Commander Report – February 18th

Crew 189 Commander Report 18Feb2018

Sol 0
Today began early for Benoit and I: because no crew was in the MDRS
before us to bring it back, we had to bring the rental car back to
Grand Junction. During this time, the rest of us had a bit of free
time to rest, then was trained by Dr Rupert on the Hab habits and map
use. We then had lunch together, and started the afternoon by our crew
official photo, in front of the hab. We then tried go on the ATVs but
quickly ended up in a little sand storm, so that we didn’t go very
After a last briefing more centered on simulation philosophy, came the
time to officially close the airlock. Even if it was less magical than
last year, it was still very symbolic: we are now by ourselves, and
for 3 weeks.
Everything is now slowly getting in order: everybody finds his role,
we wrote our first reports today, tested various equipment and look
forward to our first EVA, if the weather permits it! We want both to
train our new crewmembers about EVA specifications, and to find an
acceptable spot to display our experiments. As these will need to
remain on the field as long as possible, we want to make it a priority
for the beginning of the mission.
Everything is going pretty fast at the moment, but I think tomorrow
will be our last day of rush, and that after it, everybody will be
properly settled, and ready for the real business. Anyway, I see
excitement in all of us, and it is a good thing: everybody seems happy
to be here and motivated. I look forward to seeing what this crew is
going to accomplish!

Louis Mangin

Commander Report – December 26th

Ilaria Cinelli

My Crew and I had a great Xmas meal all together with a few Jupiterians! I can honestly say that our breakfast was very modest!

We have been talking about different things, and the one I like the most is motivation. Each of us talked about their dreams in space, and how hard the way to reach them can be. Sharing failures, it is a clear sign of trust and awareness! So, it is a pretty good thing!

Our generation knows that space is possible, and now we are living a great transaction period in which space will be opened to more and more people thanks to private companies (and probably a new landing on the Moon!).

However, there is a big gap. There are a lot of childhood experiences about “being inspired by space”, and only a few places where free tips about “survive in the space jungle” can be shared. Then, there is an incredible high number of people doing self-promotion…

Students and experts are now willing to volunteer for any space activity or study, regardless if this is in collaboration with an Agency or not. Although the bureaucracy and limitations behind space, people want to contribute to the space sector no matter what.

This is a remarkable sign that our society is changing including space exploration at the early stage of education. Analogues could be seen as a business and research field born from this context too.

The advice I hope my Crew will follow is: HAVE A DREAM AND MAKE IT REAL! Loud and clear! We have an ENTIRE life to make real our dreams, and the secret is doing it! Just DO IT! The hardest part is believing in our dreams when the game becomes harder. In case of failure, you will have a lesson learned! Keep up a positive mood for having a good focus in action! Motivational speeches help on the way.

I am trying to give them the right directions, and I hope this mission will be a personal achievement for them too. Here, motivational conversations come naturally, without scheduling a debriefing or an individual meeting. That’s what I like the most!

Although I have been assigned of the position of Commander, I am not in the position to teach them “how life works”, but I can advise them for their best. There is a “human side” in leadership, which is often forgotten, and that make a different between a good Leader and a Tyrant.

Being a Commander is great responsibility. I have been training them in remote, and it is my privilege to shape their vision of space in the practicalities of a simulated mission. Two weeks of time to learn what you cannot learn in school: practice!!! It is short period of time during which I can turn upside down their future vision of space. Have a “human side” in my leadership helps me to get the best out of me for my Crew (and the mission).

Commander Ilaria Cinelli

Commander Report – December 24th

Commander Report

Crew 185, SOL 6, Dec 24th, 2017

Ilaria Cinelli

My Crew and I received a warm welcome from Crew 184! We have spent about a day and a half together, and they shared their experience with us. I was glad to see that they are such a united team! Following their mission, I have to say that it is hard to stay together while facing real challenges. They have also left us presents, and we will wait until tomorrow to open our Xmas gifts!

My crew have seen a few changes before starting the mission. We have two Ground Crew Members and a new entry in our Crew! We have been working on team cohesion and team awareness, and we are on the right track! I am very proud to be their Commander! Each of them has a different talents and skills, that combined lead to a team with great potential.

My role as Commander is to understand their priorities and their talents (as single and Crew) and let them be on the stage of success. Leadership is building a common vision which, for Crew 185, is innovation, progress, creativity and international collaboration. My Crew and I are collaborating with different Countries (France, Italy, Ireland, US, Brazil, UK, Japan and others) showing that space exploration is based on humanity, that is an international representation of our species. Still questionable for a few.

It seems that people tend to forget that space exploration aims, first, at planetary presentation then interplanetary exploration and, after, colonization. As long as we underestimate the protection of our species and the abuse of planet Earth, we will probably have a short future.

Tomorrow is Xmas day, and we have decided to celebrate it as celebration day of being at half of our mission only. It could be seen as team cohesion exercise or a tradition too. Religion can be too personal, and it may highlight culture differences. Anyhow, we have a giant piece of beef in the fridge, the biggest I have ever seen in my life!!! Thanks America!

As you might know, we are in a vibrant atmosphere here in the Hab just because the power supply is not working well as expected. While trying different solutions, it is easy to feel stressed or frustrated when the outcomes are slower than the estimated prediction.

However, this is a teamwork and we are more than happy to have received help in loco and remote assistance too! As long as there is engagement in discussion and in brainstorming, smart solutions come faster!

Thus, I want to thank all the readers and the Society for the support and care we are receiving! My Crew is healthy and smiling! We have lot of food, and, now, a little bit more of drinkable water! I dare to say it is time for a Xmas shower :D!!

Happy holidays to All, and thank you for following our mission!

Commander Ilaria Cinelli

Executive Officer Report – November 15th

Sol 12- 15/11/2017

Executive Officer Atila Meszaros

Hi, Kay! Atila in here again, reporting the events of Sol 12.

Today we were EVA-free, however as you should know by now, we had to rescue the poor and lonely red ATV from the darkness of Mars. The rescue party was Brandon, Carmen, Shannon and I. We succeed in our mission without any causalities and we got back home absolutely safe.

I’m working on a map of the Hab that points the fire alarms, CO monitors and fire extinguisher. I’ll let you know how that worked.

I think that’s pretty much all. If you need anything else just let us know.

Commander Report November 15th

commander-report Crew 182 15Nov2017

5h40m – Awake. As all crew accepted, We suspended the simulation to go to Hanksville to receive 4 brand new ATVs.

6h23m – Today morning I and Brandon woke up early to start a exploration around the MDRS area and collect rock samples and then be contacted by the MDRS vehicle and Shannon’s Vehicle to We, together, go to Hanksville.

8h – Arrival in Hanksville and receipt of the 4 ATVS carried in a truck. Shannon come back driving her car; Atila, Brandon, Camila and Carmen returned, bringing back the 4 ATVs, each one driving a specific ATV. I waited for fill the water tank in the MDRS vehicle. We arrived all together in safety in MDRS.

10h – I and Brandon visited a plateau in west direction from MDRS. We walked around 3 miles (total) and returned to MDRS.

10h45m – Brunch.

11h – Brandon, Atila and Camila did the EVA to Write Moon region. When they were returning, the Atila’s EVA got out of gas.

11h45m – I just cleaned the dishes, organized the dinner table and take out the garbage.

13h13m – I’m preparing my reports and writings.

13h45m – I fixed the window of the airlock chamber, the inner border of the front door and the membrane door of the airlock room.

14h30m – I burned garbage and clean up the lower deck.

14h50m – Camila and Brandon returned to the MDRS and communicated to the crew and Shannon about the EVA technical difficulties.

15h30m – Brandon, Shannon and I (Julio) walked 1 hour or 2 miles going to help Atila in the ATV without gasoline. When We tried to start the engine, its presented some technical problem. We arrived back at 17h30m.

18h – Our dinner was pleasant. At total I walked around 18 km or 11 miles as yesterday and burned more than 1100 calories.

Commander Report November 14th

5h40m – Awake

6h23m – I and Brandon start a exploration around the MDRS area. I found good rock samples. We also visited a plateau in west direction from MDRS. During the morning We just walked 10 km.

11h – Brunch.

11h45m – I just clean the dished, organized the dinner table and take out the garbage.

13h45m – I fixed the window of the airlock chamber, the border of the door and the membrane door of the airlock room.

13h13m – I’m preparing my report.

15h – I burned garbage and clean up the lower deck.

15h30m  – We walked 1 hour or 2 miles going to help Atila in the ATV without gasoline. We arrived back at 17h30m.

18h – I ate peas with cheddar, tomato soup and chips and pancakes. I was hungry. At total I walked around 18 km or 11 miles as yesterday and burn more than 1100 calories.

Commander Report – November 13th

6h30m – Awake.

7h50m – 7h50m – 60 minutes walking: 5,6 km or 3,5 miles.

10h20m – 11h – EVA activity walking to collect more soil to a posterior analysis.

11h – Part of our crew is preparing pancakes.

12h – Camila and Brandon tried to fix the water heater, but they didn’t got.

14h30m – The crew is preparing the lunch.

15h – I just spend great part of my time reflecting about what dimensions would be considered about the sustainability study of a Mars analogue habitat. So, the following chart summarizes important key elements to be considered, evaluated in MDRS and propose some improvements about.

Chart 1 – Dimensions of the sustainability to be studied in MDRS

Environmental Sustainability – Activities of environmental education;

– Waste management practices;

– Save water practices;

– Procedures to save energy and use of renewable energy;

– Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Social sustainability – Education related to the research station management;

– Publication of reports;

– Quality of life;

– Equal distribution of activities between genres;

– Occupational Health and Safety Policy;

– Use of social media;

– Code of ethics or code of conduct;

– Social responsibility actions.

Personal sustainability – develop personal resilience strategies to achieve goals;

– maintenance of good mental condition;

– Health;

– team assistance and relationship;

– orientation to activities and tasks;

– Feeling of satisfaction or completude.

Economic sustainability – Operations and management of the simulation;

– Scientific process.

15h30m – Lunch.

16h20m – I walked 1h40m. Today I completed 10 miles, as yesterday. An average of 8 miles by day. This is part of my experiment related with personal sustainability. Apple Watch is providing the info that I supposed had burned more than 1000 calories.

19h – CapComm.

Commander Report – Nov 12th

4h – Awake.

4h50m – 7h10m – 140 minutes walking: 12 km or 7,5 miles. Was beautiful to see so many stars in the night. I really like deserts during the night. It is a gift woke up early and have an experience like this.

Today, when I woke up, was 0o or 32oC. Walking in 0 or -2oC is an expression of resilience. When you are focused, there is no pain. This is a characteristic that must be considered in the astronauts experience.

I’m very thankful about the opportunity to prepare myself for this mission and keep the exercises during the simulation in MDRS.

9h – Breakfast of tortillas and cheddar cheese with coffee and

10h10m – 12h – EVA – I considered that We walked from the EVA and returning doing a distance around 2,5 km.  Our crew, always When We are in the decomprehension  chamber, to start an Extravehicular Activities, part of the crew who stays in the Hab plays a music to present an idea of time. The music of decompression was Coming Home of Iron Maiden. Interesting have a music that talks about aerospace.

During the EVA, I used the exploration spacesuit prototype. This spacesuit presents a painful ergonomics. It is hard have movements to collect rocks and soil samples.

13h – I’m doing my commander report. I organized my room and helped in the lunch preparation.

14h – 15h – Lunch.

16h – 17h30m – I took a nap. I was tired about 16 km or 10 miles walking today.

17h30m – From Brazil, I received news about the transmission of the interview of TV Globo related to the research associating Mars, MDRS and Brazilian semiarid. Some images from the visit in MDRS:!v/6283988

17h30m – During the afternoon, after the lunch, Atila, Brandon and Camila worked in their research. I took some photos about sent in Crew-photos e-mail.

19h – CapComm.

Commander Report – November 11th

Yesterday night We had a meeting to clarify some points of our mission and try to improve our results in the next week in MDRS.

6h30m – I woke up.

6h42 – Planning.

6h53m – 8h23m – Walking 90 minutes: 8,6 km or 5,3 miles.

9h10m – Breakfast.

10h20m – Recycling some plastic bottles, and trying to fix something.

12h30m – Lunch: eggs and Hash brown potatoes.

13h – We debated about the mission plan, considering about each research plan. I consider that the main topic of our mission is the sustainability.

15h45m – Camila and Brandon prepared a banana cake.

16h22m 17h02 – Walking 40 minutes: 5,8 km or 3,6 miles. At total I walked today 130 minutes.

Today didn’t happened EVA.

17h20m – I’m working in my research related with sustainability in MDRS:

Sustainability in MDRS:

lessons to Mars research habitats and setlements

Researcher: Prof. Julio Francisco Dantas de Rezende, PhD.

This research searches to answer the question: the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) operation can be more sustainable? It is evaluated how environmental, economic, social and personal sustainability issues are presented and is also reflected how MDRS activities would collaborate to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), proposing some guidelines to sustainability. It is also important to ask: the results related to Mars would be applied to build a self-sustainable habitats in Earth, mainly in areas affected by climate change as deserts and semiarid regions as can be seen Brazilian Northeast? Reviewing the previous research done at MDRS not was identified any research related to sustainability. Because of that, this research presents a possible great impact to MDRS. It is a challenger identifies the main dimensions that would be considered to evaluates a Mars research station in terms of sustainability and would be considered the great relevance of this research for the future of design of process of future Mars settlements.

The research Sustainability in MDRS: lessons to Mars research habitats and setlements was considered in the Mission Plan prepared today.

19h – CapComm

Commander Report November 10th

Today is our 7th day. During certain time of my life I had practiced open water swimming. I did some crossing spending more than 3 or 4 hours. Then, my feeling about this mission in MDRS, I would compare as a sea crossing when you are swimming, and also at same time, start to do some statistics in your mind, about how many percent have you swum. In both situations, your mind just to be fine. In our case, in our crossing, the main issue is to keep the good relationship, kindness and respect with each other. Now I’m looking our days here.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Something that would be annoying in the space missions is be part of an experiment, or to be compelled to be a subject in a research. This is related when We need to eat some kinds of food or use some kinds of specific products. I can imagine what the astronauts as Scott Kelly, in the International Space Station, would need to deal with it. But, I understand that is all about a “good” cause. If you see, all of us are being a part of a great experiment just agreed by us, with our consent. It is part of a movement to a broader new scientific results.

Yesterday I tried to manage the data space in my computer. It almost full and I need to delete some content and have more space. The mission in MDRS just have had generated a lot of content of photos and videos, hard to process all these data.

In the 7th day I’m just considering MDRS as my home. I like good and bad things here. I just prepared my entire life to this, just traveling to far and urban places, sharing rooms in hostels and visiting different desert areas. I love the landscape in Hanksville.

7h – 8h20m – I did 80 minutes of the exercise. I just walked 8 km or 5 miles. The temperature was -1oC. Watching the second episode of the National Geographic miniserie Mars the crew of Dedalus need to walk in Mars surface after de vehicle broke. The cold would be a high threat to the crew exposed to Extravehicular Activities.

9h40m – Breakfast. Carmen is taking the weight of everyone for her research. Bad news for me: I’m weighing two kilos more. When you travel to space, your body is affected by different ways. So, my diet and exercises here is not helping to loose weight. Good to know just in the middle of the mission and try to adopt new behaviors here. Because of that, is so important keep the control of the different health indicators of an astronaut. I need to be fine with myself and guide the crewmates.

10h25m – The EVA Briefing: Brandon Ferguson, Crew geologist and EVA Lead, proposed some guidelines to communication in ExtraVehicular Activities (EVA). He recommended the use of the Phonetic Alphabet, as can been seen in the next Chart.

Chart 1 – Phonetic Alphabet

A – Alfa H – Hotel O – Oscar V – Victor
B – Bravo I – India P – Papa W – Whiskey
C – Charlie J – Juliet Q – Quebec X – X-Ray
D – Delta K – Kilo R – Romeo Y – Yankee
E – Echo L – Lima S – Sierra Z – Zulu
F – Foxtrot M – Mike T – Tango
G – Golf N – November U – Uniform

Was also proposed some voice procedures to be used in the EVA, as can be seen in the next Chart.

Chart 2 – Voice Procedures in MDRS EVAs

– Affirmative / Affirm = Yes

– Negative = No

– Niner = The Number Nine

– Out = I’ve finished talking to you and do not expect a reply

– Over = I’ve finished talking to you and listening for your reply

– Roger – “I’ve received all of the last transmission”

– Say Again – Repeat

– Wait, over – I don’t have the answer or information on hand. I will attempt to find it, until then, I’ve finished talking and do not expect a reply

– Wilco – will comply (after receiving new directions)

10h40m – EVA with Brandon, Camila and Carmen.

11h – I’m aboard of the Hab. I’m and Atila are supporting Brandon, Camila and Carmen in their EVA. During this time I will try to update my writings. But is no easy. There’s no free time here.

12h – End of the EVA.

14h – Lunch. We recycled beans prepared 2 days ago adding rice and frying everything.

14h30m – I received the information that the interview in

15h – Preparation of commander report.

15h50m – I walked more 40 minutes, 5,7 km or 3,5 miles. At total today, I walked 13,7 km or 8,5 miles.

18h – We debated about how to save water. In the Chart 3 is presented some guidelines.

Chart 3 – Guidelines to Save Water

1 – Communication and Education about save water;

2 – Use body wipes only for shower (unless you have a long hair);

3 – Harvest all dishwashing and cooking water;

Dishwasher => Graywater +> poop

Cookwater => reuse for cooking/redytrating food

4 – Redytrating water:

– reuse for more redytrating or

– grywater

5 – For dishwashing, limit water output to lowest possible setting;

6 – use personal mug;

7 – use of paper towels and wipes to clean up dishes;

8 – Try to let almost possible clean the dish after the meals;

9 – Be quickly when press the flush mechanism;

10 – Don’t shave the beard everyday;

11 – Don’t take a shower everyday;

12 – Not change the clothes everyday.

13 – Storage used water to reuse.

14 – Create recipients to collect water with recycled water bottles, as water cases of 2,5 galons.

15 – Use of hand sanitizer to clean up hand.

I consider the Guidelines to Save Water an important contribution of the mission 182 to MDRS. Our proposition about it is connected with Sustainable Development (SDG) 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all implies. One important topic to MDRS improvements would be invest in a system of water reuse. In International Space Station (ISS) all the water is reused as closed system. MDRS would also like this. An important guideline is have the control about how much water is been used and how much sewage is been generated.

Tomorrow We will be discussing how the activities developed in MDRS would contributes to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were approved in September 2015 during the Sustainable Development Summit, when it was discussed and approved by the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 193 countries signed the document. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are composed of 17 aims and 169 goals to be achieved by 2030.