Crew Photos – December 21st


 Crew 218 bio sketches:

Commander and Crew Astronomer
Dr. Cesare Guariniello is a Research Scientist in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Purdue University. He holds two Master's degrees, in Automation and Robotics Engineering and in Astronautical Engineering, from the University of Rome "La Sapienza", and a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. His research ranges from System-of-Systems design and architecture to space applications, cybersecurity, and defense and includes projects with NASA, the US DoD, the US Navy, and MITRE corporation. Cesare recently expanded his research in the field of Earth Sciences, where he is pursuing a Master's degree in Planetary Geology. Cesare is a senior member of AIAA and IEEE, and a member of INCOSE, AAS, and various other professional societies.
Outside academia, Cesare spends much time with Purdue Fencing Club, of which he is assistant coach and advisor. In 2014 he obtained all three levels of amateur radio certifications and the first of his five scuba diving certifications. In 2016 he obtained his Private Pilot License, and in 2018 his instrument rating. Most recently he earned a Wilderness First Responder and a Rescue Diver certification. In 2018, he served as crew geologist in crew 186 at the Mars Desert Research Station and in 2019 he served as commander of crew 202.

Crew Scientist and Greenhab Officer
Dr. Jonathan R. Buzan attended the University of California Santa Cruz for his bachelor's degree in planetary sciences. He pursued a Masters and PhD at Purdue University in atmospheric physics and planetary habitability. While attending graduate school, he was accepted into the Advanced Study Program and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Jonathan is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Crew Engineer
Luz Maria (LuzMa) Agudelo Urrego is a s a PhD student in Civil Engineering at Purdue University. She did her undergrad in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. She holds a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on computational engineering and mechanics of materials. Her current research is focused on Moon lava tubes and the physics and mechanics of Earth materials.

Health and Safety Officer
Shefali Rana graduated from Purdue with a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering in 2018. She is currently a Reliability engineer working on on-highway applications for Cummins Emissions Solutions. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University. She has interest in reliability, durability, human factors, human-systems integration and interaction. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places and learning about different cultures and perspectives.

Crew Geologist
Pat Pesa is from a small town in Massachusetts and is a senior dual majoring in Astronautical Engineering and Planetary Science at Purdue University. He wants to pursue graduate school next Fall, to focus on the development of instrumentation that will progress the field of Space Exploration. At MDRS he hopes to test non-intrusive methods of testing sub-surface rock strength and believes this will be a crucial element of Humanity's future aspirations of colonizing Mars. Outside of academics Pat is deeply passionate about educational outreach and community development. He frequently spends his Saturdays waking up at 6am to go to disadvantaged neighborhoods and builds with Habitat for Humanity, or travels to local schools and museums to teach STEM activities with the Purdue Space Day organization.

Crew Journalist
Benjamin (Ben) Durkee is a junior at the Purdue University School of Aeronautics & Astronautics. He hopes to pursue a concentration in astrodynamics while still obtaining a comprehensive knowledge of other aerospace disciplines. At the same time, he is earning a minor in Organizational Leadership. Outside of academics, he is a jazz pianist and a marching bass drummer. He also enjoys rock climbing, drone racing, and scuba diving

Commander, MDRS 218

GreenHab Report – December 21st


Crew 218 GreenHab Report 21-DEC-19

Crew GreenHab Officer: Dr. Jonathan R. Buzan

Environmental control: Heating.

Shade cloth (40% and 30%) on.

Average temperature: — single reading of 18°C; 20% humidity

Hours of supplemental light: Light system 7PM-12AM

Daily water usage for crops: 10 Gal.

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes: N/A

Water in Blue Tank – ~140 Gal.

Time(s) of watering for crops: 7:30 PM


Change to crops: None.


1st sprouts: N/A

Harvest: None

Support/supplies requested: N/A.

Operations Report – December 21st


Crew 218 Operations Report 21-Dec-19

SOL: 0
Name of person filing report: Luz Maria Agudelo Urrego
Non-nominal systems: NA
Generator: run
Hours run: 6
From what time this morning: 0100
To what time this morning: 0700
List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: N/A
Solar— SOC % (Before the generator is run at night: 70 %
Diesel Reading – 90
Station Propane Reading – 85
Ethanol Free Gasoline: N/A
Water (loft tank) (gal): 25
Water Meter (units): 0146907.3
Water (static tank) (gal): 400
Static to Loft Pump used – No
Water in Green Hab (gal): 150
Water in Science Dome (gal): 0
Toilet tank emptied: No
Deimos rover used: Still in the workshop
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Spirit rover used: Nominal
Beginning charge: (Before EVA):
Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before recharging):
Currently charging: Yes
Opportunity rover used: Still in the workshop
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Curiosity rover used: Nominal
Beginning charge:
Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before charging):
Currently charging: Yes
Notes on rovers: Opportunity and Deimos off-site for maintenance.
ATV’s Used: (Honda, 300, 350.1, 350.2, 350.3): No
Reason for use: N/A
Oil Added? No
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 0
Notes on ATVs: Operated for maintenance
HabCar used and why, where? Twice to get water and to the storage room
CrewCar used and why, where? Picking Crew MDRS 218 from Grand Junction
General notes and comments:
Summary of internet: Nominal
Summary of suits and radios: Nominal
Summary of Hab operations: First day of crew MDRS 218, basic training in major systems
Summary of GreenHab operations: routine watering.
Summary of Science Dome operations:
Summary of RAM operations:
Summary of any observatory issues: NA
Summary of health and safety issues: NA
Questions, concerns, and requests to Mission Support: NA

Luz Ma

Commander Report – December 21st


There is no denying it, I cannot resist the call of Mars. And until we will reach the red planet, I cannot resist the call of a good analog mission.
So for the third time I have the pleasure of being hosted by The Mars Society at the Mars Desert Research Station. Crew 218, "The Next Giant Leap", composed entirely of students and alumni of Purdue University, is getting ready to begin their two-week analog mission. As commander and only veteran, I feel a mix of emotions: proud of my crew and happy of being able to support them throughout the mission while they test themselves like I did two years ago; conscious of many aspects of the mission and of all the responsibility I carry; curious to experience a rotation which will cover not only New Year's Day (as in the last two years I participated) but also Christmas away from our family and friends; interested in the development and outcome of our many research projects.
The eyes and the heart never get tired of the landscape surrounding us, those rocks and clays that we will walk upon and work amidst during our EVAs. It is incredible to be here again! Here is to another successful mission!
Boiler up.

Commander, crew 218 

Sol Summary – December 21st


Crew 218 Sol Summary Report 21-DEC-2019

Sol: 0

Summary Title: The Final Approach

Author's name: Cesare Guariniello

Mission Status: everything is great!

Sol Activity Summary: our approach trajectory is getting us closer and closer to Mars. After the final review of procedures, tomorrow we will have our first Sol on Mars. Today we reached the habitat that will be our home for the next two weeks and began familiarizing with it and learning about GreenHab operations. The crew is a little tired from the long travel, yet excited about the adventure ahead. After arriving at MDRS, we took a quiz that tested our theoretical knowledge of safety and operational rules, before filling half of the water tank for our rotation. The evening ended with the traditional crew dinner at Stan's before our daily communication window.

Look ahead plan: tomorrow we will complete our training, with operations, EVA, flight suits, and mission initial briefing.

Anomalies in work: the lack of an outgoing crew required us to adapt to the situation with the help of the assistant program directors. No anomalies though

Weather: cloudy, around 34 degrees

Crew physical status: healthy and recovering from travel

EVA: none

Reports to be filed: sol summary, commander report, operations report, greenhab report

Support Requested: none

Commander, MDRS 218 
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