Mission Summary – December 7th

Subject: [Mission Support] Crew 200 Mission Report 07Dec2018

Dear Mission Support,

On behalf of Commander Ilaria, with apologies for the delay: Please find attached updated mission report. Four crew members depart the Station today, three crew members remain to carry out MDRS Crew 200 extended mission.

Thank you to all for your support, kind regards,

Crew 200

Crew 197 – Final Mission Summary

MDRS Crew 197 Mission Summary
VR CrowdExplorers
Mission Dates: October 21-26, 2018

Commander: Dr. Susan Ip-Jewell
Executive Officer: James L. Burk
Health & Safety Officer: Sacha Greer
Crew Engineer: James M. Ehrhart
Crew VR Scientist: Shannon Norrell
Crew Journalist: Marge Lipton
Director, MDRS / GreenHab Officer: Dr. Shannon Rupert
Crew Spacesuit Engineer: Max Boyce
Crew Spacesuit Engineer: Robert McBrayer

 

Crew 197 grew out of the successful May 2018 Kickstarter campaign for the MarsVR Program Phase 1.  The Mars Society ran a successful crowdsourced fundraising campaign which included offering paid seats at the MDRS as a reward level for the first time.  Two key supporters of the MarsVR Kickstarter purchased seats, and were offered slots on this crew.  The Program Manager and Director of Engineering for MarsVR organized the mission logistics and the overall crew activities.  Other additions to the crew included our Commander, Crew Journalist and two members of the NorCal chapter who had just delivered the upgraded and refitted analog spacesuits to the MDRS for the new field season. This was not a science-focused mission — rather it was a VR and spacesuit engineering focused mission, but we approached it in the same way.

Back row (left to right): Robert McBrayer, Shannon Norrell, James Burk, Max Boyce.

Front row (left to right): Marge Lipton, Susan Ip-Jewell, James Ehrhart, Shannon Rupert, Sacha Greer.

Crew 197 successfully ran our sim focused on VR location scouting for MarsVR Phase 2, and testing / feedback of the recently refurbished analog space suits.  Our mission focused on gathering important data for both of these projects.  A secondary but important objective was to capture high quality photo, video, 360, and drone footage of the MDRS and crews on EVA.  This footage will be used for promotional purposes by the Mars Society.

Our team was comprised mostly of rookies.  Only Dr. Ip-Jewell and Dr. Rupert had prior experience in sim at the MDRS.  As a result, we struggled to learn all of the ins-and-outs of running a sim, going on EVA, and closely following all of the program rules.  Towards the end of our rotation, we felt we hit stride and were able to accomplish several advanced activities with a minimum of mistakes.  Our team gelled very well and our culture as a team was an important part of our time at the MDRS.  We all share a passion for space and for helping the Mars analog research program, and that helped us to bond quickly and assist each other well with tasks outside our immediate area of expertise.

Crew 197 arrived at the MDRS just after a major weather front had moved through the area, and the terrain was still recovering.  It had been quite muddy prior to our rotation and also during the afternoon of Sol 1, there was another rainstorm which drenched the area.  As a result, we were not able to go on EVAs until Sol 3.  Our original plan was for a 72 hour sim, stretching from the evening of Sol 1 through the evening of Sol 4.  Because of the poor terrain and other factors, we ended up running the sim from the morning of Sol 2 through the morning of Sol 5.

 

Overview of Team Goals

  • Create a research whitepaper for using VR to train analog simulation participants.
  • Pilot out MDRS Training Scenarios and script/enact new scenarios.
  • Update interior/exterior scans for MarsVR future releases.
  • Capture video & 360 footage for future promotional activities.
  • Prepare the station for beginning of field season.
  • [Added during rotation] Scout out MarsVR Phase 2 EVA terrain locations.
  • [Added during rotation] Pilot out and gather feedback on refurbished analog spacesuits.

 

Summary of Activities

Sol 0

5 of us arrived in Grand Junction and spend a couple hours searching for Susan’s luggage (her luggage was on a different bus than her), then we acquired a refrigerator for the Hab and successfully mounted it along with supplies and luggage to the roof of our rental Nissan Pathfinder using a complex and well-engineered system of bungees and nylon rope.  We felt this was our first Martian engineering challenge that we successfully overcame with teamwork and a “can-do” attitude.

 

Sol 1

We repaired the tunnels, mopped the floors, moved and organized equipment to prepare for our sim.  Two of us also drove the Hab car to a remote location for repairs.  Then we conducted an extensive training session/discussion with Dr. Rupert.  Also, Robert McBrayer installed padding on the new Hab stairs (which had pointy metal features) to help our bare feet!

 

Sol 2

We started the day with yoga and tai chi (something that became a morning tradition for our short crew rotation), then we went into Sim and talked about what we all hoped to get out of our mission.  We did a suit training session where we all tried on the suits but due to the weather did not get to go out on our planned initial EVA to Pooh’s Corner.  We also did a CPR exercise led by Susan Ip-Jewell where we all tried out a CPR technique.

 

Sol 3

Our first increment of the Pooh’s Corner EVA was achieved quickly by James B., Max, Shannon N., and Jim E.  Because we had over 45 mins left, we decided to take out a couple rovers to scout the first VR location, but quickly learned the importance of filing EVA plans in advance and to “Think like a Martian, Act like a Martian” by not taking on additional unnecessary risk.  Our afternoon 2nd increment of Pooh’s Corner with the remaining crew was successful and Max gathered feedback from everybody on the suits and their experiences.

 

Sol 4

This was by far the most productive day of the sim.  We went on two long EVAs, scouting the trail to Candor Chasma and Lith Canyon/Burpee.  We learned a lot about GPS coordinates and how to take readings from devices, but also the differences between GPS decimal, hours/mins/secs, and the UTM NAD27 CONUS coordinates that are used at MDRS.  We also learned about the rovers and their gears and how fast the batteries are draining when they are not in the correct gear!

 

Sol 5

We extended our sim a half day to accomplish an additional EVA to Candor Chasma/The Summerville.  We acquired a large amount of photos, videos, and 360 footage there.  Afterwards we ended sim and prepared the Hab for the next crew.

 

Evaluation of Results of Team Goals

  1. Create a research whitepaper for using VR to train analog simulation participants.

Not Achieved. We were not able to work on this at all during the rotation.  However, we did gather lots of knowledge and information about how MDRS crew members are typically trained, and we will be doing follow up work to finalize the Phase 1 training scenarios as part of the final release of Phase 1, after the public Beta.

 

  1. Pilot out MDRS Training Scenarios and script/enact new scenarios.

Partially Achieved. We successful articulated the entire spacesuit donning/duffing procedures and the airlock procedures, which are currently being implemented in the MarsVR Phase 1 codebase.  Additional conversations and enumeration of the steps of training procedures for the GreenHab, Kitchen, and other Phase 1 scenarios still need to be accomplished.

 

  1. Update interior/exterior scans for MarsVR future releases.

Not Achieved. Because the IKEA cabinetry was not yet installed prior to our rotation, we were not able to accomplish any of the updated interior scans we intended.  As a result, we did not arrange to have the LIDAR unit delivered during Sol 2, as was the original plan.  In addition, the tunnels were not fully repaired prior to or during our rotation, so we were unable to rescan them.  Because of the weather and other factors, we were not able to go on a scouting mission (in sim or out of sim) with Dr. Rupert to acquire scans of dinosaur fossils or any other notable landmarks.

 

  1. Capture video & 360 footage for future promotional activities.

Achieved. Our crew acquired an extensive set of photos, videos, 360 panoramas, 360 video, and drone-based overflight videos of the MDRS and the surrounding terrain.  James Burk, Shannon Norrell, Jim Ehrhart, Sacha Greer, Marge Lipton, and Robert McBrayer all contributed high quality assets to our crew’s library of these, which are in the process of being uploaded to Dropbox and put into use by the Mars Society’s Public Relations staff.

 

  1. Prepare the station for beginning of field season.

Partially Achieved.  Our crew helped with: Hab cleanup; water acquisition and transport; Hab car repairs; acquisition, transport, and installation of a new upper deck refrigerator; repairing and covering of the tunnels; installation and testing of the HAL system to mitigate the low bandwidth environment; testing and minor repairs to the analog spacesuits and their chargers; and testing out all Hab equipment.  We were not able to complete the tunnel repairs but we did drive in new stakes and cover/zip-tie most existing tunnels.  We offered to test & validate some of the damaged batteries in the Science Dome but it was decided not to save any of those.

 

  1. [Added during rotation] Scout out MarsVR Phase 2 EVA terrain locations.

Achieved. Because we were unable to perform interior scans, Burk and Norrell decided to focus their main efforts on scouting EVA locations for future terrain scans during Phase 2 of MarsVR.  Working with Dr. Rupert, we identified several interesting regions surrounding the MDRS such as Candor Chasma, the Summerville, Lith Canyon, and Barainca Butte that we scouted and acquired imagery of, both during in-sim EVAs and out of sim.

 

  1. [Added during rotation] Pilot out and gather feedback on refurbished analog spacesuits.

Achieved.  All crew members had an opportunity to go on EVA at least once, and to try at least one of the suit designs.  Several crew members did multiple EVAs and tried multiple suit configurations.  Feedback from all crew members was gathered by Max Boyce and important data on the suits was gathered by Robert McBrayer.  All of this will be provided to the NorCal chapter for future suit upgrades and redesigns.

 

CONCLUSION

We did not achieve our original objectives of the mission, but we felt we did accomplish a lot by successfully running a 72 hour sim with no significant problems (ie, nobody “died”, we never had to break sim, and we successfully maintained all the Hab equipment.).  In addition, we gathered important data for the VR location scouting and usage and feedback of the refurbished analog spacesuits.

Crew 197 had a positive experience at the MDRS which we will take with us for the rest of our lives.  We’d like to thank our families and the Mars Society for making this mission possible.

In gratitude,

Crew 197

 

 

Mission Summary – Crew 195

MDRS Crew 195 Mission Summary, Cdr. Dana Levin 25.5.18

The latest iteration of our Martian Medical Analogue Research Simulation course went extremely well. Our crew seemed to enjoy the simulations and clearly learned a lot about aerospace medicine, the Martian environment and operational procedures throughout the course. We continue to be grateful to the Mars Society for the opportunity to use this facility and all the resources it offers in our educational efforts. The major challenged we encounterd were difficulty with the power system which we were able to manage manually by switching to generator power when the charge dropped below a useful amount and the last minute notification of the news crew joining us for filming. The news crew was very much a surprise and we would have appreciated a heads up about their arrival so we could prepare and perhaps plan around them but in the end it turned out well and I believe their footage will portray the MDRS and our crew in a positive light.

As has been typical of our missions the daily EVA scenarios were handled safely and effectively and the emergency simulations were coupled with debriefs to ensure effective transfer of each learning objective. The feedback received from the crew both informally and through our own feedback process indicated a high level of enjoyment, respect for the facility, the course, and the challenges of a mission to Mars.

As we have now run the course several times, the didactic sessions and simulations have become much more standardized and efficient. The landscape and the difficulties of living in the habitat are well known to us so there were few surprises and our instructors understand how to manage the basic maintenance, reporting, and food supplies.

This was also the second year we’ve incorporated research activities into our educational plan. The crew was very receptive to this as were outside parties and we are looking forward to expanding this work in future missions. Our research is primarily focused on habitability, rapid iterative design, and feedback from task saturated personnel. We hope to present this research at future meetings and continue to solicit more projects that can benefit from our unique population of medical professionals. Our projects for this year included an app based audio/video/text capable feedback system, a medical data architecture simulation for deep space flight, and a scenario based rapid iterative design proof of concept that we hope to develop further in the future.

As always the realism of the EVA landscape is the most impressive feature of the MDRS site. The habitat facilities, EVA suits, and food supplies are well suited to the experience, however we have noticed a need for maintenance in both the habitat and space suits.

We were unable to utilize the greenhab or the RAM module as we had not built our simulation to incorporate them but these facilities were used informally by the crew and have given us ideas for future simulations which we hope to incorporate into future iterations of our course. Thank you for the continued opportunity to work with you on this project, we look forward to our continued collaboration.

Mission Summary – May 04th

Mars Desert Research Station End of Mission Summary

Crew 193 – Gold Crew

Gold Crew

Commander: Anima Patil-Sabale (second from left)
Executive Officer: Doug Campbell (left)
Crew Engineer: David Attig (center)
Health and Safety Officer: Shawna Pandya (second from right)
Crew Geologist and Astronomer: Eric Shear (right)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phenommdrsgold193

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.

The crew came in with great enthusiasm on this mission, successfully completed several research projects, enjoyed exploring Mars while working hard every single day and leaves with satisfaction about successfully completing their mission and research as planned. There was never a dull moment on Mars when the Gold crew was around, even when bad weather forced the crew to stay indoors, the crew had a busy day working on MDRS projects, hab maintenance and cooking a feast!

The crew stayed fit and in good physiological and psychological health during the mission except for a few minor incidents. They experienced how crew dynamics change when a group of accomplished individuals from different backgrounds come together. Debriefing meetings helped the crew discuss concerns openly and helped each member understand strengths and weaknesses and work on those, which in turn helped the crew bond better.

This crew definitely knows how to work hard and play hard. Every night had a team building activity that included learning the American Sign Language from our deaf crew member, playing cards and games or watching movies together. From singing to plants in the greenhab, to making them mandatory Tang-ful Martian sols, to successful baking and cooking experiments in the kitchen, the ‘work hard while you play hard’ quotient of the crew was always obvious.

The crew graciously opened up a sol from their schedule to welcome a group of middle school students, gave them a tour of the MDRS facilities and addressed their curiosities. They compiled outreach videos and have been addressing questions they have been receiving during the mission on social media.

The crew’s rotation at MDRS has aroused interest about living on Mars amongst their followers. They plan to continue their research and advocate Mars colonization and space exploration after getting back to Earth. With this successful mission behind them, they look forward to destination Mars and doing everything possible on their part to help mankind get there.

THE SCIENCE DOME

Summary of Operations

For our two-week mission to continue the colonization of mars, we have several science and research objectives to accomplish. The results are summarized below.

1. Waterless dish cleaning: A waterless dishwasher prototype was developed on this mission. Multiple tests were conducted to see the bacterial growth on plates that were dirty, plates that were washed in the conventional way and plates that were sanitized using UV light. Initial results show promise in the waterless dishwasher. Samples will be more fully analyzed once we return to earth.

2. Emergency EVAC EVA: Several evacuation locations were identified in the area surrounding our campus. These areas are able to provide a crew with shelter from wind, radiation, and shelter an incapacitated crew member (see pictures).

3. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: Crew astronomer was able to find several different features of the sun during our rotation. He found sunspots, prominences and flares which are further detailed in a different section of this report.

4. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: The beartooth devices were a large letdown on this mission. They only functioned properly for one EVA and then would not connect again. Hand signals and writing were used instead to connect with our deaf crew mate.

5. GPS Route Measurements: Route mapping of several EVAs occurred and will be analyzed by a remote PHEnOM crew member once we return to earth. He will be looking at the routes we took to traverse the terrain in relation to the easiest way to travel.

6. Spacesuit Helmet Fogging: The crew was diligent about using de-fogging spray on their visors prior to each EVA. As such, the crew reported no fogging during any of their EVAs. Recommend this process be used for future crews.

7. Crew Comfort, Health and Safety on EVA: Many important lessons were learned about optimizing crew, health, safety and comfort. Results will be written up by this crew and shared for the Mars Society for use with future crews. Main takeaway was the importance of staying hydrated and immediately returning to base if any crew member felt off nominal.

THE GREENHAB

Summary of Operations

GreenHab operations were relatively uneventful during Crew 193’s 2-week stay at the Mars Desert Research Station. The crew had initially started on a once-a-day watering schedule, but between the collective experiences of the group, the site Director’s observation that the plants seemed underwatered, and a little Googling, soon moved to a twice-a-day watering schedule, averaging 8-10 gallons a day. MiracleGro was added approximate three times throughout the rotation. Other usual Hab operations, including fan usage (minimal), shade covering (always on), and door closure (usually open for a few hours in the afternoon) did not seem to differ greatly versus other rotations. Temperatures seemed to range between an average low of 15oC, and average high of 49-51oC and a mid-range in the 30s.

Yield

Overall, with some pep talks, singing and a little TLC, the plants recovered nicely and yielded a variety of crops throughout the rotation, including:

  • Green peppers
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Kale
  • Red lettuce
  • Green lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • All the tomatoes
Recommendations for Future Crews

The GreenHab seems to prefer twice daily watering, approximately 5 gallons in the morning between 0800 and 0930 and 3-5 gallons in the afternoon, between 1530 and 1830. MiracleGro can be used sparingly. Singing/gentle encouraging words optional.

THE OBSERVATORY

Summary of Operations

Each day, the crew astronomer ventured out to the Musk Observatory to open the dome, rotate it to the sun if necessary, uncover the telescope, turn it on, and steer it towards the sun. Once the telescope was aligned to the sun, the eyepiece was taken out of the solar astronomy box and inserted into the block so the astronomer could get a clear view of the sun after turning the focus knobs. After attempting to identify solar features through the eyepiece, the astronomer replaced it with a Skyris camera connected to the laptop computer. The camera often exposed features that could not be seen with the eyepiece, but it had a narrower field of view so its use came after the eyepiece. For each area of interest, several hundred images were taken over 35 seconds and stacked together in Autostakkert. The resulting composite image was processed in Registax to bring out wavelets, and further sharpened in Photoshop. The final image was colorized a lovely shade of yellow in PowerPoint.

Results

Due to it being near the solar minimum, the sun was relatively calm during our two-week stay at MDRS. About 2-3 Solar Proton Events (SPEs, or flares) were seen over the course of our rotation. Since the Sun makes a complete rotation (360 degrees) once every 26 days, both hemispheres of the sun should have been in view over 14 days. One of the flares is shown in the photo below. A few sunspots were also spotted.

Recommendations for Future Crews

Atmospheric turbulence was noticeably lower in the mornings than in the afternoons, due to the atmosphere not yet heating up from the night. Observations should be made in the mornings as often as possible for best results. It also pays to use the tuners on the telescope – they can make certain solar features apparent while “muddying” out others. Beware of turning them too far, or imperfections will become visible in the lens itself!

ENGINEERING

The crew engineer has many tasks to do each day, along with maintaining the tools and work station downstairs in the HAB. The generator was turned on every night, and off every morning, and water pumped into the loft tank whenever it gets low (about twice per day, depending on water usage). This crew averaged approximately 65 gallons per day. While this may be a lot for a crew of 5, it is low enough that we did not run out of water. As the static tank (just outside the HAB) was depleted, water was moved from a secondary tank to replenish it.

While working on these (and doing EVAs), it is up to the engineer to keep the EVA suits in order, and make general repairs around the HAB. Keeping up with these, and the solar control panel’s finicky nature is a full-time job.

During this rotation, repairs were made to two suit chargers, and one EVA suit (#10). One more suit (number 9) failed during the last EVA and will not be repaired on this rotation. The nature of the failure is the fan blades impacted the plywood frame that the fans were mounted to. The operator reported smelling burnt plastic, indicating that the fan motors were overloaded to the point of failing; the fans will need to be replaced with new ones. I suggest a larger hole, to prevent the fan blades from interfering with the plywood; a precursor to this failure had been noted before, as a “grinding” noise could be heard when bending down or standing up in that suit; indicating that the blades did make occasional contact with the wood around it.

The two-piece suits are still not all operational; the black straps connecting the neck ring to the helmet needs to be replaced (or extremely tightened) on three suits, and one more of the suits has a broken charging connector (the release button is missing; as I only got the soldering iron a couple days ago, I have not repaired this yet).

Radios were also rotated during this rotation. Some older style radios whose batteries discharge very quickly (and these radios do funny things as their batteries die) were removed from service. There is a set of radios slated to be moved to the solar observatory, and all other radios in the HAB are now the newer style. There are three more sets on the shelf for future crews to cycle through as the current radios wear out. Some tools were moved out to the RAM for use as well.

After wearing a two-piece EVA suit on multiple occasions, the crew came to the conclusion that the two-piece EVA suits are somewhat more dangerous to wear than the one-piece suits. This can be remedied by tying the neck-ring to the shoulder straps, in order to stop the helmet from sliding around as the operator moves. This is particularly dangerous if the operator falls while on EVA, as the ring/helmet may contribute to a neck injury.

Recommendations for Future Crews

It is strongly recommended that future crews bring safety glasses, as none could be found in the HAB. While the HAB lower level is organized, the toolbox is not very well organized, and a future crew could help by attempting to level the wheels of it (to allow the drawers to open/close more smoothly).

Before a rotation starts, the future crew should also organize the tools in the RAM toolbox and add more when necessary. It is also advisable to not work in the RAM during the hottest time of day, without a fan on.

Crew 192 – Final Mission Summary

MDRS Crew 192 End of Mission Report

Joseph Dituri, Mission Commander                                                                     April 20, 2018

Crew 192 was on site MDRS from 7-22 April 2018. The crew consisted of Victoria Varone, Richard Blakeman, Andreea Radulescu, Ashok Narayanamoorthi and Joseph Dituri.  We are all Citizen Scientist-Astronaut Candidates of Project PHEnOM. Out team emerges from varying walks of life, three different countries as well as myriad backgrounds with the common interest of space exploration. We have been preparing for this particular mission for the past 18 months since induction into Project PHEnOM.

Over the course of 19 EVAs we explored the areas marked in black on Figure 1.  A moderate portion of our exploration was performed on foot as the rovers and ATVs were not extensively used. A significant portion of our EVA time was dedicated to completing missions toward improving the MARS Society Habitat including: removal of the skirt from around the HAB, cleaning the water tanks from contamination, cleaning and clearing gear adrift from foul weather / high winds, repaired stair railing, repaired latch & hasp on door, and tied down loose equipment.

Figure 1. EVA Exploration Routes

We remained in simulation for the entire period of time sans synchronous communication with onsite mission control. We lived with and cooked with whatever we started the mission and made a superb effort to live as Martians despite some unexpected extreme weather including gale winds, freeze and fire warning. The crew remained in great sprits throughout and enjoyed our time at MDRS. We conducted a significant amount of training during the down time and enjoyed erudition from each of our crew’s vast experience.

This crew has performed magnificently despite the challenges of having most of the original science and engineering projects removed from the mission prior to mission start. The crew pooled their individual and collective talents and has shown incredible resourcefulness, creativity, imagination, and teamwork to develop multiple real-world science and engineering research and experiments. The following projects were conducted during our stay:

Spacesuit visor fogging study This research was conducted using a double-blind study to test Johnson’s baby shampoo and Joy dishwashing fluid and their effectiveness against spacesuit visor fogging. Both one-piece and two-piece (separate helmet) spacesuit configurations were tested along with random controls to identify variables and collect data. A rapid review of the data suggested that exertion increased fogging in both one piece and two-piece suits.  Initial indications suggest that the baby shampoo had slightly superior results in fog reduction.  Both products appear to have minor irritation of the nose as reported by some people but there may be confounding factors surround the irritation.

Hand exercises using hand relief, well-being balls. This research was conducted as a single blind study to test the use of well-being balls for hand exercise before EVA determining the dexterity and comfort of hands. After few measurements, this study was discontinued as the exercises were creating discomfort for the crew and impacted operation.

Crew wellness observations This is survey-based study using the Well-being questionnaire before, during and the end of the study to measure the happiness scale of the crew.  This is on going and will continue after we leave MDRS.

Crew weight measurements and analysis (EVA) Daily weight measurements were taken along with the pre and post EVA analysis. Preliminary results indicated the weight loss after EVA is proportional with duration of EVA and physical exertion.  Unable to stipulate the primary cause but the doctor recommended sufficient hydration and caloric intake before and after each EVA.

Crew muscle measurements Daily crew skeletal measurements including deltoid and calf muscles were taken. Preliminary analysis show reduction in deltoid muscle in majority of the crew. This appears to be due to continuous depletion of glycogen storage.

Use of MAGs during EVA Crew wearing MAGs (Maximum Absorbency Garments) before every EVA and their feedback were obtained. Initial results show slight discomfort with long duration EVA but helpful in extending the duration of EVA.

Ultrasonic rodent repulsion experiment Three off the shelf plug-in ultrasonic rodent repulsion emitters were placed in the lower habitat, crew quarters deck, and the upper level deck. There were two intrusions of rodents during the mission located on the crew living deck near the refrigerator and the ceiling area of the HAB. A trap was baited with a small piece of bread coated with peanut butter and the intruding rodent was captured unharmed. On a subsequent EVA the rodent was released on Galileo Road (Route 1104). An additional rodent intruder was discovered during the night in the south-side, upper level, interface between the wall and the habitat roof structure. The intruder rodent was caught in a glue trap and did not survive. The initial conclusion is that the ultrasonic rodent repulsion emitters are ineffective. Physical traps should be continuously deployed to capture intruder rodents and additional repulsion technologies tested.

Astronomy discussions and visual observations Conducted night time observational astronomy lectures describing various constellations and planets. The crew was able to observe several satellites and wonder at the incredible view of the heavens above. Additionally, conducted daytime solar observations using the MDRS solar telescope array. However, computer interface issues and some clouds affected viewing. Some imagery was obtained using the optical sun lens and a smart phone.

Geology observations conducted during EVAs Each EVA offered a rich and immersive experience into the local geology. Close physical inspection of structures as well as photographic and video imagery was taken for later discussion and analysis.

EVA touch screen glove testing The crew brought several types of touch pad sensitive gloves to use during EVAs. These proved to be an invaluable tool for the crews as it allowed direct interface with multiple touch screen electronic recording devices. Recommend that these be used by future crew to assist with video and photographic imagery.

Water contamination prevention and mitigation procedures All of the habitat water storage tanks were meticulously cleaned and sanitized over the course of many days to remove any contamination and tank residue; additionally, multiple fresh water transport and loading runs to and from Hanksville was accomplished by the crew. The water transfer pump was also meticulously clean to prevent future contamination. The main water filter was also replaced by the crew.

Yuri’s night distilled spirits experiment We used a partial ration of our potatoes, apples and bananas as well as yeast and sugar to force the distillation of a celebratory spirit which was both a crew morale booster and a fascinating chemistry experiment. The process took several days to complete and the resulting product was equally distributed to each crewmember in a celebratory toast to the accomplishments of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for becoming the first human in space April 12, 1961.

Spacesuit hydration prototype system operational testing and evaluation An experimental prototype EVA hydration system was constructed and operationally tested on multiple EVAs both mounted and dismounted. This system has shown promising results as it can be utilized while operating a rover, ATV, as well as dismounted EVAs. Astronaut hydration, particularly during heavy exertion, is an important physiological need and critical to crew safety.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the MDRS and learned a few things about analogs. Our crew was well prepared for this mission. Given the significant experience of the crew, more autonomy and decision-making authority, as would be expected on a mission to Mars with a Mission Support some 140,000,000 miles away, would have improved our simulation.

Final Mission Summary – Crew 191

HABCOM… HABCOM… This is Wataru Okamoto speaking,

Can you hear me… OVER!

(A copy from the daily Mars Desert Research Station  Crew 191 Team Asia Radio Conversation)

WHEN ALL THOSE RADIATION ATTACK US !

(A copy from Mars publication data about Radio Frequency and Radiation)

CAN YOU…

Can you imagine when we are living in the place where we can not run from the radiation? Or did you ever feel that your body influenced by some radio frequency radiation?

Can we also imagine how big all the radiation when an astronaut doing a space travel or bring a mission to space?

There are some studies showing that Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) can induce adaptive responses in human cells and animals during which they become more resistant against challenging doses of mutagenic agents such as high levels of radiation.

In my perspective of view, practicing with Radio Frequency Radiation could be help for the Astronauts. But how to explain?

Here is the fact:

In space, the radiation damaged the tiny branches on neurons that help transmit electric signals to the nerve cell body. This led to a loss in learning and memory. The exposed animals performed poorly on behavioral tests that measure intelligence, and they showed higher, constant anxiety levels.

Other example also said that astronauts returning from extended space missions carry chromosomal aberrations in their blood cells.  Most of the chromosomal aberrations and other DNA damages are due to oxidation stress from the free radicals produced by cosmic radiations.

A BIT (AGAIN) ABOUT MARS

However, it is now impossible to ignore the fact that a trip to Mars carries a radiation exposure risk higher than current guidelines recommend. So, do we abandon the current guidelines and let astronauts take their chances?

But well, after all, the links between tobacco and cancer are well known yet people still choose to smoke :-), right?

One thing is certain: there can be no more romantic idealism. No amount of wishful thinking, or crowd-sourcing, or press releasing can circumvent this problem. Space radiation is dangerous, potentially deadly. Manned missions to Mars with current technology will carry significant exposure risks. So let say that RADIATION = DANGER POINT

A high level of radiation is a limiting factor for manned Mars exploration. As an example the Curiosity rover contained a particle and neutron detector for measuring radiation on the surface of Mars in order to devise more efficient radiation shielding inside and outside future spacecraft, and to develop more effective countermeasures to protect astronauts’ health. The radiation data from Curiosity also added knowledge to the debate about the habitability of Mars. A mission to the Red Planet will be the most expensive project in this planet and the most prestigious thing in this century of human technology.

“The space radiation environment will be a critical consideration for everything in the astronauts’ daily lives, both on the journeys between Earth and Mars and on the surface,” said Ruthan Lewis, an architect and engineer with the human spaceflight program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “You’re constantly being bombarded by some amount of radiation.”

And in MDRS simulation we were learn a lot about Radiation, about levels of how we consume and contaminated something, and about the limit how we need to think twice when some trouble happened during the mission. Some “cases” bring and make us focus on the real destination of the Team Asia mission. Because we all have a dream.

DREAM AND HOPE from the METAPHOR of MARS

As a small human colony on MDRS right now, we are CREW 191 Team Asia, and feel like we are living in the “orbit”. If Earth and Mars had perfectly circular orbits, their minimum distance would always be the same. However, they have elliptical paths, so we are here have a strong connection one and other become a “dream crew” and build an imaginary twin orbit like Mars and Earth. The orbits of both planets are also slightly tilted with respect to each other. All of these factors mean that not all close encounters are equal.

It’s a fact that we “felt like” living on Mars, because we are! Because we had a same plan before arriving in many purpose and directions, it’s like on Mars itself, we could learn a lot of things on Mars (reality) as a (future) second Earth.

Makoto Kawamura thinking like: pieces of Mars have been found on Earth”, it’s a kind of metaphor, means that as a human we are already connected each other, as a social human being, always thinking as a colony, as a team, in a wider concept of human civilization. Like between Mars and Earth connection, it is believed that trace amounts of the Martian atmosphere were within meteorites that the planet ejected. These meteorites then orbited the solar system for millions of years among the other objects and solar debris before eventually entering the Earth’s atmosphere and crashing to the ground.

From that fact, he believe that the “hidden potential” was grow and appeared during the MDRS SIM crashing to the new idea and working for “new” potential. He supports a more empowered way of working and removing constraints which may prevent someone from doing their job properly.

“Mars experiences huge dust storms – the largest in our solar system”. This is because of the elliptical shape of Mars’ orbital path around the Sun. The orbital path is more elongated than many of the other planets, and this oval shaped orbit results in fierce dust storms that cover the entire planet and can last for many months. Perhaps this idea was brought to Wataru Okamoto to create his project, as written in his Crew 191 bio. He wants to make sure all of the information on weather collected during the MDRS sim is more thoroughly analyzed.

Miho Tsukishiro may want to see something in a different angle and perspective. She believes that all the experiences at MDRS were close to “properly managed” and helped to start an effort to create a synergistic way of working, where the sum is greater than the parts. On Mars, this condition will happen if Mars is closest to the Sun in its orbit, and the southern hemisphere points toward the Sun, causing a very short but fiercely hot summer. In the north it experiences a brief but cold winter. When the planet is farthest from the Sun, the Red Planet experiences a long and mild summer because the northern hemisphere points toward the Sun.

As crew commander, Yusuke Murakami is always trying to do the best as he can for the mission, to go up to the highest zone we can reach, the highest level of how to follow the sim. He also encourages multi-disciplinary work where teams cut across organizational divides… just remembering of “the tallest mountain known in our solar system is on Mars” named Olympus Mons. It is the tallest mountain in the entire solar system rising to the height of 22 km (14 miles), and it is also the largest and youngest of the non-active volcanoes on Mars. While no team ever gets everything it wants, leaders can head off a lot of problems by taking the time to get the essential pieces in place from the start.

Fumiei Morisawa said, as a team,  we foster flexibility and responsiveness, especially the ability to respond to change. As a team we need to respect each other, not being selfish or individualistic, and in this Team Asia he believe that we all met here for some reason, like the reason why Mars have a polar ice cap that these caps are made of carbon dioxide ice as well as water ice. During the southern hemisphere’s summer, much of the ice cap sublimates, a process in which the ice turns straight back into gas, leaving behind what is known as the residual polar ice cap. So “Mars is the only other planet besides Earth that has polar ice caps”. The northern cap is called the Planum Boreum, with Planum Australe in the south. Water ice has also been found under the Martian ice caps.

Kai Takeda is the youngest member in Team Asia crew, and he likes to say that “With the exception of Earth, Mars is the most hospitable to life”. The connection between a GreenHAB at MDRS and also all those activities during the mission positively make him proud of his project. Like on Mars, we need to build a real connection between “Human” and “Plant”… and for the future Martian colony, I think it’s impossible not to move in this direction.

Venzha Christ agrees about “Mars was once believed to be home to intelligent life” because came from the discovery of lines or grooves in the surface called canali by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. He believed that these were not naturally occurring and were proof of intelligent life. However, these were later shown to be an optical illusion.

HABCOM…HABCOM… Can you hear me…

(…still whispering on our daily night after “oyasumi” sleeping time…) 

When Mars and Earth are close to each other, Mars appears very bright in our sky. It also makes it easier to see with telescopes or the naked eye. The Red Planet comes close enough for exceptional viewing only once or twice every 15 or 17 years. So we are Crew 191 Team Asia as a solid team always help each other for daily protocol rules and activities during our stay at MDRS. But we need to be focused, disciplined and follow the path of all protocols on a Mars mission.

Outer Space

(Tori Hart, 2014)

Bodies soar through Outerspace
Kissing their stars though a little too far to Taste
The Milky Way fell like Silk water falling down our Shoulders
Delicate, Light, and Slick
We are in our own Solar System
Flying circles around our Radiating Sun
As we whisper Buonanotte to that Eternal Night
We shout Buongiorno to the Beautiful new Day.
 

SPACE IS A DANGER PLACE

We knew the biological effects of space radiations on astronauts are the main concern in deep space missions. Many investigations have been made to find the best way to overcome those problems in extended space travels. The radiation environment in deep space is several hundred times what it is on Earth, and that’s even inside a shielded spacecraft.

How about this later on?

A new report shows just how dangerous it could be to human brains. Radiation exposure from a Mars missions could cook brain cells, causing chronic dementia and memory loss, and leaving astronauts with debilitating anxiety levels, the study has found. This could throw off their thinking and judgment, impairing decision-making and multi-tasking.

But…

From the latest research on this field, a scientist said that Radio Frequency Radiation can induce Adaptive Response (AR), meaning that during AR human cells become more resistant to challenging doses’ radiation. Then we can say ; RFR can help astronauts during their space missions.

Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation before or during space missions while choosing the optimized dosimetric parameters such as determined power density and frequency and duration of exposure can help astronauts in their travels.

In 2012, Hamid Abdollahi, Maryam Teymouri, and Sara Khademi carried out deep research about this, including a statement that astronaut protection against radiation in space is one of the most challenging and complex problems for deep space missions.

Conclusion from their research: We hypothesize that RFR can be used as a non-genotoxic agent for radiation protection in space. Exposure to RFR along with selecting the best situation to induce the highest AR may help astronauts in space missions. However, more studies are warranted to apply this therapy for space travel. Nevertheless, it will be a good choice for thinking about astronaut’s protection in space missions”.

NOTE – AWARE

Radiation is “a risk we need to learn more about over the next decade so we can do the proper mitigation and do the best we can for the astronauts who are going to be putting their lives at risk for a number of different threats,” Ron Turner, a senior science adviser at NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts in Atlanta. But the optimum solution might be the one that, for now, seems most difficult—going faster and avoiding as much radiation as possible. He says, “The best bang for the buck is advanced propulsion, not shielding.”

For example, very large solar flares – intense bursts of radiation and particles thrown out by the sun – could cause more damage as these have the power to wipe out electrical equipment and can deliver doses high enough to kill.

Cosmic radiation, which comes from outside our solar system, is harder to protect against and can also constantly pepper the bodies of astronauts, but this can be monitored for and tends occur at a low level.

Even once on the surface of Mars, radiation will still be a problem as the planet’s atmosphere does not offer the same kind of protection as on Earth. Like solar activity, cosmic rays have the potential to cause cancer. These high-energy, high-velocity particles originate from outside the solar system and can severely damage human cells. Unlike radiation from the sun, however, cosmic rays could also spark long-term degenerative effects while still in space, including heart disease, reduced immune system effectiveness and neurological symptoms resembling Alzheimer’s.

“There’s a lot of good science to be done on the Red Planet, but a trip to interplanetary space carries more radiation risk than working in low-Earth orbit,” said Jonathan Pellish, a space radiation engineer at Goddard. “Ultimately, the solution to radiation will have to be a combination of things.”

Some of the solutions are technology-related that we have already, like hydrogen-rich materials, but some of it will necessarily be cutting-edge concepts that we haven’t even thought of yet.

So be aware…

MDRS CREW 191 TEAM ASIA NEAR FUTURE PLAN

After MDRS, we have several real plans to continue this mission, and also many activities to prepare for all continuing projects. Countries like Japan and Indonesia, as well as other places in Asia, will announce soon. From those activities such as SIM, workshops, presentations and collaboration on interdisciplinary field and background, we will bring our knowledge in space science and space exploration to the wider society. Some like what we (as human on Earth) will do for interplanetary space travel projects. Most is about: “How ready are we as humans on Earth to have a new colony outside our planet”. We also realize that only 16 of the 39 missions to the Red Planet have ever been successful.

Team Asia realizes that some have difficulties point of view, for example, ensuring a supportive context is often challenging for teams that are geographically distributed and digitally dependent, because the resources available to members may vary a lot.

So… “HABCOM, Can You Hear Me?…”  🙂

MDRS Crew 191 Team Asia (2018)

JAPAN – INDONESIA

Yusuke Murakami (commander), Miho Tsukishiro, Makoto Kawamura, Fumiei Morisawa,  Venzha Christ & Wataru Oka

Mission Summary – Crew 190

 

It’s been twelve SOLs that Crew 190 landed on Mars. They rapidly settled down in the Hab and got to work. Quickly they learned to live with each other. A bit formally, we distinguish in this report five main activities that had been shared and managed during the time living in the station (see Figure 1): scientific work, team management, housework, EVAs and social activities.

SCIENTIFIC WORK

Scientific challenge was the main motivation of our stay at the MDRS. On a typical daily schedule, it usually primes on the rest of the activities. In this section, we provide a summary of the objectives and outcomes amongst the several experiments that were initially planned by the crew. Here we briefly present our different experiments.

Psychological and emotional aspects are paramount in this kind of mission. Martin Roumain, the Health and Safety Officer and biomedical researcher, evaluated the impact of confinement by monitoring short-term memory and reflexes throughout the mission. He also studied the accelerated degradation of drugs by the Martian environment using a spectrophotometer (Figure 2). This device has also been used by Maximilien Richald, chemist and Crew Commander of this mission. Maximilien focused on the chemical profile of Martian soil in view of an eventual use in agriculture. Food self-sufficiency being essential for long duration space missions, Mario Sundic, botanist and GreenHab Officer, has designed a vertical hydroponic system, reducing the water needs thanks to this closed circuit. Frédéric Peyrusson, Crew Biologist, tested the benefits of hydrogels on plants growth. Moreover, he studied the ability of known bacteria to resist to a harsh environment and figured out the biocompatibility of terrestrial life on Mars. Our second Biologist, Ariane Sablon (Figure 2), isolated fermentating bacteria from human saliva in view of making possible the preparation of sourdough bread in situ. Bastien Baix, the Crew Engineer, created a self-made 3D-map of the station and its surroundings using an aerial drone. Our physicist and Crew Astronomer Sophie Wuyckens, also contributed to terrain analysis by setting up a method based on cosmic radiations measurements (Figure 3). She was also in charge of the Musk Observatory. All these experiments needed to be perfectly coordinated. That was the role of Michael Saint-Guillain, the computer scientist and Executive Officer, who designed an algorithm that helped the scheduling of the various experiments conducted by the crew members.

Figure 3: Sophie Wuyckens working on her muon detector, inside the RAM module.

Besides the experiments, extravehicular activities (EVAs) required a significant amount of time. Of critical importance for some experiments, the EVAs also revealed a positive impact on the mental of the entire team and unique opportunities to contemplate the scenic martian landscape.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Even though we stayed only a couple of weeks, such a mission requires sound organisation and systematical rescheduling. At the center of our eight people crew, the commandant Maximilien Richald had the hard responsibility of managing the entire team in a holistic way, dealing with all dimensions of the mission : experiments, housework, social behavior… Which had to be discussed during daily team meeting (Figure 4).

Coordination of the scientific operations (including EVAs, manipulations in the ScienceDome, solar observations, homework) had been closely monitored by Michael Saint-Guillain. At the end of each day, just before the CapCom, the scientific outcomes were used as input to the scheduling algorithm which was then used to recompute a schedule for the rest of the mission.

HOUSEWORKING

As part of a large team enclosed in a quite small living space, we all recognized the critical importance of well-balanced houseworking. The time required for meal preparation should not be underestimated, as we are cooking with unusual freeze-dried ingredients, which, by the way, did not prevent us from cooking some masterpieces (Figure 5) !

 

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Last but not least, it is worth to mention that social activities definititly contributed to the success of the mission. Even with the best team composition, maintaining a good mood is not trivial and has a significant impact on the global outcomes of the mission. Fortunately, the Mars Society staffed the MDRS with a few interesting games, as the one we played on Figure 6 (left). On the right in Figure 6, we even observe a singular birthday event, quite uncommon on Mars !

Crew 189 Final Mission Summary

MDRS Crew 189: Team ISAE-Supaero

Mission Summary Report March 9, 2018

1)   Introduction

a-     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 Astronomer
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.

b-    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: descriptions and results

  • Physical Training (Louis Mangin): Every morning, we performed physical exercises in order to stay in shape during our 3-weeks simulation and to analyze our performances. We had a sport session before breakfast every day. It was designed to be quick, not to use too much energy or tire us and to last around 30 minutes max. It was intense enough to dissipate the lack of exercise we had. Most of us are athletic so that being locked-on would have been difficult without exercising. The program was split in 7 exercises using various muscles and done to push up cardio. I measured the number of repetitions we did during one minute for each exercise. Everybody progressed during the mission to reach good maximums in the end. The fact that we were keeping tracks of our performance and that we did it together created a good emulation amongst the crewmembers, helped building team cohesion and detect individual fatigue.

 

  • Nutrition energetic (Alexandre Martin): During our 3-weeks experiments, we monitored our weight (fat percentage, water percentage, bone percentage, estimation of the calories consumption). This experiment aimed to ensure the good nutritional health of each member of the crew. I calculated the nutrient intake and measured the weight, muscular mass, fat mass and hydration rate of each member of the crew in order to provide a daily follow-up. I could observe that our caloric intakes were reduced at the time of the mission, as we are less active and are doing less sport. Almost each member of the crew has lost weight, up to 2.8 kilograms. This loss of weight has shown to result both from an important loose of fat and from a small loose of muscle: crew members have lost up to 1.8 kilograms of fat mass, and up to 0.8 kilograms of muscle. However, the athletic performances of the members of the crew have been enhanced in the meantime, mainly due to Louis’ daily imposed sport session.

 

  • Teamwork (Gabriel Payen): The game tasks a player with disarming procedurally generated bombs with the assistance of other players who are reading a list of instructions. This experiment has been designed with a researcher and a fellow student from ISAE-Supaero to study decision making and leadership abilities. Almost every day, teams of three had to play “Keep Talking and nobody explodes”, a computer game where one must defuse a bomb with the help of his teammates’ instructions. Subjects and conversations were recorded, and the deminer’s sight was followed with an eye-tracker. I simultaneously observed them to take notes about their behaviour and ask them to fill personality surveys.

Now, the data will be analysed at ISAE-Supaero.

 

  • Rover Piloting (human factors, Jérémy Auclair): The goal of this experiment was to see how the subjects changed their performances on a given task (driving a small Lego rover on a given track). What was mainly studied was how their decision taking and the precision of their driving changed during the mission according to how they felt (without any feedback on their scores). It was complicated at first because I had quite a few issues with the equipment and software (batteries, eye-tracker and SSH connection software). But once those issues were solved the experiment ran smoothly. I will give the data I gathered to the doctorates that gave me this task for further analysis, but I saw that everybody increased their precision during the three weeks.

 

  • Emergency Procedures (Laurent Bizien): Future Martian crews will have to be trained and prepared for every injury case they’ll encounter. Yet, because of the extreme conditions of Mars, emergency procedures developed on Earth will have to be adapted. Thus, after a few lessons, we trained to emergency situations in the Hab surroundings: how to transport a wounded crew member, how to put him/her in the Rover… The lack of mobility didn’t make the thing easy. Afterwards, I taught the other crew members how to use the rescue equipment present in the station. The first aid explained, we were able to apply the techniques in EVA. Twice, at the end of an EVA, a member of the crew had to simulate an injury and the other had to deal with it and to transport him/her up to the Hab. Once in the station, people remaining in the Hab had to pursue the cares. The experiment resulted in a good rhythm for everybody and development of good reflexes.

 

  • EVA Logger (Louis Mangin): I wanted to deploy a system to allow us to keep a precise history of an EVA. This system I developed used a smartphone and an Android App I created to be as simple as possible for the user. The smartphone was to be used only as a button, touched periodically by the EVA leader. The user would browse an action tree, with nodes spelled by the app in a headset. To select the wanted one, he will simply touch the screen anywhere while the App will keep looping on categories. I struggled a lot with the touchscreen use in the outside, and finally managed to use it fixing the phone with tape, and a special pen, attached to a finger. I had results for the last week, allowing us to have precise debriefings of EVAs with timed events.

 

  • EVA efficiency (Victoria Da-Poian): The goal of the experiment was 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. We managed to have our index between 2 and 5 depending on the EVA preparation and previous debrief. It seems to be consistent with the results of the crew 43 lead by Alain Souchier.

 

  • LOAC (Jérémy Auclair): The LOAC instrument (Light Optical Aerosol Counter) Measures aerosol (solid and liquid particles between 0.1 µm and 50 µm) concentration in ambient air and gives an indication of the typology of the measured particles (mineral, salt, carbon, liquid, etc.). Bringing and installing this instrument was more challenging than I thought; I built a power system before leaving France, it broke on SOL 2 because of a faulty solder. I broke again on SOL 3 and SOL 15, but I managed to fix it quickly each time. Concerning the power supply, I thought the car battery we bought would last longer than it did, its autonomy decreased after each charge. However, the instrument worked perfectly and gathered very interesting raw data, the French scientist who gave me this instrument is waiting impatiently to receive all the collected data to start processing and analyzing it further.

 

  • Localization (Benoit Floquet): My experiment consists in a navigation device. It is composed of 3 components: a GPS ship, an electronic card and a LCD screen. It aims at helping members of an EVA to find their way, for example when they get back to the Hab. First, with the GPS and the electronic card I can compute my position, the distance and direction to the nearest Point of Interest. Then I can predict my direction of movement with a linear regression over a few past positions. Finally, with these two directions, I can write on the screen an order to turn right or left with an angle so that we are aiming the Point of Interest. Overall, I can add some noise on the measure of position in order to determine how accurate a localization device should be in a Mars-like environment. The goal is to create such a device without the use of a GPS. During the simulation, I had few problems with the GPS ship so I couldn’t use it as much as I wanted.

 

  • MegaARES (Gabriel Payen): 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. It can measure the electric field in favorable weather conditions. This instrument will probably land on Mars one day. Grégoire lent it to me to see if it operates correctly and to study coupled effect with Jeremy’s LOAC instrument (aerosol counter). My mission was to set it up during an EVA, maintain its power supply outside and gather data every week. Assembling it outside with our gloves and suits was tricky but very interesting: it took a 3-hour EVA. It was tiresome and required a good amount of teamwork. We also had to deal with batteries issues: they emptied quicker than expected and had to be changed every two or three days instead of every week. Fortunately, plugging an USB key to get the data and disassembling it at the end of the mission was much easier.

Now, the data and hardware will be sent back to Grégoire and his team for analysis.

 

  • Solar panels experiment (Laurent Bizien): Dust on Mars is a real issue. Due to the lack of gravity, it could limit the performances of future Martian solar panels by accumulating on them. Hence the idea of a solar panel dust cleaner. Not using water, it consists in a rotating microfiber brush going back and forth on the solar panel using a band. The rotation and travel speeds are controlled by an Arduino card and a dual motor controller. At the beginning of the simulation, I assembled all the elements on a support and did my first performance and stability tests. Because of the absence of feedback loop, the system wasn’t stable (the brush headed step by step towards one of the end of the guide shafts) and the solar panel wasn’t properly cleaned. I added stop points in order to guarantee the stability. We took the dust cleaner on EVAs on three occasions and each time, it cleared out dust pretty well and allowed the mobile phone plugged on the solar panel to charge.

 

 

  • Time analysis experiment (Victoria Da-Poian): My goal was 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 asked my crewmates the time they spent doing 7 different 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). It has been really interesting to see the impact of the fatigue during the three weeks simulation depending on the role, the involvement, the simulation expectations…

  • Water monitoring: I monitored water consumption like during MDRS 175. The whole crew participated in and kept track of drinking, cooking water, flushes, showers and Greenhab usage. The main differences with MDRS 175 we can spot is that flushes are now very reasonable, as one flushes consumes roughly 8 times less with the new system. In the other hand, the Greenhab consumes way more than last year, where it was just restarted after it burned down. This term is now the second biggest one, after the remaining one, composed mostly of dish washing.

 

4)   MDRS 189 videos, photos, documentary

We would like to thank Laure Andrillon, independent journalist and TF1 team composed of Axel Monnier and Bertrand Guez, who both “played the game” and understood that our operations on the field are surely not yet at astronauts and agencies professional level but are also far more than amateur activities.

 

5)   Conclusions

In conclusion, we had many experiments related to the human factors and the EVAs efficiency. We analyzed the impact of the isolation and the confinement on our efficiency. This team was together thanks to 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 challenged us to improve our professional communication while expanding our friendships and our shared passion for exploration.

We consider our mission to be a success and we are happy of what we have done during our three-weeks simulation.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the MDRS Mission Support Team who have supported our crew every evening during the Comms window. Special thanks go to Shannon Rupert, Atila Meszaros, Scott Davis, Peter Detterline, Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society, The Musk Foundation and all the previous and next Crews.

Ad astra!

 

Victoria Da-Poian , Louis Mangin

Crew 189 Commanders (and really proud of this awesome crew)

 

Jérémy Auclair, Gabriel Payen, Benoit Floquet, Alexandre Martin, Laurent Bizien

 

 

Mission Summary – February 10th

MDRS Crew 188 Mission Summary
Team ISU on Mars
Mission Dates: 27 January – 10 February 2018

Commander: Dr. Ryan L. Kobrick, Canada/USA

Executive Officer: Renee Garifi, USA

Health & Safety Officer: Tatsunari Tomiyama, Japan
Crew Engineer: Zac Trolley, Canada
Crew Astronomer/GreenHab Officer: Julia DeMarines, USA

Artist in Residence/Crew Journalist: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, Australia

We are Team ISU. We are a highly motivated group of scientists, engineers, thinkers, creators and innovators from around the world who hold graduate degrees from the International Space University (ISU) Masters and Space Studies Programs. This distinguished university has provided all of us with an invaluable life experience that has shaped our collective careers in the current space industry. We share a passion for space research, engineering, the arts, mission design, operations, and exploration that unites us as a tightly bonded team of space adventurers.

Team ISU has closed out their third rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), comprised of two weeks of intense research, team building, and simulation training on Mars. Our expertise and experience in international, intercultural and interdisciplinary professional teams prepared us for the variety of unique mission challenges. For example, Crew 188 dealt extremely well despite adversities including stress and safety concerns. Our diverse backgrounds supported a unique problem-solving culture and aptitude for collaborating on a common goal. The first Mars settlement will undoubtedly be an international venture. The culture was an important part of our MDRS time as we shared meals, workouts, workshops, and videos between EVA’s. Publications and creative engagement are underway from our mission’s research projects. We conclude with a sense of gratitude, pride in our work and excitement for the future.

Overview of Team Goals

· Continue an annual partnership between participants from the International Space University and planetary analogue research stations.

· Productively function as an international and interdisciplinary team.

· Gain team and individual experience in a Mars analogue simulation.

· Learn from the team’s collective background and experiences.

· Experiment and gather data towards publications.

· Promote awareness and passion for space exploration via education and outreach.

· Share with the public how research is conducted in an analogue situation.

Summary of Research Experiments

1. Increasing Spaceflight Analogue Mission Fidelity by Standardization of Extravehicular Activity Metrics Tracking and Analysis

Analogue missions allow the flexibility of capturing many different operational data. This Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology Laboratory (S.U.I.T. Lab) project focused on capturing physical and biometric data from the 15 extravehicular activities (EVAs). Investigated EVA metrics included collecting GPS data (timestamps, waypoints, distance traversed), the “task” or EVA objectives, and biometrics (heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, blood oximetry, and body acceleration). For consistency pilot data was collected with one crewmember, and future studies will build to full crew tracking. The investigation of human performance data with respect to workload expenditure will help identify energy limitations, thus maximizing explorers’ potential.

2. Remote Video Capture Analysis of Spacesuits for Spaceflight Analogue Expeditions

The crew successfully captured on video prescribed range of motion tasks for an unsuited subject, and the subject wearing two different types of simulated spacesuits used at MDRS. The crew reported on operational checklist improvements and sent data to the ERAU S.U.I.T. Lab. This approach derives how to communicate effective instructions to a remote crew, and then analyze simulated spacesuit performance. The MDRS Crew 188 collected the second set of data with the first videos provided by the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation (HI-SEAS) 2017 mission. Improvements from the MDRS 188 team were sent both the AMADEE-18 in Oman and the Mars Society Israel mission at the Makhtesh Ramon Crater, both occurring in February.

3. Dust Abrasion and Operations Investigation of Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) Gloves

Final Frontier Design (FFD) outer-layer Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) spacesuit gloves were worn on EVAs by one crewmember. The gloves were photographed before the mission and after every EVA to examine the abrasive wear for post-mission analysis. The gloves offered realistic dexterity limitations that would be expected in a pressured garment and outer layer.

4. Martian Dust Filter Tests

A new filtration unit from NASA Glenn Research Center was used to examine airlock dust contamination post EVAs. Measurements with an optical particle detector were taken five times encapsulating each EVA’s operations (pre- EVA before and after the crew entered, mid-EVA, and post-EVA before and after the crew entered). A variety of filters were changed on the filtration unit each test and a special vacuum filter was utilized when cleaning the airlock. All these test combined will look at particle size distribution and total load. Data collected from this research will further facilitate the mitigation of astronaut’s and habitat systems’ exposure to dust particles on the surface of celestial bodies.

5. In-situ testing of VEGGIE prototype plant growth hardware: Orbital Aquifer System for VEGGIE (OASYS)

We utilized the GreenHab facility to test a new prototype vegetation system invented by NASA KSC scientists for watering plants in reduced gravity environments. Lettuce and basil were selected as ideal demonstration crops for their quick germination times and ease of harvest. The newly built GreenHab provides controlled temperature, humidity, and light for a variety of vegetable crops growing throughout the field season. Due to limited time within the mission, the vegetable growth period was only 9 days. The OASYS system proved the effective germination of only one lettuce seedling from one of the three plant watering pillows due to an issue with the size of the pillows being larger than normal and the wicks not staying moist. Photos and data were sent to the principal investigators who rated this to be a positive test of the hardware.

6. Performing Astronautics

Artist-in-Residence Dr. Sarah Jane Pell’s MDRS Crew 188 research forms part of her Australia Council Fellowship project titled Performing Astronautics. The aim is to explore the bodily practice of navigation beyond Earth’s atmosphere as an experimental and emerging practice in human performance and expression at the advent of the commercial space era. Dr. Pell initiated EVA experiments, workshop activities, movement participation and reflective pursuits, promoting interdisciplinary exploration and Earth analogues to contribute a critical cultural and aesthetic suite of responses to the MDRS experience including:

1) Bending Horizons 360: human-environmental interactions on the Mars Analogue environment in 8K 360-degree Panorama and 3D Video data.

2) Bubbles on Mars a creative Imagineering experiment on phenomena of blowing bubbles on Earth, to transfer and adapt for a Mars sci-art activity.

3) Mars Olympiad: a series of speculative fiction performances designed and documented for a Virtual Reality or future immersive teaching and learning experience, and international outreach engagement coinciding with the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, to expand knowledge and imaginative capacity for human performance, and teamwork on Mars.

4) Super Blood Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse: 6K 360-degree Panorama Video of the Astronomical Phenomena from the Mars Desert Analogue Station.

5) Participation in research and interviews in support collaborations with a fellow crew on EVA spacesuit validation [in partnership with Final Frontier Design FFD], environmental interactions, science and engineering engagement, human factors and performance research, with local crews, future MDRS Crew participants, and global Analogue Crews.

As Crew 188 Journalist in Residence, Dr. Pell contributed an adaptation of Maslow’s human needs for future life on Mars, reported on public outreach activities and reflected on the Mars Society MDRS mission priorities Science, Simulation and Science (adding a little of space art and society) and sharing in the conversations and personalities shaping the shared human experience of life on a simulated Mars station.

Dr. Pell thanks the support of A/Prof David Barnes of the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform [MIVP] for the provision of an Insta360 Pro Camera; and Professor Brenton Dansie of the University of South Australia who generously supported Dr. Pell’s participation in MDRS Crew 188. Performing Astronautics is supported by the Australia Council: the Governments Arts Funding and Advisory Body.

7. Potential Human Activities to Improve Quality of Life on Mars

Tatsunari Tomiyama performed this Human Factors research project. Throughout this mission, the data collection has been completed 3 times and the detailed data performance must be completed later with statistical software tools. However, rough data analysis has been performed using tools in Microsoft Excel. The data analysis shows that personal hygiene will be strongly influenced for the quality of life during this simulation. Following to that, water and radio communication would also likely be influenced. Final details of the result will be analyzed later using computer software.

8. Project Stardust

This collaborative meteorological investigation of micrometeorite samples collected from field sites all over the world now includes samples taken from MDRS. We collected field samples from loose topsoil (<0.5 in) from hilltops surrounding the habitat, filtered, separated and imaged potential micrometeorites other spherules ranging in size from 50 µm to 2 mm, both extraterrestrial (iron ore-containing), terrestrial and anthropogenic that have fallen through the atmosphere and landed on Earth’s surface. Soil samples in a range of particle sizes were bagged and labeled for submission to the principal investigator for further analysis by scanning electron microscope, which we do not have access to here.

We are very excited to bring this project to MDRS because micrometeoroids contribute to the composition of regolith (planetary/lunar soil) on other bodies in the Solar System, not just Earth. Mars has an estimated annual micrometeoroid influx of between 2,700 and 59,000 t/yr. This contributes about 1 m of micrometeoritic content to the depth of the Martian regolith every billion years. These types of analyses on Earth help us understand how the solar system was formed as we venture out to explore it.

9. In-situ Chlorophyll Detection

Julia DeMarines, an astrobiologist, tested out three Chlorophyll detecting devices that are being prototyped by researchers from NASA Ames and Robotics Everywhere LLC (www.f3.to). These handheld Chlorophyll detectors can be operated in the field, indoors, and potentially underneath a Mars rover using chlofluorescence. The results were mixed but overall positive. Julia first tested them indoors using a variety of living and non-living samples collected in the field, in the Green Hab, and around the Hab. Once she was familiar with the interface, she was able to test these samples and get positive results from several leaf samples and negative results from green rocks and green plastic. She was also able to repeat results after resetting the devices. She was able to get a false positive using a green Sharpie marker and was also able to get false negatives on Sage Brush collected from in the field and tested in the science lab as well as Sage Brush measured in the field. Also in the field, she was not able to get a positive detection on a very green agave-like plant. Overall, the detectors are promising to use if the interface were a little more user-friendly and easier to see while in the field and while wearing gloves.

10. Mars-to-Mars Hangout: Connecting Mars Basecamps Across the Red Planet

The ERAU S.U.I.T. Lab created an opportunity for the MDRS Crew 188 to connect live via video conference with the AMADEE-18 analogue simulation simultaneously running a Mars research mission, located at the Kepler Station, Dhofar Region, Oman. The MDRS Crew 188 completed their Mars simulation by communicating in real time with a crew facing similar challenges, echoing an authentic multi-crew mission to Mars located at different base camps.

CONCLUSION

What brings this team together is our common dream of space exploration. With a vast collective experience of working in international teams, a skill fostered and developed by ISU, our crew understands the importance of defining roles within a team and have learned to cope with high-stress situations in small living spaces. Completing a mission together at MDRS has challenged us to improve our professional communication while expanding our friendships.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the MDRS Mission Support Team who have supported our crew every evening during the Comms window. Special thanks goes to Dr. Shannon Rupert, Kayundria “Kay” Hardiman Wolfe, Bernard Dubb, Veronica Brooks, Sylvain Burdot, Graeme Frear, Jennifer Holt, Nishat Tasnim, Peter Detterline, Chris Welch, Volker Damann, Barnaby Osborne, Geraldine Moser, Joshua Nelson, Michael Davies, Dr. Chris McKay, Matteo Borri from Robotics Everywhere LLC, Dr. John Deaton, Morgan Eudy, Heather Allaway, Anderson Wilder, Dr. Luke Roberson, The NASA-KSC VEGGIE Team, Juan Agui, the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Program, University of South Australia, Monash University, Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform, Australia Council, Blue Marble Space, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, Space Florida, Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society, The Musk Foundation, MDRS Crew 147 and 162 and our friends and families back home who have supported us during this two-week mission.

Ad Astra!
Crew 188

Mission Summary (Spanish) – Crew 187 – Team Latam II

Mars Desert Research Station

Mission Summary

Crew 187 – Team Latam II

 

Comandante/Astrónoma: Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo (Perú)

Oficial Ejecutivo: Atila Kahlil Meszaros Henostroza (Perú)

Ingeniero de Tripulación: Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Perú)

Oficial del Invernadero: Hernán David Mateus Jiménez (Colombia)

Científico de tripulación/Oficial AEV: Oscar Ivan Ojeda Ramirez (Colombia)

Oficial de Seguridad y Salud: Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho (México)

Periodista: Tania Maria Robles Hernandez (México)

Declaración de la Comandante

 

Tuve el honor de trabajar con una tripulación de gran talento, no solo a nivel profesional, sino también en lo personal. Nuestras raíces provienen de Perú, Colombia y México; pero en nuestros corazones llevamos la responsabilidad de representar a toda Latinoamérica, lo cual siempre haremos con nuestro mejor esfuerzo. Cada miembro de la tripulación fue clave para poder culminar con éxito la misión; fueron valiosas sus experiencias, conocimientos en ciencias e ingeniería, su alto compromiso por hacer la simulación lo más real posible, su trabajo en equipo y apoyo constante; siguiendo siempre la filosofía de “¡Todos para uno y uno para todos!”.

Cada día en Marte fue una gran aventura; celebramos un cumpleaños marciano, recargamos un tanque de diésel, vimos el sol, la luna, las constelaciones, entre otras maravillas del universo, fuimos los primeros exploradores de un cañón, y tuvimos el honor que toda tripulación desea tener, otorgar el nombre a un cañón y a una carretera, es así que el cañón El Dorado y la carretera Despacito – porque se tiene que ir lentamente por esa ruta por seguridad de cada tripulante – son ahora parte del mapa del MDRS, El Dorado es una antigua leyenda sobre una ciudad llena de oro que desafiaba a todos los exploradores que se atrevían a buscarla. Para nosotros llamarlo así refleja la curiosidad que nos despertó como nuevos exploradores de Marte y el deseo de dejar allí una marca latinoamericana.

Me siento orgullosa de cada miembro de esta tripulación, ya que a su corta edad han logrado grandes cosas con ese coraje y fuerza que caracteriza a todo latino. No importa que tan grande sea el reto y los obstáculos que cada uno tenga que vencer, estoy segura que con esfuerzo, coraje y dedicación lograrán hacerlo; así como vencimos todos juntos las adversidades que tuvimos en nuestra estancia en el MDRS. En estos fabulosos 15 días, cada uno ganó experiencia, adquirió nuevos conocimientos, amplió su manera de ver el universo, y aprendió de los demás. Más que ser parte de una tripulación, nosotros pasamos a ser parte de una familia … ¡una familia marciana!

La tripulación 187 se encuentra eternamente agradecida por el apoyo y la confianza brindada por The Mars Society, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Shannon Ruppert, Mission Support y todas aquellas personas e instituciones que creyeron en cada uno de nosotros.

 

Ad Astra,

Cynthia Fuertes Panizo

Comandante de la tripulación 187 – MDRS

 

Resumen de Actividades Extra Vehiculares

 

Las Actividades Extra Vehiculares (AEV) en la exploración espacial no son rutina y, con seguridad, en las primeras etapas de la exploración de Marte, seguirá siendo así. Cada AEV es diferente a la otra, no solo porque los objetivos cambian, también porque las circunstancias cambian. Uno de los aspectos más importantes de la simulación en el MDRS es la posibilidad de simular estas actividades y experimentar las primeras afirmaciones de primera mano. Realizar AEVs es una gran oportunidad para aprender y probarnos de forma física y psicológica. Ser capaces de probar nuestra capacidad de reacción ante lo inesperado, solucionar problemas que surgen de la nada, lidiar con el estrés, y ser capaces de regresar a casa cada día, a una taza de chocolate caliente, y estar listos al día siguiente para pasar de nuevo por lo mismo.

La tripulación 187 realizó un total de 15 AEVs, sin contar las frecuentes excursiones de nuestro ingeniero al generador. La mayoría de los destinos fueron sugeridos por la Directora Shannon, llevándonos a zonas previamente inexploradas del área del MDRS. Algunas de las AEVs eran de rutina, para gastar las baterías de los vehículos eléctricos, para extender su vida, 4 AEVs de este tipo se realizaron. Las otras AEVs nos permitieron probar los proyectos de los tripulantes. Las pruebas en general fueron exitosas, logrando la mayoría de los objetivos científicos. De igual forma, pudimos explorar lugares que no habían sido visitados antes, o en un largo periodo de tiempo, por tripulaciones anteriores. La mayoría de actividades ocurrieron sin ningún problema, pero es importante mencionar el hallazgo de las huellas de puma, así como el drenaje de la bateria del rover Deimos, que llevó al equipo a encontrar soluciones para llevar el vehículo y a ellos mismos a casa.

Oscar Ojeda

Oficial de AEV

 

Resumen del Invernadero

Al final, el Greenhab quedó tan hermoso como el comienzo. Durante la misión tuvimos que hacer algunos cambios en el interior para dar más espacio a la acuaponia y cuidar las plantas que estaban frente al ventilador que habían sido dañadas. Después de estas modificaciones, recibimos una lona de alta resistencia para colocarla debajo del revestimiento y proteger las plantas que están expuestas a la radiación solar. Durante las dos semanas, se desarrollaron 3 proyectos en el Greenhab, lo que involucró un montaje de la acuaponia, germinación de diferentes tipos de quinua en dos tipos de suelo, uno análogo a Marte y otro comercial. Además, se trabajó en la medición de evapotranspiración de un cultivo de quinua en suelo análogo marciano, los datos que se obtuvieron van a ser analizados para dar recomendaciones para el Greenhab y el proceso de riego.

 

David Mateus

Oficial del Invernadero

 

Resumen de las Operaciones de Ingeniería

 

Durante nuestra estadía en la MDRS se realizó una recarga del tanque de diésel por un total de 300 galones, los cuales permitieron alimentar al generador eléctrico, encargado de proveer energía al Hábitat y a todas las estructuras de la estación. Cabe resaltar que debido al problema de control de nivel de agua encima de los dormitorios, fabricamos con éxito una alarma con sensor de nivel de agua para ser alertados en el preciso momento en el que debía cerrarse la llave.

Así mismo, basándonos en el problema suscitado con uno de los Rovers durante un EVA de larga duración, implementamos un protocolo de seguridad en el que, desde ahora, es obligatorio llevar un Kit de supervivencia (alimentos y herramientas), así como cuerdas gruesas que permitan remolcar un vehículo en caso de avería.

 

Luis Díaz

Ingeniero de la Tripulación


 

Informe final de los proyectos

Aplicación móvil como agente de ayuda en el MDRS

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Ingeniera de Sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Perú

cynthiayfp@gmail.com

 

Según Gardner, Android es el sistema operativo con más usuarios en todo el mundo, por ello, las aplicaciones que desarrollaré serán para Android, utilizando los softwares Unity, Monodevelop, Vuforia, JDK y Android SDK.

Durante la simulación, trabajé haciendo una aplicación para el observatorio solar, la cual cuenta con 5 partes: instrucciones de seguridad, peligros potenciales, control de mano, alineación y enfoque. Al seleccionar la primera opción, se descargará un PDF con las Instrucciones de seguridad. En la segunda opción, se mostrará un mensaje emergente con el asesoramiento de los peligros potenciales. La tercera opción, permitirá reconocer el control manual del telescopio y superponer las partes principales del mismo y cuando se seleccione alguna se mostrará un breve concepto sobre cada una. Para el cuarto y quinto caso, se descargará un PDF para cada uno. Además, tengo la intención de trabajar con los equipos del laboratorio de ciencia, ya recolecté la información que necesito para ello. Además, tengo la intención de probar la aplicación final con tripulaciones futuras.

 

 

Divulgación de temas espaciales con una aplicación móvil

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Ingeniera de Sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Perú

cynthiayfp@gmail.com

 

Durante la simulación, recolecté información que necesitaba, como imágenes, videos, mapeo 3D de algunas zonas que visitamos, del MDRS, etc. En Perú, comenzaré a crear la aplicación y planeo utilizarla en una escuela de un área vulnerable de Perú con el fin de difundir temas relacionados al espacio como lo es el MDRS, Marte, entre otras cosas.

 

Resistencia de cultivos peruanos a suelo análogo de Marte

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú

atilameszaros1@gmail.com

Se seleccionaron tres clases de quinua y una de kiwicha para demostrar su resistencia a la tierra análoga de Marte y para demostrar su valor para ser incluidas en las futuras dietas marcianas. Durante Sol 7, se plantaron tres réplicas y un control. Han sido regados una vez al día con 250 ml de agua. Hasta ahora, el control no ha germinado, y se espera los que están plantados en el suelo análogo de Marte, que comenzarán a germinar durante los próximos dos soles.

 

Compensaciones de acuaponia y comparación con métodos de jardinería regulares en MDRS

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú

atilameszaros1@gmail.com

Este proyecto se desarrollará durante los próximos meses y se llevará a cabo dentro del programa de pasantes, con el apoyo de los oficiales del invernadero de las siguientes tripulaciones para mantenerlo en funcionamiento. Inicialmente, solo se utilizarán las funciones hidropónicas y se realizará una comparación rentable entre el sistema hidropónico y las técnicas de jardinería habituales. Durante esta rotación, el sistema de acuaponia está casi completamente configurado y vamos a comenzar a hacer pronto las pruebas de fugas.

Diseño e implementación de un sistema termorregulador para la homologación de la temperatura interna en los trajes de EVA usados por los astronautas análogos en la MDRS

Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Cascas, Perú)

Ingeniero Mecatrónico de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Perú

luisjosedl14@gmail.com

La implementación y las pruebas del proyecto fueron exitosas. Debido al frío, solo se probó el sistema de calefacción, que utiliza una resistencia de cerámica comúnmente utilizada en extrusoras de impresoras 3D. Esta resistencia es parte del sistema de intercambiador de calor que transmite, por convección, el calor al agua. Una bomba de agua es responsable de hacer circular el líquido termorregulado dentro de una bolsa para la donación de sangre, que se regula gracias a un diferencial de temperatura que toma como referencia la temperatura externa y la temperatura dentro del traje (específicamente en el área donde se encuentra el corazón). Del mismo modo, la lectura de temperatura se almacena en una memoria microSD junto a la fecha y hora para tener una referencia cronológica de las compensaciones de temperatura que el sistema tuvo que realizar.

 

 

Evapotranspiración en Marte

Hernán David Mateus Jiménez

Ingeniero Mecatrónico, estudiante de maestría en ciencias en ingeniería de sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá Colombia

hdmateusj@unal.edu.co

La evapotranspiración es el proceso físico que convierte el agua líquida de un área verde en agua de vapor por la acción de la transpiración y la evaporación. Una forma de medir la evapotranspiración es usar un dispositivo llamado lisímetro que mide el peso del cultivo y el peso del lixiviado de forma continua.

El lisímetro comenzó a ensamblarse desde el comienzo de la simulación, pero comenzó a tomar medidas de evapotranspiración en Sol 8, debido a que algunas piezas debían repararse y era necesario hacer un EVA para tomar el suelo marciano. Además, era necesario determinar la cantidad de agua para mezclar con el suelo marciano y obtener la mejor textura. Los datos recolectados durante los seis Soles se analizarán en Colombia para obtener una lista de recomendaciones para mejorar el uso del agua en el invernadero y en los cultivos que usan suelo marciano.

 


 

Sistema de posicionamiento basado en el reconocimiento de estrellas

Hernán David Mateus Jiménez

Ingeniero Mecatrónico, estudiante de maestría en ciencias en ingeniería de sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá Colombia

hdmateusj@unal.edu.co

En este proyecto, queríamos probar un software que diga cuál es su ubicación, en función de una fotografía que saque del cielo. Este software fue desarrollado en Python usando la librería Opencv. El objetivo era medir la precisión del software para desarrollar en el futuro sistemas de posicionamiento útiles para los EVA nocturnos.

Durante la simulación pudimos tomar la cantidad suficiente de fotos para construir un mapa celeste donde el descriptor SIFT buscará las similitudes con una foto tomada para encontrar su posición.

 

Evaluación de campo del simulador de traje espacial Cóndor

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

oscar6ojeda@gmail.com

El proyecto tuvo como objetivo evaluar el rendimiento del simulador de traje espacial Cóndor, así como sus sistemas independientes. Las actividades consistieron en participar de las AEV con el traje en diferentes configuraciones, las AEV se clasificaron en corto, mediano y largo alcance. Los sistemas probados fueron la colocación completa y la parte flexible combinada con el traje Exo, disponible en MDRS. las AEV consistieron en actividades técnicas, biológicas y geológicas, así como movilidad básica y manipulación de vehículos. Se hicieron varias observaciones sobre mejoras y se implementarán para la próxima versión de la demanda. En general, los resultados fueron positivos, con un alto rango de movimiento, combinado con suficiente restricción, para simular adecuadamente un traje espacial.

 

 

Prueba de una rueda basada en PXCM para un rover planetario

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

oscar6ojeda@gmail.com

El objetivo del proyecto era realizar una prueba de campo básica de una rueda impresa en 3D, destinada a un vehículo de superficie planetario. La prueba hizo uso de un rover automatizado simple, que se implementó en MDRS. La rueda fue impresa por ITAMCO y diseñada en la Universidad de Purdue. Las ruedas fueron recibidas en la estación y ensambladas. En primer lugar, se observó el rendimiento del rover con las ruedas comerciales tradicionales, atravesando diferentes tipos de terreno, que es un análogo para Marte. Posteriormente, las ruedas se instalaron en el rover y se volvieron a probar en terreno analógico. Los resultados observados mostraron un rendimiento equivalente al asumir el terreno. Se sugieren más pruebas de laboratorio y de campo para caracterizar completamente el rendimiento de las ruedas, sin embargo, las primeras pruebas arrojaron resultados positivos.

 

 


 

Detección remota en superficie análoga a Marte

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2

1UNAM, México 2IPN, México

danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

La DRONE DJI SPARK mapeó 5 km de superficie alrededor de MDRS para analizar con cámaras y procesamiento digital para 3D en suelo marciano. Este dron mapeó el suelo del MDRS y el hábitat durante 5 EVA durante dos semanas, lo que ayudará a tomar imágenes a 40 metros de altura para analizarlas posteriormente mediante un procesamiento digital en 3D que nos ayudará a comprender mejor las características del planeta. Además de seguir en superficie con piloto automático el camino de los astronautas en cada expedición luego de que el Dron analice las características de la superficie del MDRS así como el tipo de suelo y sus características básicas utilizando Matlab y Pix4D para analizar las imágenes del Hábitat tomado por el dron.

 

Detección remota de señales vitales

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2

1UNAM, MEXICO 2IPN, MÉXICO

danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

Objetivo: Este dispositivo fue un monitor E.C.G así como algunos aspectos importantes como la presión y la humedad interna del traje espacial de MDRS CREW 187, a través de un sistema de monitoreo enfocado a las Actividades Extra Vehiculares (EVA). Módulo E.C.G además de la posición del cuerpo, piel de respuesta galvánica que transmitirá los datos a la interfaz de usuario en la que se presentan en tiempo real a los astronautas en un reloj inteligente o una interfaz de PC. Sin embargo, el monitor tiene un problema con la conectividad y fue complicado de usar durante EVA, pero se usó para monitorear antes de la expedición de EVA. Los datos médicos han sido útiles para HSO durante la misión de mantener el Crew 187 y diseñar protocolos para elegir al miembro de cada expedición.

 

 


 

Dinámica de funciones cognitivas en una simulación análoga marciana

Betel Martínez Valdés1, José Eduardo Reynoso Cruz1 y José Luis Baroja Manzano1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Departamento de Psicología,

Ciudad de México

betelmarvall@gmail.com

Durante las dos semanas se monitorearon diferentes niveles de fatiga de habilidades cognitivas en miembros de Crew 187 y se comparó con el grupo control de participantes externos no relacionados con la simulación analógica.

Catorce adultos fueron parte del estudio. Los grupos fueron emparejados por sexo, edad, dominio lateral y nivel de estudios. Los sujetos del grupo de apoyo y el emparejamiento de control se elegirán voluntariamente.

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Dinámica de cooperación en una simulación analógica marciana

Betel Martínez Valdés1, Oscar San Pedro Caligua1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México

betelmarvall@gmail.com

Durante este experimento analizamos la dinámica de la cooperación y el equipo de trabajo. Reciprocidad entre los miembros de la tripulación 187. El comportamiento cooperativo entre los miembros de la tripulación durante la simulación analógica a Marte fue aplicar un dilema social de riesgo colectivo en el que seis astronautas serán jugadores y un coordinador. Esta tarea se aplicará cinco veces en dos semanas, esta información ayudará a analizar el estado de la cooperación durante una misión analógica.

 

Comunicación científica y documental para proyectos espaciales de jóvenes científicos y profesionales en América Latina

Tania Robles

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México

taniarblsh@gmail.com

 

América Latina es una región emergente y en crecimiento en el sector aeroespacial. Debido a su capacidad para ofrecer servicios de desarrollo y fabricación a bajo costo, ha sido aceptado como una de las regiones proveedoras de las compañías y agencias espaciales más importantes.

A pesar de esto, América Latina es un área que no ha desarrollado su infraestructura y capacidades de recursos humanos en el sector. Algunas de las causas pueden ser la ignorancia de los que toman las decisiones. Para este propósito, se ha creado un proyecto de divulgación sobre el trabajo de jóvenes mexicanos y extranjeros en el campo espacial, así como la importancia de estos temas.

El proyecto consiste en la documentación de los problemas y las acciones de los jóvenes estudiantes para resolver problemas de la academia y la industria.