Paul Bakken - Commander
Paul Bakken is a native Minnesotan, husband of 21 years, and father of three children.
He has served his community as an elected official for over 12 years, and serves on the Board of Directors for his local electrical distribution cooperative. Other experience includes Boy Scouting, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and service as an officer in the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Bakken is an avid science-fiction reader and tinkerer. He has a long-standing interest in the exploration of space, and of Mars in particular. By participating in a crew rotation at the MDRS, Bakken hopes to contribute to the body of knowledge that will one day make it possible to establish a permanent human presence on Mars.
In addition to serving as Commander of Crew 149, Bakken plans to conduct a variety of research projects while at the MDRS. These projects include a regolith plant growth study, an investigation of EVA construction materials and techniques, and a field trial of an ozone laundering system.
Ken Sullivan - XO & Crew Engineer
Ken Sullivan is a helicopter air medevac pilot and also serves as the Mars Society MDRS CapCom Coordinator.
Sullivan has extensive background and certifications with all things mechanical concerning aircraft. He performed helicopter contract operations in Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait in 2004 and 2005, and pursued farming and ranching while earning a Dixie State College degree. Sullivan's experience includes previous 911 response work, including ACLS, for a population base of a million people. Ken now prefers flying an ambulance, instead of driving one. Hide your chocolate around him. Seriously.
Pamela Nicoletatos - Crew Geologist & GreenHab Officer
Pamela Nicoletatos is Canadian born and currently residing in the Netherlands. A 41 year old mother of two with over 10 years of experience in both the Elementary and Junior High private education sector, she is TESOL certified for both adults and children. She will hold both the GreenHab Officer and Crew Geologist position while in rotation. Nicoletatos will be conducting both a forced growth study in Mars regolith simulant, as well as geological survey and classification of the MDRS outpost and surrounding area to provide possible resources for future crews.
She has enjoyed studying various subjects over the last year, ranging from Astronomy and Geology, to her current enrollment in Astrobiology. She is a qualified advanced scuba diver and also enjoys travel, hiking, yoga and the dynamics of marine biology. She's also a huge science-fiction fan and admitted Trekkie, with a massive passion for Doctor Who and all things Sherlock Holmes. As a Mars One Round 2 Candidate, Pamela sees the MDRS as an opportunity to fine tune and further develop skills necessary to be a valuable crew member with the Mars One Project. Nicoletatos also looks forward to building upon the scientific achievements made by previous MDRS crews.
Kellie Gerardi - Public Affairs Officer
Kellie Gerardi is the Business Development Specialist at Masten Space Systems (MSS), an aerospace R&D and flight services company that creates and deploys reliable, reusable rocket vehicles and components. She also serves as the Media Specialist for the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), where she reports on the democratization of space and the expansion of Earth's economic sphere. Kellie has worked with a number of private space companies on business development, strategy, and communications. In 2014, Kellie led an industry study for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) vehicle, serving as Program Manager for the Space Frontier Foundation's Commercialization Workshop series. Kellie is an active member of The Explorers Club, an international scientific organization. She chairs the Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) in New York City.
Prior to her role as Crew 149's Public Affairs Officer, Kellie contributed to numerous spaceflight publications and appeared on ABC's 'The View' and NPR's 'On Point with Tom Ashbrook' to discuss the future of spaceflight. Kellie's Martian ambitions have also been featured in The New York Times, Popular Science, and the Huffington Post. Kellie graduated from New York University, having previously attended Columbia University. She currently lives in New York City with her really, really patient fiancé.
Elena Miscodan - Health & Safety Officer
Elena Miscodan is a doctor specializing in trauma and orthopedic surgery. Born in Romania, she moved to Germany and started her residency in 2012, where she became interested in emergency medicine and completed several emergency medicine courses. Being a day-dreamer, her hope is to someday work as a volunteer to serve the people who need medical attention the most. Or people living in space, or on the Moon, or Mars.
She has always been interested in space, adventure and exploration. When she was a child, she built her own telescope, read physic books as fairytale stories and dreamt that, one day, she might see “the blue marble” with her own two eyes. She took flying and skydiving lessons, she likes to ride motorcycles over long distances or/and high mountains, scuba dive, run long, challenging races, hike very high peaks, travel to remote places and sing (with or without her band – shower is just fine).
Takeshi Naganuma - Crew Biologist
Dr. Takeshi Naganuma holds a Ph.D. in microbial ecology and serves as an Associate Professor of Marine Ecology at the School of Biosphere Science at Hiroshima University, Japan.
He has participated in expeditions to extreme habitats such as polar regions (both north and south), deep-sea, underground, deserts, volcanoes and alpines, to collect biological samples of so-called extremophiles. By learning biological diversities and capabilities from extremophiles, he aims to find extra-terrestrial life, hopefully Martian life. The MDRS Crew-149 will give him realistic experiences to develop the "search for life on Mars" during future human mission to Mars.
A potentially significant space settlement challenge is human protection from radiation. About 1 Sv (1000 mSv) radiation dose during a Mars round-trip (~1.2 years) is estimated. This is 5x to 6x higher than about 180 mSv per year estimated for ISS residents. Takeshi has been studying microorganisms living in extreme environments, or extremophiles, and radiation-resistance has been a subject of his study. Although he has learned from microbes, relevant information may be used to protect man from radiation. He will try to help "human settlement on Mars" (like the Mars One project, to which he serves as an advisor) to develop concepts and ideas for radiation protection as well as other biological issues such as planetary quarantine.
Ann-Sofie Schreurs, albeit being Belgian, grew up traveling the globe as an expat's daughter, and this unique lifestyle allowed her to open her mind and believe in what life can offer. After studying in Paris and obtaining a B.Sc. in life sciences and a M.Sc. in molecular biology, as well as doing some cancer research, she followed up with a Ph.D in biochemistry in the U.K in the field of DNA damage.
Finally, passion brought her to work at the NASA Ames Research Center in California to study space-induced bone loss. One step closer to "space" just started to stir up her passion for space exploration and her conviction to be part of it! She is now working towards this aim to reach the stars through different hobbies (scuba diving, skydiving, pilot license training), being involved in multiple space associations (Mars One candidate, Mars society, Astronaut for hire), and trying to train to become an astronaut.