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Crew 132 - Mars Society

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NICK ORENSTEIN, COMMANDER (Recipient of MDRS Engineering Scholarship)

Nick Orenstein is currently a PhD student in astronautical engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. His research is the design and development of a harvester to collect potable water from the surface of Mars and the Moon. He is a member of the Mars Society LA chapter and regularly attends events like SpaceUp and AIAA dinners in the LA area. Nick is originally from Dallas, TX, and he holds a BS degree with honors in Mechanical Engineering from Harvard University.

Nick grew up building Lego spacecraft piloted by spacemen with neon yellow visors. He has explored remote locations on six continents – from the volcanoes of Iceland to the mountains of New Zealand to the tundras of Kamchatka. The 2013-2014 MDRS Season is his first as GreenHab Coordinator. During the Crew 132 mission, Nick will construct and install a top-drip hydroponics vegetable garden. He will then oversee greenhouse operations and experiments for the remainder of the season. Nick’s pursuit of water harvester and greenhouse development extends from his goal to explore space. He sees MDRS as an outlet to “practice for Mars” and to learn how to operate the core infrastructure necessary to sustain a long-term habitat.


Usha Farey Lingappa is thrilled to be back at MDRS as XO and HSO for Crew 132. For this mission, her main science focus will be biology research with Dani YoungSmith.

Usha has a bachelors degree with a self-designed major in astrobiology from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She first got involved with terrestrial Mars analog research in 2009, through Death Valley geomicrobiology work at Hampshire. She has since conducted Mars analog fieldwork in Death Valley National Park and The Mojave National Preserve in California, The Atacama Desert in Chile, and as the Crew Biologist for Crew 108 at MDRS in 2011. Other previous space science experience includes working as an astrophysics research assistant at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in La Serena, Chile. 

Currently living back in her native San Francisco, Usha's work involves studying the biochemistry of rabies virus at Prosetta Antiviral, studying oxidative stress in algae at NASA Ames Research Center, and creating science illustrations for the ISIS Institute. When she's not in the lab, Usha enjoys painting, high country backpacking, and teaching space science workshops for kids. An avid lindy hop dancer and aspiring astronaut, she hopes to one day swing out on Mars. 


Hiroyuki Miyajima is a professor at Tokyo Jogakkan College. He did research on space habitation and space craft design as a visiting professor at the Aerospace Engineering and Sciences University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013 fall semester.

He majored in aeronautics at Nihon University in Tokyo and has been doing research on space habitation design for twenty years. One of his primary works concerns life support material circulation analysis and design to support habitation experiments for the Closed Ecology Experiment Facilities (CEEF), used in Japan’s Biosphere. He received a Ph.D. in this field in 2005.

He was selected to be an engineer of the Crew 132 and the commander for Crew 137, Team Nippon (Japan) in this 2013-2014 field season. He is currently engaged in research about logistics and life support systems analysis for high-mobility exploration. He is interested in habitation technology, logistics and excursion using a vehicle at the MDRS.

MICHAEL BOUCHARD, CREW GEOLOGIST (Recipient of MDRS Field Science Scholarship)

Bouchard is currently completing his B.S. in Geology and Geophysics at Missouri University of Science and Technology and is excited to serve as Mission 132's Crew Geologist. An avid space enthusiast, this is not his first time working with the Mars Society. Last summer he lead a group of engineering and science students to MDRS to compete in the University Rover Challenge. His team is working hard to develop their second-generation rover for the 2014 competition. 

Experienced in terrestrial field work, Bouchard will be conducting a three part study of how the analog environment and procedures affect geologic exploration. He will be constructing a Geologic field map, collecting potential life bearing samples to analyze in his team's ultraviolet spectrometer prototype, and completing a geologic equipment survey. 

A Missouri native, Bouchard wants to study Martian Geology and seeks opportunities to familiarize himself with the relevant tools. His undergraduate research utilizes satellite imagery to study fault patterns in the Western Egyptian desert, and last summer he helped develop and test a prototype rover with the Lunar Planetary Institute at NASA's Johnson Space Center. 

Next year Bouchard will pursue a Ph.D. program in Planetary Science and hopes to one day study the Red Planet firsthand rather than via a satellite or rover.


Born and raised in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Parrish became an Eagle Scout in BSA Troop 200 of Cary, NC. He expects to graduate from North Carolina State University in spring 2015 with B.S. majors in both Bioprocess Engineering and Environmental Engineering and minors in both Biological Sciences and Design Studies. He is Co-Founder and Co-President of Commercial Space Club, Co-Social Chair of ASGSR Student Association, and DJ at WKNC.

He participated in undergraduate research in the NCSU Departments of Biological Sciences and Plant Biology. He was awarded an Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the NASA/NC Space Grant to intern in the Advanced Life Support Labs at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in summer 2013 and plans to return in summer 2014. In addition to his degree studies, he has earned certifications and licenses in permaculture design, amateur radio, and SCUBA diving.

Parrish is honored to serve MDRS Crew 132 as GreenHab Officer and is grateful for this opportunity to prepare for life on Mars, as he is an applicant for the Mars One Project. His career interests include research and development in bioregenerative life-support systems, in-situ resource utilization, and planetary ecosynthesis. He lives to improve the human condition and loves to play music and crack wise. He also enjoys climbing, cycling, and drumming. 


Dani is a self-designed astrobiology major at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She worked in a molecular biology lab this summer at NASA Ames Research Center and will be continuing this research with Usha Lingappa at MDRS. The project assesses the effects of environmental stress on algal, bacterial, and local MDRS samples when deposited in the Mars analog soil and exposed to below freezing temperatures, aridity, and UV radiation. We will also examine the benefits of multi-organism communities versus single-organism ones, which never occur in nature. Her other related experience includes categorizing active galactic nuclei at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, analyzing Kepler Mission data for relationships between starspot cycles and exoplanetary periods, and practicing for zero-gravity spacewalks SCUBA diving in the shark tanks at the Denver Aquarium.

Born and raised in Colorado, the remote wilderness is no stranger to Dani, and she relishes traveling to new reaches to seek adventure both interpersonally and geographically, from Burning Man to Capadoccia (Tatooine) and eventually to Antarctica.

She continues to build hours to obtain her Private Pilot’s License with aspirations to fly F22 fighter jets before jetting off to Mars.


Ian Etter was born on Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska and traveled the world as the son of a soldier. He earned his MFA in Drawing from the University of Iowa in 2013 and now resides in Iowa City. A displaced fishmonger, he is currently an Associate Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa and has exhibited his work nationally.  

Ian's work blends artistic and astronomical histories into elaborate fictions. He will incorporate practices learned at MDRS into his project Manned Mock Mars Mission (M.M.M.M.), which will involve a two-week simulation in the Loess Hills of Iowa. Artifacts of this simulation will be exhibited along with accompanying paintings, drawings, videos, and photographic documentations. 

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