Mission Summary – April 28th

Crew 280 Mission Summary

The Crew

The Hypatia I crew is an interdisciplinary and multigenerational team composed of 9 women selected to participate in an analog mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) between 16-29 April, 2023. Their names and backgrounds are presented below.

  • Mariona Badenas-Agustí (Crew Commander & Crew Astronomer): Degree in Astrophysics from Yale University, a master’s degree in Astrophysics, Cosmology, and High Energy Physics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and a Ph.D candidate in Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She spends much of her free time giving educational lectures on the universe and space exploration.

  • Carla Conejo González (Crew Executive Officer & Crew Biologist): Degree in Human Biology by the Pompeu Fabra University, a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Industry by the same university, and a postgraduate’s degree in Science Communication by the University of Vic. Cofounder of the science-travel app Polaris. Former head of Science Programs at the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera.

  • Dr. Ariadna Farrés Basiana (Crew Scientist & Health and Safety Officer): Specialist in astrodynamics, celestial mechanics and solar sails at the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA (USA). She has participated in the launch of the James Webb telescope. She holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Barcelona (Spain).

  • Dr. Neus Sabaté (Mission Specialist): ICREA researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics (IMB-CNM-CSIC). Co-founder of Fuelium, a spin-off company dedicated to the development of sustainable paper batteries for disposable portable devices. Her research has been recognized by institutions such as the European Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, she is working on the development of rapid and affordable molecular devices for the global detection of infectious diseases.

  • Dr. Laia Ribas (GreenHab Officer): Leader of the Repro-Immune Team research group at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), where she investigates interactions between the reproduction and immune system of fish. She is part of the Nüwa team, an award-winning project for the design of a city for 1M inhabitants on Mars. She has a PhD in biology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

  • Cesca Cufí Prat (Crew Engineer): Aerospace engineer at Airbus Defence & Space and specialist in orbital control systems. Her work focuses on the control of high-precision instruments for Earth observation. Passionate about mountaineering, with a good command of risk management and survival techniques in extreme environments.

  • Núria Jar (Crew Journalist): Science and health journalist with 15 years of experience in some of the most important media outlets in Catalonia and Spain, such as Catalunya Ràdio, TV3, La Vanguardia, Rac1, El País, Muy Interesante, and Revista 5W. She is the author of the podcast audio series “Human Condition” and “The Female Scientists of COVID”.

  • Anna Bach (Back-up Crew Scientist & Artist in Residence): Data analyst, mathematician, and computer scientist. In addition, she is the creator and illustrator of comic strips on her profile Annet Planet, where she has more than 40,000 followers.

  • Helena Arias (Back-up Crew Engineer): Undergraduate student majoring in mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and physics at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the National University of Distance Education. She is also an engineering intern at the Alba Synchrotron as well as an Olympic shooting elite athlete.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Some of the songs played through the radios for the astronauts 5-minutes waiting to go outside for an extravehicular activity (EVA) in the airlock: Rocket Man (Elton John), Starman (David Bowie) Flowers (Miley Cyrus), Cold Heart (Elton John & Dua Lipa), Surfin’ USA ( Beach Boys), Desaparecido (Manu Chao), No hi ha camí (Sopa de Cabra), Ladies Night (Kool & The Gang), My Girl (Dafunkis).

  • Three showers per person in 12 SOLs, but daily personal hygiene.

  • Seven homemade breads and 25 moka express pots done by the end of SOL 12.

  • Favorite dehydrated food: Cheesy Broccoli Soup Mix from Augason Farms.

  • An average of 6 hours of sleep every day.

  • 1.19 gallons (4.5 liters) of pee recollected from the crew members for the Martian batteries experiments.

  • Two star nights in the Musk Telescope & three dancing party nights, two of them in the lower deck.

  • Two piñata’s: one astronaut and one shiny star (SOL 5 & SOL 11).

  • Two small mice were set free from a mouse trap that had been set in the GreenHab (SOL 8 & SOL 11).

  • Northern Lights were seen from the Mars Research Desert Station (MDRS) in the night sky (SOL 7).

  • The Crew Commander completed another orbit around the Earth, but from Mars (SOL 11).


Daily Life at the MDRS

The Hypatia I crew tracked their daily SOL on Mars, so there is much information about their water consumption, the GreenHab harvest and the numbers of extravehicular activities (EVA).

Operations summary

The Mission Specialist Neus Sabaté and the Crew Engineer Cesca Cufí were in charge of the Operations Reports. One of the data that surprises the most is the water consumption, far from the water consumption on Earth.

Evolution of water consumption

During the first 3 SOLs water tank was being filled partially by Mission Support. This made impossible to calculate water consumption. Looking at the water consumption rate from SOL 4 to SOL 11, we have extrapolated the water consumption of SOL 1-3.

Water Consumption [gallons]

Initial Water

166 gal (Estimated 524 gal)

Water Use

280 gal

Average daily consumption per person

3.55 gal

Green-hab Summary

The GreenHab Officer Laia Ribas was responsible for watering all the plants three times per day. She took care of them to provide fresh vegetables for the crew. The total harvest is summarized below:


Weight (g)









Lemon Balm




Red cherry tomatoes


Yellow cherry tomatoes






Jazz mix








Red onions


Salad mix sprouts


Daily temperatures

SOL 11 was the hottest day during the mission, with the temperature reaching 98.6 degrees Fahrenhet (37 degrees Celsius).

Future prospects

As the Hypatia I crew concludes its mission to the MDRS, the Hypatia Mars Association successfully achieves one of its main goals: conducting high-quality space-related research in a Martian simulated environment as an instrument for promoting science vocations among the young. Our hopes are that the Hypatia I team becomes the first of many crews to travel to “Mars” to inspire future generations of women in STEM. If given the opportunity, we hope to be back to the MDRS in 2025, thus passing the torch to a brand-new Hypatia II crew.


The Hypatia I mission is possible with the financial support of the following institutions and private companies:

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