Mission Summary – Crew 190


It’s been twelve SOLs that Crew 190 landed on Mars. They rapidly settled down in the Hab and got to work. Quickly they learned to live with each other. A bit formally, we distinguish in this report five main activities that had been shared and managed during the time living in the station (see Figure 1): scientific work, team management, housework, EVAs and social activities.


Scientific challenge was the main motivation of our stay at the MDRS. On a typical daily schedule, it usually primes on the rest of the activities. In this section, we provide a summary of the objectives and outcomes amongst the several experiments that were initially planned by the crew. Here we briefly present our different experiments.

Psychological and emotional aspects are paramount in this kind of mission. Martin Roumain, the Health and Safety Officer and biomedical researcher, evaluated the impact of confinement by monitoring short-term memory and reflexes throughout the mission. He also studied the accelerated degradation of drugs by the Martian environment using a spectrophotometer (Figure 2). This device has also been used by Maximilien Richald, chemist and Crew Commander of this mission. Maximilien focused on the chemical profile of Martian soil in view of an eventual use in agriculture. Food self-sufficiency being essential for long duration space missions, Mario Sundic, botanist and GreenHab Officer, has designed a vertical hydroponic system, reducing the water needs thanks to this closed circuit. Frédéric Peyrusson, Crew Biologist, tested the benefits of hydrogels on plants growth. Moreover, he studied the ability of known bacteria to resist to a harsh environment and figured out the biocompatibility of terrestrial life on Mars. Our second Biologist, Ariane Sablon (Figure 2), isolated fermentating bacteria from human saliva in view of making possible the preparation of sourdough bread in situ. Bastien Baix, the Crew Engineer, created a self-made 3D-map of the station and its surroundings using an aerial drone. Our physicist and Crew Astronomer Sophie Wuyckens, also contributed to terrain analysis by setting up a method based on cosmic radiations measurements (Figure 3). She was also in charge of the Musk Observatory. All these experiments needed to be perfectly coordinated. That was the role of Michael Saint-Guillain, the computer scientist and Executive Officer, who designed an algorithm that helped the scheduling of the various experiments conducted by the crew members.

Figure 3: Sophie Wuyckens working on her muon detector, inside the RAM module.

Besides the experiments, extravehicular activities (EVAs) required a significant amount of time. Of critical importance for some experiments, the EVAs also revealed a positive impact on the mental of the entire team and unique opportunities to contemplate the scenic martian landscape.


Even though we stayed only a couple of weeks, such a mission requires sound organisation and systematical rescheduling. At the center of our eight people crew, the commandant Maximilien Richald had the hard responsibility of managing the entire team in a holistic way, dealing with all dimensions of the mission : experiments, housework, social behavior… Which had to be discussed during daily team meeting (Figure 4).

Coordination of the scientific operations (including EVAs, manipulations in the ScienceDome, solar observations, homework) had been closely monitored by Michael Saint-Guillain. At the end of each day, just before the CapCom, the scientific outcomes were used as input to the scheduling algorithm which was then used to recompute a schedule for the rest of the mission.


As part of a large team enclosed in a quite small living space, we all recognized the critical importance of well-balanced houseworking. The time required for meal preparation should not be underestimated, as we are cooking with unusual freeze-dried ingredients, which, by the way, did not prevent us from cooking some masterpieces (Figure 5) !



Last but not least, it is worth to mention that social activities definititly contributed to the success of the mission. Even with the best team composition, maintaining a good mood is not trivial and has a significant impact on the global outcomes of the mission. Fortunately, the Mars Society staffed the MDRS with a few interesting games, as the one we played on Figure 6 (left). On the right in Figure 6, we even observe a singular birthday event, quite uncommon on Mars !

Crew 189 Final Mission Summary

MDRS Crew 189: Team ISAE-Supaero

Mission Summary Report March 9, 2018

1)   Introduction

a-     MDRS 189 mission origins


Crew Member Country MDRS Role
Victoria Da-Poian France Commander
Louis Mangin France Commander
Jérémy Auclair France Greenhab Officer
Benoit Floquet France Astronomer
Laurent Bizien France Health & Safety Officer
Gabriel Payen France Crew engineer
Alexandre Martin France Crew journalist


Team ISAE Supaero has begun their fourth rotation at MDRS, comprised of three weeks of intense research, team building and simulation training on Mars. Our team is composed of seven highly motivated scientists, engineers from the French aerospace engineering school ISAE Supaero.

b-    Crew objectives

  • To productively function as an interdisciplinary team of aerospace engineering students
  • To gain team and individual experience in a Mars analog simulation
  • To learn from the team’s collective background and experiences
  • To produce a scientifically publishable report, including experimental results
  • To promote awareness and passion for space exploration via education and outreach
  • To conduct engaging experiments that will be shared on the team website
  • To share with the public how research is conducted in an analog situation
  • To study crew group dynamics and teamwork of a Mars analog mission
  • To obtain scientific results for our sponsors (human factors researchers, CNRS researchers)
  • To improve the EVA performances during our simulation
  • To fix and clean materials in the station


2)   Crew 189

a-     Crew bios

Victoria Da-Poian will be the Commander of the MDRS-189 mission. She is one of the two veterans taking part in the new mission as she was member of the MDRS-175 crew as the biologist. She is an active member of ISAE Supaero space events as she organized the SpaceUp France in 2017 and took part in different space related associations (space pole and cubesat club). She was also vice-president of the « Junior Enterprise » of ISAE-Supaero (Supaero Junior Council) and Ambassador of the social and cultural expansion of our school (OSE ISAE Supaero). After her 2017 mission, she completed an internship at the Astronaut Training Center in Cologne (ESA / EAC), and is currently doing an academic exchange in Moscow. In her free time, she enjoys practicing piano, violin and climbing.


Louis Mangin will be with Victoria the commander of the MDRS 189 mission. He was already part of the crew 175 as the journalist. He is currently working as a trainee in Lyon in a start-up that uses the latest AI technologies to minimize the electrical consumption of buildings. When he was living on the campus, he was a rower in the ISAE-Supaero rowing team, organizer of the Supaerowing student regatta, and a tutor with the social association OSE ISAE Supaero. In his free time, he is also a runner, a mountain-climber, a cinephile or a poker player.


Laurent Bizien will be the Health and Safety Officer of the MDRS-189 crew. Promotion 2019 of ISAE Supaero, he is the current treasurer of the school’s charitable association (Solid’aires). As a volunteer firefighter as a lifeguard on the beaches, he passed several first aid diplomas. He is a candidate for a semester at the Moscow State University and an internship at NASA. In his free time, he practices baseball, volleyball and skydiving.


Franco-American born in France, Jérémy Auclair will be the GreenHab Officer and the Biologist on board. Promotion 2019, he is an active member of the club, very invested for the smooth running of the next mission. Passionate about space and astrophysics from his young age, this mission is one more way to flourish in his formation. He plans to do an internship in North America in the field of aerospace. He is also an active member of the school’s associative life, and various clubs with varied backgrounds. During his free time, he enjoys practicing sports, rowing and volleyball, as well as getting lost in reading and taking pictures. He will also be the photographer of the mission.


Promotion 2019, Benoit Floquet will be the astronomer of the MDRS-189 mission and is the current treasurer of the club M.A.R.S. Passionate about the space domain for many years, he is also involved in our school’s associative life. He is responsible of the Solidarity pole of the Students Association and takes part into the entrepreneurship (ISAE Supaero Entrepreneurs) association in the communication pole. Also a sportsman, he has been practicing gymnastics for 15 years and skydiving. He applies for a Master in Innovation at the French famous school « Polytechnique ».


Promotion 2019, Gabriel Payen will be the on-board flight engineer of the MDRS-189 mission and is the current president of the M.A.R.S club. He is also member of the student association as event manager. He has been a sportsman for several years and has been focusing for one year on mountain sports, such as climbing, mountaineering and skiing. He began this year a three- years research formation in applied mathematics. He applies for his gap year for the UNIS University located in an Arctic circle archipelago where he would study geophysics for six months.



Alexandre Martin, also promotion 2019 will be the journalist during the MDRS-189 mission. He is a member of the ISAE Student Association as chairman of the communication department. He shares his free time between the football club, of which he is the president and captain, tennis but also kite surfing club. He is fascinated by space, mathematics and economics. He is currently applying for a master’s degree in financial mathematics in the United Kingdom.

b-    Mission preparation and organization

Our advantage is to have two crewmembers who took already part in the simulation last year. Louis and I, were the journalist and the biologist of the Crew 175. This year, we will lead the new team (crew 189). For one year, we are working on our mission, teaching and giving our best advice to the new crewmembers. Our knowledge and experiment are going to benefit the crew in order to best perform during our Martian mission.


3)   Experiments: descriptions and results

  • Physical Training (Louis Mangin): Every morning, we performed physical exercises in order to stay in shape during our 3-weeks simulation and to analyze our performances. We had a sport session before breakfast every day. It was designed to be quick, not to use too much energy or tire us and to last around 30 minutes max. It was intense enough to dissipate the lack of exercise we had. Most of us are athletic so that being locked-on would have been difficult without exercising. The program was split in 7 exercises using various muscles and done to push up cardio. I measured the number of repetitions we did during one minute for each exercise. Everybody progressed during the mission to reach good maximums in the end. The fact that we were keeping tracks of our performance and that we did it together created a good emulation amongst the crewmembers, helped building team cohesion and detect individual fatigue.


  • Nutrition energetic (Alexandre Martin): During our 3-weeks experiments, we monitored our weight (fat percentage, water percentage, bone percentage, estimation of the calories consumption). This experiment aimed to ensure the good nutritional health of each member of the crew. I calculated the nutrient intake and measured the weight, muscular mass, fat mass and hydration rate of each member of the crew in order to provide a daily follow-up. I could observe that our caloric intakes were reduced at the time of the mission, as we are less active and are doing less sport. Almost each member of the crew has lost weight, up to 2.8 kilograms. This loss of weight has shown to result both from an important loose of fat and from a small loose of muscle: crew members have lost up to 1.8 kilograms of fat mass, and up to 0.8 kilograms of muscle. However, the athletic performances of the members of the crew have been enhanced in the meantime, mainly due to Louis’ daily imposed sport session.


  • Teamwork (Gabriel Payen): The game tasks a player with disarming procedurally generated bombs with the assistance of other players who are reading a list of instructions. This experiment has been designed with a researcher and a fellow student from ISAE-Supaero to study decision making and leadership abilities. Almost every day, teams of three had to play “Keep Talking and nobody explodes”, a computer game where one must defuse a bomb with the help of his teammates’ instructions. Subjects and conversations were recorded, and the deminer’s sight was followed with an eye-tracker. I simultaneously observed them to take notes about their behaviour and ask them to fill personality surveys.

Now, the data will be analysed at ISAE-Supaero.


  • Rover Piloting (human factors, Jérémy Auclair): The goal of this experiment was to see how the subjects changed their performances on a given task (driving a small Lego rover on a given track). What was mainly studied was how their decision taking and the precision of their driving changed during the mission according to how they felt (without any feedback on their scores). It was complicated at first because I had quite a few issues with the equipment and software (batteries, eye-tracker and SSH connection software). But once those issues were solved the experiment ran smoothly. I will give the data I gathered to the doctorates that gave me this task for further analysis, but I saw that everybody increased their precision during the three weeks.


  • Emergency Procedures (Laurent Bizien): Future Martian crews will have to be trained and prepared for every injury case they’ll encounter. Yet, because of the extreme conditions of Mars, emergency procedures developed on Earth will have to be adapted. Thus, after a few lessons, we trained to emergency situations in the Hab surroundings: how to transport a wounded crew member, how to put him/her in the Rover… The lack of mobility didn’t make the thing easy. Afterwards, I taught the other crew members how to use the rescue equipment present in the station. The first aid explained, we were able to apply the techniques in EVA. Twice, at the end of an EVA, a member of the crew had to simulate an injury and the other had to deal with it and to transport him/her up to the Hab. Once in the station, people remaining in the Hab had to pursue the cares. The experiment resulted in a good rhythm for everybody and development of good reflexes.


  • EVA Logger (Louis Mangin): I wanted to deploy a system to allow us to keep a precise history of an EVA. This system I developed used a smartphone and an Android App I created to be as simple as possible for the user. The smartphone was to be used only as a button, touched periodically by the EVA leader. The user would browse an action tree, with nodes spelled by the app in a headset. To select the wanted one, he will simply touch the screen anywhere while the App will keep looping on categories. I struggled a lot with the touchscreen use in the outside, and finally managed to use it fixing the phone with tape, and a special pen, attached to a finger. I had results for the last week, allowing us to have precise debriefings of EVAs with timed events.


  • EVA efficiency (Victoria Da-Poian): The goal of the experiment was to assess, for each of our EVAs, this index in order to understand the importance of each task (preparation and debrief). This index is used in the document “Exploration Systems Mission Directorate – Lunar Architecture Update” – AIAA Space 2007 September 20, 2007, chapter “Extravehicular Activities (EVA) and Pressurized Rovers, Mike Gernhardt from NASA Johnson Space Centre analyses EVAs efficiency. The WEI is the ratio between EVA duration and the total duration of preparatory activities and activities post EVA. We managed to have our index between 2 and 5 depending on the EVA preparation and previous debrief. It seems to be consistent with the results of the crew 43 lead by Alain Souchier.


  • LOAC (Jérémy Auclair): The LOAC instrument (Light Optical Aerosol Counter) Measures aerosol (solid and liquid particles between 0.1 µm and 50 µm) concentration in ambient air and gives an indication of the typology of the measured particles (mineral, salt, carbon, liquid, etc.). Bringing and installing this instrument was more challenging than I thought; I built a power system before leaving France, it broke on SOL 2 because of a faulty solder. I broke again on SOL 3 and SOL 15, but I managed to fix it quickly each time. Concerning the power supply, I thought the car battery we bought would last longer than it did, its autonomy decreased after each charge. However, the instrument worked perfectly and gathered very interesting raw data, the French scientist who gave me this instrument is waiting impatiently to receive all the collected data to start processing and analyzing it further.


  • Localization (Benoit Floquet): My experiment consists in a navigation device. It is composed of 3 components: a GPS ship, an electronic card and a LCD screen. It aims at helping members of an EVA to find their way, for example when they get back to the Hab. First, with the GPS and the electronic card I can compute my position, the distance and direction to the nearest Point of Interest. Then I can predict my direction of movement with a linear regression over a few past positions. Finally, with these two directions, I can write on the screen an order to turn right or left with an angle so that we are aiming the Point of Interest. Overall, I can add some noise on the measure of position in order to determine how accurate a localization device should be in a Mars-like environment. The goal is to create such a device without the use of a GPS. During the simulation, I had few problems with the GPS ship so I couldn’t use it as much as I wanted.


  • MegaARES (Gabriel Payen): MegaARES (Mega Atmospheric Relaxation and Electric field Sensor) is an instrument developed by Grégoire Déprez and his team of researchers at LATMOS (Laboratoire atmosphères, milieux et observations spatiales), France. It can measure the electric field in favorable weather conditions. This instrument will probably land on Mars one day. Grégoire lent it to me to see if it operates correctly and to study coupled effect with Jeremy’s LOAC instrument (aerosol counter). My mission was to set it up during an EVA, maintain its power supply outside and gather data every week. Assembling it outside with our gloves and suits was tricky but very interesting: it took a 3-hour EVA. It was tiresome and required a good amount of teamwork. We also had to deal with batteries issues: they emptied quicker than expected and had to be changed every two or three days instead of every week. Fortunately, plugging an USB key to get the data and disassembling it at the end of the mission was much easier.

Now, the data and hardware will be sent back to Grégoire and his team for analysis.


  • Solar panels experiment (Laurent Bizien): Dust on Mars is a real issue. Due to the lack of gravity, it could limit the performances of future Martian solar panels by accumulating on them. Hence the idea of a solar panel dust cleaner. Not using water, it consists in a rotating microfiber brush going back and forth on the solar panel using a band. The rotation and travel speeds are controlled by an Arduino card and a dual motor controller. At the beginning of the simulation, I assembled all the elements on a support and did my first performance and stability tests. Because of the absence of feedback loop, the system wasn’t stable (the brush headed step by step towards one of the end of the guide shafts) and the solar panel wasn’t properly cleaned. I added stop points in order to guarantee the stability. We took the dust cleaner on EVAs on three occasions and each time, it cleared out dust pretty well and allowed the mobile phone plugged on the solar panel to charge.



  • Time analysis experiment (Victoria Da-Poian): My goal was to analyze the activities, their duration and our planning in order to see the evolution of the crew during our simulation and our efficiency depending on our activities.

Each day I asked my crewmates the time they spent doing 7 different activities (sleeping, personal, social (team, community, meals, free time spent together…) maintenance, inside operations (EVA or experimentation preparation, daily briefings, psychological tests, inside experiments), external operations (EVA), reporting). It has been really interesting to see the impact of the fatigue during the three weeks simulation depending on the role, the involvement, the simulation expectations…

  • Water monitoring: I monitored water consumption like during MDRS 175. The whole crew participated in and kept track of drinking, cooking water, flushes, showers and Greenhab usage. The main differences with MDRS 175 we can spot is that flushes are now very reasonable, as one flushes consumes roughly 8 times less with the new system. In the other hand, the Greenhab consumes way more than last year, where it was just restarted after it burned down. This term is now the second biggest one, after the remaining one, composed mostly of dish washing.


4)   MDRS 189 videos, photos, documentary

We would like to thank Laure Andrillon, independent journalist and TF1 team composed of Axel Monnier and Bertrand Guez, who both “played the game” and understood that our operations on the field are surely not yet at astronauts and agencies professional level but are also far more than amateur activities.


5)   Conclusions

In conclusion, we had many experiments related to the human factors and the EVAs efficiency. We analyzed the impact of the isolation and the confinement on our efficiency. This team was together thanks to our common dream of space exploration. After spending 2 years in our aerospace engineering school in France, our crew understands the importance of defining roles within a team and will learn to cope with high-stress situations in small living spaces. Completing a mission together at MDRS challenged us to improve our professional communication while expanding our friendships and our shared passion for exploration.

We consider our mission to be a success and we are happy of what we have done during our three-weeks simulation.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the MDRS Mission Support Team who have supported our crew every evening during the Comms window. Special thanks go to Shannon Rupert, Atila Meszaros, Scott Davis, Peter Detterline, Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society, The Musk Foundation and all the previous and next Crews.

Ad astra!


Victoria Da-Poian , Louis Mangin

Crew 189 Commanders (and really proud of this awesome crew)


Jérémy Auclair, Gabriel Payen, Benoit Floquet, Alexandre Martin, Laurent Bizien



Mission Summary – February 10th

MDRS Crew 188 Mission Summary
Team ISU on Mars
Mission Dates: 27 January – 10 February 2018

Commander: Dr. Ryan L. Kobrick, Canada/USA

Executive Officer: Renee Garifi, USA

Health & Safety Officer: Tatsunari Tomiyama, Japan
Crew Engineer: Zac Trolley, Canada
Crew Astronomer/GreenHab Officer: Julia DeMarines, USA

Artist in Residence/Crew Journalist: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, Australia

We are Team ISU. We are a highly motivated group of scientists, engineers, thinkers, creators and innovators from around the world who hold graduate degrees from the International Space University (ISU) Masters and Space Studies Programs. This distinguished university has provided all of us with an invaluable life experience that has shaped our collective careers in the current space industry. We share a passion for space research, engineering, the arts, mission design, operations, and exploration that unites us as a tightly bonded team of space adventurers.

Team ISU has closed out their third rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), comprised of two weeks of intense research, team building, and simulation training on Mars. Our expertise and experience in international, intercultural and interdisciplinary professional teams prepared us for the variety of unique mission challenges. For example, Crew 188 dealt extremely well despite adversities including stress and safety concerns. Our diverse backgrounds supported a unique problem-solving culture and aptitude for collaborating on a common goal. The first Mars settlement will undoubtedly be an international venture. The culture was an important part of our MDRS time as we shared meals, workouts, workshops, and videos between EVA’s. Publications and creative engagement are underway from our mission’s research projects. We conclude with a sense of gratitude, pride in our work and excitement for the future.

Overview of Team Goals

· Continue an annual partnership between participants from the International Space University and planetary analogue research stations.

· Productively function as an international and interdisciplinary team.

· Gain team and individual experience in a Mars analogue simulation.

· Learn from the team’s collective background and experiences.

· Experiment and gather data towards publications.

· Promote awareness and passion for space exploration via education and outreach.

· Share with the public how research is conducted in an analogue situation.

Summary of Research Experiments

1. Increasing Spaceflight Analogue Mission Fidelity by Standardization of Extravehicular Activity Metrics Tracking and Analysis

Analogue missions allow the flexibility of capturing many different operational data. This Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology Laboratory (S.U.I.T. Lab) project focused on capturing physical and biometric data from the 15 extravehicular activities (EVAs). Investigated EVA metrics included collecting GPS data (timestamps, waypoints, distance traversed), the “task” or EVA objectives, and biometrics (heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature, blood oximetry, and body acceleration). For consistency pilot data was collected with one crewmember, and future studies will build to full crew tracking. The investigation of human performance data with respect to workload expenditure will help identify energy limitations, thus maximizing explorers’ potential.

2. Remote Video Capture Analysis of Spacesuits for Spaceflight Analogue Expeditions

The crew successfully captured on video prescribed range of motion tasks for an unsuited subject, and the subject wearing two different types of simulated spacesuits used at MDRS. The crew reported on operational checklist improvements and sent data to the ERAU S.U.I.T. Lab. This approach derives how to communicate effective instructions to a remote crew, and then analyze simulated spacesuit performance. The MDRS Crew 188 collected the second set of data with the first videos provided by the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation (HI-SEAS) 2017 mission. Improvements from the MDRS 188 team were sent both the AMADEE-18 in Oman and the Mars Society Israel mission at the Makhtesh Ramon Crater, both occurring in February.

3. Dust Abrasion and Operations Investigation of Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) Gloves

Final Frontier Design (FFD) outer-layer Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) spacesuit gloves were worn on EVAs by one crewmember. The gloves were photographed before the mission and after every EVA to examine the abrasive wear for post-mission analysis. The gloves offered realistic dexterity limitations that would be expected in a pressured garment and outer layer.

4. Martian Dust Filter Tests

A new filtration unit from NASA Glenn Research Center was used to examine airlock dust contamination post EVAs. Measurements with an optical particle detector were taken five times encapsulating each EVA’s operations (pre- EVA before and after the crew entered, mid-EVA, and post-EVA before and after the crew entered). A variety of filters were changed on the filtration unit each test and a special vacuum filter was utilized when cleaning the airlock. All these test combined will look at particle size distribution and total load. Data collected from this research will further facilitate the mitigation of astronaut’s and habitat systems’ exposure to dust particles on the surface of celestial bodies.

5. In-situ testing of VEGGIE prototype plant growth hardware: Orbital Aquifer System for VEGGIE (OASYS)

We utilized the GreenHab facility to test a new prototype vegetation system invented by NASA KSC scientists for watering plants in reduced gravity environments. Lettuce and basil were selected as ideal demonstration crops for their quick germination times and ease of harvest. The newly built GreenHab provides controlled temperature, humidity, and light for a variety of vegetable crops growing throughout the field season. Due to limited time within the mission, the vegetable growth period was only 9 days. The OASYS system proved the effective germination of only one lettuce seedling from one of the three plant watering pillows due to an issue with the size of the pillows being larger than normal and the wicks not staying moist. Photos and data were sent to the principal investigators who rated this to be a positive test of the hardware.

6. Performing Astronautics

Artist-in-Residence Dr. Sarah Jane Pell’s MDRS Crew 188 research forms part of her Australia Council Fellowship project titled Performing Astronautics. The aim is to explore the bodily practice of navigation beyond Earth’s atmosphere as an experimental and emerging practice in human performance and expression at the advent of the commercial space era. Dr. Pell initiated EVA experiments, workshop activities, movement participation and reflective pursuits, promoting interdisciplinary exploration and Earth analogues to contribute a critical cultural and aesthetic suite of responses to the MDRS experience including:

1) Bending Horizons 360: human-environmental interactions on the Mars Analogue environment in 8K 360-degree Panorama and 3D Video data.

2) Bubbles on Mars a creative Imagineering experiment on phenomena of blowing bubbles on Earth, to transfer and adapt for a Mars sci-art activity.

3) Mars Olympiad: a series of speculative fiction performances designed and documented for a Virtual Reality or future immersive teaching and learning experience, and international outreach engagement coinciding with the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, to expand knowledge and imaginative capacity for human performance, and teamwork on Mars.

4) Super Blood Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse: 6K 360-degree Panorama Video of the Astronomical Phenomena from the Mars Desert Analogue Station.

5) Participation in research and interviews in support collaborations with a fellow crew on EVA spacesuit validation [in partnership with Final Frontier Design FFD], environmental interactions, science and engineering engagement, human factors and performance research, with local crews, future MDRS Crew participants, and global Analogue Crews.

As Crew 188 Journalist in Residence, Dr. Pell contributed an adaptation of Maslow’s human needs for future life on Mars, reported on public outreach activities and reflected on the Mars Society MDRS mission priorities Science, Simulation and Science (adding a little of space art and society) and sharing in the conversations and personalities shaping the shared human experience of life on a simulated Mars station.

Dr. Pell thanks the support of A/Prof David Barnes of the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform [MIVP] for the provision of an Insta360 Pro Camera; and Professor Brenton Dansie of the University of South Australia who generously supported Dr. Pell’s participation in MDRS Crew 188. Performing Astronautics is supported by the Australia Council: the Governments Arts Funding and Advisory Body.

7. Potential Human Activities to Improve Quality of Life on Mars

Tatsunari Tomiyama performed this Human Factors research project. Throughout this mission, the data collection has been completed 3 times and the detailed data performance must be completed later with statistical software tools. However, rough data analysis has been performed using tools in Microsoft Excel. The data analysis shows that personal hygiene will be strongly influenced for the quality of life during this simulation. Following to that, water and radio communication would also likely be influenced. Final details of the result will be analyzed later using computer software.

8. Project Stardust

This collaborative meteorological investigation of micrometeorite samples collected from field sites all over the world now includes samples taken from MDRS. We collected field samples from loose topsoil (<0.5 in) from hilltops surrounding the habitat, filtered, separated and imaged potential micrometeorites other spherules ranging in size from 50 µm to 2 mm, both extraterrestrial (iron ore-containing), terrestrial and anthropogenic that have fallen through the atmosphere and landed on Earth’s surface. Soil samples in a range of particle sizes were bagged and labeled for submission to the principal investigator for further analysis by scanning electron microscope, which we do not have access to here.

We are very excited to bring this project to MDRS because micrometeoroids contribute to the composition of regolith (planetary/lunar soil) on other bodies in the Solar System, not just Earth. Mars has an estimated annual micrometeoroid influx of between 2,700 and 59,000 t/yr. This contributes about 1 m of micrometeoritic content to the depth of the Martian regolith every billion years. These types of analyses on Earth help us understand how the solar system was formed as we venture out to explore it.

9. In-situ Chlorophyll Detection

Julia DeMarines, an astrobiologist, tested out three Chlorophyll detecting devices that are being prototyped by researchers from NASA Ames and Robotics Everywhere LLC (www.f3.to). These handheld Chlorophyll detectors can be operated in the field, indoors, and potentially underneath a Mars rover using chlofluorescence. The results were mixed but overall positive. Julia first tested them indoors using a variety of living and non-living samples collected in the field, in the Green Hab, and around the Hab. Once she was familiar with the interface, she was able to test these samples and get positive results from several leaf samples and negative results from green rocks and green plastic. She was also able to repeat results after resetting the devices. She was able to get a false positive using a green Sharpie marker and was also able to get false negatives on Sage Brush collected from in the field and tested in the science lab as well as Sage Brush measured in the field. Also in the field, she was not able to get a positive detection on a very green agave-like plant. Overall, the detectors are promising to use if the interface were a little more user-friendly and easier to see while in the field and while wearing gloves.

10. Mars-to-Mars Hangout: Connecting Mars Basecamps Across the Red Planet

The ERAU S.U.I.T. Lab created an opportunity for the MDRS Crew 188 to connect live via video conference with the AMADEE-18 analogue simulation simultaneously running a Mars research mission, located at the Kepler Station, Dhofar Region, Oman. The MDRS Crew 188 completed their Mars simulation by communicating in real time with a crew facing similar challenges, echoing an authentic multi-crew mission to Mars located at different base camps.


What brings this team together is our common dream of space exploration. With a vast collective experience of working in international teams, a skill fostered and developed by ISU, our crew understands the importance of defining roles within a team and have learned to cope with high-stress situations in small living spaces. Completing a mission together at MDRS has challenged us to improve our professional communication while expanding our friendships.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the MDRS Mission Support Team who have supported our crew every evening during the Comms window. Special thanks goes to Dr. Shannon Rupert, Kayundria “Kay” Hardiman Wolfe, Bernard Dubb, Veronica Brooks, Sylvain Burdot, Graeme Frear, Jennifer Holt, Nishat Tasnim, Peter Detterline, Chris Welch, Volker Damann, Barnaby Osborne, Geraldine Moser, Joshua Nelson, Michael Davies, Dr. Chris McKay, Matteo Borri from Robotics Everywhere LLC, Dr. John Deaton, Morgan Eudy, Heather Allaway, Anderson Wilder, Dr. Luke Roberson, The NASA-KSC VEGGIE Team, Juan Agui, the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Program, University of South Australia, Monash University, Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform, Australia Council, Blue Marble Space, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, Space Florida, Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society, The Musk Foundation, MDRS Crew 147 and 162 and our friends and families back home who have supported us during this two-week mission.

Ad Astra!
Crew 188

Mission Summary (Spanish) – Crew 187 – Team Latam II

Mars Desert Research Station

Mission Summary

Crew 187 – Team Latam II


Comandante/Astrónoma: Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo (Perú)

Oficial Ejecutivo: Atila Kahlil Meszaros Henostroza (Perú)

Ingeniero de Tripulación: Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Perú)

Oficial del Invernadero: Hernán David Mateus Jiménez (Colombia)

Científico de tripulación/Oficial AEV: Oscar Ivan Ojeda Ramirez (Colombia)

Oficial de Seguridad y Salud: Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho (México)

Periodista: Tania Maria Robles Hernandez (México)

Declaración de la Comandante


Tuve el honor de trabajar con una tripulación de gran talento, no solo a nivel profesional, sino también en lo personal. Nuestras raíces provienen de Perú, Colombia y México; pero en nuestros corazones llevamos la responsabilidad de representar a toda Latinoamérica, lo cual siempre haremos con nuestro mejor esfuerzo. Cada miembro de la tripulación fue clave para poder culminar con éxito la misión; fueron valiosas sus experiencias, conocimientos en ciencias e ingeniería, su alto compromiso por hacer la simulación lo más real posible, su trabajo en equipo y apoyo constante; siguiendo siempre la filosofía de “¡Todos para uno y uno para todos!”.

Cada día en Marte fue una gran aventura; celebramos un cumpleaños marciano, recargamos un tanque de diésel, vimos el sol, la luna, las constelaciones, entre otras maravillas del universo, fuimos los primeros exploradores de un cañón, y tuvimos el honor que toda tripulación desea tener, otorgar el nombre a un cañón y a una carretera, es así que el cañón El Dorado y la carretera Despacito – porque se tiene que ir lentamente por esa ruta por seguridad de cada tripulante – son ahora parte del mapa del MDRS, El Dorado es una antigua leyenda sobre una ciudad llena de oro que desafiaba a todos los exploradores que se atrevían a buscarla. Para nosotros llamarlo así refleja la curiosidad que nos despertó como nuevos exploradores de Marte y el deseo de dejar allí una marca latinoamericana.

Me siento orgullosa de cada miembro de esta tripulación, ya que a su corta edad han logrado grandes cosas con ese coraje y fuerza que caracteriza a todo latino. No importa que tan grande sea el reto y los obstáculos que cada uno tenga que vencer, estoy segura que con esfuerzo, coraje y dedicación lograrán hacerlo; así como vencimos todos juntos las adversidades que tuvimos en nuestra estancia en el MDRS. En estos fabulosos 15 días, cada uno ganó experiencia, adquirió nuevos conocimientos, amplió su manera de ver el universo, y aprendió de los demás. Más que ser parte de una tripulación, nosotros pasamos a ser parte de una familia … ¡una familia marciana!

La tripulación 187 se encuentra eternamente agradecida por el apoyo y la confianza brindada por The Mars Society, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Shannon Ruppert, Mission Support y todas aquellas personas e instituciones que creyeron en cada uno de nosotros.


Ad Astra,

Cynthia Fuertes Panizo

Comandante de la tripulación 187 – MDRS


Resumen de Actividades Extra Vehiculares


Las Actividades Extra Vehiculares (AEV) en la exploración espacial no son rutina y, con seguridad, en las primeras etapas de la exploración de Marte, seguirá siendo así. Cada AEV es diferente a la otra, no solo porque los objetivos cambian, también porque las circunstancias cambian. Uno de los aspectos más importantes de la simulación en el MDRS es la posibilidad de simular estas actividades y experimentar las primeras afirmaciones de primera mano. Realizar AEVs es una gran oportunidad para aprender y probarnos de forma física y psicológica. Ser capaces de probar nuestra capacidad de reacción ante lo inesperado, solucionar problemas que surgen de la nada, lidiar con el estrés, y ser capaces de regresar a casa cada día, a una taza de chocolate caliente, y estar listos al día siguiente para pasar de nuevo por lo mismo.

La tripulación 187 realizó un total de 15 AEVs, sin contar las frecuentes excursiones de nuestro ingeniero al generador. La mayoría de los destinos fueron sugeridos por la Directora Shannon, llevándonos a zonas previamente inexploradas del área del MDRS. Algunas de las AEVs eran de rutina, para gastar las baterías de los vehículos eléctricos, para extender su vida, 4 AEVs de este tipo se realizaron. Las otras AEVs nos permitieron probar los proyectos de los tripulantes. Las pruebas en general fueron exitosas, logrando la mayoría de los objetivos científicos. De igual forma, pudimos explorar lugares que no habían sido visitados antes, o en un largo periodo de tiempo, por tripulaciones anteriores. La mayoría de actividades ocurrieron sin ningún problema, pero es importante mencionar el hallazgo de las huellas de puma, así como el drenaje de la bateria del rover Deimos, que llevó al equipo a encontrar soluciones para llevar el vehículo y a ellos mismos a casa.

Oscar Ojeda

Oficial de AEV


Resumen del Invernadero

Al final, el Greenhab quedó tan hermoso como el comienzo. Durante la misión tuvimos que hacer algunos cambios en el interior para dar más espacio a la acuaponia y cuidar las plantas que estaban frente al ventilador que habían sido dañadas. Después de estas modificaciones, recibimos una lona de alta resistencia para colocarla debajo del revestimiento y proteger las plantas que están expuestas a la radiación solar. Durante las dos semanas, se desarrollaron 3 proyectos en el Greenhab, lo que involucró un montaje de la acuaponia, germinación de diferentes tipos de quinua en dos tipos de suelo, uno análogo a Marte y otro comercial. Además, se trabajó en la medición de evapotranspiración de un cultivo de quinua en suelo análogo marciano, los datos que se obtuvieron van a ser analizados para dar recomendaciones para el Greenhab y el proceso de riego.


David Mateus

Oficial del Invernadero


Resumen de las Operaciones de Ingeniería


Durante nuestra estadía en la MDRS se realizó una recarga del tanque de diésel por un total de 300 galones, los cuales permitieron alimentar al generador eléctrico, encargado de proveer energía al Hábitat y a todas las estructuras de la estación. Cabe resaltar que debido al problema de control de nivel de agua encima de los dormitorios, fabricamos con éxito una alarma con sensor de nivel de agua para ser alertados en el preciso momento en el que debía cerrarse la llave.

Así mismo, basándonos en el problema suscitado con uno de los Rovers durante un EVA de larga duración, implementamos un protocolo de seguridad en el que, desde ahora, es obligatorio llevar un Kit de supervivencia (alimentos y herramientas), así como cuerdas gruesas que permitan remolcar un vehículo en caso de avería.


Luis Díaz

Ingeniero de la Tripulación


Informe final de los proyectos

Aplicación móvil como agente de ayuda en el MDRS

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Ingeniera de Sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Perú



Según Gardner, Android es el sistema operativo con más usuarios en todo el mundo, por ello, las aplicaciones que desarrollaré serán para Android, utilizando los softwares Unity, Monodevelop, Vuforia, JDK y Android SDK.

Durante la simulación, trabajé haciendo una aplicación para el observatorio solar, la cual cuenta con 5 partes: instrucciones de seguridad, peligros potenciales, control de mano, alineación y enfoque. Al seleccionar la primera opción, se descargará un PDF con las Instrucciones de seguridad. En la segunda opción, se mostrará un mensaje emergente con el asesoramiento de los peligros potenciales. La tercera opción, permitirá reconocer el control manual del telescopio y superponer las partes principales del mismo y cuando se seleccione alguna se mostrará un breve concepto sobre cada una. Para el cuarto y quinto caso, se descargará un PDF para cada uno. Además, tengo la intención de trabajar con los equipos del laboratorio de ciencia, ya recolecté la información que necesito para ello. Además, tengo la intención de probar la aplicación final con tripulaciones futuras.



Divulgación de temas espaciales con una aplicación móvil

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Ingeniera de Sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Perú



Durante la simulación, recolecté información que necesitaba, como imágenes, videos, mapeo 3D de algunas zonas que visitamos, del MDRS, etc. En Perú, comenzaré a crear la aplicación y planeo utilizarla en una escuela de un área vulnerable de Perú con el fin de difundir temas relacionados al espacio como lo es el MDRS, Marte, entre otras cosas.


Resistencia de cultivos peruanos a suelo análogo de Marte

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú


Se seleccionaron tres clases de quinua y una de kiwicha para demostrar su resistencia a la tierra análoga de Marte y para demostrar su valor para ser incluidas en las futuras dietas marcianas. Durante Sol 7, se plantaron tres réplicas y un control. Han sido regados una vez al día con 250 ml de agua. Hasta ahora, el control no ha germinado, y se espera los que están plantados en el suelo análogo de Marte, que comenzarán a germinar durante los próximos dos soles.


Compensaciones de acuaponia y comparación con métodos de jardinería regulares en MDRS

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú


Este proyecto se desarrollará durante los próximos meses y se llevará a cabo dentro del programa de pasantes, con el apoyo de los oficiales del invernadero de las siguientes tripulaciones para mantenerlo en funcionamiento. Inicialmente, solo se utilizarán las funciones hidropónicas y se realizará una comparación rentable entre el sistema hidropónico y las técnicas de jardinería habituales. Durante esta rotación, el sistema de acuaponia está casi completamente configurado y vamos a comenzar a hacer pronto las pruebas de fugas.

Diseño e implementación de un sistema termorregulador para la homologación de la temperatura interna en los trajes de EVA usados por los astronautas análogos en la MDRS

Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Cascas, Perú)

Ingeniero Mecatrónico de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Perú


La implementación y las pruebas del proyecto fueron exitosas. Debido al frío, solo se probó el sistema de calefacción, que utiliza una resistencia de cerámica comúnmente utilizada en extrusoras de impresoras 3D. Esta resistencia es parte del sistema de intercambiador de calor que transmite, por convección, el calor al agua. Una bomba de agua es responsable de hacer circular el líquido termorregulado dentro de una bolsa para la donación de sangre, que se regula gracias a un diferencial de temperatura que toma como referencia la temperatura externa y la temperatura dentro del traje (específicamente en el área donde se encuentra el corazón). Del mismo modo, la lectura de temperatura se almacena en una memoria microSD junto a la fecha y hora para tener una referencia cronológica de las compensaciones de temperatura que el sistema tuvo que realizar.



Evapotranspiración en Marte

Hernán David Mateus Jiménez

Ingeniero Mecatrónico, estudiante de maestría en ciencias en ingeniería de sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá Colombia


La evapotranspiración es el proceso físico que convierte el agua líquida de un área verde en agua de vapor por la acción de la transpiración y la evaporación. Una forma de medir la evapotranspiración es usar un dispositivo llamado lisímetro que mide el peso del cultivo y el peso del lixiviado de forma continua.

El lisímetro comenzó a ensamblarse desde el comienzo de la simulación, pero comenzó a tomar medidas de evapotranspiración en Sol 8, debido a que algunas piezas debían repararse y era necesario hacer un EVA para tomar el suelo marciano. Además, era necesario determinar la cantidad de agua para mezclar con el suelo marciano y obtener la mejor textura. Los datos recolectados durante los seis Soles se analizarán en Colombia para obtener una lista de recomendaciones para mejorar el uso del agua en el invernadero y en los cultivos que usan suelo marciano.



Sistema de posicionamiento basado en el reconocimiento de estrellas

Hernán David Mateus Jiménez

Ingeniero Mecatrónico, estudiante de maestría en ciencias en ingeniería de sistemas. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá Colombia


En este proyecto, queríamos probar un software que diga cuál es su ubicación, en función de una fotografía que saque del cielo. Este software fue desarrollado en Python usando la librería Opencv. El objetivo era medir la precisión del software para desarrollar en el futuro sistemas de posicionamiento útiles para los EVA nocturnos.

Durante la simulación pudimos tomar la cantidad suficiente de fotos para construir un mapa celeste donde el descriptor SIFT buscará las similitudes con una foto tomada para encontrar su posición.


Evaluación de campo del simulador de traje espacial Cóndor

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia


El proyecto tuvo como objetivo evaluar el rendimiento del simulador de traje espacial Cóndor, así como sus sistemas independientes. Las actividades consistieron en participar de las AEV con el traje en diferentes configuraciones, las AEV se clasificaron en corto, mediano y largo alcance. Los sistemas probados fueron la colocación completa y la parte flexible combinada con el traje Exo, disponible en MDRS. las AEV consistieron en actividades técnicas, biológicas y geológicas, así como movilidad básica y manipulación de vehículos. Se hicieron varias observaciones sobre mejoras y se implementarán para la próxima versión de la demanda. En general, los resultados fueron positivos, con un alto rango de movimiento, combinado con suficiente restricción, para simular adecuadamente un traje espacial.



Prueba de una rueda basada en PXCM para un rover planetario

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia


El objetivo del proyecto era realizar una prueba de campo básica de una rueda impresa en 3D, destinada a un vehículo de superficie planetario. La prueba hizo uso de un rover automatizado simple, que se implementó en MDRS. La rueda fue impresa por ITAMCO y diseñada en la Universidad de Purdue. Las ruedas fueron recibidas en la estación y ensambladas. En primer lugar, se observó el rendimiento del rover con las ruedas comerciales tradicionales, atravesando diferentes tipos de terreno, que es un análogo para Marte. Posteriormente, las ruedas se instalaron en el rover y se volvieron a probar en terreno analógico. Los resultados observados mostraron un rendimiento equivalente al asumir el terreno. Se sugieren más pruebas de laboratorio y de campo para caracterizar completamente el rendimiento de las ruedas, sin embargo, las primeras pruebas arrojaron resultados positivos.




Detección remota en superficie análoga a Marte

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2

1UNAM, México 2IPN, México

danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

La DRONE DJI SPARK mapeó 5 km de superficie alrededor de MDRS para analizar con cámaras y procesamiento digital para 3D en suelo marciano. Este dron mapeó el suelo del MDRS y el hábitat durante 5 EVA durante dos semanas, lo que ayudará a tomar imágenes a 40 metros de altura para analizarlas posteriormente mediante un procesamiento digital en 3D que nos ayudará a comprender mejor las características del planeta. Además de seguir en superficie con piloto automático el camino de los astronautas en cada expedición luego de que el Dron analice las características de la superficie del MDRS así como el tipo de suelo y sus características básicas utilizando Matlab y Pix4D para analizar las imágenes del Hábitat tomado por el dron.


Detección remota de señales vitales

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2


danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

Objetivo: Este dispositivo fue un monitor E.C.G así como algunos aspectos importantes como la presión y la humedad interna del traje espacial de MDRS CREW 187, a través de un sistema de monitoreo enfocado a las Actividades Extra Vehiculares (EVA). Módulo E.C.G además de la posición del cuerpo, piel de respuesta galvánica que transmitirá los datos a la interfaz de usuario en la que se presentan en tiempo real a los astronautas en un reloj inteligente o una interfaz de PC. Sin embargo, el monitor tiene un problema con la conectividad y fue complicado de usar durante EVA, pero se usó para monitorear antes de la expedición de EVA. Los datos médicos han sido útiles para HSO durante la misión de mantener el Crew 187 y diseñar protocolos para elegir al miembro de cada expedición.




Dinámica de funciones cognitivas en una simulación análoga marciana

Betel Martínez Valdés1, José Eduardo Reynoso Cruz1 y José Luis Baroja Manzano1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Departamento de Psicología,

Ciudad de México


Durante las dos semanas se monitorearon diferentes niveles de fatiga de habilidades cognitivas en miembros de Crew 187 y se comparó con el grupo control de participantes externos no relacionados con la simulación analógica.

Catorce adultos fueron parte del estudio. Los grupos fueron emparejados por sexo, edad, dominio lateral y nivel de estudios. Los sujetos del grupo de apoyo y el emparejamiento de control se elegirán voluntariamente.


Dinámica de cooperación en una simulación analógica marciana

Betel Martínez Valdés1, Oscar San Pedro Caligua1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México


Durante este experimento analizamos la dinámica de la cooperación y el equipo de trabajo. Reciprocidad entre los miembros de la tripulación 187. El comportamiento cooperativo entre los miembros de la tripulación durante la simulación analógica a Marte fue aplicar un dilema social de riesgo colectivo en el que seis astronautas serán jugadores y un coordinador. Esta tarea se aplicará cinco veces en dos semanas, esta información ayudará a analizar el estado de la cooperación durante una misión analógica.


Comunicación científica y documental para proyectos espaciales de jóvenes científicos y profesionales en América Latina

Tania Robles

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México



América Latina es una región emergente y en crecimiento en el sector aeroespacial. Debido a su capacidad para ofrecer servicios de desarrollo y fabricación a bajo costo, ha sido aceptado como una de las regiones proveedoras de las compañías y agencias espaciales más importantes.

A pesar de esto, América Latina es un área que no ha desarrollado su infraestructura y capacidades de recursos humanos en el sector. Algunas de las causas pueden ser la ignorancia de los que toman las decisiones. Para este propósito, se ha creado un proyecto de divulgación sobre el trabajo de jóvenes mexicanos y extranjeros en el campo espacial, así como la importancia de estos temas.

El proyecto consiste en la documentación de los problemas y las acciones de los jóvenes estudiantes para resolver problemas de la academia y la industria.


Mission Summary – Crew 187 – Team Latam II

Mars Desert Research Station

Mission Summary

Crew 187 – Team Latam II


Commander/Astronomer: Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo (Peru)

Executive Officer: Atila Kahlil Meszaros Henostroza (Peru)

Crew Engineer: Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Peru)

GreenHab Officer: Hernán David Mateus Jiménez (Colombia)

Crew Scientist/EVA Officer: Oscar Ivan Ojeda Ramirez (Colombia)

Health and Safety Officer: Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho (Mexico)

Journalist: Tania Maria Robles Hernandez (Mexico)


Commander’s Statement


I had the honor of working with a highly talented crew, not only professionally, but also personally. Our roots come from Peru, Colombia, and Mexico; but in our hearts, we carry the responsibility of representing all of Latin America, which we will always do with our best effort. Each member of the crew was a key to success the mission; their experiences, knowledge in science and engineering, their high commitment to make the simulation as real as possible, his teamwork and constant support were valuable; always following the philosophy of “All for one and one for all!”.

Every day on Mars was a great adventure; we celebrated a Martian birthday, we recharged a diesel tank, we saw the sun, the moon, the constellations, among other wonders of the universe, we were the first explorers of a canyon, and we had the honor that all the crew wishes to have, to give the name to a canyon and a road; in this way El Dorado Canyon and Despacito Road – because you have to go slowly along this road for the safety of each crew member – are now part of the MDRS map. El Dorado was an ancient legend about a city full of gold that challenged every explorer who dared to look for it. For us to call it that reflects the curiosity that awoke in us as new explorers of Mars and the desire to leave in there a Latin American mark.

I feel proud of each member of this crew since at their young age they have achieved great things with that courage and strength that characterizes every Latino. No matter how big the challenge and the obstacles that each one has to overcome, I am sure that with effort, courage, and dedication they will be able to do it; as well as we all defeated together the adversities that they had in our stay in the MDRS. In these fabulous 15 days, each one gained experience, acquired new knowledge, expanded his way of seeing the universe and learned from others. More than being part of a crew, we are part of a family … a Martian family!

The crew 187 is eternally grateful for the support and trust gave by The Mars Society, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Shannon Ruppert, Mission Support and all the people and institutions that believe in each one of us.


Ad Astra,

Cynthia Fuertes Panizo

Commander of the Crew 187 – MDRS


Summary of the EVA’s activities

EVAs on Space exploration are not routine, and for sure, in the first stages of Mars exploration, will surely keep that trend. Every EVA is different to the other, not only because the goals change, also because the circumstances change as well. One of the most interesting aspects of the simulation while on MDRS is the possibility to simulate such activities and experience the first two statements firsthand. While most of the crew’s projects were meant to be developed in or close to the habitat and campus, performing EVAs is an extraordinary opportunity to learn and test ourselves in a physical and psychological way. To be able to test our capacity of reaction to the unexpected, to solve problems that arise from thin air, to cope with stress, and to be able to come back home every day, to a cup of warm chocolate, and be ready the next day to go through that again. All that while wearing the space suit simulator, complete with gloves and boots.

Crew 187 performed a total of 15 EVAs, not counting the frequent excursions of our engineer to the generator. Most of our destinations were suggested by Director Shannon, taking us to previously unexplored zones of the MDRS area. Some of the EVAs where more routine, used to cycle the batteries of the rovers, in order to extend their life, 4 of this EVAs were performed. The other EVAs allowed us to test the projects of some of our crewmembers. The general testing was successful, attaining most of the science goals. Also, we were able to explore places that had not been visited before, or in a very long time by previous crews. Most of the activities went without trouble, but it’s important to mention the finding of the cougar prints, as well as the battery drain of Deimos, which led the team to find solutions for taking the vehicle and themselves home.

Oscar Ojeda

EVA Officer


Summary of the Greenhab

In the end, the Greenhab was as beautiful as the beginning. During the mission, we had to make some changes in the interior to give more space to the aquaponics and take care of the plants that were in front of the fan that had been damaged. After these modifications, we received a high resistance tarpaulin to place it under the cover and protect the plants that are exposed to solar radiation. During the two weeks, 3 projects were developed in the Greenhab, which involved an assembly of aquaponics, germination of different types of quinoa in two types of soil, one analogous to Mars and another commercial. In addition, we worked on the measurement of evapotranspiration of a quinoa crop in Martian analogous soil, the data that was obtained will be analyzed to give recommendations for the Greenhab and the irrigation process.


David Mateus

Greenhab Officer



Summary of the Operation reports


During our stay at the MDRS, the diesel tank was recharged for a total of 300 gallons, which allowed us to feed the electric generator, in charge of supplying power to the Habitat and all the structures of the station. It should be noted that due to the problem of water level control over the bedrooms, we successfully manufactured an alarm with a water level sensor to be alerted at the precise moment in which the key was to be closed.

Also, based on the problem raised with one of the Rovers during a long-term EVA, we implemented a security protocol in which, from now on, it is mandatory to carry a survival kit (food and tools), as well as thick ropes that allow towing a vehicle in the event of a breakdown.


Luis Lopez

Crew Engineer



Final reports of the Projects

 Mobile application as help agent in MDRS

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Systems Engineer. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Peru


According to Gardner, Android is the Operating System with more users around the world, therefore the apps that I will develop will be for Android. I am working using Unity, Monodevelop, Vuforia, JDK and Android SDK.

During the Sim, I worked doing the app for Musk Observatory. I organize this app into 5 parts: Safety Instructions, Potential Hazards, Hand Control, Alignment, and Focus. When you select the first option, a PDF will be downloaded with the Safety Instructions. In the second case, a pop up will be displayed with the advice of the Potential Hazards. In the third case, it will allow to recognize the Hand Control of the telescope and overlapping it with the main parts of it and when you select it you will be able to know a short concept about each one. For the fourth and fifth case, a PDF will be downloaded for each one. Also, I have the intention of working with the equipment of the science dom. I already collected the information that I need to do it. Moreover, I have the intention to test the final app with future crews.


Spreading space issues using a mobile application

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Systems Engineer. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Peru


During the Sim, I worked collecting the information that I need, like pictures, videos, 3D mapping of some zones that we went and so on. When I come back to Peru, I will start to create the app and in the end, I am planning to test it in a school of a vulnerable area of Peru in order to spread a different kind of topics like MDRS, Mars, Space and so on.


 Resistance of Peruvian crops to Mars analog soil

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú


Three kinds of quinoa and one of kiwicha were selected to prove their resistance to Mars analog soil and to prove their value for being included in future martian diets. During Sol 7, three replicas and one control were planted. They’ve been watered once a day with 250 mL of water. Till now, the control hasn’t germinated, and we are expecting, even the ones that are planted on the mars analog soil, to start germinating during the next two Sols.


 Aquaponics trade-offs and comparison with regular gardening methods on MDRS

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú


This project will be developed through the following months and will be taken within the intern program, with the support of the Green Hab Officers of the following crews to keep it running. Initially only the hydroponic functions will be used, and a cost-efficient comparison will be made between the hydroponic system and the regular gardening techniques. During this rotation, the aquaponics system is almost fully set up and we are going to start doing any time soon the leak tests.


Design and implementation of a thermoregulatory system for the homologation of the internal temperature in the EVA suits used by the analogous astronauts in the MDRS

Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Cascas, Perú)

Ingeniero Mecatrónico de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Perú


The implementation and testing of the project were successful. Due to the cold, only the heating system was tested, which uses a ceramic resistor commonly used in 3D printer extruders. This resistance is part of the heat exchanger system that transmits, by convection, the heat to water. A water pump is responsible for circulating the thermoregulated liquid inside a bag for blood donation, which is regulated thanks to a temperature differential that takes as reference the external temperature and the temperature inside the suit (specifically in the area where the heart is located). Likewise, the temperature reading is stored in a microSD memory next to the date and time to have a chronological reference of the temperature compensations that the system had to perform.


Evapotranspiration on Mars

Hernan David Mateus Jimenez

Mechatronics engineer, student of master of science in systems engineering

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota Colombia


Evapotranspiration is the physical process that converts the liquid water from a green area in vapor water by the action of both transpiration and evaporation. One way to measure evapotranspiration is using a device named lysimeter that measures the weight of the crop and the weight of leachate continuously.

The lysimeter started to be assembled since the beginning of the simulation but started to take measurements of evapotranspiration on Sol 8, because some pieces had to be repaired and it was necessary to do an EVA to take Martian soil. Also, it was necessary to determine the amount of water to mix with the Martian Soil and get the best texture. The data recollected during the six Soles are going to be analyzed in Colombia in order to get a list of recommendations to improve the use of water in the Greenhab and on the crops that use Martian Soil.


Positioning system based on star recognition

Hernan David Mateus Jimenez

Mechatronics engineer, student of master of science in systems engineering

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota Colombia


In this project, we wanted to prove a software that says what your location is, based on a photo that you take from the sky. This software was developed in python using Opencv library. The objective was to measure the accuracy of the software in order to develop in the future useful positioning systems for night EVAs.

During the simulation we were able to take the enough amount of photos to build a sky map where the descriptor SIFT is going to search the similarities with a taken photo to find your location.


Field evaluation of the Cóndor Space Suit Simulator

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia


The project aimed to evaluate the performance of the Cóndor Space Suit Simulator, as well as its independent systems. The activities consisted on partaking on EVAs with the suit in different configurations, the EVAs were classified in short, medium, and long range. The systems tested were the complete donning, and the flexible part combined with the Exo suit, available in the MDRS. The EVAs consisted on technical, biological, and geological activities, as well as basic mobility, and vehicle manipulation. Several observations on improvements were made and will be implemented for the next version of the suit. In general, the results were positive, with a high range of movement, combined with enough restriction, to simulate properly a space suit.


Testing of a PXCM based wheel for a planetary rover

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia


The project aimed to do a basic field test of a 3D printed wheel, aimed for a planetary surface rover. The test made use of a simple automatized rover, which was implemented in the MDRS. The wheel was printed by ITAMCO and designed in Purdue University. The wheels were received in the station and assembled. First, the performance of the rover was observed with traditional commercial wheels, traversing different types of terrain, which is an analog for Mars. Afterwards the wheels were installed in the rover and tested again, over analog terrain. The results observed showed an equivalent performance while assuming terrain. Further laboratory and field testing is suggested to fully characterize the performance of the wheels, however the first testing showed positive results.



Remote sensing in mars analogue surface

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2


danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1 , walterabdias@gmail.com2


The DRONE DJI SPARK to mapped 5 km of surface around MDRS to analyze with Cameras and digital processing for 3D in Martian soil. This drone mapped the soil of the MDRS and the habitat during 5 EVA for two weeks which will help to take images at 40 meters of height to be later analyzed by a digital processing in 3D which will help us to better understand the characteristics of the Mars surface as well to follow in automatic pilot the way of astronauts in each expedition after that the Drone analyzed the characteristics of the surface of the MDRS as well as the type of soil and its basic characteristics using Matlab and Pix4D to analyze the images of the Habitat taken by the drone.


Remote sensing of vital signs

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2


danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

OBJECTIVE: This device was a E.C.G monitor as well as some important aspects like the pressure and the internal humidity of the space suit of MDRS CREW 187, through a system of monitoring focused to the Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA). E.C.G module moreover the body position, galvanic response skin that will transmit the data to the user interface in which are presented in real time to the astronauts in a smart watch or an interface pc. However, the monitor has a problem with the connectivity and was complicated used during EVA but it was used to monitoring before EVA expedition. The medical data has been useful for HSO during the mission to keep the Crew 187 and design protocols to choose the member of each expedition.



Cognitive function dynamics in a martian analogue simulation

Betel Martínez Valdés 1, José Eduardo Reynoso Cruz 1 & José Luis Baroja Manzano 1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Psychology Deparment,

Mexico City


During the two weeks monitored different cognitive abilities fatigue levels in Crew 187 members and it was compared with control group of external participants not related to the Analogue Simulation.

Fourteen adults were part of the study. The groups were paired by the sex, age, lateral dominance and level of studies. The subjects from the support group and the control paired will be chosen voluntarily.


Cooperation dynamics in a martian analogue simulation

Betel Martínez Valdés1, Oscar San Pedro Caligua 1

1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City


During this experiment analyzed the dynamics of cooperation and working team. Reciprocity between the Analogue Simulation Crew 187 members. The cooperative behavior between crew members during the analogue simulation to Mars was apply a Collective-Risk Social Dilemma in which six astronauts will be players and one coordinator. This task will be applied five times in two weeks this information will help to analyze the status of the cooperation during an analogue mission.


Science communication and documentary to space projects of young scientist and professionals in Latin America

Tania Robles

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City


Latin America is an emerging and growing region in the global aerospace sector. Because of its capabilities to offer development and manufacturing services at low costs, it has been accepted as one of the supplier regions of the most important companies and space agencies.

Despite this, Latin America is an area that has not developed its infrastructure and human resources capacities in the sector. Some of the causes can be the ignorance of the decision makers. For this purpose, an outreach project has been created on the work of young Mexicans and foreigners in the space field, as well as the importance of these issues.

The project consists of documentation of the problems and actions of young students to solve problems of academia and industry.

End of Mission Summary – Crew 186

End of Mission Summary
Crew 186 – Boilers2Mars

Commander/Astronomer:  Max Fagin
Executive Officer:  Kshitij Mall
Crew Engineer:   Melanie Grande
Crew Geologist:  Dr. Cesare Guariniello
Journalist:  Justin Mansell
GreenHab Officer:  Mark Gee
Health and Safety Officer:  Samuel Albert

Commander’s Statement

As Purdue students and alumni, Purdue’s heritage with human spaceflight is a heritage we all take very seriously, and that heritage was on full display for the duration of this mission. I am happy to say that every member of this crew has risen to the highest standards expected of would be space travelers, and I am proud of every member of this crew for doing their jobs with skill, effectiveness, professionalism, robustness, and the positive disposition that space travel demands of those who pursue it. I would be proud to call any of you my crewmates on a real mission to Mars.

When undertaking challenging journeys like this, I often find there are two types of travelers. First, there are the kind who are happiest when things are going right. The kind who love it when a plan works. The kind who revel in practicing, planning and simulating every facet of the journey beforehand just as much as they love the journey itself.

Second, there are the kind of travelers who enjoy a journey more when things are going poorly, because it allows for a chance to test their skills in the face of danger. They revel in being just beyond the margin and only barely in control, because the experience will leave them with a harrowing story to tell when they get home.

Personally, I’m in the first camp. I subscribe to the perspective that a stressful and harrowing adventure is a sign of poor planning. Things sometimes go wrong that are beyond our control. And during those times, true stories of courage and heroism often emerge, especially in space travel. But there is nothing to be celebrated in seeking such situations. Because of our desire for narrative satisfaction, it’s the near disasters that often become our most cherished stories, but those stories of right ought to be told just as much about the textbook missions, and the hard work that made them possible.

That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a crew during our time at MDRS, and why I will remember the time so fondly. Our mission was productive, exciting, and educational, but it was never stressful or harrowing. It has been a privilege to command such a talented and driven group of people.

Thank you to Ashwati Das and the Purdue Mars Society. Thank you to Professor Porterfield, Professor Mitchell, Professor Horgan, Professor Grant, Professor Whitfield and Professor Dumbacher, and thank you to Erin Easterling and Brian Huchel. Thank you to Mars Academy USA, Purdue Honors College, WIEP, ABE, SAO, and PESC. Thanks to the many Mars Society volunteers who have put in their time and hard work over the decades to make MDRS possible, and to those who specifically supported us on our mission: Veronica Brooks, Sylvain Burdot, Kevin Seidler, Kay Wolf, Jennifer Holt, Graeme Frear and Bernard Dubb. Thank you to Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society Leadership, and final thanks to Dr. Shannon Rupert for being our on-site support.

Boiler Up, Hammer Down!

-Max Fagin, 01/02/2018


Our Mission, By The Numbers

12 days in sim
125 person-hours of EVA total time
24 person-hours of EVA rover time
138 km traversed on EVA
515 gallons of water consumed (including GreenHab)
~1700 photos taken
86 geological spectra collected
580 grams of edible crops harvested from GreenHab
636,445 strands of DNA sequenced from microbes found in the hab

Summary of EVA Activities
Max Fagin, Commander

We conducted a total of 10 EVAs during our mission (11 were planned, but light snow on Sol 9 caused it to be delayed to Sol 10). Our EVAs lasted anywhere from 1-5 hours, traversing a distance of 138km total and reaching a maximum of 6.2 km from the hab. A map of every EVA we took is shown on the next page, overlayed on the MDRS regional map.

Something like the electric rovers of ATVs are an essential part of an effective Mars surface exploration campaign. However, they must be considered in the same class as the rockets and spacecraft that delivered the astronauts to Mars: As means, not ends. The best field science is still done when an astronaut is on foot and able to devote their complete attention to their surroundings. As such, a goal of this mission was to minimize the amount of “unproductive” time spent on EVAs. This includes time spent en route to targets, and loading/unloading equipment. An EVA debrief was regularly held 1 hour after the EVA had completed with the EVA director who had been the habcomm for the EVA, and a careful timeline was reconstructed from the gps logs carried by members of the EVA. This allowed us to build up an accurate picture of how our EVA time was spent.

A goal at the start of this mission was to spend at least 50% of each EVA on site. We were not able to accomplish this goal. A weighted average across all EVAs yielded only 42% time spent on site. Regardless, the system for reconstructing EVA timelines and locations proved very useful, as it allowed for quickly checking what had and had not worked on past when planning for future EVAs, as well as checking the location of geological samples.

Geology Summary
Dr. Cesare Guariniello, Crew Geologist

As will probably be the case in an actual Mars mission, a majority of our EVA activity was devoted to a geological survey of the region. Not only will such geological activates answer important questions about Mars’ past, but such geological knowledge will shape Mars’ potential as a future home. The need to reduce payload mass for future space exploration is imperative on long term colonial missions, and effective In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) provides just such a way to reduce the materials that must be brought from Earth. For effective ISRU, future Mars colonists must determine material presence, abundance, accessibility, usability, and the best ways to collect them. On this mission, remote sensing techniques) were applied to support of this goal.

Geologic EVAs were performed to the following regions:

  • URC North Site
  • East of Greenstone Road
  • The Moons (Morrison Formation and Dakota Sandstone)
  • “Boilermaker Canyon”, previously unexplored by MDRS crews (Entrada Sandstone and lower Morrison Formation)
  • Skyline Rim (Mancos Shale).

The crew collected a variety of samples in these location, and analyzed them with a “PANalytical QualitySpec TREK” portable spectrometer. The 86 Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectra that were collected gave information about the mineralogy of the samples, and will be used to assess water content in the various locations. Temperatures at different depths and in different conditions were also analyzed. These measurements will be used after the end of the mission to determine the correlation between thermal inertia and physical properties of the material, such as cohesiveness and bulk size. The EVAs brought the analog astronauts through diverse fields, ranging from plains covered in clays and characterized by salt deposits to deep canyons where million of years of strata are exposed. All the types of terrains are found on Mars, though the presence of large angular boulders is more prominent in most Martian landscapes. The results were extremely satisfactory, both in terms of Mars analog mineralogy and for what concerns collection of the samples with the various tools, and yielded useful outcomes for ISRU on Mars.


Radio Navigation
Justin Mansell, Journalist

GPS navigation will not be an option for early Mars explorer, and most navigation will need to take place with assets located at the habitat. One solution is to place a directional radio beacon at the hab, and just such a system was designed and successfully tested during our mission. Over four dedicated navigation EVAs, a simulated “lost astronaut” was able to determine their bearing to the habitat using a directional handheld antenna. By taking regular bearings while walking, the astronauts were able to navigate to within a few hundred meters of the habitat from several kilometers away, even when a visor was in place that limited their vision to only their immediate surroundings. The greatest challenge was the overwhelming signal strength at close ranges to the habitat, but this was mitigated by employing the insensitive axis of the antenna to find a bearing at right angles to the direction to the habitat. Future designs will include an attenuator to improve performance near the transmitting beacon and a timing circuit to establish both bearing and range.


Virtual Reality Training to Enable Crew Autonomy
Melanie Grande, Crew Engineer

Crew time will be as precious a resource as water and power on a mission to Mars, and virtual reality is a powerful teaching tool that offers the chance to reduce the amount of time a crew member must spend training for a complex task. For this mission, half the crew participated in a Pre-Mission Training Group (PMTG) and were conventionally trained on two tasks via PowerPoint training modules about three weeks before the mission. The crew learned how to use a portable spectrometer and how to perform maintenance checks on an ATV’s brake system. A Virtual Reality Training Group was given the freedom to use the VR version of the models at their own pace and at any time during their day. The VRTG could also take the training immediately before doing the EVA to complete the taught tasks. Mixed results were observed from the astronauts, but it was interesting to note that the VRTG spent much less time in training, which is positive in terms of maximizing astronaut work hours. However, some steps and details in each stage of the tasks were not given enough attention. Some of the VRTG also put off the training, since it wasn’t specifically scheduled. Participants from both groups did not specifically acknowledge the procedure and safety requirements if damage was found. Finally, the VR modules were limited in their interaction and level of detail, due to time and resource constraints. Future work would explore further the memorization of procedure and the interactivity of the VR applications. 


Survey of the MDRS Microbial Environment
Samuel Albert, Health and Safety Officer

Throughout the mission, surfaces in the habitat and GreenHab were swabbed in order to survey the microbial environment at MDRS. These swabs were then run through DNA extraction and amplification using portable PCR technology. Next, the amplified DNA was sequenced using the minion, a portable DNA sequencer that has previously been used to perform identical tests on the International Space Station. Although only 2 of the 4 sequencing runs yielded quality data, these results will be useful in analyzing the microbes present at MDRS. This research was completed in collaboration with NASA JSC, and the results will be part of a larger study on microbial environment in closed, isolated environments, including ongoing research on the International Space Station (Genes in Space-3).


Crew Relaxation with Guided Yoga
Kshitij Mall, Executive Officer

The human mind must remain well maintained on a Mars mission every bit as much as the electrical and mechanical systems of the spacecraft. To that end, the crew started each day by performing 21 different Yoga exercises focusing on breathing, posture, stretching, and meditation for 30 minutes to release stress. After 12 days, the average self reported stress of the crew reduced from 16.8 to 15.0 based on the Perceived Stress Scale Survey. Based on Self-Assessment survey, the crew’s average happiness, positivity, patience, self-confidence, and endurance increased throughout the mission while the fatigue remained stable. Later in the mission, some of the crew members tried a guided meditation VR app and suggested its use over conventional meditation method. The small number of subjects meant a control group could not be followed to isolate the effect of the morning exercises, but even if small, the exercise still promoted crew bonding by ensuring we all began our day at the same time, and with the same activity; the benefits of which cannot be quantified.


GreenHab Summary
Mark Gee, GreenHab Officer

The Greenhab has succeeded in its mission to provide food, house experiments, and bring stress relief to the crew. The harvest on the last sol of our rotation yielded a sampling of fresh microgreens, lettuce, green beans, dill, and cilantro, the first time this has been done this season. The previously planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and peppers are growing well along with the carrots, onions, arugula, radish, lettuce, and Swiss chard that were planted this rotation. Future crews should have a bountiful and tasty harvest. Two studies were successfully completed. One on how to produce microgreens using minimal resources, and the other on how plant growth is affected by the microbiome in an isolated Mars habitat. Time and humidity data were also successfully collected throughout the mission providing insight on the environment the GreenHab crops are exposed to. In addition to being productive, the GreenHab provided a convenient way to relax. Crew members were frequently found enjoying the heat, humidity, and beautiful scenery that the GreenHab provides.

End of Mission Summary – Crew 185

Mars Desert Research Station

End of Mission Summary

Crew 185 – Mars Society Crew #2

International Crew


Crew 185 (Dec. 16th, 2017 – Dec 31st, 2017):

Commander: Ilaria Cinelli (Italy/Ireland)
Executive Officer/Crew Engineer: Thibault Paris (France)
Greenhab Officer/Crew Biologist: David Murray (United States)
Crew Engineer: Arno Passaron (France)
Crew Health & Safety Officer: John Sczepaniak (United States)

Today is the last day of SIM, and tomorrow morning my Crew and I will land on Earth!!!

As you may know I am Commander of an international Crew, selected by The Mars Society, and this is an international mission getting close to the end. I will mention a few of our activates to show you how much (international) science we can get out of two-week mission.

Yesterday, we have completed a very interesting experiment about “Shared Spatial Representation” of the environment around Astros on EVA and HabCom (in the Hab), during which we were looking for objects placed in specific places, guided by with the vocal indication of HabCom (so without GPS and tech), (PI IMS laboratory and Association Planète Mars, France).

Then, today we have also completed two undergraduate student projects about sediment movement by aeolian transport and response of the use of a loaded vehicle over a range of terrain types (PI Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland).

We also did different surveys to evaluate the quality of life in the Hab. One of this was the use of a software to estimate the stress level during writing (PI Mars Planet – Italian Mars Society, Italy). Then, other are about crew dynamics. Pre-flight tests evaluate individual differences before the mission (PI University of Padua, Italy), and other tests evaluate individual performance during the mission (PI 100 Year Starship, USA). Instead, team cohesion was archived by practicing empowerment (PI Fondazione Internazionale verso l’Etica – FIVE – onlus, Italy) and mindfulness (PI University of London, UK), and table games!

Then, two studies about safety were pretty useful to develop awareness in isolation analysing both the context (PI William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine, USA) and the Crew (PI Mars Planet – Italian Mars Society, Italy).

In the end, we did some fun activities about education and outreach. One was about the “Kid2Mars” project where children from all over the World asked questions about Mars (PI InnovaSpace). The other was about “Crea(c)tivity”, a two-day workshop during which secondary school students have been designing and engineering prototypes that can have real space applications (PI ISIA Firenze, Italy).

A very original experiment was about clothing and textiles understanding the needs and constraints of design for apparel and habitats for long-duration space exploration and habitation (PI University of Rhode Island and 100 Year Starship, USA).

Then, we are honoured to have tested the first prototype of a 3D printed spacesuit, called X-1 (PI Ecole polytechnique, France). This project was supported by the French chapter of the Mars Society (PI The Association Planete Mars) to develop and test this prototype.

Additionally, we have been utilizing the full potential of crops to imitate conditions found in a limited resource environment. By producing a fertilizer from the most nutritious plant on Earth, we not only get nutritional value from this plant but hopefully the ability to increase the yields of other crops.

In the end, crew 185 completed an important anesthesia task during the mission looking at the ability of astronauts to complete a nerve block of the lower leg. They used gel models created at the University of California, San Diego to place a needle above and below the simulated nerve located behind a knee.  The simulation looks at the ability of participants’ time to complete tasks in an emergency scenario.

I can say we had fun while working! There are so many things happening everyday that there is not worries to be bothered during the day (and night) at the Hab.

If it is not a technical problem, it will be a human factor issue within the Crew! I LOVE what I am doing, I will never get tired of these challenges! I really LOVE what I am doing, hard to tell you how much!

Really, thank you for having me as Commander, and thank you for this great Crew!

I am learning so much in management, communication and science, and I am trying to give back good quality data that can be use for on-going and future research projects. I am feeling so enriched that I need to share my empowerment! So, science is the best way though which I can have a positive impact in research.

Thus, thank you so much! This is a great personal experience, and I see my Crew getting the most out of it. It is time for me to let them go, I have trained them for the best and I believe these two weeks gave them enough experience to make them stronger in the future.

Again, thank you to all the Team of Mission Support and The Mars Society!

In particularly, thank you Shannon!

Commander Ilaria Cinelli


Special thanks to:

  • The Mars Society
  • Mission Support
  • The Mars Desert Research Station
  • IMS laboratory and Association Planète Mars, France.
  • Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
  • Mars Planet – Italian Mars Society, Italy.
  • University of Padua, Italy.
  • 100 Year Starship, USA.
  • Fondazione Internazionale verso l’Etica – FIVE – onlus, Italy.
  • University of London, UK.
  • ISIA Firenze, Italy.
  • University of Rhode Island, USA.
  • The Association Planete Mars, France.
  • Ecole polytechnique, France.
  • William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine, USA.
  • InnovaSpace.

The Mars Desert Research Station – Crew 185


Crew 185 – X-1 (PI Ecole polytechnique, France)


Crew 185 – Green Hab – Beans

Mission Summary – Crew 184

Mars Desert Research Station

 End of Mission Summary

Crew 184 – Mars Society Crew #1

Striving Towards Analog Research Success

(Team STARS)


Crew 184:

Commander/Astronomer:                                       Thomas Horn (United States)

Executive Officer/Greenhab Officer:                    Trisha Randazzo (United States)

Crew Engineer:                                                            Joshua Hunt (United States)

Crew Scientist/Outreach Officer:                           Akash Trivedi (United Kingdom)

Crew Journalist:                                                           Willie Schumann (Germany)

Crew Health & Safety Officer:                                 John Sczepaniak (United States)


Figure 1: MDRS Crew 184 -From Left to Right, Akash Trivedi, Willie Schumann, Josh Hunt, Trisha Randazzo, John Sczepaniak, Tom Horn



Our team started out as strangers, thrown together with nothing in common except a love for space and desire to test ourselves on the surface of Mars.  After months of intense long distance preparation and now, completing our two week mission together face to face, we have bonded as a team both personally and professionally to advance our shared love and drive of advancing the cause of human space exploration.


During our mission preparation, we assembled a set of research objectives playing off our respective strengths and keeping present the goal of simulating a Martian Mission as accurately as possible.  We faced numerous challenges and failures during our mission that threatened the successful completion of our goals, but through hard-work, troubleshooting and flexibility we completed our objectives and can return home with a successful mission behind us.


We hope that through this mission and future efforts we can move forward the goal of human exploration of space, and will now begin the next phase of our mission in taking our research and data back to external parties and in continuing the outreach process to utilize our experience to inspire greater enthusiasm for the possibilities of space travel in the general public and the next generation.

   – Ad Astra Per Ardua, Crew 184



Summary of Research Completed:

Matryoshka EVAs

Evaluating the past habitability of Mars is a key science objective for the near future. Meeting this goal will involve innovation, exploration, and scientific enquiry across all levels of observations. At the MDRS, features analogous to those on Mars were characterized and utilized to further develop identification techniques of geological points of interest. Dunes and channel structures provided a test-bed for investigation of the geomorphological bodies found in Martian terrains


During our stay at MDRS, we highlighted the value of using four modes of geologic survey operating at increasingly fine scales. Analogous to the gradual down-scaling of a Matryoshka (Russian) doll, the four-phase sequence of study provides observations at a progressively smaller scale: satellite, drone, rover, and human (hand scale).


Under the expertise of the Department of Earth Science at the University of Oxford, eight sites were chosen for sample collection and return to Oxford for further geomorphological and geochemical analysis. This work was proposed by a team of undergraduate and research students with goals to not only conduct scientific research activity on the collections, but also use them for outreach purposes to inspire the next generation of analogue astronauts!

(Figure 3: Matryoshka Lithe Canyon Site, John Hunt, Willie Schumann, Trisha Randazzo)


Fatigue Sleep Study

The crew underwent a two week fatigue study by following the Martian day, 40 minutes longer than an Earth day. For two weeks, they completed multiple surveys daily on their sleep, fatigue, and general wellbeing while shifting their sleep and wake times by 40 minutes each day.  The crew was able to manage the stresses associated with a Martian day despite the difficulties that are inherent in analogous missions.  There was an increase in short naps towards the end of the mission in order to satisfy the mission and scientific objectives.  This completes the crews MDRS portion of the Martian Circadian Study successfully.

In addition to surveys and sleep shifting, the crew had to complete multiple tests throughout the mission to measure their psychomotor vigilance, called a PVT (psychomotor vigilance test).  The tests are administered via an iPad so participants can access the test easily and complete it three times a daily (see photo).

(Figure 4: Commander Tom Horn starting his PVT test)



Crew 184 completed an important anesthesia task during the mission looking at the ability of astronauts to complete a nerve block of the lower leg. They used gel models created at the University of California, San Diego to place a needle above and below the simulated nerve located behind a knee.  The simulation looks at the ability of participants’ time to complete tasks in an emergency scenario.

(Figure 5: Anesthesia Training, Dr. John Sczepaniak, Josh Hunt, Akash Trivedi, Trisha Randazzo)



(Figure 6: Anesthesia Training, Dr. John Sczepaniak, John Hunt, Trisha Randazzo, Tom Horn, Akash Trivedi)



Mars is an environment that requires strength training to keep astronauts healthy with minimal up-mass.  John Sczepaniak MD created an 18 pound medicine ball on Mars with minimal up mass (~600g).   A cycling machine was assembled at the station by crew 184 for health and fitness.  The cycle was donated to the Mars Society for use by future crews.


(Figure 7: (From top to bottom, left to right) Trisha Randazzo and Josh Hunt assembling the cycling machine, Tom Horn exercising on the bicycle, Dr. Sczepaniak creating the medicine ball using Martian regolith, Josh Hunt utilizing the medicine ball to increase mass during squats.)


Communication Study

The question of how to effectively operate a human crewed mission with a lengthy time delay is a significant unsolved question in human spaceflight, and is one that analog space missions are uniquely suited to answer.  Previous human spaceflight experience has entailed close coordination and direction between the crew and Mission Control, future missions to Mars and other destinations will necessarily entail a whole new operations structure including new communication guidelines and devolving significant power away from Mission Control and to the crews themselves.  In order to simulate this our crew worked with an offsite scheduling team to direct our activities and with who we experimented with different communication methods, feedback techniques, and email time delays.

We experimented with various communication methods internally to the team via our ‘Bricks’ experiment.  With this we took symmetric sets of building blocks and experimented with building various structures with different crew teams and different time delays, from 0 to 15 minutes in 3 minute intervals.  Via trial and error our team learned how effective communication tools which were put in place throughout our mission.  They proved particularly effective during EVA where communication over VOX is difficult and several techniques were immediately applicable to aid in EVA coordination among the team.  Our team agreed that of all the lessons learned five in particular were critical, which are described below.

Five Takeaways:

  1. Give an overview of what task is trying to accomplish. This allows crew to fill in missing details and help connect the dots themselves
  2. Give an inventory of all supplies to be used during the task up front, and what each thing is being used for. This allows easy identification of mistakes if supplies are left over, and also allows crew to better understand their instructions.
  3. Agree on common descriptors for entire supply list to ensure accurate description, i.e. “4 pronged short rectangle”
  4. Establish a common orientation for the entire task at the beginning, then stick to it. This ensures proper placement of materials.
  5. Repeat all instructions twice. With unreliable radios this ensures momentary communication dropouts does not prevent critical information being relayed.  This is especially important for longer time delays where a missed word could result in a 30 minute delay.


(Figure 8: Josh Hunt listening to instructions to build a structure with a communication time delay.)


 CPR Techniques

The low gravity environment of Mars is likely to pose unusual challenges to a human settlement.  An example of this was posed to our crew as a challenge for us to solve during our mission.  How do you exert enough force on a patient to perform effective CPR when you have a significantly reduced body weight?  In order to simulate this in an Earth environment our crew was given our friendly CPR helper ‘Max’, a scale, and force targets in excess of their body weight that they had to achieve.  Each crewmember performed trial runs and various techniques under the supervision of our crew doctor, recording their results.  Of the various methods tried the three most effective were, 1)  Placing weights on the patient’s chest to effectively raise caregiver body weight during compressions, 2)  Having another crewmember assist in chest compressions, and 3)  Bracing crewmember on an overhead beam to provide additional resistance for compressions.

This is just one example of an esoteric problem presented by low gravity conditions, and there are sure to be more.  We found it interesting to discuss these scenarios and envision the challenges to be confronted by a Martian colony, many of which are sure to only be discovered once humans are already on Mars.



Special thanks to our individual donors and supporters

Space Generation Advisory Council – For their extensive help and experience preparing our mission schedule during our stay at MDRS.  We hope for more colloboration in the future.

Neha Dattani – for supporting our mission and providing love and moral support

Shital and Rajnikant Trivedi – for their love, belief and support towards my ambitions

Wolfson College, Oxford and the Department of Engineering Science for supporting the mission

Clive Siviour at the University of Oxford for academic guidance, personal and professional support

Lucy Kissick and her team at the Department of Earth Science for proposing the Matryoshka research study

Patty Horn – for the support and care without which my attendence would be impossible, and taking care of the kids while explaining that daddy is going to Mars.

Joseph Maroge- for mission research support and survey creation

Hitesh Bhatia- for driving supplies to Hanksville and actisleep sensor support

Ed Bahr – for holding supplies prior to our mission

Ching-Rong Cheng – for use of the sonosite ultrasound and research support

Alan and Lois Sczepaniak – for equipment and support

Deborah and Buck Hunt – for being my two biggest fans in the whole world!

Kathryn Randazzo, James Randazzo, Megan Randazzo – for providing the crew care pacakge and SOS package, welcomed as a morale boost on our harder days!

Leo Teeney – for his support in making this mission possible.

Integrity Applications Incorporated – For supporting the crew and providing technical insight.

Chris Wade – for his stellar mission patch design

Renee Garifi – for her pro bono expertise and moral support

Crew 182 – End of Mission Summary

Team Peru V:

Commander/ Green Hab/ Health and Safety Officer: Atila Meszaros (Peru)

Executive Officer/ Crew Journalist/ Scientist: Camila Castillo (Peru)

Engineer Officer: Carmen Atauconcha (Peru)

EVA Officer/ Crew Geologist: Brandon Fergurson (USA)

Crew member: Julio Rezende (Brazil)

Crew 182


The Mars Society Peru Chapter sent Team Peru V (Crew 182), conformed by a multidisciplinary group. Their rotation was scheduled for November 4th (the day Carmen ate those burgers without us) – 18th 2017.  The main goal of the crew was to develop research in their different fields at the MDRS, achieving their specific goals. The multidisciplinary approach of the crew proved to be valuable during the mission.


During the mission, the following research activities took place at MDRS:


  1. Effect of Streptomyces sp. Isolated from mineral cultures on radish plant development in analog martian soil: Soil was collected around the MDRS location to use it for radish crops. The strain used at the inoculation was isolated from mineral cultures, which are also an extreme environment. The main objective is to prove the effect of this strain in crops in martian analog soil. The main goal of this research was unachieved, but soil samples will be taken to Lima (Peru) for further experiments.


  1. Resistance of Peruvian Altiplano’s crops to martian analog soil: Soils with different compositions where collected on the surroundings of MDRS and on the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation in order to prove the resistance of Peruvian crops and mustard (as control) to mars analog soil. The main goal of the project wasn’t achieved, mostly because an incident during #7 EVA. However, the research will continue on Lima (Peru) using the martian analog soil and two more altiplano’s seeds.


  1. Incidence of consumption of kiwicha cookies in the loss of muscle mass that people living in the analog of Mars experiment: I prepared cookies of kiwicha on Peru, kiwicha is an andin grain that has enormous amounts of protein. Because of this characteristic of the kiwicha grain, my cookies have 10% of protein per portion. During the time that I spend in the rotation, I had to take notes of the mass muscle index. So, I gave the cookies to half of the crew, two units per day. Also, every 4 days I took notes of their weight. With this data, I am going to compare the data of the crew member that ate the cookies and the ones that do not ate the kiwicha cookies.


  1. Properties and Composition of Mars Analog Regolith at MDRS: Regolith samples were collected from different areas within the MDRS area. The study focuses specifically on the Morrison geologic formation. The majority of the samples are from the brushy basin member of this formation. The goal of the project is to classify the soil properties including: soil texture, classification, and composition. The project will continue during the next week.


  1. Sustainability in Mars research stations and extraplanetary settlements: This research searches to answer the question: The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) operation can be more sustainable? It is evaluated how environmental, economic, social and personal sustainability issues are presented in the research station and how the MDRS activities would collaborate to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), proposing some guidelines to sustainability. It is also important to ask: the results related to Mars would be applied to build a self-sustainable habitat in Earth, mainly in areas affected by climate change, as deserts and semiarid regions as can be seen in Brazilian Northeast (Habitat Marte)? Reviewing the previous research done at MDRS not was identified any research related to sustainability. Because of that, this research presented a high impact to MDRS and Mars research. It is a challenger identifies the main dimensions that would be considered to evaluates a Mars research station in terms of sustainability: this is the great relevance of this research for the future design of Mars settlements.