Crew 213 Mission Summary 24-May-2019
This course was our largest and most extensive iteration of our combined medicine and engineering education program. It went extremely well. Our crew enjoyed the simulations and clearly learned a lot about medicine and engineering as it relates to spaceflight.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 challenges we encountered were unpredictability with weather and managing a larger than normal number of students. The media team was an asset to our course and assisted us with arranging lighting and effects for our simulations.
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.
Our experience teaching doctors in previous versions of this course have lead us to a robust didactic, simulation, and discussion based curriculum. The landscape and the difficulties of living in the habitat are well known to us so there were few additional surprises. However, the weather was uncommonly rainy which forced us to amend our day to day operations on a near continuous basis. In the future, we will plan for back up activities to keep students engaged even when the weather precludes outside activities.
As this is the third time we’ve incorporated research projects into our curriculum, it has become a relatively routine part of our instruction. The crew was very receptive 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 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 a training and testing session of just in time training for ultrasound guided nerve blocks.
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. Thank you for the continued opportunity to work with you on this project, we look forward to our continued collaboration.