MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION

Commander Report – January 2nd

Sol 1
Commander Report Crew 172
Ilaria Cinelli – Commander, Crew 172

Sol 1: Finally, we did it!! Let’s rock this mission!!
Today it is our first day on Mars (Sol 1). This mission is a two-week simulation during which we will be
training for the Mars mission in an analogue environment, here in the stunning Utah desert. You
might think is a short time. Believe me, this mission has started six months ago!
MDRS selected six young enthusiastic space talents as my Crew members and me as Commander.
Being Commander is a full-time job that starts as soon as MDRS gives you the approval for the
mission.
The quality of the mission depends on the quality of the remote training before getting in the Hab. I
have been spending six months training my Crew in remote teaching them their duties, the analogue
life rules and learning about their goals and personalities. The human-side of the mission should not
be neglected considering that we are an international team of strangers.
The goal of this training is to teach them that we are a unique entity and that their actions has
consequences for each member. As Commander, I must make sure that each of them is on the right
track both in their duties and as individual.
My goal is training in leadership for long-term mission. I have been spending all my free time to learn
leadership and practice it at my best. A Commander without a competent Crew is a lost soul. I am
honoured to cover this role and proud of my Crew!
Although the considerable number of responsibilities I have here, I am not going to step back for any
bloody reason! I will rock this mission to its unique goal: successful!
Because we are a unique entity, below the ambitious of each member. They are part of what I am
now, and I would like you to read their view as well!



Pierrick Loyers – Crew Scientist, Crew 172
Personal point of view:
I have been waiting for 8 months for this mission, so I am really excited to be here. My first
impressions here are really positive. Being at MDRS is well immersive. Landscapes, EVAs and protocols
are challenging and I really like it. I am happy that we are going to be out of our comfort zone, this is
really exciting.
Being in a crew makes me feel really comfortable. Everyone is happy to help for the daily tasks and
that’s pretty good. There is a good atmosphere here, we are joking with each other and this is a good
point as well. I feel like everyone is very much involved in their roles. I’m sure that we are going to be
a great crew, productive, efficient and soldered.

Technical and personal objectives:
Gwendal and me are going to evaluate the possibilities for astronauts to do a 3D cartography of Mars.
We have designed and engineered a device that takes altimetry measurements in regards to the
position of the astronaut on Mars. The position of the astronauts is measured thanks to signals
triangulations and altimetry measurements are performed with a barometric sensor. Measurements
are done during EVAs. The astronaut has to carry the cartography system on him and measures are
taken while he is moving during the EVA. Once the EVA finished, a file containing all the X, Y and Z
coordinates is transferred on a PC and results will be investigated on Matlab. A 3D map will then be
produced on the software called Blender.
We have developed a HUD that is displaying all the useful information on the right eye of the
astronaut, a bit like the Google glass. This allows the astronaut to visualize measurements and his
position hand free.
This device is also able to communicate with a PC at the Hab thanks to a long-range radiofrequencies
communication system that we have developed. The PC is receiving real-time information about the
astronaut on EVA like position, altitude, outside temperatures. The Hab would also be able to
communicate in RF with the astronaut by sending short messages through our system in case of radio
failure. Messages are displayed on the HUD of the astronaut.
The second objective is to investigate possibilities for astronaut to search for underground water
thanks to a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). We are going to probe the soil near zone where we
believe there are water sources.
My personal objectives are to understand and feel what are the protocols, goals and difficulties that
astronauts will face on Mars at the horizon up to 2030. I am happy to live in a harsh environment
during two weeks and that was part of my personal objectives as well.

Goals:
I would like to work within the manned space exploration field after my studies and that’s why I
applied to be part of the MDRS experience. Specialized in Applied Physics and passionate by space
since I’m young, it would be great to combine these two specialties. But I have also a strong interest
for space structures. I would be proud to take part to the international efforts to take humans to
Mars.


Anushree Srivastava – Executive Officer and Crew Biologist, Crew 172
I am on Mars, again! It feels wonderful saying that.
I recently completed the first phase of a 160 sols simulation of a Mars mission – Mars160 – an
ambitious and unprecedented endeavor of The Mars Society. Now, I have joined the Crew 172. For
this mission, to my great delight, I am the Executive Officer and Crew Biologist for another 15 sols.
It is Sol 1. Before coming here as Crew 172, I was asked many times that why do I want to do this
rotation when I had already been part of a mission like Mars160 which had its historical culmination,
even in its first phase. My answer has always been simple – there is no obligation, of course; but I still
want to do it. It is important for me. When you don’t wear the spacesuit, when you don’t live under
the constraints of a Martian life, you miss it. As I keep saying, it’s a privilege that not everyone has the
opportunity to have.  I was appointed to be the Crew Biologist for Mars160 mission and Crew 172 at
the same time. And I had decided that I will come back to join the Crew 172. The first phase of
Mars160 mission was intense. In summer 2017, we are initiating our second phase at FMARS in the
Canadian Arctic, which is going to be the real test of living in a simulated Martian condition that
involves lots of preparation. Having said that, for me, Crew 172 is an important attempt towards
exposing myself to the inherent discreteness of the nature of two different missions. This mission is
also my attempt to test the flexibility in my approach towards the crew and the overall mission
objectives. I say this because I realized the emotional intricacies involved in this transition. You came
back to live in the same place for 15 sols, where you recently completed 80 amazing sols, but with the
different crew. You keep missing the presence of your previous crew, who actually became a family.
Then you have many conversations with yourself, reminding yourself that this is what it takes to be
able to live on Mars – it tests your preparedness and patience.
The members of the Crew 172 are young and enthusiastic! They are equipped with advanced
technology that they intend to test in the simulated Martian environment. What exhilarates me the
most is their eagerness and excitement to experience the adventure of extra-vehicular activities
(EVAs) for the very first time in their lives. I am happy to see them getting carried away by the
spectacular landscape. I echo their emotions. At the same time, I am learning from them in so many
ways.
From the perspective of science operations, I intend to continue my work on documenting the
pattern and diversity of halophilic microorganisms that started during Mars160 mission. Shannon
Rupert, the principal investigator of the Mars160 mission, and I are interested in isolating highly salt
tolerant microorganisms from soil samples collected during multiple strenuous EVAs during Mars160
mission. We intend to perform the molecular analysis of those peculiar salt-loving microbes using
MinION. So, as Crew Biologist, this is the objective of my sojourn on Mars! Additionally, I am engaged
in different human factor experiments proposed by my fellows of Crew 172.


Patrick Gray – GreenHab Officer, Crew 172
Plans and Ambitions:
My project goal while at MDRS is to have a harvest in the GreenHab, document the GreenHab
facilities to set future researchers up for success, and share all possible information with the
GreenHab crew to bring in their expertise. My personal objective is to maximize the experience and
learn from my fellow crewmates, I am interested in doing longer term research analogs and
expeditions in other environments in the future and thus want to thoroughly document any issues
and key observations that I can carry forward both for myself and to share with the Mars Society.
Finally, I want to document our adventures and share our story in an educational outreach capacity
over the next year. This work feeds directly into my professional work and ambitions. My long-term
goal is to build a bridge between scientific marine exploration and space science to push forward life-
seeking exploration on and off Earth.


Gwendal Henaff – Executive Officer & HSO, Crew 172
I am French student pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Physics. I am passionate about space
exploration since the childhood. I am looking forward for this mission : at first, we have scientific
experiences to carry, which are quite new for MDRS : we have a Ground Penetrating Radar, and  that
allow us to scan the subsurface, 2D and 3D, up to 15 meters deep. I have two objectives here : first,
get enough data to precisely localize the water lenses under the surface, as well as work on the
human factors linked to the use of a GPR on Mars, which is quite challenging : we have 20 Kg
Antennas, and a heavy control unit, which is not easy to use with a space suit.
My ambitions for the simulation is to be the closest possible to a real Mars mission, an objective that
the all crew is sharing. Being the closest possible to real conditions will be good for our scientific
experiences and will be personally rewarding. As a Emergency First Responder on Earth, my role as
HSO makes sense : We will work on first response training and practice with the crew.
I am looking for an intern position in the US, in space engineering. Being part of this crew will be
definitely by useful : years after years, I have more and more space related experiences (Internships in
French and UK’s space laboratories, working on space instrumentation and nano engineering), Space
international competitions and the latest CNES / ESA scientific Parabolic Flight campaign I was part of.
After graduation, I plan to work  14 months as an engineer in Antarctica, and being part of this crew
will allow me to know if I am ready for such a long isolation mission in a harsh environment.


Troy Cole – Crew Engineer
Personal Point of View of MDRS: I think MDRS is an awesome opportunity to get some real field
experience in a realistic environment and I am grateful for being selected for this crew. Speaking
specifically as a working professional I greatly appreciate the shorter duration missions that are more
conducive with my work schedule.
Personal Technical Objective: My personal technical objectives are to test myself to see if I have what
it takes to be an effective field engineer working in a remote location and to see if I can handle the
psychological stress of being out of communication with civilization.
Goal: My ultimate goal is to do my part to make space travel available to everyone on this planet and
setting the stage for humanity becoming a multi-planetary civilization. I intend to do this through
continued work on propulsion technologies.


Nicholas McCay – Crew Journalist, Crew 172
My objectives for this MDRS analog simulation is to document as much of the mission as possible. My
role as journalist is to communication to the outside world about the importance of our mission.
Taking photos and videos, interviewing each crew member about their motivations and projects,  and
eventually compiling all the mediums for distribution.
My goal from this analog mission is to leverage my MDRS experience to get back into journalism –
specifically Science & Space. Writing and covering the industry full time is my ultimate goal.

EVA Report – January 2nd

EVA Report:

SOL: 01

Date: 02/01/2017

Person filling out the report: Pierrick Loyers

Crew members involved in the EVA: Ilaria Cinelli, Troy Cole, Patrick Gray, Gwendal Hénaff, Pierrick Loyers

EVA leader: Pierrick Loyers

Begin: 10.15 am

End: 12 pm

Type of EVA: Walking

Purpose: Preliminary tests of the scientific equipment

Coordinates: 38.245N 110.485W

Summary: Patrick, Gwendal and me have been the first of our crew to walk on Mars. Our objective was to transport outside the Ground Penetrating Radar which is pretty heavy. After waiting three minutes for depressurisation, we faced some difficulties to open the exit door. Several tries later, we finally manage to open the door and went outside where environmental conditions were pretty harsh due to strong wind. While Ilaria and Troy moved within the depressurisation sas to join us on the Martian soil, we turn on the GPR. Patrick was holding the 3D cartography system which well communicated with the Hab, transferring data through the radiofrequencies communication system. Anushree, who was in the Hab, kept an eye on the PC which was in communication with the cartography system outside, insuring that data were well received.

As soon as Ilaria and Troy finished their depressurisation time, we went all together to check diesel, propane and gasoline levels. Charging levels of Phobos and Diemos have been checked has well. When we moved to check water level, a bad surprise was waiting for us. Due to the strong wind, the protective cover on the water tank flew away and we caught it just at the right time. It took us approximately 20 minutes to put the protective cover back on the water tank and then we refilled the water tank.

After that, Ilaria, Gwendal, Troy and Patrick moved next to the ATVs in order to refill it on gasoline while I was preparing tests of the scientific equipment. Refilling ATVs has been difficult for the four crew members due to the wind.

Difficulties have been encountered with the GPR because due to my helmet, I was not able to visualize properly the screen and the measurements which has been an issue for the whole EVA. That was exactly the purpose of this EVA: to evaluate what could be the differences between wearing space suit or not while using the GPR. Despite of it, I have been helped by Gwendal and Patrick to drag the GPR all around the Hab. We have probe the soil next to the Green Hab and the solar panels because we suspected underground electrical pipes that could be detected thanks to the GPR. These pipes could also be used to calibrate the GPR.

While moving the radar around the Hab, the HUD that was carried by Gwendal ran out of battery and the 3D cartography system ran out of battery five minutes later as well. This is probably because the temperature was very cold this morning that batteries didn’t last a very long time. This is a problem in regards to the 3D cartography because data have to be collected on the device before it’s out of battery.

In total, 6 measurements have been made with the GPR and saved but the no data have been collected with the 3D cartography system. Despite of it, the long-range radiofrequency communication system worked well, transmitting data to the Hab. The HUD worked well as well while it has battery. The scientific equipment has been tested and so objectives of the EVA have been fully completed. Some negative points have been highlighted which was exactly the purpose of this EVA. These points will be improved for the incoming EVAs.

Sol Summary – January 1st

Crew 172

Today we arrived on Mars…Ok maybe not THE Mars, but southern Utah sure looks like the Red Planet. Our transport vehicles were not named Orion or Dragon, but instead Caravan and Suburban. Our seven Marsnauts are a diverse group from all over the world: three Americans, two Frenchman, one Italian, and an Indian. We are separated by eight years, the youngest being 22 while our commander is the oldest at 30 years young. Seeing desert in every direction and for as far as the eye could see, The Habitat was a welcoming sight. This is the moment, at least for me, when everything became “real.” Of course planning for six months, taking multiple flights, and spending quite a pretty penny on this experience is “real,” but when you actually see a two story hab, science dome, and greenhouse – the tingle of excitement washes over you.

Our “home” now consists of only 6 things: the Habitat, the science dome, the observatory, the greenhouse, a solar panel and ATV(s). We were given a tour of our home for the next 2 weeks, and all of the necessary systems training. Highlights are the water tank, both airlocks, EVA suits, and the daily routine we have now established. Next, on the docket was a pre-mission briefing with the local support staff. We all went over the procedures for EVAs, detailed our research projects and limitations, and the funnest part of our time on Mars – training on the ATVs. These vehicles will be our primary mode of transportation in the coming 14 days, other than our trusty two feet, so training was useful for all of our crew members. We are going to finish cleaning the hab tonight, and mentally prepare for the next fortnight. Our last planned activity of Sol 0 will be watching “The Martian.” Sure it may be corny, but hey we are on Mars and need all the help we can get!

Tomorrow morning we will wake up IN SIM on the Red Planet.

Sol Summary – December 31st

Crew 171

SOL: 13
Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO
Summary Title: Endgame
Mission Status: Complete
Sol Activity Summary: Met and trained new crew, Prepared for departure
Look Ahead Plan: Return to Earth
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: High 45F, Low 21F, Humidity 28-60%, Wind avg 2mph, Gust
5.4mph, Clear and sunny
Crew Physical Status: Alive and well
EVA: None
Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– Operations Report
Support Requested
– None

Daily Summary Report – December 30th

SOL: 12
Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO
Summary Title:
Mission Status: Complete
Sol Activity Summary: Cleaned hab, composed final report
Look Ahead Plan: Training new crew tomorrow
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: High 38F, Low 26F, Humidity 36-69%, Wind avg 2mph, Gust 3mph,
Clear and sunny
Crew Physical Status: Alive and well
EVA: None
Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Journalist’s Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report
Support Requested
– None

Crew Photos – December 29th

The Martian terrain becomes increasingly lunar.

 

The EVA team winds its way across the landscape.

 

The EVA team poses in front of a cliff face.

 

Sean and Connor traverse the strange terrain on ATVs.

 

Geoffrey shows his enthusiasm for Bow Tie Thursday as he prepares to depart with the EVA crew.

 

Connor stops at the crest of a hill to get the lay of the land.

 

An otherworldly landscape.

 

Sean holds the MDRS in the palm of his hand.

Geology/Mars Climate Report – December 29th

I rounded up all my time lapse cameras from the outside during our EVA today. I hope to use all this data I have collected in order to better understand the climate and surface features of Mars. This data coupled with the weather data will provide valuable insight. More information and the concluding remarks about the project will be showcased tomorrow in the final mission report.

Max/Min: Outdoor Temp – 11 F – 45 F

Outdoor Humidity – 34% – 72%

GreenHab Temp – 23 F – 100 F

GreenHAB Humidity – 9% – 38%

Barometer – 29.85 – 30.05 inHg

Wind – 0.8 mph, gust – 2.5 mph

Solar Rad. Max – 402.0 W/m^2

UV Index – 778 uW/cm^2

Dew Point – 3.9 F – 22.5 F

Recorded Precipitation today – 0.00 in

The Final Philosophy of Colonizing Mars Report will be showcased tomorrow in the final mission report, stay tuned.

#Marsiswaiting

Submitted by: Connor Lynch – Crew Geologist/Astrophysicist – Crew 171

GreenHab Report – December 29th

Crop tending and data capture for the bioregenerative life support
system research took a great deal of time today.  Plant growth
properties, size and number of leafs, pH/EC, and photos were recorded.
Due to unforeseen issues with the GreenHab, data collection will need
to continue after the duration of simulation at MDRS.

Brittany Zimmerman

Daily Summary Report – December 29th

SOL: 11

Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO

Summary Title: Last EVA

Mission Status: Winding down

Sol Activity Summary: Received water, EVA to Lunar Plains

Look Ahead Plan: Cleanup tomorrow for next crew

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: High 45F, Low 11F, Humidity 34-72%, Wind avg 0.8mph, Gust

2.5mph, Clear skies

Crew Physical Status: Anxious to get back to civilization

EVA: None

Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Commander’s Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report

Support Requested
– None