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A 30-Day Mission of Investigation

At the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah

Geology, Biology, Technology, Operations
and Human Factors Research

Archived News

Members of the crew of Expedition One, led by Commander / Principal Investigator Rocky Persaud, has formed the Expedition Research Council to plan the long term course of action for the Mars Society Canada - Mars Society Australia series of Mars Analog expeditions. A news website to host the council's plans and report on progress for its missions is located at www.expedition-mars.org. Many world experts in Mars analog studies have agreed to sit on the council's oversight committee.

All 26 members of the Expedition One MDRS crew were elected today to the Association of Mars Explorers for their contributions to Mars analog research.

The Association of Mars Explorers, founded in 2002, is a membership organization for explorers of the Martian deserts, mountains, caves, poles and Martian analog environments. See http://www.mars-club.org for more information.

Nine papers by the Expedition One crew have been accepted for the "Martian Expedition Planning" volume by editor Charles Cockell. This output contributes 100 pages, about one-third of the book.

The crew is hard at work analyzing the data from Expedition One. Papers are being written in response to the following announcement.

-- Call for Papers "Martian Expedition Planning"

American Astronautical Society / British Interplanetary Society

Deadline: June 30th 2003

Papers are requested for an AAS/BIS book entitled "Martian Expedition Planning" to be published in late 2003. The papers can discuss any aspect of the planning of surface activities on Mars from mountaineering to the exploration of Martian deserts. Papers can cover human factors, logistics and science. The book takes as its starting point a base on Mars and considers how expeditions would be planned to the various different terrains and environments of Mars. The book will be a continuation of the highly successful "Case for Mars" Series and will be available early next year.

Those interested in submitting papers for this volume are asked to contact Charles Cockell at csco@bas.ac.uk.

Expedition Two is going ahead! The Mars Society of Australia have obtained 1/3rd of of the funding required for a mission next year in Australia from the magazine Australian Geographic.

On Sunday March 16th the last crewmembers of Expedition One departed the Mars Desert Research Station. After one month of operations, and a full year of prior planning, the ExOne mission was accomplished. It was an astounding success. Now over the next year, data from ExOne will be analyzed, and papers will be written to reap the benefits of such an ambitious, intense mission.

At the Mars Society of Canada annual general meeting, on May 18th in Montreal, a full set of presentations on Expedition One will be offered to attendees. See http://marssociety.ca for details of the meeting.

During ExOne, we had:

In addition to these firsts, great research was accomplished in crew social-psychology and cognitive performance.

Future Expeditions are already in the conception stage. We, the ExOne veterans, are planning a long term research program for the next ten years to accomplish all the Mars analog research necessary before the first real human Mars mission. Expedition Two, Three, Four and Five may be (in no particular order): a Rover focused mission at MDRS; analog studies in Australia, before or after Mars-Oz is built; analog studies at EuroMars in Iceland, if partnership with the EuroMars team is negotiated; and operations at FMARS on Devon Island. The Aussies are eager to do ExTwo in Australia in 2004. Whichever comes next depends on many factors, including funding, planning and management of the expedition program. For each of these expeditions a Principal Investigator will be chosen to manage the research program. The goal is to prepare the way for a 500 day mission simulation -- which would likely be some time beyond Expedition Ten. Along the way, 90-day missions will be considered when necessary.

But before those long duration missions, a lot of ExOne style Mars analog investigations must be done. More research on operations, field science, crew social-psychology and a host of other areas are needed. The core group of ExOne veterans will begin by forming an Expedition Research Council to examine the issues regarding a long term research program. The council will be expanded from invited researchers from the list of experienced crewmembers who have participated in at least one Mars analog mission. A volume of papers resulting from Expedition One is expected to be ready some time for publication next year.

Perhaps Expedition Twenty may be on Mars itself. With a long term coordinated program, and an expanding team of researchers and supporters, we will make it happen.

Over the Labour Day weekend, the Crew Selection Committee met in Ottawa, Canada to make the First Cut. Everyone who applied was considered to be highly qualified for the roles they wished. Of more than 50 applicants, 29 were selected as Crew Candidates for the four phases of the expedition, and several more were invited to be a part of the Mission Support Team.

The Crew Candidates will spend the next three months developing the Expedition One science and technology research agenda. In December the final cut will be made, and the crew reduced to about 22 crewmembers.

Crew Candidates consist of engineers, geologists, biologists, students, psychologists, public relations experts, and an emergency medicine intern. They live all over Canada, the United States and Australia.

The Mars Society of Canada and the Mars Society of Australia will now officially co-manage the Expedition will considerable aid from members of the U.S. Mars Society.

The centre-piece of the Mars Society of Canada's international collaborative science program is the first of an intended series of special expeditions to each of the international Mars Society's analog research stations. The first of these, Expedition One, will be to the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, from February 15th - March 16th, 2003 . The Principal Investigator is Rocky Persaud, President of MSC. Though the Expedition is organized and led by the Mars Society of Canada, it will involve the close participation of members of the University of Michigan Mars Rover Project, the US Mars Society, and the Mars Society of Australia. We are also eager for volunteers outside of these teams to participate.

This 30-Day Expedition will be an intensive Mission of Investigation to pursue a specific suite of research focused on developing improvements to the field science mission scenario. Other crews have focused on holistic mission simulations in order to understand relationships and circumstantial factors that develop between and among crewmembers and processes as time, space, materials and energy within the habitat is used. The research philosophy for Expedition One will be to focus on factors and issues not previously studied, to do it in a manner that maximizes scientific results, and use the experience gained to build up a better mission science scenario in order to develop more realistic mission simulations in the long-term.

We are looking for researchers and volunteers, each of which may serve as crewmembers, or help in Mission Support. Researchers in human factors, anthropology and social-psychology who do not participate as crewmembers are invited to propose scientific analysis that would be done on the video, text and audio data resulting from the Expedition.

Note that in addition to the crew, we will be selecting researchers and volunteers for the Mission Support team. This team will be intrinsic to helping planning and support the research conducted during the expedition. See the bottom of crew selection page for Mission Support duty descriptions and application procedures.

There will be many more crew slots available than is normal for a comparable period at MDRS. The Expedition is divided into 4 Phases, each of which will be approximately one week in duration, though crewmembers who can participate in multiple consecutive phases will be preferred. Each new Phase builds upon previous Phases until an Integrated Mission Scenario is developed for Phase 4. Since it is anticipated that both the Mars Society of Canada ARES Mars Analog Rover and the University of Michigan Everest Mars Analog Rover will be available for use during the Expedition, there are 6 extra sleeping quarters available beyond the habitat's 6 staterooms. If the ARES is not ready, either the crew size will be cut back, or more likely, a room in a nearby Hanksville motel kept as an office by the PI will be used as extra sleeping space as well.

Phase Science Focus
Mission of Investigation: Scouting Strategies and EVA Technology Research
Mission of Investigation: Scouting Strategies and EVA Science Operations
Mission of Opportunity: Science Survey of Scouted Sites
Mission of Discovery: Integrated Mission Scenario

There are dozens of opportunities to become a part of this unique Expedition. There will be a Field Research Crew, and a Mission Systems Crew. Scientists, engineers, technical aides and skilled volunteers are needed to fill a variety of roles for specific crew slots. We need:

There are between 12 and 24 Crew slots to be filled over the course of the 30 days. Crew Selection will be by both invitation and competitive performance. Many crew slots are reserved for individuals who can fill multiple roles, or who have experience, skills or involvement in the MSC science and technical program that is critical to the success of the Expedition. For example, a few spots are reserved for individuals involved in the Toronto-based Mission Support and EVA Datalogger Projects, for people involved in the Canadian or Michigan Rover Projects, and for people involved with the Australian Mars Society MARS-Oz science program or their MCP spacesuit project. Mars Society members involved with the FMARS, MDRS or Euro-MARS projects are encouraged to apply. However, even these "reserved" spots are not guaranteed, as all crew will be selected based on pre-Expedition performance in planning for this intensive month of research. If you do the work required to prepare for the Expedition, you will ensure your own spot.

To learn how to join us check out our crew selection procedures.

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Expedition-Mars.org Link to the MDRS mission reports webpage

All MDRS Mission Reports

ExOne - Mission Info