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Crew 156

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Ben Easter, MD

Denver, CO

Crew 156 Commander

Ben Easter is an emergency physician at University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, CO. He attended Harvard Medical School and completed emergency medicine residency at Denver Health Medical Center. While a medical student, he completed the Aerospace Medicine Clerkship at Johnson Space Center, which sparked his interest in space medicine.

Ben greatly appreciates the help of all who brought MDRS Crew 156’s mission to fruition. In particular, he would like to thank Jay Lemery and Rick Cole for their assistance at all phases of development and execution, emergency physician and astronaut Kjell Lindgren for his advice and encouragement to follow my dreams, Dana Levin for his help with content development and the personnel of crew 156, for making this such an enjoyable experience. I’d also like to thank everyone at the Mars Society for their time and support.

Richard Cole, MD, MPH

Houston, TX

Crew 156 Health and Safety Officer

Dr. Richard Cole completed medical school and an emergency medicine residency at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.  He completed an Aerospace Medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas where he concurrently earned a Master’s of Public Health degree.  He also completed an ultrasound fellowship at the University of Texas at Houston. He currently works as a flight surgeon at the Johnson Space Center and has supported multiple ISS missions astronaut training in Star City, Russia. He also practices emergency medicine at the University of Texas at Houston and is the medical director of a freestanding emergency room.

Justin Kahale, MD

Ottawa, Canada

Crew 156, Crew Journalist

I’m an Emergency Physician from Canada with an interest in wilderness and sports medicine. I’ve recently developed a keen interest in all things space. As part of Crew 156, my goal is to enhance my knowledge of aerospace medicine and explore some of the medical challenges a future Martian crew could encounter. In my free time, I enjoy competing in triathlons and all things outdoors.


Kyle Brown, MD

Washington, Illinois

Crew 156, Executive Officer, Aerobics Champion

I grew up in Central Illinois, received my BS from Illinois College, and MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Rockford.  I am currently a senior resident emergency physician at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois.  I have clinical interests in rural and austere emergency medicine.  I look forward to the immersive aerospace medicine MDRS experience to further explore delivery of medical care in remote environments.  In my free time, I enjoy triathlons, mountain biking, wakeboarding, slalom water skiing, and cheesy horror movies.


Joshua Timpe, MD

Peoria, IL

Crew 156, Crew Engineer

I am a senior emergency medicine resident at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL.  I grew up in Iowa and received by BS and MD from the University of Iowa.  I have an interest wilderness medicine.  As a crew member of Crew 156 I look forward to learning about physiology in a microgravity environment and the challenges of prolonged space exploration.   In my free time back on earth I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking and camping with my wife.


Alex Keller, M. S., M.D.

Springfield, Missouri

Crew 156, Flight Engineer

Dr. Alex Keller is a board certified, private practice anesthesiologist, at a Level One Trauma Center in Springfield, Missouri.  She earned Fellowship status in Obstetric Anesthesiology at Duke University, and is currently a Fellowship Candidate in Wilderness Medicine with the Wilderness Medicine Society. She earned a Master of Science degree at Clemson University in Food Science and Molecular Biology. Other educational experiences include a post-graduate degree in Interior Design, multiple in-field educational immersions and, Physician consultant and Organizer to a multi-state wilderness interest group accommodating all ages and experience levels.

Her interests include adventure travel, remote backpacking, mountain biking, scuba diving, medicine, and spending time with family.  

Joining Mars Crew 156 has been an excellent way to expand my knowledge in the area of space/wilderness critical care medicine and feed my personal desire for new and challenging experiences.


Vernon Ansdell MB ChB, FRCP,DTM&H

Kaneohe, HI

Crew 156 Flight Engineer

Born and raised in England and went to Medical School at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I specialized in Internal Medicine and then subspecialized in Tropical Medicine. Having moved to Hawaii 35 years ago I practice a combination of Internal Medicine, Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine

Leisure interests include hiking ,international travel, photography and gardening.

My interest in space travel dates back to Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin and the lunar landings. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to experience what it might be like to live on Mars


Josephine Waite, M.D.

Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Crew 156, Flight Engineer

Born and educated in the Philippines. Obtained degree in B.S. Psychology, and Doctor of Medicine from University of Santo Tomas, Manila Philippines. Board Certified in Internal Medicine since 1996. Currently a solo private practitioner.  Member of AMA, ACP. Board Member for Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii, Ohana Medical Missions and Bayanihan Clinic without Walls.  Currently an active member of Doctor’s On Stage (Hawaii), to obtain funding for various medical missions.

Loves to travel and see more of the world. Likes the outdoors but would love to do more. Coming in to MDRS from the perspective of non trained crew. Interested in finding out the challenges that will be experienced by crew members in future commercial flights to space, physically, medically and psychologically. Curious on the dynamics of their interaction and overall outcome of the flight.

Feels privileged to be a part of Crew 156 here at MDRS.

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