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#1 2020-11-22 15:42:41

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,367

Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

https://www.marssociety.org/news/2020/1 … ld-season/

http://mdrs.marssociety.org/

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases around the world and, in particular, in the United States and Utah, a decision has been made to delay the beginning of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station field season until February 2021.

According to experts, the next three months are expected to be the hardest of the pandemic, and MDRS management, led by Dr. Shannon Rupert, wants to ensure that all crew members stay safe and well throughout that time.

Selected MDRS crews have already been rescheduled and will still come to the southern Utah campus for their Mars surface simulation, albeit at a later date than planned.

cropped-URC.jpg

New-Floor-Plan-768x498.png

The campus  is powered by a 15 kW solar system that feeds a 12 kW battery bank  that provides power to everything. A 12 kW generator autostarts when  the campus uses more power than the solar can provide in the winter  months.

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#2 2020-11-22 16:03:11

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

The goals that each analog site bears to obtain as each expedition is started and stopped:

http://fmars.marssociety.org/science-research/

Analogue Research Stations are laboratories for learning how to live and work on another planet. Each is a prototype of a habitat that will land humans on Mars and serve as their main base for months of exploration in the harsh Martian environment. Such a habitat represents a key element in current human Mars mission planing. Each Station’s centerpiece is a cylindrical habitat, “The Hab,” an 8-meter diameter, two-deck structure mounted on landing struts. Peripheral external structures, some inflatable, may be appended to the Hab as well.

Each station serves as a field base to teams of four to six crew members: geologists, astrobiologists, engineers, mechanics, physicians and others, who live for weeks to months at a time in relative isolation in a Mars analog environment. Mars analogues can be defined as locations on Earth where some environmental conditions, geologic features, biological attributes or combinations thereof may approximate in some specific way those thought to be encountered on Mars, either at present or earlier in that planet’s history. Studying such sites leads to new insights into the nature and evolution of Mars, the Earth, and life.

In addition to providing scientific insight into our neighboring world, such analogue environments offer unprecedented opportunities to carry out Mars analog field research in a variety of key scientific and engineering disciplines that will help prepare humans for the exploration of that planet. Such research is vitally necessary. For example, it is one thing to walk around a factory test area in a new spacesuit prototype and show that a wearer can pick up a wrench – it is entirely another to subject that same suit to two months of real field work. Similarly, psychological studies of human factors issues, including isolation and habitat architecture are also only useful if the crew being studied is attempting to do real work.

When considering the effectiveness of a human mission to Mars as a whole, it is clear that there is an operations design problem of considerable complexity to be solved. Such a mission will involve diverse players with different capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. They will include the crew of the Mars habitat, pedestrian astronauts outside, astronauts on unpressurized but highly nimble light vehicles operating at moderate distances from the habitat, astronauts operating a great distances from the habitat using clumsy but long-endurance vehicles such as pressurized rovers, mission support on Earth, the terrestrial scientific community at large, robots, and others. Taking these different assets and making them work in symphony to achieve the maximum possible exploration effect will require developing an art of combined operations for Mars missions. The Mars Society’s analogue research stations will begin the critical task of developing this art.

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#3 2021-11-25 19:51:22

SpaceNut
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Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

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#4 2022-01-19 19:37:09

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

tahanson43206 wrote:

Mission Summary, Crew 238
Mars Desert Research Station, Utah
January 2-15, 2022

Crew

Commander: Dr. Sionade Robinson
Executive Officer & Journalist: Pedro J. Marcellino
Health & Safety Officer: Robert T. Turner
GreenHab Officer: Dr Kay Sandor
Artist-in- Residence & Crew Astronomer: Aga Pokrywka
Crew Engineer: Simon Werner

Acknowledgements

Crew of MDRS 238 would like to thank the Board and members of the Mars Society whose vision for MDRS made our mission possible: Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, Dr. Shannon Rupert, MDRS Director, Atila Meszaros, Assistant Director, Dr. Peter Detterline, Director of Observatories, who trained and assisted our Crew Astronomer before and during the mission; and Bernard Dubb, Johanna Kollewyn, Dani Gamble, Juan Miranda, who in addition to Atila, served as CapCom. 

We would also like to thank Bharghav Patel for his exceptional ground support, Jason Michaud of Stardust Technologies for engaging us in a VR project in use in several space analogues.  Drew Smithsimmons and Rob Brougham Co-Founders of Braided Communications for the training and facilitating use of a new communication technology to address emotional wellbeing in future deep space faring, and Dr. Julia Yates of City University of London who will evaluate this first-of-its-kind study.

Thanks are also due to Don Mear for receiving and storing many crew packages Grand Junction prior to our arrival.  Lastly, enormous gratitude goes to our family and friends for both joining research project and for sparing us not only for our rotation, but the many online weekend meetings over the last two years of preparation.

Mission Description & Outcome

Crew 238 is a team of diverse, international, multidisciplinary, and experienced professionals, curated by the Mars Society after individual applications in 2019. The average age is 53.  Our assigned rotation was for January 2021, but necessarily postponed in the global pandemic. Nevertheless, we maintained and developed our focus and once travel and the MDRS re-opened in Autumn 2021, we were on our way.

Our focus throughout has been the wellbeing of future astronauts – both in our individual and joint projects.  Our shared objectives were:

Maintaining simulation fidelity in all activities, including standard ops, communications, emergency procedures in collaboration with Mission Support
Producing and documenting results on emergency preparedness and responsiveness
Effectively working with External Partners in testing effects of “Braided” communications” vs Latency Governed Messaging on the well-being and emotional response of the crew when communicating with loved ones
Engaging in mindfulness and reflection practices as mitigation strategies for stress conditions
Extensive multimedia journaling for internal MDRS use and external public relations
Welcoming and engaging a visiting journalist arranged by The Mars Society
Post mission, generating a portfolio of multimedia assets and creating additional outreach opportunities for media, schools, and other public support of future human travel to Mars.
With the exception of the last objective (ongoing), the crew have successfully completed these shared goals. Data collected in a world-first study Examining the impact of communication latency on crew closeness to loved ones on Earth – Mars Desert Research Station Mission 238: A Small Group Study (IRB-approved) will be analysed by Dr. Julia Yates of Department of Psychology at City, University of London on our return.  Additionally, it is pleasing to report we have managed our water, internet and food resources efficiently.

But our shared goals are the mere tip of the iceberg when considering work undertaken at MDRS over the last two weeks.  Our individual projects have included data collection in Standardized Emergency Response Strategies (SRS), Mars Research Storytelling: Personal and Public Narratives in Mars & Space Research, From Space to Bacterial Colonization, Astronauts’ Coping Strategies in High Pressure Environments and Value creation with an Explorer’s Mindset. Both research work and “HabLife” have been followed by a leading Portuguese national newspaper on a daily basis, demonstrating considerable public engagement and outreach expertise of our XO and Crew Journalist.

Physically, crew health, as assessed by HSO Turner, has been robust despite a few minor bumps and bruises expertly dealt with along the way.  Our commitment to maintaining simulation and to optimising our time meant we adopted many best practices of successful crew rotations in environments much more demanding than our two-week rotation at MDRS.  We have actively followed a schedule of work, rest and play.  We have eaten breakfast, dinner and almost every lunch together (some surprisingly excellent meals, by the way), we socialised and we made time to reflect on learning, challenges and positive experiences in a daily After Action Review following dinner.

We also shared a lot of laughter – and it is important to note laughing together should not be considered a mere passing pleasure.  Studies have shown that shared humour is likely to play an important part in selecting the crews that will travel to Mars.  Laughter is a valuable interpersonal tool essential to coping with boredom brought about by prolonged periods of isolation, routine and social monotony. It enhances morale and serves an important communication function when expressing frustration or dissatisfaction in a socially acceptable manner, without causing additional stress or conflict.  Crews that laugh together have been shown to be significantly more productive and high functioning, as well as likely to remain “intact”, rather than split into cliques and subgroups.

To read the full crew mission summary, please click here.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
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(th)


good to see that we are still going through the motion of setting the stage for mars

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#5 2022-01-19 19:42:14

SpaceNut
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Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

you can find the reports of this crew
http://mdrs.marssociety.org/crew-reports/

now to dig in for water report information

Summary of Hab operations:

WATER USE: 33 gallons
Water (static tank): 245
Water (loft tank): filled to 55 gallons
Water Meter: post pumping 01546953

Summary of GreenHab operations:

WATER USE: 10 gallons


Harvest: 70g micro greens, 86g tomatoes, peppers 49g, Swiss chard 20g, rucola 13g, chives 1g

daily tallies are being done as you go past each new day to be able to see what is being done at the station.

Much like for mars we need to know what we have to start with, what we brought to support the crews stay and what our consumption rates are.

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#6 2022-01-31 22:00:31

SpaceNut
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Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

tahanson43206 wrote:

Final Mission Summary - MDRS Crew 226

Description

From January 16-30, 2022, the second Colombian Mars Simulation Analog Mission took place at the Mars Desert Research Station in southern Utah.

The team got integrated by Colombian students, researchers, and professionals in the areas of Science, Engineering, and Technology strongly related to the aerospace field. Among others, some challenges the mission crew encountered were to go through confinement and isolation in this habitat for 15 days, on a diet based on dehydrated food, and limitations on the use of water and communications.

The Colombian main crew, Crew 226, includes:

    Felipe Torres, Mechanical Engineer from Universidad Nacional de Colombiawith the position of Crew Scientist.
    Carlos Salazar, Mechatronic Engineer candidate for a master’s degree in Engineering– with the position of Crew Engineer, both from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
    Cristian Acosta, Aerospace engineer for Blue Origin, with the role of Health and Security Officer.
    Maria Paula Bustos, Geologist and Master’s student in Geodesy and Geoinformation Science -Technische Universität Berlin, with the position of Greenhab Officer and Crew Geologist.
    Yael Méndez, Microbiologist, from Universidad de los Andes and Master’s student in Geosciences from Universidad Nacional de Colombia with the position of commander.

The Crew Organizer is David Mateus, a Mechatronic Engineer and Master’s student in Space Studies at the University of North Dakota.

The main line of work is related specifically to the areas of expertise of the crew members, developing projects following years of studies and preparation, and, as it usually happens in space exploration, collaboration with teams left back on Earth.

The second line is about the interest in developing outreach projects in Colombia. Our country does not have a well-developed space field, and these kinds of opportunities provide a platform to develop several types of outreach activities, from general to specialized public.

The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

(th)

You can get the final report here
http://mdrs.marssociety.org/crew-reports/

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#7 2022-02-04 19:45:22

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

tahanson43206 wrote:

Red Planet Live to Host MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert

Please join us on Monday, February 14th at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET as we welcome Dr. Shannon Rupert to Red Planet Live, the Mars Society's monthly video podcast hosted by Ron Craig!

A trained ecologist with more than two decades of experience in Mars analog studies, Dr. Rupert has been the Director of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) since 2009. MDRS is the largest and longest-running Mars surface simulation facility in the world, where 6-7 person crews participate in two-week field missions in the Mars-like terrain of the southern Utah desert, carrying out important research that contributes to the scientific planning for the eventual human exploration of the Red Planet.

Dr. Rupert is an expert in planetary mission simulations and field exploration. Her current research includes desert varnish ecology, biodiversity studies at MDRS, and the development of simulation experiences for educators and their students. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico, a Master's degree in Biological Science from California State University (San Marcos), a Bachelor's degree in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution from the University of California (San Diego), and an Associate's degree in Biology from San Diego Miramar College.

Bring your questions for Dr. Rupert about all things related to MDRS and Mars analog studies, as well as how initial human explorers will live and work on the Red Planet for our next RPL broadcast on February 14th.

To register for RPL (via Eventbrite), please click here.


The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

(th)

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#8 2022-02-21 21:44:24

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,367

Re: Mars Desert Research Station expidition status

tahanson43206 wrote:

Final Mission Summary - MDRS Crew 240

Following a hiatus of one year, after our mission had to be pushed back due to Covid, it has truly been a return to form for Supaero crews at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, as we had the chance to perform two larger-scale rotations in a row this Field Season, for a total of six weeks of combined mission time. This is the Mission Summary of the first of those two crews, and the one that had worked – and waited – the longest before setting foot on Mars.

Our Crew

The selection for Crew 240 took place in late 2019, and the Commander was appointed a few months later, following a first assignment as Crew Journalist as part of Crew 223. We all met each other at that time: five fresh-faced, first year Engineering students, without even a bachelor’s degree; a first year Master’s degree student; and a second year Engineering student, just returned from a first mission at MDRS – all studying at the same place, but with different dreams, desires and objectives for the future.

Two years on, it’s clear that this group of seven extra motivated people had grown a lot. We’d seen hard work, doubt, successes, hardships, the hurt of knowing that our mission would have to wait, and the strength to go on and move forward anyway.  During those two long years of preparing the mission, we had the chance to acquire knowledge and experience, either in our studies, or in our work in a professional setting. Clearly, this time spent on growth has had a huge impact on the way we approached our mission at MDRS.

Yes, I did mention the number seven on that previous paragraph: that’s how many we used to be throughout all the preparation. Raphaël, the seventh crew member, was set to be our GreenHab Officer, and was responsible for the atmospheric experiments we run with French research centre CNRS, amongst other large parts of our work. We had to go on to MDRS without him due to visa issuance problems, and we miss him for many, many reasons, either it be for his hard tireless work and thorough knowledge of his subjects of focus, or simply his never-ending positivity and good spirits. His absence is felt throughout the Hab all the time, and while he can’t technically be considered a member of this crew, all the work he’s put forward for this mission makes him, in our eyes, just as much of a member of our group.

Our Work

Supaero crews benefit from the wealth of experience and prior knowledge gathered during all the rotations our older students or alumni have participated in, and it’s clear that with this experience, Crew 240 has managed to put together a set of scientific content that far exceeds what had been performed in any prior mission by our crews. A strong desire to push towards the most relevant content, that makes the best use of the specificities of the station, and the region around MDRS, has led to a number of brand-new experiments and continued advances on the experiments we had already brought on. This will be an outline of all the work that was performed over these past three weeks.

Human Factors Research

This year has seen an increase on our attempts to research the ways a stay at MDRS influences us physiologically as well as psychologically.

On the technical performance side, one of our longest-running experiments, TELEOP, once again arrived at MDRS under the helm of Crew Biologist Marion, taking advantage of the longer mission time. Developed in-house at the SacLab Laboratory at Supaéro, this experiment was part of the testing regiment of analogue astronauts for the Sirius mission in Russia, and at MDRS we similarly performed regular tests of simulated rover driving on the Moon, testing fatigue in different physical positions to get Earth-level understanding of how weightlessness can influence performance.

In the meantime, an experiment from the University of Bourgogne offered daily questionnaires to assess a large array of psychological reactions to our living situation, and an experiment from the University of Lorraine combined questionnaires with long, extensive sessions on a piece of software designed to assess attentiveness through numerous tests.

These experiments were performed on time, efficiently and in accordance with the protocols given to us by the researchers responsible for these experiments, under the supervision of Crew Engineer François. While many of them were tiring – by design – the crewmembers took it to heart to put in their best efforts so that our scientific partners gather relevant data.

On the topic of physiology, we have continued to study sleep. After Crews 206, 222 and 223 used Dreem headbands to show the relevance of consumer-level hardware applied for scientific data, we have followed on this work by using Fitbit wrist bands to obtain biometric data across the mission, with the goal to study sleep, performance during sports session and EVA, as well as nutrition from before the mission all the way to the post-mission. This, combined with frequent questionnaires on sleep quality and emotional levels, should help us better understand the physiological and psychological effects of a mission like this one.

Lastly, space medicine company SpaceMedex has entrusted us with another consumer-ready biometrics tool, HexoSkin, a skin-tight shirt that measures data during exercise. This helps us gather extra data from our EVAs, data that not only gives us more precise values for the amount of exercise performed, but can also be used for further analysis of our experiment based on performance on EVA. Both the data of the Fitbit wristbands and the HexoSkin have been collected by Crew Scientist Marion, and will be further analysed after the full duration of the experiment.

To read the full crew mission summary, please click here.
The Mars Society
11111 West 8th Avenue, unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215 U.S.A.
www.marssociety.org
https://www.facebook.com/TheMarsSociety
@TheMarsSociety

Copyright (c) 2022 The Mars Society
All rights reserved.

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