Marc Levesque: Crew Commander (United States)
Marc served as Crew Commander for MDRS 216 and 265, continuing his lifelong interest in space exploration. His previous space-analog experience was as a member of a winter-over crew at the U.S. South Pole Station in Antarctica where he coordinated logistics during his year-long stay. He later provided science support at McMurdo Station for two austral summers. An avid hiker and climber for decades, he currently serves as a Search and Rescue Incident Commander for New Mexico State Police, managing missions for lost, stranded, and injured individuals in remote locations. He is also a licensed amateur radio operator and was a certified Wilderness First Responder, EMS First Responder, and volunteer firefighter for many years. Prior to his retirement, Marc was a self-employed professional in geographic information systems (GIS), working on local, state, and federal projects. A lifelong learner, educator, and trainer, he is an adjunct faculty member at Western New Mexico University and holds MS and BA degrees in the education field.
Cesare Guariniello, PhD: Executive Officer/Chief Scientist (United States/Italy)
Cesare 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 architecting to space applications, cybersecurity, and defense and includes projects with NASA, the US DoD, and the US Navy. Cesare recently expanded his research in the field of Earth Sciences, where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Planetary Geology. He is a senior member of IEEE and AIAA and a member of INCOSE. Outside work, Cesare enjoys a wide variety of activities. He represented Purdue University in various fencing collegiate tournaments and served as coach of Purdue Fencing Club. He is a licensed amateur radio operator, a private airplane pilot, a sailboat racer, and holds five scuba diving certifications. In 2017, he began participating in analog missions at MDRS, where he spent four missions with roles including Crew Geologist, Crew Astronomer, Executive Officer, Health and Safety Officer, and Commander.
Sergii Iakymov: Crew Engineer/Health and Safety Officer (Ukraine)
Sergiiis a professional aerospace engineer and space enthusiast and currently serves as Assistant Director of the Mars Desert Research Station. He has a lifelong dream to become an astronaut and join human efforts to explore and colonize space. To this end, he was one of the MarsOne 100 candidates selected to colonize planet Mars. As a professional, he has experience in design, manufacturing, and project management, supporting many projects including an Internet satellite constellation. He is also a passionate explorer of the world as a hiker, runner, swimmer, adventurer, astrophotographer, and certified scuba diver. Sergii holds a Master’s degree in Avionics and Bachelor’s degree in Aviation and Astronautics.
Helen Eifert: Crew Geologist (United States)
Helen Eifert is a PhD candidate in planetary science at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and expects to complete her degree in 2024. She holds a B.S. in geology from St. Lawrence University. Drawing from her field experience in undergraduate, Helen now studies water shaped surfaces of Mars through field analogs in Antarctica, Iceland, Mexico, and the U.S. desert Southwest. She combines field work with a remote sensing skillset developed throughout graduate school and internships with NASA and the USGS. Outside of research, Helen is a professional athlete in Ultimate Frisbee and has won gold with the U24 USA National Team in 2019. She founded the first professional Ultimate team in the state of Arizona in 2020, The Arizona Sidewinders, and helped start the Western Ultimate League where they compete. She competes in strongman and powerlifting competitions and is an avid outdoors person, ski instructor, and outdoor guide. She loves puzzles, board games, and her two dogs, Odo and Dax.
Alicyn Grete: Crew Biologist/Crew Journalist/GreenHab Officer (United States)
Originally from Niceville FL, Alicyn is a cadet at the United States Military Academy studying Life Science. After graduation from West Point, she will attend medical school and become an Army physician. At West Point, Alicyn plays Division 1 softball, leads a Bible study through Officers Christian Fellowship, and volunteers with the tutoring program. Alicyn is pursuing a career in Army medicine to implement research discoveries in austere environments. As a 2020 Stamps scholar, Alicyn has researched the medical applications of 3D bioprinting and helped develop an affordable bubble BPAP respiratory device for use in rural Africa. She is currently conducting research with Medical Makers to test the effectiveness of an offline training module and 3D-printed bone model to teach people to conduct emergency tibial surgery in austere environments, such as during a deep space mission. Alicyn intends to continue her research in austere medicine to provide the most-needed care to the areas of greatest need.
Andres Käosaar: Crew Researcher (Estonia)
Andres Käosaar is a Doctoral Student in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Central Florida. He holds a BA and MA in Psychology from the University of Tartu, Estonia, EU. His research focuses on team dynamics in Isolated, Confined, and Extreme (ICE) environments, with the main interest in astronaut and polar teams. His goal is to support the human space exploration endeavor by helping to understand the teamwork-related and psychological hurdles associated with long-duration space exploration missions. Outside of his research, he can be found enjoying the outdoors through rock climbing, surfing, mountaineering, or other activities that allow a close connection with nature.