The Mars Society is pleased to announced the beginning of the 2013-14 Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Field Season, with crew 131 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University arriving earlier today at the Mars hab in southern Utah. A chilly start to the field season has the MDRS facility covered in snow and ice with temperatures well below freezing.
Commander Report (12/07/13)
Crew 131 arrived on Mars today after a long journey from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Upon arrival the crew immediately began
settling into their rooms, cleaning the Hab and organizing the laboratory and upstairs living area. Two crew members went to get the food and supplies for the crew’s two-week stay on the Red Planet. Once the supplies were brought back, they were inventoried and organized in the upstairs cabinets. Currently, the crew is finishing up making dinner and writing reports.
Tomorrow Crew 131 will be officially entering sim (simulation) after some outdoor orientation activities and a crew photo. The crew will also be making all final preparations for the studies they will be conducting while on Mars. These studies include a usability study on an aeroponics device that was built by students in the Human Factors undergraduate program at Embry-Riddle as well as a usability study on a pair of space suit gloves provided by a private space suit design company called Final Frontier Design.
Additionally, the crew will be conducting an exercise study looking at the effect of exercise on stress and mood as well as a sleep pattern study looking at how the crew’s sleep patterns change when in an isolated and confined environment. Finally, the last study will involve testing out a variety of behavioral questionnaires to determine which are best for monitoring crew function and cohesion. Data collection for these studies will begin on Monday.
Overall, the crew is settling in to their new home for the next two weeks and is excited to begin their research. The crew is also eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore Mars in their first EVA, which will be on Monday.