--- FINAL MISSION REPORT – CREW 138 ---
Commander: Jamie Guined M.Ed., MBA, CSCS, FMS
Executive Officer, GreenHab Officer: Avid Roman-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Health & Safety Officer, Crew Biologist: Bechara (Besh) Saab, Ph.D.
Crew Geologist: Johanna Hoyt, M.S.
Crew Journalist: Jimmy (Jim) Urquhart
Crew Engineer: Jay Berger, B.S.
Crew 138 is comprised of a team of highly-skilled professionals with varied backgrounds who were selected by the Mars Society to undertake a two-week interdisciplinary expedition at the Mars Desert Research Station. The Crew’s activities ranged in scope from preparing operational handbooks and checklists for the Mars Desert Research Station, performing hardware and logistical evaluations for future research at MDRS, an analysis of Google Earth as a tool for geological field mapping, evaluations of commercial-off-the-shelf engineering and electrical components, the design of a Mars EVA work day functional task battery, and assessing the viability for incorporating an exercise countermeasures hardware and program into the Mars Desert Research Station.
The primary objectives of the Crew 138 expedition are as follows:
• Develop operational handbooks and checklists for Mars Desert Research Station
• Assess the viability for integrating exercise countermeasures hardware and an exercise countermeasures program into the Mars Desert Research Station
• Develop a proof-of-concept Mars EVA Work Day functional task battery
• Engineering & hardware evaluation of a variety of biomedical monitoring devices
• Logistical analyses for future biomedical & biological research at MDRS
• Extravehicular activity (EVA) reconnaissance techniques
• Investigate varying degrees of crew autonomy and its effect(s) on efficiency and productivity during EVA
• Evaluate accuracy of Google mapping of remotely sensed imaging
• Photography and videography of expedition
• Facilitate educational and public outreach activities
EXTRA VEHICULAR ACTIVITY (EVA) SORTIES
Crew 138 performed 8 EVA sorties focusing on extravehicular activity reconnaissance techniques, the accuracy of Google mapping of remotely sensed imaging, EVA task performance, and crew autonomy during EVA. All EVAs were a success and produced the information and pilot data the researchers were hoping for.
MDRS HABITAT MAINTENANCE
Crew 138 contributed the following services to the habitat:
- Assisted with the temporary repair of the Engineering Bay Airlock deck/porch. The port was impossible to close due to loose joints and a broken latch.
- Conducted a comprehensive food inventory for MDRS.
- Conducted a thorough evaluation and inventory of the medical supply cabinet, and developed an electronic medical supply inventory tracking spreadsheet.
- Completed an aerial mapping project of the MDRS area by quad copter.
- Repaired all EVA backpacks; all 6 are now operational.
- Habitat SUV was washed and the interior cleaned.
- Deep-cleaned the habitat and removed a great deal of accumulated and leftover junk from previous crews.
- Picked up trash from around the immediate vicinity of the habitat.
ACCURACY OF GOOGLE EARTH AS AN AIDE FOR GEOLOGIC FIELD MAPPING
Contributed by Johanna Hoyt
Detailed lithologic descriptions of outcropping rock is virtually impossible from google earth. Interpretation of depositional environment is useless from remote images. The 3D image viewing capabilities are great for viewing topography, but the scale is difficult to estimate, and it is easy to mistakenly plan a route that is too steep to safely execute. One of the better aspects of Google Earth's images are the different vintages of remotely sensed images available. It is interesting to scroll through images dated from 1993 to 2013, and see color variations, resolution changes, and differences through time, and convenient for this information to already be located on one platform.
The accuracy of the GPS coordinates generated by Google Earth are about within the error of a hand held GPS unit. On average the difference is about 10ft. Beyond this, the greatest weakness of Google Earth is the lack of detail in the image resolution. Identifying the faults in the area directly north of the Habitat would have been extremely difficult without field identification. The minor jabs in contacts on the Google Earth Image, and slight change in color would have been assumed to be artifacts of the image if field observations hadn't confirmed the presence of faults. This is beginning to enter the realm of sub image resolution mapping.
For the purposes of structural geologic mapping, if the accuracy of the map needed is on the order of 10ft or greater, Google Earth images should be sufficiently accurate. It is possible to map faults with as little as 1 m of displacement. For those that have limited funds and no access to ArcGIS or no knowledge of how to utilize ArcGIS, Google Earth would be an acceptable substitute as it is publicly available for no cost and needs little to no training. For quickness and ease of use, Google Earth is a great alternative to ArcGIS, although care should be taken when developing a geologic map based on remotely sensed images. Color alone is a poor indicator of rock types and lacks much information needed for a complete geologic interpretation.
EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITY RECONNAISSANCE AND CREW AUTONOMY
Contributed by Jay Berger
Using aerial vehicle for reconnaissance:
The quad copter with attached camera was a very effective tool for photographing areas prior to traversing by foot. I was able to coordinate efforts with our crew geologist Johanna Hoyt by photographing sights she planned on surveying for her mapping study, in particularly, sights that were up through rocky, mountainous terrain making it difficult to determine the easiest path forward. The quad copter was used on days prior to Johanna’s EVAs to take photographs of the area and then the photos were analyzed back at the Hab for route selection. It actually worked very well and gave much more clarity to the terrain contours than one could get from Google Earth.
Things that we took into consideration were most obviously the wind, time of flight, and the terrain over which we flew. Due to the weight of the camera and battery life, flights were limited to three minutes. We also didn’t fly over areas that would be completely inaccessible on foot in the event the quad copter had a failure and came down leaving us to recover it. I think ideally, a live video feed from the copter camera to the EVA crew would provide best results.
As a final note, transporting the quad copter with the ATVs was very simple and effective.
Autonomous vs detailed timeline for EVAs:
Again, teaming up with Johanna, her project was ideal to test whether a completely autonomous EVA versus a detailed pre-planned EVA was more efficient in locating areas of interest.
We planned a series of EVAs with specific coordinates that Johanna was using as part of her mapping project that seemed to be interesting from a Google Earth perspective. Then we did EVAs over the same area without any specific points to visit.
From a geologist’s perspective using a Google Earth type program provided some insight prior to the EVA for possible areas of interest but having the freedom to investigate areas of interest that came up during the EVA seemed to be more efficient and provide the best insight into the terrain around the habitat.
Having just one trained geologist and being limited in amounts of EVA due to only having two weeks in sim were obvious constraints but good enough for a baseline analysis.
POTENTIAL COGNITIVE & PHYSICAL ENHANCING EFFECTS OF INDUCED MILD HYPERKETONEMIA
Contributed by Bechara (Besh) Saab, Ph.D.
During this rotation at MDRS I performed a variety of logistical analyses in preparation for a blind crossover studies on humans factors related to strenuous EVAs. It is envisioned the first blind crossover study will explore if direct intake of a synthetic ketone monoester can offset muscular and cognitive fatigue following strenuous EVAs, building on data from the University of Oxford. The current mission thus profiled EVAs around MDRS that will be suitable for future human factor experiments. Suitable locations for a liquid nitrogen holding tank, centrifuge, and exercise bike were also determined, as well as the work-flow for blood collection, processing and storage. In addition, cognitive ability, reaction time, mental affect, gastrointestinal sensation and blood metabolites were assayed following strenuous EVAs, in-HAB exercise, fasting and under ‘optimal’ conditions. Total steps and heart rate were continuously monitored at 30 Hz with 3 s epochs. Nightly sleep duration and quality were autonomously recorded, as were morning meals. The potential conclusions and significance of these current data will be derived following a detailed analysis in the coming months. Any publications from this work will be occur in open-access format.
COTS EEE COMPONENTS IN THE SIMULATED SPACE ANALOG ENVIRONMENT OF THE MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION
Contributed by Avid Roman-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
The EEE (electrical, electronic and electromechanical) components are very important in space missions. There are space-qualified components, but are expensive and often difficult to get them, so for many small missions, use these qualified components is a big problem. In this sense, the use of commonly used or commercial components called COTS is an alternative to conduct these missions, but the fact that they are not space-qualified; it is a problem because one does not know if the components will has a correct performance in the space environment.
I this two week of mission at MDRS, I tested two kind of components. Transistors 2N3904, and operational amplifiers LM741. I keep a sample of each kind inside the Hab, and a sample outside the Hab. In this two week I did not see any differences between samples inside and outside. It is necessary to do more tests, taking more time, other temperature ranges, and also taking in consideration the radiation aspects in order to conclude if the components can be used for space missions.
MARS EVA WORK DAY FUNCTIONAL TASK BATTERY
Contributed by Jamie Guined
Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) has become a mainstay in the human exploration of space from the very beginning and will continue to be essential to human space exploration, in particular, the exploration of other planetary bodies. This proof-of-concept evaluation is a prerequisite to future studies which will evaluate the physical exertion and metabolic demands of Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) functional tasks during a simulated Mars surface mission. This evaluation determined how to conduct a variety of functional EVA tasks in a simulated Mars environment using implements that are similar to what could be found at an actual Mars habitat.
For future studies, metabolic, biomechanical, physiologic, and subjective human performance data will be collected in the shirt-sleeve condition (unsuited) as a baseline, and also in the suited condition. For the suited trials, subjects will participate in both a 60 minute simulated work day test protocol, as well as a 120 minute test protocol. The tasks in the Mars EVA functional task battery include: suit donning/doffing, locomotion, stepping, rock translation, tool usage (shoveling), carrying, object manipulation (barrel rolling and rope coiling), and wall construction.
I plan to return for the 2014-2015 field season to conduct IRB-approved research using this protocol.
VIABILITY OF AN INTEGRATED EXERCISE COUNTERMEASURES PROGRAM AT THE MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION
Contributed by Jamie Guined
Exercise is a very important aspect in maintaining crew health and wellness and functional capacity for operational demands such as Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), habitat maintenance, and preparedness for emergency situations. In addition to the obvious physiological benefits of exercise and physical activity, it is also highly beneficial for helping to maintain cognitive and psychological well-being and performance by serving as a great countermeasure for stress reduction. Likewise, stress management is a very valuable component of a comprehensive countermeasures program for space exploration, considering the unique and demanding operational environment in which crewmembers are expected to perform at optimal levels.
The volume constraints of the Mars Desert Research Station poses a unique challenge in finding suitable exercise countermeasures hardware that can satisfy not only operational and engineering constraints of the habitat, but also the needs of the crew. Exercise countermeasures hardware that is to be integrated into MDRS will ideally be capable of use for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise modalities, and should offer enough variety in exercise selection to help facilitate exercise adherence.
A full report with recommendations will be made available to the Mars Society after the completion of the Crew 138 mission.
PR AND OUTREACH SUMMARY
Crew 138 prepared several outreach projects for their expedition, ranging in scope from local/regional schools to international (open to all). Throughout the mission, the crew prepared materials for the outreach activities including video and audio recordings and still photography. A summary of each outreach project is provided below.
In addition to outreach, the crew designed and maintained a website (www.mars-crew138.com), social media channels and presence (Facebook www.facebook.com/crew138mdrs and Twitter www.twitter.com/crew138mdrs), and participated in video documentary interviews with Journalist Jim Urquhart who was on assignment for National Geographic. A photography crew from Rodale Publishing was also onsite to conduct a photo shoot for a feature in an upcoming edition of Training Edge magazine that profiles Crew 138 Commander Jamie Guined and her work in exercise countermeasures for human spaceflight.
The mission has so far received coverage by National Geographic, and has also been syndicated by The New York Times.
MISSION COVERAGE AND PR LINKS
Coverage for National Geographic provided by Jim Urquhart: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/25/first-person-what-im-learning-on-a-simulated-mars-mission/
MISSION OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
COOKING ON MARS
(Analog) Mars needs chefs!! Help Mars Desert Research Station Crew 138 prepare for their upcoming mission by submitting recipes to the Crew's "Cooking on Mars" contest! Visit the Notes on the Crew's Facebook page to view the list of food and cooking supplies the crew will have on-hand at the Mars Desert Research Station. All participants will receive a certificate of appreciation and a mention on the Crew's website at www.mars-crew138.com.
The crew will select at least 16 winning submissions from the following three categories: 1) Breakfast 2) Lunch and 3) Dinner. Winning submissions will be announced and listed on the "Cooking on Mars" contest page of the Crew's website, and will be used by Crew 138 during the 15-30 March, 2014 mission. Winners will receive a "Cooking on Mars" patch (seen on the cover page of this booklet), a certificate of appreciation, and will have their recipe(s) included in the free "Cooking on Mars" e-book to be published in June, 2014. Participants were asked to submit recipes to email@example.com no later than March 13, 2014.
ASK AN ANALOG ASTRONAUT
How does “Ask an Analog Astronaut” work?
Send your list of questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will then be screened for appropriateness prior to being forwarded to Crew 138 for final selection.
What types of questions are considered appropriate?
In general, your question(s) should concern science (Earth science, environmental science, space science, biological science, etc.), human health & performance (space medicine, exercise in space, fitness, nutrition, etc.), living and working in space or on another planet (such as Mars), and the benefits of space exploration to life here on Earth.
Examples of the types of questions we receive:
· How will future Mars explorers exercise and stay fit?
· What types of food will future Mars explorers eat?
· How will you communicate with people on Earth?
How do I submit a question (or questions)?
Simply email your question(s) to email@example.com. Also, please be sure to provide your first name ONLY, and your grade level/age so that we may tailor an age-appropriate response to your question(s).
How will questions be answered?
As you might imagine, given the large number of responses that we receive, we simply won’t have time to answer ALL questions submitted to the “Ask an Analog Astronaut” program. Only questions that are selected by the Crew will be answered. All questions will be answered through one of the following types of media: 1) on the Mission’s blog at www.mars-crew138.com 2) on the Mission’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/crew138MDRS), 3) by video uploaded to the Mission’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/crew138MDRS), or 4) on the Mission’s @Crew138MDRS Twitter feed, so you’ll want to be sure to follow our Mission’s website and social media channels to see if your question is selected!
The end of our mission has finally come, and looking back on it, we can't believe how quickly the time has passed. When we arrived here two weeks ago, we were a group of six individuals, strangers who all shared a common interest and who were embarking on a common journey. We leave here a team, a REAL crew. As a commander, I could not be more pleased with how well this mission has gone and how seamlessly this group of six strangers banded together to form one AWESOME team! We totally ROCKED this mission!!
Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported us on this journey!
And thank you to my crew Jay, Jimmy, Johanna, Besh, and Avid...y'all are the best and I am honored to have served on this mission with you. Fair winds and following seas my friends.