Mars Desert Research Station Crew 187

Mission Summary – Crew 187 – Team Latam II

Mars Desert Research Station

Mission Summary

Crew 187 – Team Latam II

 

Commander/Astronomer: Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo (Peru)

Executive Officer: Atila Kahlil Meszaros Henostroza (Peru)

Crew Engineer: Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Peru)

GreenHab Officer: Hernán David Mateus Jiménez (Colombia)

Crew Scientist/EVA Officer: Oscar Ivan Ojeda Ramirez (Colombia)

Health and Safety Officer: Danton Iván Bazaldua Morquecho (Mexico)

Journalist: Tania Maria Robles Hernandez (Mexico)

 

Commander’s Statement

 

I had the honor of working with a highly talented crew, not only professionally, but also personally. Our roots come from Peru, Colombia, and Mexico; but in our hearts, we carry the responsibility of representing all of Latin America, which we will always do with our best effort. Each member of the crew was a key to success the mission; their experiences, knowledge in science and engineering, their high commitment to make the simulation as real as possible, his teamwork and constant support were valuable; always following the philosophy of “All for one and one for all!”.

Every day on Mars was a great adventure; we celebrated a Martian birthday, we recharged a diesel tank, we saw the sun, the moon, the constellations, among other wonders of the universe, we were the first explorers of a canyon, and we had the honor that all the crew wishes to have, to give the name to a canyon and a road; in this way El Dorado Canyon and Despacito Road – because you have to go slowly along this road for the safety of each crew member – are now part of the MDRS map. El Dorado was an ancient legend about a city full of gold that challenged every explorer who dared to look for it. For us to call it that reflects the curiosity that awoke in us as new explorers of Mars and the desire to leave in there a Latin American mark.

I feel proud of each member of this crew since at their young age they have achieved great things with that courage and strength that characterizes every Latino. No matter how big the challenge and the obstacles that each one has to overcome, I am sure that with effort, courage, and dedication they will be able to do it; as well as we all defeated together the adversities that they had in our stay in the MDRS. In these fabulous 15 days, each one gained experience, acquired new knowledge, expanded his way of seeing the universe and learned from others. More than being part of a crew, we are part of a family … a Martian family!

The crew 187 is eternally grateful for the support and trust gave by The Mars Society, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Shannon Ruppert, Mission Support and all the people and institutions that believe in each one of us.

 

Ad Astra,

Cynthia Fuertes Panizo

Commander of the Crew 187 – MDRS

 

Summary of the EVA’s activities

EVAs on Space exploration are not routine, and for sure, in the first stages of Mars exploration, will surely keep that trend. Every EVA is different to the other, not only because the goals change, also because the circumstances change as well. One of the most interesting aspects of the simulation while on MDRS is the possibility to simulate such activities and experience the first two statements firsthand. While most of the crew’s projects were meant to be developed in or close to the habitat and campus, performing EVAs is an extraordinary opportunity to learn and test ourselves in a physical and psychological way. To be able to test our capacity of reaction to the unexpected, to solve problems that arise from thin air, to cope with stress, and to be able to come back home every day, to a cup of warm chocolate, and be ready the next day to go through that again. All that while wearing the space suit simulator, complete with gloves and boots.

Crew 187 performed a total of 15 EVAs, not counting the frequent excursions of our engineer to the generator. Most of our destinations were suggested by Director Shannon, taking us to previously unexplored zones of the MDRS area. Some of the EVAs where more routine, used to cycle the batteries of the rovers, in order to extend their life, 4 of this EVAs were performed. The other EVAs allowed us to test the projects of some of our crewmembers. The general testing was successful, attaining most of the science goals. Also, we were able to explore places that had not been visited before, or in a very long time by previous crews. Most of the activities went without trouble, but it’s important to mention the finding of the cougar prints, as well as the battery drain of Deimos, which led the team to find solutions for taking the vehicle and themselves home.

Oscar Ojeda

EVA Officer

 

Summary of the Greenhab

In the end, the Greenhab was as beautiful as the beginning. During the mission, we had to make some changes in the interior to give more space to the aquaponics and take care of the plants that were in front of the fan that had been damaged. After these modifications, we received a high resistance tarpaulin to place it under the cover and protect the plants that are exposed to solar radiation. During the two weeks, 3 projects were developed in the Greenhab, which involved an assembly of aquaponics, germination of different types of quinoa in two types of soil, one analogous to Mars and another commercial. In addition, we worked on the measurement of evapotranspiration of a quinoa crop in Martian analogous soil, the data that was obtained will be analyzed to give recommendations for the Greenhab and the irrigation process.

 

David Mateus

Greenhab Officer

 

 

Summary of the Operation reports

 

During our stay at the MDRS, the diesel tank was recharged for a total of 300 gallons, which allowed us to feed the electric generator, in charge of supplying power to the Habitat and all the structures of the station. It should be noted that due to the problem of water level control over the bedrooms, we successfully manufactured an alarm with a water level sensor to be alerted at the precise moment in which the key was to be closed.

Also, based on the problem raised with one of the Rovers during a long-term EVA, we implemented a security protocol in which, from now on, it is mandatory to carry a survival kit (food and tools), as well as thick ropes that allow towing a vehicle in the event of a breakdown.

 

Luis Lopez

Crew Engineer

 

 

Final reports of the Projects

 Mobile application as help agent in MDRS

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Systems Engineer. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Peru

cynthiayfp@gmail.com

According to Gardner, Android is the Operating System with more users around the world, therefore the apps that I will develop will be for Android. I am working using Unity, Monodevelop, Vuforia, JDK and Android SDK.

During the Sim, I worked doing the app for Musk Observatory. I organize this app into 5 parts: Safety Instructions, Potential Hazards, Hand Control, Alignment, and Focus. When you select the first option, a PDF will be downloaded with the Safety Instructions. In the second case, a pop up will be displayed with the advice of the Potential Hazards. In the third case, it will allow to recognize the Hand Control of the telescope and overlapping it with the main parts of it and when you select it you will be able to know a short concept about each one. For the fourth and fifth case, a PDF will be downloaded for each one. Also, I have the intention of working with the equipment of the science dom. I already collected the information that I need to do it. Moreover, I have the intention to test the final app with future crews.

 

Spreading space issues using a mobile application

Cynthia Yacel Fuertes Panizo

Systems Engineer. Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima – Peru

cynthiayfp@gmail.com

During the Sim, I worked collecting the information that I need, like pictures, videos, 3D mapping of some zones that we went and so on. When I come back to Peru, I will start to create the app and in the end, I am planning to test it in a school of a vulnerable area of Peru in order to spread a different kind of topics like MDRS, Mars, Space and so on.

 

 Resistance of Peruvian crops to Mars analog soil

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú

atilameszaros1@gmail.com

Three kinds of quinoa and one of kiwicha were selected to prove their resistance to Mars analog soil and to prove their value for being included in future martian diets. During Sol 7, three replicas and one control were planted. They’ve been watered once a day with 250 mL of water. Till now, the control hasn’t germinated, and we are expecting, even the ones that are planted on the mars analog soil, to start germinating during the next two Sols.

 

 Aquaponics trade-offs and comparison with regular gardening methods on MDRS

Atila Meszaros

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima – Perú

atilameszaros1@gmail.com

This project will be developed through the following months and will be taken within the intern program, with the support of the Green Hab Officers of the following crews to keep it running. Initially only the hydroponic functions will be used, and a cost-efficient comparison will be made between the hydroponic system and the regular gardening techniques. During this rotation, the aquaponics system is almost fully set up and we are going to start doing any time soon the leak tests.

 

Design and implementation of a thermoregulatory system for the homologation of the internal temperature in the EVA suits used by the analogous astronauts in the MDRS

Luis José Antonio Díaz López (Cascas, Perú)

Ingeniero Mecatrónico de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Perú

luisjosedl14@gmail.com

The implementation and testing of the project were successful. Due to the cold, only the heating system was tested, which uses a ceramic resistor commonly used in 3D printer extruders. This resistance is part of the heat exchanger system that transmits, by convection, the heat to water. A water pump is responsible for circulating the thermoregulated liquid inside a bag for blood donation, which is regulated thanks to a temperature differential that takes as reference the external temperature and the temperature inside the suit (specifically in the area where the heart is located). Likewise, the temperature reading is stored in a microSD memory next to the date and time to have a chronological reference of the temperature compensations that the system had to perform.

 

Evapotranspiration on Mars

Hernan David Mateus Jimenez

Mechatronics engineer, student of master of science in systems engineering

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota Colombia

hdmateusj@unal.edu.co

Evapotranspiration is the physical process that converts the liquid water from a green area in vapor water by the action of both transpiration and evaporation. One way to measure evapotranspiration is using a device named lysimeter that measures the weight of the crop and the weight of leachate continuously.

The lysimeter started to be assembled since the beginning of the simulation but started to take measurements of evapotranspiration on Sol 8, because some pieces had to be repaired and it was necessary to do an EVA to take Martian soil. Also, it was necessary to determine the amount of water to mix with the Martian Soil and get the best texture. The data recollected during the six Soles are going to be analyzed in Colombia in order to get a list of recommendations to improve the use of water in the Greenhab and on the crops that use Martian Soil.


 

Positioning system based on star recognition

Hernan David Mateus Jimenez

Mechatronics engineer, student of master of science in systems engineering

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota Colombia

hdmateusj@unal.edu.co

In this project, we wanted to prove a software that says what your location is, based on a photo that you take from the sky. This software was developed in python using Opencv library. The objective was to measure the accuracy of the software in order to develop in the future useful positioning systems for night EVAs.

During the simulation we were able to take the enough amount of photos to build a sky map where the descriptor SIFT is going to search the similarities with a taken photo to find your location.

 

Field evaluation of the Cóndor Space Suit Simulator

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

oscar6ojeda@gmail.com

The project aimed to evaluate the performance of the Cóndor Space Suit Simulator, as well as its independent systems. The activities consisted on partaking on EVAs with the suit in different configurations, the EVAs were classified in short, medium, and long range. The systems tested were the complete donning, and the flexible part combined with the Exo suit, available in the MDRS. The EVAs consisted on technical, biological, and geological activities, as well as basic mobility, and vehicle manipulation. Several observations on improvements were made and will be implemented for the next version of the suit. In general, the results were positive, with a high range of movement, combined with enough restriction, to simulate properly a space suit.

 

Testing of a PXCM based wheel for a planetary rover

Oscar I. Ojeda

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

oscar6ojeda@gmail.com

The project aimed to do a basic field test of a 3D printed wheel, aimed for a planetary surface rover. The test made use of a simple automatized rover, which was implemented in the MDRS. The wheel was printed by ITAMCO and designed in Purdue University. The wheels were received in the station and assembled. First, the performance of the rover was observed with traditional commercial wheels, traversing different types of terrain, which is an analog for Mars. Afterwards the wheels were installed in the rover and tested again, over analog terrain. The results observed showed an equivalent performance while assuming terrain. Further laboratory and field testing is suggested to fully characterize the performance of the wheels, however the first testing showed positive results.

 

 

Remote sensing in mars analogue surface

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2

1UNAM, MEXICO 2IPN, MEXICO

danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1 , walterabdias@gmail.com2

 

The DRONE DJI SPARK to mapped 5 km of surface around MDRS to analyze with Cameras and digital processing for 3D in Martian soil. This drone mapped the soil of the MDRS and the habitat during 5 EVA for two weeks which will help to take images at 40 meters of height to be later analyzed by a digital processing in 3D which will help us to better understand the characteristics of the Mars surface as well to follow in automatic pilot the way of astronauts in each expedition after that the Drone analyzed the characteristics of the surface of the MDRS as well as the type of soil and its basic characteristics using Matlab and Pix4D to analyze the images of the Habitat taken by the drone.

 

Remote sensing of vital signs

Danton Bazaldua1 Walter Calles2

1UNAM, MEXICO 2IPN, MEXICO

danton.bazaldua@spacegeneration.org1, walterabdias@gmail.com2

OBJECTIVE: This device was a E.C.G monitor as well as some important aspects like the pressure and the internal humidity of the space suit of MDRS CREW 187, through a system of monitoring focused to the Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA). E.C.G module moreover the body position, galvanic response skin that will transmit the data to the user interface in which are presented in real time to the astronauts in a smart watch or an interface pc. However, the monitor has a problem with the connectivity and was complicated used during EVA but it was used to monitoring before EVA expedition. The medical data has been useful for HSO during the mission to keep the Crew 187 and design protocols to choose the member of each expedition.

 

 

Cognitive function dynamics in a martian analogue simulation

Betel Martínez Valdés 1, José Eduardo Reynoso Cruz 1 & José Luis Baroja Manzano 1

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Psychology Deparment,

Mexico City

betelmarvall@gmail.com

During the two weeks monitored different cognitive abilities fatigue levels in Crew 187 members and it was compared with control group of external participants not related to the Analogue Simulation.

Fourteen adults were part of the study. The groups were paired by the sex, age, lateral dominance and level of studies. The subjects from the support group and the control paired will be chosen voluntarily.

 

Cooperation dynamics in a martian analogue simulation

Betel Martínez Valdés1, Oscar San Pedro Caligua 1

1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City

betelmarvall@gmail.com

During this experiment analyzed the dynamics of cooperation and working team. Reciprocity between the Analogue Simulation Crew 187 members. The cooperative behavior between crew members during the analogue simulation to Mars was apply a Collective-Risk Social Dilemma in which six astronauts will be players and one coordinator. This task will be applied five times in two weeks this information will help to analyze the status of the cooperation during an analogue mission.

 

Science communication and documentary to space projects of young scientist and professionals in Latin America

Tania Robles

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City

taniarblsh@gmail.com

Latin America is an emerging and growing region in the global aerospace sector. Because of its capabilities to offer development and manufacturing services at low costs, it has been accepted as one of the supplier regions of the most important companies and space agencies.

Despite this, Latin America is an area that has not developed its infrastructure and human resources capacities in the sector. Some of the causes can be the ignorance of the decision makers. For this purpose, an outreach project has been created on the work of young Mexicans and foreigners in the space field, as well as the importance of these issues.

The project consists of documentation of the problems and actions of young students to solve problems of academia and industry.

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