Crew Selection Procedures
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Expedition One is undertaken with the goal of expanding the scope and enhancing the thoroughness of Mars-analog studies, with an emphasis on improving the methods
of investigations and the fidelity of simulations at MDRS. It will also seek:
Project Strategies and Tactics:
- To demonstrate the
benefits to science of long-term research planning for the international
Mars Society’s Mars Analog Research Program.
- To provide training
opportunities for Canadian MS members in the Mars-analog program in order
to better plan future MSC activities.
- To provide the opportunity
for international MS members involved with planning for the other Mars-analog
stations and Mars-analog projects to learn from our methods.
Conduct a 30-day expedition to the Mars Desert Research Station in early
2003, with a year of advance planning. Planning began in February of
- Phase the expedition according to specific research needs:
- Two weeks of focused missions of investigations.
Use the station as a base of operations rather than for fully-holistic mission
simulations. The first week, Phase One, would study EVA tools (spacesuits,
rovers, data-logger, etc.) and exploration strategies while the second week,
Phase Two, would focus on EVA science operations (performing geological and
biological studies with appropriate instruments while suited).
- Phase Three would be one week of missions of opportunity
(meaning dependent on available qualified scientists with their own funded
research), focusing on Mars-analog geological and biological investigations,
telemedicine, and investigations into Earth-Mars mission science interactions.
This uses the station as both a base of operations and a research lab.
- One week of a mission of discovery
. This assembles the lessons learned over the previous three weeks
into a mission scenario which includes the best EVA strategies used to
conduct real science. This uses the habitat
as a base of operations, a research lab, and as a test-bench for habitability
studies and crew social-psychology studies.
- Maximize the amount of science activities performed during the expedition and the amount of scientific results.
For missions of investigation, use more than six scientists as crewmembers.
The crew complement does not need to be realistic to a Mars mission as holistic
mission simulations are not being done in these phases. House the overflow
in the pressurized rovers (Canadian and U. Michigan teams) and in nearby
Hanksville motels if necessary. Six crewmembers would be dedicated
to the field research, while another six crewmembers would be supporting
- For the mission
of discovery use a crew complement realistic to a Mars mission, with appropriate
number of scientists, engineers, medically trained personnel, and a commander.
Since crews of five, six, and seven have been tried before, it would be interesting
to try this with eight crewmembers, two of whom would sleep in one of the
- A Principal Investigator
on site would coordinate the investigations for the first two or three weeks,
and a Commander would coordinate the missions for the final one or two weeks.
- Minimize the amount
of non-science activities performed by the Field Research Crew during the
expedition by having a Mission Systems Crew available for those tasks. During
current simulations up to a quarter of crew time is spent writing reports
and dealing with circumstantial problems.
- During the first three
investigative phases, do not use scientist-crewmembers to upkeep the station.
Have a Mission Systems Crew available for station maintenance and repair,
daily chores, helping crew suit up for EVA, and circumstantial events.
- A large amount of
science report writing can be done in advance of the expedition by having
a comprehensive expedition plan detailing each experiment that will be performed,
leaving only details of circumstances and results to be added right before
communicating with mission support. This also allows mission support
to know what they need to support and how to publicise it as well.
- During investigative
phases, Mission Systems Engineers up-keeping the station, the suits, and
the computer hardware can write the engineering reports.
- Use Mission Systems
Crew videographers to document by videotape all investigations for later
study and upload to mission support.
- Use Mission Systems
Crew videographers to record audio debriefings of the crew (individually
and as a team) post-EVA, and upload to mission support.
- Restrict visitors
and outside media access to two specific days. Hold two day open houses
for educational and promotional purposes.
- Recruit crewmembers
and support personnel by outlining the expedition plan on the web, and advertising
for specific experience or skills needed. Crewmembers are selected
based on a combination of experience, educational background, answers to
a personality questionnaire, and any proposed research plans or specific
specialized equipment (robotics, geophysical instruments) that might be offered.
Any volunteer must be willing to do work before the expedition to prepare
for their phase:
- Volunteering geologists
must look over maps of the MDRS area to be made available on the MSC website
and suggest an exploration plan. The individuals to suggest the best
plans will be the most likely to be selected, pending personality tests.
- Volunteering biologists
must help look over maps of the MDRS area and identify likely areas to conduct
studies. The individuals to suggest the best plans will be the most
likely to be selected, pending personality tests.
- Volunteering engineers
must suggest ways to conduct operational tests of exploration equipment and
habitat facilities. The individuals to suggest the best plans will
be the most likely to be selected, pending personality tests.
- Volunteering medical
practitioners must suggest telemedicine/telehealth experiments to perform.
The individuals to suggest the best plans will be the most likely to be selected,
pending personality tests.
- Volunteering videographers/support
personnel will be required to be available for training, or otherwise submit
to the selection committee a videotape demonstrating their ability to non-obtrusively
video-document people engaging in work activities, as well as their skills
to debrief scientists and engineers about their observations. Support
personnel may be required to volunteer as test subjects in telemedicine/telehealth
- Use volunteering crewmembers
of one phase as part of the remote mission science support team of other
phases, or at least as consultants that the mission support team can call
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