End Mission Research Report – March 15th

[category science-report]

Name of person filing report: Yves Bejach

Crew293 has completed their one-month-long rotation in the MDRS, conducting experiments while simulating life on Mars. We have done everything we could to make this simulation as accurate and relevant as possible. The current report aims to give the reader an understanding of what has been achieved.
This report is organized as follows:
– Overview of all the experiments conducted during our mission, as found in the Mission Plan sent on Sol1, reminded here for clarity, and updated with the experiments’ final status.

Two experiments from the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) have been performed at the MDRS for several years already. We are planning to gather additional data for this season as well. These activities will require EVAs.
· LOAC (Light Optical Aerosol Counter): LOAC is an optical aerosol counter, measuring the concentrations of different particles in the air and classifying them by size.
Related EVAs: Two EVAs planned for the first week to install the device. Then, every two days, the batteries will have to be changed and the data will have to be collected. The latter procedures can be part of other EVAs. One final EVA conducted SOL26 to retrieve all the instruments.
External points of contact: Jean-Pierre Lebreton and Jean-Baptiste Renard, CNRS.
Point of contact within the crew: Lea Bourgély, Leo Tokaryev.
· Mega-Ares: Mega-Ares is a sensor precisely measuring the electric field and the conductivity of the air. It is the little brother of Micro-Ares, the only payload of the Schiaparelli lander (ExoMars 2016). This year we also installed a wind-mill that will give us aditionnal data.
Related EVAs: Same as LOAC.
External points of contact: Jean-Pierre Lebreton and Jean-Baptiste Renard, CNRS.
Point of contact within the crew: Lea Bourgely, Leo Tokaryev.
Status: The instruments have been installed north of the Station, between the Hab and Marble Ritual. They have been collecting data since then. These data are retrieved every two days or so, when we change the batteries that power them. Data samples were regularly sent to the PI for reviewing. The instruments worked properly for most of the mission, gathering atmospheric information that will be sent to the PI when we return to Earth.

Technology demonstrations are planned, one of them being the continuation of the two last missions of ISAE-Supaero (Crew 263 and 275). They are based on technologies developed by the French Space Agency (CNES) and its health subsidiary (MEDES).
· AI4U: AI4U is an AI tool designed to help and assist astronauts in their daily tasks (environmental measurements, voice recognition). The aim is to test this AI assistant in real or close-to-real scenarios.
Related EVAs: None.
External points of contact: Gregory Navarro and Laure Boyer, CNES.
Point of contact within the crew: Mathurin Franck.
Status: The first week was dedicated to the setup and troubleshoot of the software. Crew293 tested it out during Week2 and Week3. All raw data has been sent to the PI at the end of Week3 and a more detailed report will be sent after the mission.
· Echofinder: Onboard the ISS, ultrasound scanners are teleoperated by trained specialists. As we travel further away from Earth, communication delays will increase and teleoperated devices will no longer be usable. The goal of Echofinder is to enable autonomous ultrasound acquisition sessions without any knowledge in medicine and any communication link with an experienced sonographer. The Echofinder tool uses augmented reality and an AI to help the operator capture usable imagery of the subject’s organs.
Related EVAs: None.
External point of contact: Aristée Thévenon, MEDES.
Point of contact within the crew: Yves Bejach.
Status: Acquisition sessions have started on Sol 2 and have been conducted approximately every two Sols. The crew member conducting the session is taking notes on everything that goes well or not with the software, and the setup and is taking ultrasound images that are to be analyzed to see if Echofinder is efficient. Although there were more and more technical difficulties, sessions continued to take place until Sol25. Data will be sent to the PI after our return with a detailed report and we’ll meet with them to discuss the results.
· Photogrammetry: Re-conducting an experiment started by last year’s crew (Crew 275) which aims to determine how a 3D map created thanks to drone photogrammetry could improve an EVA crew’s performance during an outing.
Related EVAs: Three EVAs per week, starting the second week. The first one’s goal is to create the 3D map and decide where to position checkpoints on a designated area (one area per week). For the 2nd and 3rd ones, the EVA team will go to each checkpoint, having prepared the EVA using the standard 2D and 3D map respectively.
External point of contact: Alice Chapiron, ISAE Supaero student (Crew275)
Point of contact within the crew: Yves Bejach
Status: Started on Sol8 with an EVA aiming to create a 3D map of the East flank of North Ridge. Once the map was successfully created, two teams went out on different EVAs to go through designated checkpoints as efficiently as possible, having prepared with the 3D map and a classic 2D map respectively. The same procedure has been done Week2 in Candor Chasma and Week4 in Kissing Camel Ridge. Data has started to be processed; they will be discussed with the PI when we return to Earth. A detailed report is also in preparation to be sent to SpaceshipFR and Parrot, that lend us the drone we used.
· Neuroergonomy: Experiment aiming to evaluate the importance of vision compared to other senses in our perception of space.
Related EVAs: None
External point of contact: Maelis Lefebvre, ISAE-Supaero
Point of contact within the crew: Leo Tokaryev
Status: Tests have been conducted every Thursday and Friday since the beginning of the mission. Data will be sent to the PI after our return to Earth.

Human factors
Human factors experiments are arguably the ones that benefit the more from taking place during an analog mission.
· Orbital Architecture: Measure of the stress of analog astronauts and of the influence of environmental parameters on the stress using Polar bands bracelets, sleep monitoring using Dreem headbands, questionnaires, evaluation of the position of the analog astronauts in the station, and environmental measurement (temperature, humidity, etc.).
Related EVAs: None.
External point of contact: Michail Magkos, KTH.
Point of contact within the crew: Lise Lefauconnier.
Status: The Crew has been conducting cognitive assessments regularly since the beginning of the mission. In parallel, we were carrying Polar bands that monitored our heart rate, and location tracking chips. All data will be sent to the PI after our return, with our daily activities performed and a sample of our Core Data (weight, oximetry, blood pressure…).
· MELiSSA:The MELiSSA project (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative) is a European projected led by the European Space Agency (ESA) aiming at developing a highly circular and regenerative life support system for space missions. The ALiSSE methodology (Advanced Life Support System Alternative) was developed as part of the project to provide an impartial evaluation tool of each technology system, including mass, energy and power, efficiency, crew time, crew risk, reliability, and durability. The proposed activity within the MELiSSA project focuses on the operational aspects of preparing recipes from higher plants and aims for a preliminary evaluation of the "crew time" criterion.
Related EVAs: None
External point of contact: Blandine Gorce, ESA
Point of contact within the crew: Mathurin Franck
Status: The Crew could try every planned recipe, with only the last one not possible because the resupply couldn’t provide everything that was needed. A detailed report has been written about every downfall and great things of each recipe as well as a global report. They will be sent to the PI after the mission.
· Trace Lab: The purpose of this research is to better understand the role that emotion and coping strategies have on team dynamics within ICE (Isolated, Confined, Extreme) teams. The findings from this study will aid in the understanding of the role of affect within teams operating in ICE conditions – something that has been highlighted as being important by researchers, Antarctic expeditioners, and astronauts. Experiment conducted in collaboration with Trace Lab, University of Florida.
Related EVAs: None
External point of contact: Andres Kaosaar
Point of contact within the crew: Marie Delaroche
Status: The Crew has been filling out daily and weekly questionnaires since the beginning of the mission and until the end. All questionnaires will be sent to the PI after the mission.
· AMI – Anomalies Monitoring Interface: Software allowing random anomalies to occur within the station to simulate problems that could happen in a real environment and see how we could react. The main goal is to improve the simulation.
Related EVAs: Potential emergency EVAs in case of depressurization. It is worth noting that such emergencies cannot be mistaken for real ones, as it is not problem that can occur within our earthly MDRS.
External point of contact: Quentin Royer, ISAE Supaero student (Crew275)
Point of contact within the crew: Marie Delaroche
Status: The beta version of AMI has been running since Week2, enabling the Crew to monitor the power distribution of the station and handle alarms and malfunctions. An emergency EVA occurred on Sol24 to repair the tunnel to the Science Dome that had been damaged by the wind, enabling us to test the interface all the while performing a meaningful action outside the station. The PI was in contact with the Crew by email throughout the mission, exchanging back and forth on upgrades. A detail report will be written and discussed to improve the software for future missions.
· Timepercept: Subjective time perception in confined environments, such as isolation or imprisonment, often leads to a distortion of time experience. The phenomenon is significant in understanding the psychological effects of confinement and has implications for mental health management in isolated or controlled settings like space missions or solitary confinement. Experiment conducted with the University of Krakow.
Related EVAs: None
External point of contact: Mateusz Daniol
Point of contact within the crew: Erin Pougheon
Status: The Crew has been conducting tests twice a day – in the morning and in the afternoon – since the first morning to the last evening of the rotation. Data will be sent to the PI, as well as the baseline data collected during the two weeks prior to the mission and the two weeks following the end of our rotation.
· Miss U: Technology demonstration aiming to see the impact on moral. Subjects will see videos of their close ones while facilitators stimulate their other senses to immerge the subject as most as possible in the situation.
Related EVAs: None
External point of contact: Cathline Smooth
Point of contact within the crew: Lea Bourgely
Status: Weekly questionnaires were filled since Week1. Beginning Week3, the subjects watched the videos recorded by their closed ones, filling questionnaires after each sessions as well. Data will be sent to the PI after the mission.

· Media: Several articles and interviews in French newspaper and on radio
· Scientific mediation: We, like all Supaero Crews that came before us, try to share our passion for space and science in general by engaging in intervention in middle and high school. This year, we developed with high-schoolers a 3-step project around growing food on Mars.
Related EVAs: One as early as possible to retrieve some martian soil in which to plant radish seeds.
External point of contact: None
Point of contact within the crew: Mathurin Franck
Status: The plantation of cress has been made early on; it grew for a while but then it died out. We tried again in the Science Dome this time, where it’s not as hot but it didn’t grow as well. Results were regularly shared with the students.

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