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Mission Plan

Crew 133 Mission Plan

Crew 133 is the first University of North Dakota Space Studies / Lille 2 University team at MDRS.  We are all recent graduates or current graduate students and while our backgrounds differ our mutual interest in manned space exploration drives our similar educational goals and has brought us all to MDRS.  Our research plans at MDRS include work in observational astronomy, geology, human factors, GIS, radio communication mapping and telemedicine.  Additionally, the professional journalist on our crew has a series of articles, interviews and video planned.

Observational Astronomy:
One project is to observe occultations and transits of the Galilean moons and identify Jupiter’s bands and zones along.  This data along with observational conditions data may be published in Astronomical Lunar Planetary Observations.  A second project is to find whether comet ISON left behind a new meteor shower.  This will be determined by meteor observations around January 15.  The Earth will be passing through the path of ISON on the 15th and an increase in meteors observed coming from near Gemini would be an indication of ISON debris.

Geology:
This project is a geological survey to determine if there are signatures of ancient hydrothermal venting activity near the MDRS site. Signs of ancient hydrothermal activity include chemical residue from expended hot pools, extinct fumaroles, volcanic lakes, volcanic surface materials, or emission from iron depositing hot springs. If we are able to discover evidence of hydrothermal activity it would be a potential place where ancient microfossils would be found. If we had the proper equipment on further missions, samples from this site could yield evidence of early Martian life. 

Human Factors:
As a follow-on to an engineering study done at MDRS last season, this project will look for a correlation between sim suit helmet internal temperature and crew member comfort in relation to temperature during EVA.  The helmet temperature data will be automatically collected during EVA with a custom built electronic data logging system that was tested last season.  The crewmember self-assessment will be done with a post-EVA questionnaire to be filled out after each data-logging EVA.

GIS:
The aim of the study is to recreate the past terrain and major features of the MDRS site using data from stratigraphic profiling and imagery from remote sensing surveys. Stratigraphic information throughout the site will be gathered through traditional methods of mineral sampling, GPS truthing and optical measurements.  Stratigraphic profiles will be assembled and plotted from visual surface studies, and the information from both sources will plotted three dimensionally in ArcGIS 10.0, and data layers will created to model past strata and features. This will be a rehearsal of techniques for future detailed topographical reconstruction and analysis for evidence of archaic water flows and surface erosion patterns.  The principals of original horizontality, superposition,  inclusion,  succession and correlation will be used during physical ground surveys, and applied to the ARC GIS site map. 

Radio Communication Mapping:
This project will develop a map of 'dead' regions of radio signal as seen from the Hab.  This map will be developed by using elevation data for the region around the Hab to build a model of the surrounding terrain and then given some basic user-definable parameters for the radio signals (range, signal symmetry, etc.), 'dead' regions as seen from the Hab will be identified based on basic geometric principles of the modeled terrain.  The ‘dead’ regions will be overlaid onto a map and the identified ‘dead’ regions will be field tested during EVA by carefully planning out EVA routes with check points at specific GPS coordinates selected on the map.  At each check point the crew will attempt to communicate with the Hab via radio and note degree of success.

Telemedicine:
The objective of this research is to assess the use of an emergency training procedure using a computer tool to assist previously untrained personnel perform general anesthesia on a simulated deconditioned astronaut.  During this simulation, each of the 5 participants will perform 2 general anesthesia procedures corresponding to 2 scenarios. The injured astronaut will be represented by a torso manikin, whose vital signs and hemodynamic status will be emulated using a human patient simulator software. An interactive computer tool (PowerPoint presentation) will guide the participants through the successive steps of the general anesthesia protocol.

Journalism:
A series of stories for SPACE.com are planned about our daily life. Some will be bigger stories like the kickoff of our mission, the food we eat, the midway point of our mission, the ending, etc. and some will be based on smaller, quirky things. Also planned are two question-and-answer sessions by video, one for SPACE.com and one for North Dakota elementary/secondary students.  In addition a crew video will be produced for MDRS.