew Health & Safety Officer:                                 John Sczepaniak (United States)

 

Figure 1: MDRS Crew 184 -From Left to Right, Akash Trivedi, Willie Schumann, Josh Hunt, Trisha Randazzo, John Sczepaniak, Tom Horn

  

 

Our team started out as strangers, thrown together with nothing in common except a love for space and desire to test ourselves on the surface of Mars.  After months of intense long distance preparation and now, completing our two week mission together face to face, we have bonded as a team both personally and professionally to advance our shared love and drive of advancing the cause of human space exploration.

 

During our mission preparation, we assembled a set of research objectives playing off our respective strengths and keeping present the goal of simulating a Martian Mission as accurately as possible.  We faced numerous challenges and failures during our mission that threatened the successful completion of our goals, but through hard-work, troubleshooting and flexibility we completed our objectives and can return home with a successful mission behind us.

 

We hope that through this mission and future efforts we can move forward the goal of human exploration of space, and will now begin the next phase of our mission in taking our research and data back to external parties and in continuing the outreach process to utilize our experience to inspire greater enthusiasm for the possibilities of space travel in the general public and the next generation.

   – Ad Astra Per Ardua, Crew 184

 

 

Summary of Research Completed:

Matryoshka EVAs

Evaluating the past habitability of Mars is a key science objective for the near future. Meeting this goal will involve innovation, exploration, and scientific enquiry across all levels of observations. At the MDRS, features analogous to those on Mars were characterized and utilized to further develop identification techniques of geological points of interest. Dunes and channel structures provided a test-bed for investigation of the geomorphological bodies found in Martian terrains

 

During our stay at MDRS, we highlighted the value of using four modes of geologic survey operating at increasingly fine scales. Analogous to the gradual down-scaling of a Matryoshka (Russian) doll, the four-phase sequence of study provides observations at a progressively smaller scale: satellite, drone, rover, and human (hand scale).

 

Under the expertise of the Department of Earth Science at the University of Oxford, eight sites were chosen for sample collection and return to Oxford for further geomorphological and geochemical analysis. This work was proposed by a team of undergraduate and research students with goals to not only conduct scientific research activity on the collections, but also use them for outreach purposes to inspire the next generation of analogue astronauts!

(Figure 3: Matryoshka Lithe Canyon Site, John Hunt, Willie Schumann, Trisha Randazzo)

 

Fatigue Sleep Study

The crew underwent a two week fatigue study by following the Martian day, 40 minutes longer than an Earth day. For two weeks, they completed multiple surveys daily on their sleep, fatigue, and general wellbeing while shifting their sleep and wake times by 40 minutes each day.  The crew was able to manage the stresses associated with a Martian day despite the difficulties that are inherent in analogous missions.  There was an increase in short naps towards the end of the mission in order to satisfy the mission and scientific objectives.  This completes the crews MDRS portion of the Martian Circadian Study successfully.

In addition to surveys and sleep shifting, the crew had to complete multiple tests throughout the mission to measure their psychomotor vigilance, called a PVT (psychomotor vigilance test).  The tests are administered via an iPad so participants can access the test easily and complete it three times a daily (see photo).

(Figure 4: Commander Tom Horn starting his PVT test)

 

Anesthesia

Crew 184 completed an important anesthesia task during the mission looking at the ability of astronauts to complete a nerve block of the lower leg. They used gel models created at the University of California, San Diego to place a needle above and below the simulated nerve located behind a knee.  The simulation looks at the ability of participants’ time to complete tasks in an emergency scenario.

(Figure 5: Anesthesia Training, Dr. John Sczepaniak, Josh Hunt, Akash Trivedi, Trisha Randazzo)

 

 

(Figure 6: Anesthesia Training, Dr. John Sczepaniak, John Hunt, Trisha Randazzo, Tom Horn, Akash Trivedi)

 

Exercise

Mars is an environment that requires strength training to keep astronauts healthy with minimal up-mass.  John Sczepaniak MD created an 18 pound medicine ball on Mars with minimal up mass (~600g).   A cycling machine was assembled at the station by crew 184 for health and fitness.  The cycle was donated to the Mars Society for use by future crews.

 

(Figure 7: (From top to bottom, left to right) Trisha Randazzo and Josh Hunt assembling the cycling machine, Tom Horn exercising on the bicycle, Dr. Sczepaniak creating the medicine ball using Martian regolith, Josh Hunt utilizing the medicine ball to increase mass during squats.)

 

Communication Study

The question of how to effectively operate a human crewed mission with a lengthy time delay is a significant unsolved question in human spaceflight, and is one that analog space missions are uniquely suited to answer.  Previous human spaceflight experience has entailed close coordination and direction between the crew and Mission Control, future missions to Mars and other destinations will necessarily entail a whole new operations structure including new communication guidelines and devolving significant power away from Mission Control and to the crews themselves.  In order to simulate this our crew worked with an offsite scheduling team to direct our activities and with who we experimented with different communication methods, feedback techniques, and email time delays.

We experimented with various communication methods internally to the team via our ‘Bricks’ experiment.  With this we took symmetric sets of building blocks and experimented with building various structures with different crew teams and different time delays, from 0 to 15 minutes in 3 minute intervals.  Via trial and error our team learned how effective communication tools which were put in place throughout our mission.  They proved particularly effective during EVA where communication over VOX is difficult and several techniques were immediately applicable to aid in EVA coordination among the team.  Our team agreed that of all the lessons learned five in particular were critical, which are described below.

Five Takeaways:

  1. Give an overview of what task is trying to accomplish. This allows crew to fill in missing details and help connect the dots themselves
  2. Give an inventory of all supplies to be used during the task up front, and what each thing is being used for. This allows easy identification of mistakes if supplies are left over, and also allows crew to better understand their instructions.
  3. Agree on common descriptors for entire supply list to ensure accurate description, i.e. “4 pronged short rectangle”
  4. Establish a common orientation for the entire task at the beginning, then stick to it. This ensures proper placement of materials.
  5. Repeat all instructions twice. With unreliable radios this ensures momentary communication dropouts does not prevent critical information being relayed.  This is especially important for longer time delays where a missed word could result in a 30 minute delay.

 

(Figure 8: Josh Hunt listening to instructions to build a structure with a communication time delay.)

 

 CPR Techniques

The low gravity environment of Mars is likely to pose unusual challenges to a human settlement.  An example of this was posed to our crew as a challenge for us to solve during our mission.  How do you exert enough force on a patient to perform effective CPR when you have a significantly reduced body weight?  In order to simulate this in an Earth environment our crew was given our friendly CPR helper ‘Max’, a scale, and force targets in excess of their body weight that they had to achieve.  Each crewmember performed trial runs and various techniques under the supervision of our crew doctor, recording their results.  Of the various methods tried the three most effective were, 1)  Placing weights on the patient’s chest to effectively raise caregiver body weight during compressions, 2)  Having another crewmember assist in chest compressions, and 3)  Bracing crewmember on an overhead beam to provide additional resistance for compressions.

This is just one example of an esoteric problem presented by low gravity conditions, and there are sure to be more.  We found it interesting to discuss these scenarios and envision the challenges to be confronted by a Martian colony, many of which are sure to only be discovered once humans are already on Mars.

 

 

Special thanks to our individual donors and supporters

Space Generation Advisory Council – For their extensive help and experience preparing our mission schedule during our stay at MDRS.  We hope for more colloboration in the future.

Neha Dattani – for supporting our mission and providing love and moral support

Shital and Rajnikant Trivedi – for their love, belief and support towards my ambitions

Wolfson College, Oxford and the Department of Engineering Science for supporting the mission

Clive Siviour at the University of Oxford for academic guidance, personal and professional support

Lucy Kissick and her team at the Department of Earth Science for proposing the Matryoshka research study

Patty Horn – for the support and care without which my attendence would be impossible, and taking care of the kids while explaining that daddy is going to Mars.

Joseph Maroge- for mission research support and survey creation

Hitesh Bhatia- for driving supplies to Hanksville and actisleep sensor support

Ed Bahr – for holding supplies prior to our mission

Ching-Rong Cheng – for use of the sonosite ultrasound and research support

Alan and Lois Sczepaniak – for equipment and support

Deborah and Buck Hunt – for being my two biggest fans in the whole world!

Kathryn Randazzo, James Randazzo, Megan Randazzo – for providing the crew care pacakge and SOS package, welcomed as a morale boost on our harder days!

Leo Teeney – for his support in making this mission possible.

Integrity Applications Incorporated – For supporting the crew and providing technical insight.

Chris Wade – for his stellar mission patch design

Renee Garifi – for her pro bono expertise and moral support

Operations Report – December 19th

Crew 185
Operations Report Tuesday 12/19/2017
SOL: 1
Name of person filing report: A.Passeron
Non-nominal systems:
-Generator :
The generator runned properly for the whole night.
Today, Shannon called a mechanic to definitely clean the oil circuit and fix the generator.
– Spacesuit 2 : After the engineering EVA at 12:40pm, we noticed that the ventilation systems of spacesuits N°2 and N°3 were not working. At 3:00pm, Thibault and I opened the backpack of spacesuit N°2 to repair the ventilation system. The backpack of spacesuit N°2 was full of dust. We removed the dust and the fans are now operationnal.
– Spacesuit 3 : At 3:20pm, Thibault and I opened the backpack of spacesuit N°3 to repair the ventilation system. The left fan in the backpack of spacesuit N°3 was blocked. We carefully unjammed the fan and cleaned it with blow-off canned air. It is now operationnal.
Generator (hours run):
Generator turned off by Shannon at 8:50 am.
Generator turned on by Shannon at 3:10pm.
Solar— SOC @ 7:40pm : 100%
Diesel – 80%
Propane – 58 percent volume
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 3.5 Gallons
Water (trailer) – 150 gallons
Water (static) – 270 gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used – No
Static to Loft Pump used – Yes
Water Meter: 50 gallons
Toilet tank emptied: Yes
ATVs Used: No
Oil Added? Yes, all the ATVs have been filled with ethanol free gasoline and are full (Except the blue Yamaha 300 without a battery)
ATV Fuel Used:
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 00:00 hours
Notes on ATVs: ATVs were nominal.
Deimos rover used: No
Hours: 00:00 hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Spirit rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Opportunity rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Curiosity rover used:  No
Hours:
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
HabCar used and why, where?  No
Summary of internet: All Nominal
Summary of suits and radios: Ventilation systems of spacesuits N°2 and N°3 repaired.
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal
Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal
Summary of RAMM operations: Not Operational
Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:

GreenHab Report – December 19th

Greenhab Report
David Murray
December 19th, 2017
Environmental control: (Choose which is appropriate and explain further if needed)
Ambient
Ambient with window/door open at 41 C from about 12:00 – 15:39
Working Hour: 15:39
Inside temp at working hour: 24 C
Outside temp during working hours: 12 C
Inside temperature high: 41 C
Inside temperature low: 22 C
Inside humidity: 16%
Heating
Functioning nominally
Turns on at 16 C and off at 20 C
Cooling
Not functional
Shade Cloth On/Off
On
The greenhab lights are on from 17:00 to 24:00 each night
Average temperature:
N/A
Changes to Crops
No changes
Morning Research Observations
N/A
Daily Water Usage for Crops
5 gallons
Time(s) of Watering Crops
15:39
Aquaponics
N/A
Narrative
The soil had thawed by this morning. Many of the tomato plants are competing for space so I began transplanting and thinning the pots. I also started Blue Curled Scotch Kale, Bloomsdale Spinach, and Golden Acre Cabbage from seed. I decided not to use the fertilizer I made yesterday and to, instead, amend my recipe and try again. I blended 1 L of hot water with 100 grams of dried moringa leaf/shoot matter, strained it through a cheese cloth, and added 5 L of water to the initial mixture. It’s in a fertilizer pump sprayer and ready to be used.
Support/Supplies Needed
N/A

Operations Report – December 19th

Crew 185
Operations Report 12/19/2017
SOL: 1
Name of person filing report: A.Passeron
Non-nominal systems:
– Heater :
The heater was not working properly on Sunday, even after reseting it. Shannon adviced us to change the air filter. On Monday morning, Thibault and I removed the air filter. It had not been changed since April 2016. At 10am, Ilaria and David went to city to buy a battery for the generator and a pack of air filters. We replaced the filter at 3:00pm. The heater is now working well.
– Generator :
On Sunday, the generator had a failure at 8:00pm, Fault message reading “Low battery”. Jump-start from Shannon’s Shuttle battery did not solve the issue. Generator had a second failure at 9:00pm on sunday, so we definitely turned it off for the night.
On Monday, Shannon helped us to change the battery at 3:00pm. We then drained oil from the radiator by pouring clean cooling liquid. The oil of the generator was also very dirty. It was so sticky that we had to start the generator for a few minutes to heat the oil and thin it. We thus were able to remove the oil filter, but only a fraction of dirty oil came out of the generator. We tried to remove as much dirty oil as possible by filling the motor with clean oil, but a valve seemed to block the oil circulation. After pouring as much clean oil as we could, we replaced the oil filter. The generator was finally turned on at 5:00pm and runned properly for the whole night.
Today, Shannon called a mechanic to definitely clean the oil circuit and fix the generator.
– Spacesuit 2 : After the engineering EVA at 12:40pm, we noticed that the ventilation systems of spacesuits N°2 and N°3 were not working. At 3:00pm, Thibault and I opened the backpack of spacesuit N°2 to repair the ventilation system. The backpack of spacesuit N°2 was full of dust. We removed the dust and the fans are now operationnal.
– Spacesuit 3 : At 3:20pm, Thibault and I opened the backpack of spacesuit N°3 to repair the ventilation system. The left fan in the backpack of spacesuit N°3 was blocked. We carefully unjammed the fan and cleaned it with blow-off canned air. It is now operationnal.
Generator (hours run):
Generator turned off by Shannon at 8:50 am.
Generator turned on by Shannon at 3:10pm.
Solar— SOC @ 7:40pm : 100%
Diesel – 80%
Propane – 58 percent volume
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 3.5 Gallons
Water (trailer) – 150 gallons
Water (static) – 270 gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used – No
Static to Loft Pump used – Yes
Water Meter: 50 gallons
Toilet tank emptied: Yes
ATVs Used: No
Oil Added? Yes, all the ATVs have been filled with ethanol free gasoline and are full (Except the blue Yamaha 300 without a battery)
ATV Fuel Used:
# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 00:00 hours
Notes on ATVs: ATVs were nominal.
Deimos rover used: No
Hours: 00:00 hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Spirit rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Opportunity rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Curiosity rover used:  No
Hours:
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
HabCar used and why, where?  No
Summary of internet: All Nominal
Summary of suits and radios: Ventilation systems of spacesuits N°2 and N°3 repaired.
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal
Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal
Summary of RAMM operations: Not Operational
Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:

Journalist Report – December 19th

[Sol 1]
And we have landing! This morning, we arrived on Mars as expected and we began our mission, which will last until the 30th of December with the arrival of Crew 186. But right now, we are alone in MDRS and our crew is in a great shape and a dynamic mentality.
This morning, we began the day with an engineering check to verify that the generator, the rovers, the water system… were in a good condition. It was the first time with an EVA suit for Arno and David, guided by our experienced Commander Ilaria. The station is apparently doing well and we hope that it will keep working that way until the end of the mission.
After a common lunch, we did an important meeting to set up ou schedule for the upcoming days. Then, David went to the Greehab to move his experiences forward, while our spacesuit engineers repaired two of the EVA suits that had jammed ventilators. Right now, we have six functionnal suits for five people, which is promising!
After dinner, we will do a mindfulness training and meditation and we will work on the different experiments that we will implement and run. We also hope to be able to watch a (space) movie together.
Greetings from Mars,
Thibault, ExO and spacesuit engineer for the Crew 185

Sol Summary – December 19th

Crew 185 Daily Summary Report  19/12/2017
MDRS Daily Summary Report for Sol 1
First Day of Sim
Mission Status:  Things are running smoothly.
Sol Activity Summary: We started our simulation this morning. We began our day by eating breakfast as a team and followed our meal with a mindfulness meditation session. After that, three of us put on our simulation space suits for the first time and left the hab to do an engineering check. Two crew members stayed behind for communication. When the crew returned to the hab, we ate lunch, assigned daily tasks for each crew member, and had time to work on individual projects.
Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow, we will have our first EVA and test the X-1 space suit for the first time.
Anomalies in work:  The simulation space suit helmet fogs up easily and can drastically limit your field of vision.
David Murray crew greenhab officer and biologist
Weather: Sunny, warm
Crew Physical Status: Healthy
EVA: No EVA today
Reports to be file: EVA request
Support Requested: None

Operations Report – December 18th

Crew 185
Operations Report Monday 12/18/2017
SOL: -1
Name of person filing report: A.Passeron
Non-nominal systems:
– Heater :
On Monday morning, Thibault and I removed the air filter. It had not been changed since April 2016. At 10:00am, Ilaria and David went to city to buy a battery for the generator and a pack of air filters. We replaced the filter at 3:00pm. The heater is now working well.
-Generator :
Shannon helped us to change the battery at 3:00pm. We then drained oil from the radiator by pouring clean cooling liquid. The oil of the generator was also very dirty. It was so sticky that we had to start the generator for a few minutes to heat the oil and thin it. We thus were able to remove the oil filter, but only a fraction of dirty oil came out of the generator. We tried to remove as much dirty oil as possible by filling the motor with clean oil, but a valve seemed to block the oil circulation. After pouring as much clean oil as we could, we replaced the oil filter. The generator was finally turned on at 5:00pm.
Generator (hours run):
Generator turned on at 5:00pm.
Solar— SOC @ 6:00pm : 98%
Diesel – 80%
Propane – 60 percent volume
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 5 Gallons (Full)
Water (trailer) – 150 gallons
Water (static) – 300 gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used – Yes
Static to Loft Pump used – Yes
Water Meter: 45 gallons
Toilet tank emptied: No
ATV’s Used: No
Oil Added? No
ATV Fuel Used:
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 00:00 hours
Notes on ATVs: ATVs were nominal.
Deimos rover used: No
Hours: 00:00 hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Spirit rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Opportunity rover used:  No
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes
Curiosity rover used:  No
Hours:
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
HabCar used and why, where?  No
Summary of internet: All Nominal
Summary of suits and radios: All Nominal
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal
Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal
Summary of RAMM operations: Not Operational
Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:

Sol Summary – December 18th

Today has been a busy day for the Crew 185. As it was our last day before entering simulation, we needed to prepare the hab in the best possible way and to fix as many things as possible before closing our doors.

We decided to work in two groups. Ilaria and David took the car to buy a new battery for the generator, soil for the greenhab and food. Arno, Thibault and John set the laboratory with the 3D printer, the medical supplies, the X-1 spacesuit prototype, etc…

This afternoon, we repaired the generator by replacing the battery and changing a part of the cooling liquid and the oil. It is working better at the moment when I write these lines! Hopefully, it will keep being in a good shape.

We decided that we would begin the simulation tomorrow morning when waking up. Mars, here we come!

The Crew 185

Operations Report – December 17th

Crew 185
Operations Report Sunday 12/17/2017
SOL: SOL -2
Name of person filing report: A.Passeron
Non-nominal systems:
– Heater :
The heater was not working properly, even after reseting it. Shannon adviced us to change the air filter.
– Generator :
The generator had a failure at 8:00pm, Fault message reading “Low battery”. Jump-start from Shannon’s Shuttle battery did not solve the issue. Generator had a second failure at 9:00pm, so we definitely turned it off for the night.
Generator (hours run):
Generator turned off at 9:00am.
Generator turned on at 5:00pm.
Generator had a failure at 8:00pm.
Jump-start done at 8:00pm.
Generator turned off at 9:00pm after a second failure.
Solar— SOC @ 5:00pm : 95%
Diesel – 80%
Propane – 62 percent volume
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 5 Gallons (Full)
Water (trailer) – 300 gallons
Water (static) – 230 gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used – No
Static to Loft Pump used – Yes
Water Meter: 50 gallons
Toilet tank emptied: Yes
ATV’s Used: Yes
Oil Added? No
ATV Fuel Used:
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 00:40 hours
Notes on ATVs: ATVs were nominal.
Deimos rover used: No
Hours: 00:00 hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.
Hours: 00:00 Hours
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Spirit rover used:  Yes
Hours: 00:40 Hours
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 90%
Currently charging: Yes
Opportunity rover used:  Yes
Hours: 00:40 Hours
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 88%
Currently charging: Yes
Curiosity rover used:  No
Hours:
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
HabCar used and why, where?  No
Summary of internet: All Nominal
Summary of suits and radios: All Nominal
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of GreenHab operations: Greenhab report is nominal and cleaned!
Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal
Summary of RAMM operations: Not Operational
Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:
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