Crew 197 arrives at the MDRS in 10 days!

Crew 197 (VR CrowdExplorers)

Overall Goals of Mission

  1. Create a research whitepaper for using VR to train analog simulation participants.
  2. Pilot out MarsVR Training scenarios and script/enact new scenarios.
  3. Update interior/exterior scans for MarsVR future releases.
  4. Capture video & 360 footage for future promotional videos.
  5. Prepare the station for beginning of field season.
    • Installation of new Donor & Memorial plaques. (James)
    • Start up some plants in the GreenHab.
    • Setup of new HAL workstation & displays. (James)
    • Updates to Internet Router firmware & configuration. (James)
    • Other logistical tasks.

Crew will be IN SIM starting the afternoon of Sol 1 (October 22).

Crew 194 Mission Plan

MDRS Crew 194

Wilderness Medical Society

Mission Plan

Nothing speaks to the essence of “wilderness” more than another planet. Mars represents the most remote and austere environment that humans have ever contemplated exploring. To simulate the demands of living and working on Mars, this group from the Wilderness Medical Society will serve as crew 194 at the Mars Desert Research Station. We will use MDRS as a base of operations for exploring Mars.

During this time, we hope to study medical issues unique to astronauts, space flight, and life on other planets. While our crew has considerable experience with delivering routine medical care and medical care in some of the most remote environments on this plan, we hope to gain an additional dimension of knowledge while considering the provision of medical care on Mars. In particular, we will study and simulate emergencies related to changes in normal human physiology due to microgravity, changes in ambient pressure, relevant toxicology, radiation, space motion sickness, and behavioral health and performance. We will also study ultrasound as an imaging modality in spaceflight.

A significant component of our learning will also be experiential. We have studied the work of prior crews from an engineering and research perspective, and hope to apply some of these lessons on EVAs. However, as our primary study is related to the care of injures crew members, our EVAs will frequently results in “unintended” consequences in which the crew will be forced to call on their medical and wilderness skills in order to survive.

Finally, we have also brought along technology to assist with our operations. We hope to use rapid process improvement software to help craft operational and design changes for our mission and the Hab.

We are thrilled about the opportunity to live and work at MDRS for a week, and would like to thanks both the Mars Society and the Wilderness Medical Society for this wonderful opportunity.

Mission Plan – April 22nd

Mars Desert Research Station Mission Plan 22 April 2018

Crew 193 – PHEnOM Gold Crew

Gold Crew:

Commander: Anima Patil-Sabale

Executive Officer: Doug Campbell

Engineer: David Attig

Geologist & Astronomer: Eric Shear

Health & Safety Officer/Geologist: Shawna Pandya

The Gold Crew is composed of a team of Project PHEnOM Citizen Scientist-Astronaut Candidates from the US and Canada. Along with a great passion for space exploration, every member in the crew has a varied skillset in addition to expertise in their specific field. Our Commander is a Software plus Aerospace Engineer, and has worked for NASA while our Health and Safety Officer is a Physician and a Martial Artist in addition to many other things. Our Executive Officer is a Mechanical and Biomedical Engineer, and works in the health care sector, our Engineer is a Mechanical Engineer, a private pilot and a drone pilot, our Astronomer and Geologist is a Physicist/Engineer who’s the first deaf astronaut plus an inventor who’s designed and built a cryogenic CO2 scrubber.

Our Mission Plan:

Research for Mars colonization is in full swing. Research crews have been arriving at Mars and living in the habitat at the Mars Desert Research Station setup at Acidalia Planitia.

The Gold Crew is #193. Originally made up of 6 crew members, the crew lost their first Executive Officer Omar Samra to international bureaucracy. He wasn’t able to acquire a Martian Visa and the crew had to be deprived of his expertise in extreme environment performance. He was kind enough to share his expertise by training the crew virtually to get them ready for the mission.

After their arrival at Mars, the crew plans to get started with research on Sol 1 itself.

They will perform the Marble Ritual site EVA that is mandatory for all new crews arriving at Mars, to practice and test what they have learned in their simulations.

Laid out here are the crew’s planned research objectives while at the MDRS:

1. Emergency EVAC EVA (possibly using a drone depending on the arrival of the shipment): Scout for locations to take shelter during an emergency like a dust storm or fire while inside the habitat or out on EVA.

2. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: One of the chief threats to a human Mars mission is the sun. Solar flares are giant proton storms that can sicken or kill human astronauts with particle radiation. In this research we will use the Musk Observatory to monitor the number of sunspots on the Sun’s surface, which is thought to correlate to solar flare activity.

3. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: To open up opportunities for astronauts who may not be able to hear, we are testing a device that allows two users to send text messages over a ham radio link, without cell service. The devices are called Beartooths, and pair with the users’ phones with Bluetooth.

4. GPS Route Measurements: A crew member on EVA will take periodic GPS readings of his location over time as he moves across the landscape. A researcher on Earth will overlap the coordinates of each location onto a terrain map to assess the metabolic efficiency of each EVA.

5. Waterless dish cleaning: Water is also not abundantly available on many locations of mars which make it a valuable resource. Bringing water resources to mars is costly because of the weight and amount needed to sustain life. Therefore, reducing the amount of water used for day to day tasks will be of utmost importance to future colonisations. Using Martian sand and UV light to clean and sterilize tableware.

6. The MAG (Maximum Absorbency Garment) utilization study: Help answer questions like to what extent does the use of MAGs for extended EVA’s help the crew? Ways to mitigate discomfort? Or does it take getting adapted to?

7. Spacesuit Helmet Fogging: After EVA experiences, compile a list of issues faced and suggest possible solutions to improve ventilation and defogging methods.

Thank You!

The Gold Crew

MDRS #193

Mission Plan – February 19th

MDRS Crew 189: Team ISAE Supaero Mission Plan February 18, 2018

Table of contents

1) Introduction. 2

a. Mars Analog Research Stations
. 2

b. MDRS 189 Mission Origins
. 3

2) Crew 189. 4

a. Crew Bios
. 4

b. Mission preparation and organization. 10

3) Experiments. 10

a. Experimentations planned. 10

1) Introduction

a. Mars Analog Research Stations

Mars Analog Research Stations (text extracted from the Mars Society website)

In order to help develop key knowledge needed to prepare for human Mars exploration, and to inspire the public by making sensuous the vision of human exploration of Mars, the Mars Society has initiated the Mars Analog Research Station (MARS) project. Mars Analog Research Stations are laboratories for learning how to live and work on another planet. Each is a prototype of a habitat that will land humans on Mars and serve as their main base for months of exploration in the harsh Martian environment. Such a habitat represents a key element in current human Mars mission planning. Each Station’s centerpiece is a cylindrical habitat, "The Hab," an 8-meter diameter, two-deck structure mounted on landing struts. Peripheral external structures may be appended to the Hab as well.

Each station serves as a field base to teams of four to six crew members: geologists, astrobiologists, engineers, mechanics, physicians and others, who live for weeks to months at a time in relative isolation in a Mars analog environment. Mars analogs can be defined as locations on Earth where some environmental conditions, geologic features, biological attributes or combinations thereof may approximate in some specific way those thought to be encountered on Mars, either at present or earlier in that planet’s history. Studying such sites leads to new insights into the nature and evolution of Mars, the Earth, and life.

However, in addition to providing scientific insight into our neighboring world, such analog environments offer unprecedented opportunities to carry out Mars analog field research in a variety of key scientific and engineering disciplines that will help prepare humans for the exploration of that planet. Such research is vitally necessary. For example, it is one thing to walk around a factory test area in a new spacesuit prototype and show that a wearer can pick up a wrench – it is entirely another to subject that same suit to two months of real field work. Similarly, psychological studies of human factors issues, including isolation and habitat architecture are also only useful if the crew being studied is attempting to do real work.

b. MDRS 189 mission origins

Crew Member Country MDRS Role
Victoria Da-Poian France Commander
Louis Mangin France Commander
Jérémy Auclair France Greenhab officer
Benoit Floquet France CrewAstronomer
Laurent Bizien France Health & Safety Officer
Gabriel Payen France Crew engineer
Alexandre Martin France Crew journalist

Team ISAE Supaero has begun their fourth rotation at MDRS, comprised of three weeks of intense research, team building and simulation training on Mars. Our team is composed of seven highly motivated scientists, engineers from the French aerospace engineering school ISAE Supaero.

c. Crew objectives

• To productively function as an interdisciplinary team of aerospace engineering students

• To gain team and individual experience in a Mars analog simulation 


• To learn from the team’s collective background and experiences 


• To produce a scientifically publishable report, including experimental results 


• To promote awareness and passion for space exploration via education and outreach 


• To conduct engaging experiments that will be shared on the team website 


• To share with the public how research is conducted in an analog situation 


• To study crew group dynamics and teamwork of a Mars analog mission 


• To obtain scientific results for our sponsors (human factors researchers, CNRS researchers)

• To improve the EVA performances during our simulation

• To fix and clean materials in the station

2) Crew 189

a. Crew bios

Victoria Da-Poian will be the Commander of the MDRS-189 mission. She is one of the two veterans taking part in the new mission as she was member of the MDRS-175 crew as the biologist. She is an active member of ISAE Supaero space events as she organized the SpaceUp France in 2017 and took part in different space related associations (space pole and CubeSat club). She was also vice-president of the « Junior Enterprise » of ISAE-Supaero (Supaero Junior Council) and Ambassador of the social and cultural expansion of our school (OSE ISAE Supaero). After her 2017 mission, she completed an internship at the Astronaut Training Center in Cologne (ESA / EAC), and is currently doing an academic exchange in Moscow. In her free time, she enjoys practicing piano, violin and climbing.

Louis Mangin will be with Victoria the commander of the MDRS 189 mission. He was already part of the crew 175 as the journalist. He is currently working as a trainee in Lyon in a start-up that uses the latest AI technologies to minimize the electrical consumption of buildings. When he was living on the campus, he was a rower in the ISAE-Supaero rowing team, organizer of the Supaerowing student regatta, and a tutor with the social association OSE ISAE Supaero. In his free time, he is also a runner, a mountain-climber, a cinephile or a poker player.

Laurent Bizien will be the Health and Safety Officer of the MDRS-189 crew. Promotion 2019 of ISAE Supaero, he is the current treasurer of the school’s charitable association (Solid’aires). As a volunteer firefighter as a lifeguard on the beaches, he passed several first aid diplomas. He is a candidate for a semester at the Moscow State University and an internship at NASA. In his free time, he practices baseball, volleyball and skydiving.

Franco-American born in France, Jérémy Auclair will be the GreenHab Officer and the Biologist on board. Promotion 2019, he is an active member of the club, very invested for the smooth running of the next mission. Passionate about space and astrophysics from his young age, this mission is one more way to flourish in his formation. He plans to do an internship in North America in the field of aerospace. He is also an active member of the school’s associative life, and various clubs with varied backgrounds. During his free time, he enjoys practicing sports, rowing and volleyball, as well as getting lost in reading and taking pictures. He will also be the photographer of the mission.

Promotion 2019, Benoit Floquet will be the astronomer of the MDRS-189 mission and is the current treasurer of the club M.A.R.S. Passionate about the space domain for many years, he is also involved in our school’s associative life. He is responsible of the Solidarity pole of the Students Association and takes part into the entrepreneurship (ISAE Supaero Entrepreneurs) association in the communication pole. Also a sportsman, he has been practicing gymnastics for 15 years and skydiving. He applies for a Master in Innovation at the French famous school « Polytechnique ».

Promotion 2019, Gabriel Payen will be the on-board flight engineer of the MDRS-189 mission and is the current president of the M.A.R.S club. He is also member of the student association as event manager. He has been a sportsman for several years and has been focusing for one year on mountain sports, such as climbing, mountaineering and skiing. He began this year a three- years research formation in applied mathematics. He applies for his gap year for the UNIS University located in an Arctic Circle archipelago where he would study geophysics for six months.

Alexandre Martin, also promotion 2019 will be the journalist during the MDRS-189 mission. He is a member of the ISAE Student Association as chairman of the communication department. He shares his free time between the football club, of which he is the president and captain, tennis but also kite surfing club. He is fascinated by space, mathematics and economics. He is currently applying for a master’s degree in financial mathematics in the United Kingdom.

b. Mission preparation and organization

Our advantage is to have two crewmembers who took already part in the simulation last year. Louis and I, were the journalist and the biologist of the Crew 175. This year, we will lead the new team (crew 189). For one year, we are working on our mission, teaching and giving our best advice to the new crewmembers. Our knowledge and experiment are going to benefit the crew in order to best perform during our Martian mission.

3) Experiments

a. Experimentations planned

Physical experiment: Physical program for the crewmembers. Every morning, we will perform physical exercises in order to stay in shape during our 3-weeks simulation and to analyze our performances.

Nutrition energetic experiment: During our 3-weeks experiments, we will monitor our weight (fat percentage, water percentage, bone percentage, estimation of the calories consumption)

Teamwork experiment: The game tasks a player with disarming procedurally generated bombs with the assistance of other players who are reading a list of instructions. Two teams of three participants will play this game every day and the aim of the experiment is to study the teamwork dynamic, considering several factors: physical or psychological stress, boredom, division of labor…
The protocol was defined with Eve Fabre, a post-doctoral fellow studying in human factors at the ISAE-Supaero and Gabriel Payen will handle the experimental procedure during the mission. Almost every day, Gabriel will set up all the devices required to record electrocardiogram, eye-movement, facial expressions and conversation of the players during the game.
Throughout the three weeks, the crew will perform almost a hundred game trials. After the mission, all the recorded data will be analyzed by the researchers at the ISAE-Supaero in order to improve our knowledge on group problem solving during spatial missions.

Rover experiment: The goal of this experiment is to analyze the evolution of the learning curve when controlling a rover. Remotely controlled rovers are widely used in space missions for different purposes: explore the surface and the environment of the specific celestial body, take samples, carry objects to some place, among other things. Due to its importance on present and future space trips, it is essential to analyze how the crew improves their skills when remotely controlling rovers. The obtained results will be useful for the design of different rovers’ aspects (controllability, maneuverability, size, appendixes) on future space missions.

Emergency procedures experiment: As the environment can be hostile (non-sterilized area), the situation is often stressful (an important loss of blood for instance) and first aid equipment is, by definition, very restricted. It seems necessary to learn how to apply some basic care gestures before the arrival of more important rescue resources, or waiting for the repatriation of the injured person. That’s why during the mission Laurent would like to apply and to adapt some first aid techniques he learned during his three years working as a lifeguard (as volunteer fireman): Emergency release and transport of an injured person, Immobilization of the spine axis, Containment of an external hemorrhage, Processing of an unconscious person and spacesuit removal, Processing of a heart attack, Processing of bones and joints traumas.

Sociomapping experiment: During our simulation, the crew will be monitored and the team dynamics studied. Sociomaps allow visualization of continuous communication approaching and drifting apart between individual crew members. The crew evaluated its mutual frequency of current communication, desired frequency of optimal communication as well as development trends and quality of this communication on given scales. Results will be transformed to summarizing parameters which allowed to study communication and to detect significant changes which in turn are predictors of possible failures and misunderstandings. Psychometric assessment of Sociomapping as a diagnostic tool for analysis of communication dynamics leads to proposal to use it for continuous regulation analysis, short-time prediction and eventual intervention which protects from critical deterioration of communication and team atmosphere.

EVA Logger experiment: As during an EVA, time is precious you want to manage it as well as possible. But more importantly, you want to keep your arms and your eyes available at all time. No time for instance to take notes. You have to manage your time, but cannot write down and then keep track of events easily, while it would be convenient to have some, to be able to debrief the EVA, while being back on the hab. The EVA tracking system is here to try to answer these problems. It will use a sense that is partially available on the outside, except during communications: hearing. Using an easy to use mobile application, we will then keep track of EVA events.

EVA efficiency experiment: The idea is to assess, for each of our EVAs, this index in order to understand the importance of each task (preparation and debrief). This index is used in the document “Exploration Systems Mission Directorate – Lunar Architecture Update” – AIAA Space 2007 September 20, 2007, chapter “Extravehicular Activities (EVA) and Pressurized Rovers, Mike Gernhardt from NASA Johnson Space Centre analyses EVAs efficiency. The WEI is the ratio between EVA duration and the total duration of preparatory activities and activities post EVA. The EVA duration is defined as the time spent out of the spacecraft or in case of an EVA on a planetary ground as “boots-on-surface” which means that time in the airlock is not taken into account.

LOAC experiment: The LOAC instrument (Light Optical Aerosol Counter) is used to measure the air’s concentration in aerosols (fine particles in suspension, between 0,2 micrometers and 100 micrometers approximately). It gives the size distribution of these particles as well as an indication of the typology of the particles (carbon, mineral, salt, liquid). The goal of this experiment is to use this instrument in different conditions to get new measurements and analyze their meaning. There will be outdoor measurements, mainly to get information about the airborne dust (such measurements are not comment in the Utah desert), and indoor measurements to see how the air quality of a confined space changes according to the activity crew members do (cooking, changes during the night, particles brought when coming back from an EVA and taking off the suit, etc.).

Localization experiment: The aim is to provide a simple localization system. It could be considered as a rescue solution as it would be used when a member of the crew is lost.
It will consist in 4 transceivers. Each one of them will be either attached to a stratospheric balloon that will enable them to go 50-100m above the ground or to the member itself. For the first experiment, the aim will be to provide a solution to locate the user and guide him to the station in case he has no other way to find his way back. Transceivers will be placed previously and accurately around the station. For the second experiment, the user will put transceivers all along his path from the MDRS to the farthest point of his trip. The aim will be for him to get back on his track.
For the third experiment, all the users will be equipped with transceivers. The aim is to locate and rescue your team mate.

MegaARES experiment: MegaARES (Mega Atmospheric Relaxation and Electric field Sensor) is an instrument developed by Grégoire Déprez and his team of researchers at LATMOS (Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux et observations spatiales), France.
Several versions of ARES have been developed before, among them MicroARES, the most developed one. It was Scientists of the LATMOS team have to wait for the next Martian mission and want to use this time to improve MicroARES performances. As MicroARES couldn’t work on Mars as it was supposed to, analog missions are the best opportunities to work on the device. Through MegaARES, specially developed for Earth measures, data recording and analyzing, hardware etc., can be tested during a relatively long duration in MDRS station.

Solar panels experiment: The performances of solar panels are very sensitive to the obstruction of the photovoltaic cells. Every object casting a shadow on them can block incoming radiation and lead therefore, to a lower electricity output. So comes the issue of dust. After the solar panel’s deployment, dust accumulates on the solar panel and reduces its effective surface, and therefore, its performances. Usually, solar panels are covered with a thin layer of hydrophobic coating so that the rain can evacuate dust. Nonetheless, areas exist, like deserts or extraplanetary lands, where rain is too infrequent (or inexistent) to rely on. So, how can we protect solar panels from dust in that case? Two alternatives have been developed, relying on the same principle: an automatic system moving along the solar panel to clean it. The first alternative consists in a blowing air system, and the second, in a rotating microfiber brush system. I will experiment the second one. During our mission, I will measure the performances of both a solar panel protected from dust and a solar panel exposed to dust (in a natural way or artificially, in order to simulate the Martian low gravity) and compare them to really emphasize the influence of Martian dust. Then, I will equip the solar panel with the rotating microfiber brush system I built and I will measure its performances again to highlight the benefits of such a device.

Time analysis experiment: This experiment will aim at studying the day to day activities of the crew (experiment has been done in MDRS 7 and MDRS 43 on some crewmembers). My goal is to analyze the activities, their duration and our planning in order to see the evolution of the crew during our simulation and our efficiency depending on our activities.

Each day I will note the time spent on different types of activities for analysis. I selected, with the help of Mr. Alain Souchier 7 activities:

– sleeping,

– personal,

– social, team, community, (meals, free time spent together…)

– maintenance,

– inside operations (EVA or experimentation preparation, daily briefings, psychological tests, inside experiments)

– external operations (EVA)

– reporting.

Task performance experiment: The goal is to evaluate the increase in the time in order to do a given task in EVA compared to what it requires outside EVA. In order to perform this experiment, I have contacted the RoverCal association. The task I will evaluate will be the start of the rover and the driving.

The main steps I will focus on are:

– The quick start procedure:

o Installing the batteries

o Installing the Wi-Fi router

o Start up the rover CPU

o Start up the ground station and connect with the rover

o Turn on the rover’s servo power

– Controlling the rover with the joystick

o Driving the rover (rotation, translation…)

– Power down operations

4) Conclusion

In conclusion, we have many experiments related to the human factors and the EVAs efficiency. We will analyze the impact of the isolation and the confinement on our efficiency. What brings this team together is our common dream of space exploration. After spending 2 years in our aerospace engineering school in France, our crew understands the importance of defining roles within a team and will learn to cope with high-stress situations in small living spaces. Completing a mission together at MDRS will challenge us to improve our professional communication while expanding our friendships and our shared passion for exploration.

Ad Astra !

Victoria Da-Poian

Crew 189 Commander (and already proud of our crew)

Crew 186 Mission Plan

Crew 186 Mission Plan, 12/01/2017

Boilers2Mars

Crew

Commander: Max Fagin (USA)

Executive Officer: Kshitij Mall (India)

Crew Engineer: Melanie Grande (USA)

Crew Geologist: Cesare Guariniello (Italy)

Journalist: Justin Mansell (Canada)

GreenHab Officer: Mark Gee (USA)

Health and Safety Officer: Samuel Albert (USA)

Boilers2Mars is a crew composed of all students an alumni from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. With backgrounds in aerospace engineering, life sciences, planetary science and agricultural engineering, several research projects are scheduled, the contents and goals of which are as follows. Further information on each research project can be found in the Preliminary Research Information forms.

Topic: Spectroscopic / Thermal Analysis to Identify Physical Properties of Materials for Advanced ISRU and in-situ testing of tools for collection

Discipline: Geology

Researcher: Cesare Guariniello

Research Question: Can the use of remote sensing performed by astronauts in various locations to support advanced In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)? Can these properties be used to determine the best collection tools (rock hammer, trowel, spoons) to be used for each type of material? This project has the goal of identifying the richest source areas, and give information about the best techniques to collect and process the material.

Experimental Procedure: The Geology research project for crew 186 will test the use of remote sensing to support In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). The research has the goal to demonstrate the use of remote sensing not only for mineralogy, but to infer some of the physical properties of the materials, and to guide the process of selection of appropriate excavation tools and techniques. The crew will perform the following steps:

  • Use a VNIR portable spectrometer to study the mineralogy and identify useful materials for ISRU. The spectrometer has a range of 350-2500 um, resolution 1 um, and has been provided by courtesy of Dr. Briony Horgan’s remote sensing laboratory at Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Visit locations with abundance of ISRU materials which are found on Mars: clays (illite, chlorite, kaolinite), salts (gypsum, sulfates), hematite
  • Collect measurements of air and rock temperature and rock albedo and use them to infer thermal inertia (this can be done as post-processing. The reason to use such a complex process is because a thermal camera did not arrive in time). Thermal inertia can be used to give a first-order estimate of the particle size and cohesiveness of the material
  • Some of the locations will be visited twice, to test the efficacy of simple collection tools, i.e. a rock hammer, a trowel, and a spoon, and confirm the results given by remote sensing analysis about the abundance and physical properties of the material

Topic: Implementing ISS Microbial Monitoring Protocol at MDRS Using qPCR Technology

Discipline: Life Sciences

Researcher: Sam Albert

Research Question: Will the bacterial environment on the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)

significantly differ from the results obtained on the International Space Station (ISS)? How has the quasi-isolated environment of the MDRS affected microbial growth?

Experimental Procedure: Each Sol, samples will be collected from a variety of locations within the MDRS Hab. The experiment will focus on surface samples, but samples will also be collected from potable water and plants growing in the GreenHab when possible. Every sample will be analyzed for the presence of a variety of pathogens and other bacteria, and the data recorded for post-mission analysis. The data will be compared directly to data from ISS and Mir studies whenever possible, as well as to a control study performed at Purdue in unconfined public spaces (such as the aerospace computer lab, which likely has its own special pathogens). As much as possible, the protocol currently

in use on the ISS for real-time microbial detection will be imitated in order to align results. In particular, see the study by Ichijo et. al cited below.

Topic: EVA Navigation in Low Visibility Conditions Using Radio Direction Finding

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Justin Mansel

Research Question: Is radio direction finding an effective means of low visibility navigation during EVAs on Mars? What are the challenges of this type of navigation and what improvements may make it better suited to a Mars mission?

Experiment Procedure: During each EVA, the crew will obscure the upper half of their visibility to limit their field of view to only their immediate area. One person on each EVA will have an unobstructed field of view and ensure the safety of their crewmates (e.g. preventing them from wandering off a cliff). The experiment subject rides in a rover with their eyes closed. After being transported 2-3 km away from the habitat in a direction they have not been told, the crew member then uses the yagi antenna to establish a bearing on a radio beacon in the hab and being to walk back. Their GPS track will be monitored, but they will not have access to it during the experiment. Over the course of 3-5 EVAs of increasing complexity will be performed to assess the effectiveness of the navigation technique.

Topic: Conditioning of a Martian Crew Using Yoga and Meditation

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Kshitij Mall

Research Question: Yoga comprises of many postures or “asanas” that have positive effects on cardiovascular, digestive, neurological systems and so on. Yoga includes breathing exercises, small body exercises and asanas that improve physiology of the crew. Meditation, on the other hand, builds focus and helps reduce stress. The idea is to use Yoga asanas and meditation during the proposed crewed mission and study their impact on the crew’s stress levels. The crew stress would be measured through subjective questionnaire at the start of the mission and at the end of the mission.

Experiment Procedure: The procedure is as follows.

  1. The crew submits two subjective surveys on Perspective Stress Analysis and Self Analysis Survey based on previous month’s experiences related to stress.
  2. The crew then performs Yoga and meditation for 30 minutes each SOL.
  3. The crew fills out the Perspective Stress Analysis and Self Analysis surveys again.
  4. The overall impact of Yoga and meditation of a Martian Crew for a 15-day analog mission is then evaluated.

Topic: Growth of Microgreens in Conditions of Simulated Martian Habitat

Discipline: Agriculture

Researcher: Mark Gee

Research Question: How well do radish microgreens grow in different growth substrates? How well will microgreens grow when removed from the context of their native microbiome? If the microgreens are colonized by microbes from the astronauts, will there be an additional effect on plant growth?

Experimental Procedure: Radish microgreens will be grown in five treatments: Potting soil, arcilite, no soil, no soil with soil bacteria innocculum, no soil with astronaut innocculum.

Topic: Application of VR for On-Site Crew Training and its Implications for Crew Autonomy

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Melanie Grande

Research Question: My research will provide VR training opportunities during the MDRS mission simulation to compare to in-person pre-mission training. It will analyze the efficiency of the crew in performing the operations, including those for maintenance, repair, or emergency procedures. The research will especially explore the impact of VR training opportunities for autonomous schedules compared with detailed daily astronaut schedules.

Experiment Procedure: Two training modules have been developed for Crew 186, including an EVA module, “EVA-01, Geology in the Field”, and a maintenance module, “MNT-01, ATV Maintenance: Brakes System”. The EVA-01 module developed is named “Geology in the Field,” and its purpose is to teach the crew some geology basics and how to use and care for a portable mass spectrometer. The MNT-01 module developed is named “ATV Maintenance: Brakes,” and its purpose is to familiarize the crew with the brake system and standard maintenance checks for the brake system.

Prior to the mission, three participants (half the members of the crew) were selected for pre-mission training. These participants were scheduled to receive a PowerPoint version of the training modules during a designated time together, and each was allowed to ask questions, converse, and take notes based on personal preference. The other half of the crew, a further three participants, will receive in-the-field VR training immediately prior to completing a task. This crew will be allowed to choose a time at their discretion (though on a designated day), but they will do the training individually without the ability to discuss with the investigator (myself) or other participants. Each participant will be scheduled for a maintenance EVA and a geology EVA, in order to complete the tasks described by each module. During their participation in sim, their performance, familiarity, comfort, etc. will be analyzed. Surveys will be used for further data, self-reported, following the tasks’ completion. This data will hopefully answer the questions regarding the efficacy of VR training in the field and the potential of crew autonomy.

Mission Plan – Crew 184

Mars Desert Research Station Mission Plan 03 Dec 2017

Crew 184 – Team PRIMA

Commander / Astronomer:  Thomas Horn (U.S.A)

Executive Officer / Greenhab Officer:   Patricia Randazzo (U.S.A)

Engineer:  Joshua Hunt (U.S.A)

Scientist:  Akash Trivedi (United Kingdom)

Crew Journalist:  Willie Schumann (Germany)

Crew Health & Safety Officer:  John Sczepaniak (U.S.A)

Crew 184 is made up of highly qualified scientists, engineers, medical and journalist professionals. They are planning on undertaking several research projects at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). The overriding goal of our mission is to simulate a Martian surface stay as closely as possible while at MDRS.  Thanks to the crew’s wide range of expertise, they will be able to work on multiple scientific projects and experiments and explore the Martian analog environment.  The crew is hoping to help enable the future settlement on Mars through their work during and after the mission at MDRS.

The main research tasks are explained below.

Circadian Synchrony and Fatigue in Mars Desert Research Station Participants:

Fatigue management is an important mission objective for Mars exploration. This study will investigate fatigue and sleep in Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) participants.

An important goal for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to mitigate fatigue in human systems according to the 2005 NASA technology road maps. For example, we need an effective measurement of sleep time, quality, and efficiency. We need an effective surveillance examination for fatigue (psychomotor testing for fatigue). [1] The Mars Desert Research Station is an ideal place to test these objective and subjective tests. It is also a safer and cost efficient way to test countermeasures for a potential Mars mission.

MDRS’s isolated location allows for minimal outside interference. Crews can control their sleep time to a comparable Martian day of 24 hours, 40 minutes.

Time Delay:  Conducting operations with a significant time delay is a major impediment to ground / flight crew coordination and is something that real-world space programs have little experience with concerning a human crew.  MDRS is an ideal location to simulate a martian time delay to exercise communication techniques between ground team / flight crew to ensure efficient operations.  We have numerous tool and building kits that will be used to build simulated parts and structures.  A ‘ground team’ will be simulated in the HAB while a ‘flight team’ will work in the Science Dome.  We will experiment with different time delay durations and different methods of information transfer between teams.  When executing directed tasks the time to completion and other measures of efficiency will be recorded to determine analytically the most efficient method of communication under different time delay conditions.

“Russian Doll” approach for geomorphic and geochemical target selection on Mars (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 observation from orbital, lander, and rover — the most advanced being NASA’s current Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity — and eventually to a human mission. At the MDRS, features analogous to those on Mars can be fully characterised. Dunes and channel structures provide a test-bed for investigation of the geomorphological bodies found in martian terrains (e.g. Clarke & Pain, 2003; Malin & Edgett, 2000).In this proposal, we highlight 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.

Nerve Block Feasibility Study for Long-duration Mars Missions:

Long duration space missions will require light weight and straight forward methods for anesthesia. The technique must be applicable in both zero-gravity and low gravity situations.[ Komorowski M. 2016, Sczepaniak J 2016] As the crew travels to Mars it will experience a 15 minute communication delay with the Earth based mission control center.[Otto C. 2010]. Therefore, the crew will need to perform anesthesia with minimal guidance. A mission to Mars will last longer than one year and may result in issues with procedural retention by the crew medical officers. Nerve block techniques are ideal for many medical/surgical procedures. They require minimal up mass and are less bulky than other techniques. Additionally, they have a lower chance of hypotension. They do not require intubation in all cases. [Komorowski M. 2016] The two most challenging parts of a nerve block include identification of the anatomy using ultrasound and inserting the needle to the target area.

Schedule:  In order to maintain conditions as flightlike as possible we are working with a volunteer organization, Space Generation Advisory Council, to do our scheduling for us.  Prior to the mission our crew drafted a list of all activities we wanted to complete during the mission with details such as number of crew, length of activity, duration of activity, scheduling constraints, etc . .   With this information SGAC creates and sends us a schedule at ~ 2pm every day for our next day.  This allows us to experience missions as astronauts do when we are not in charge of the details of our own schedule.  We will be monitoring crew performance while executing these schedules and provide daily feedback to SGAC to modify schedules for future days.

Exercise:  It is important to maintain bone density and muscle strength under micro-G / reduced-G.  To simulate this we have brought weights and a bike machine to MDRS that closely simulate the exercise routine astronauts go through on the International Space Station.  Every crewmember is scheduled for exercise every day.

Filming:  Our crew journalist will be filming our entire experience at MDRS and will use it to promote space and public outreach encouraging space exploration throughout the wider public.  During our stay we will be conducting numerous interviews, both individually and as a group, to document our stay.

Thomas Horn

Commander / Crew 184