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Dear Martian Friends

September 2, 2017 | Permalink

If time is an infinite cord, we wanted to pinch it so that our tone could wave through the ages until one of you walks on the Red Planet for the first time in Human History. Maybe you will look back in the past to understand what it took to make this singular moment to happen and perhaps you will see us (and so many others)…

We were a group of people, representing eight nations, dreaming to reach Mars! We enlisted for this program hoping to make our way to the Red Planet for some of us, or to make significant progress in knowledge needed to reach it for others.

As Commander of the expeditions, I have the privilege of compiling my crewmates’ memories in this letter. The lines below represent the quintessence of their thoughts, narrating our story and feelings.

The Mars 160 program was established in 2016 as an offshoot of the Mars Arctic 365 (MA365) program that was launched in 2013 with the aim of conducting an ambitious year-long Mars mission simulation in the Canadian arctic. The trend of Mars mission simulations in recent years have focused on length, seeking ultimately to measure the psychological endurance of crew members in isolation on a mission to Mars. MA365 was looking to add to that body of knowledge by adding the variable of how extreme environmental conditions affect isolation. While Mars 160 scaled back the amount of time spent in-simulation, it is not lacking in the amount of new knowledge that has been gained to help plan future missions to Mars.

[Paul Knightly, Crew Geologist]

I dreamed up the idea of the Mars 160 mission a little out of desperation. Our planned Mars 365 mission was on hold and we had this amazing crew just waiting to go, and if we didn’t get them on a mission soon, they would not be able to participate. Changing that mission to one that would involve a shorter duration, but made use of both our analog stations and this team, made sense. So the Mars 160 “Twin Mission” was born.

[Dr. Shannon Rupert, Mission Director]

To my knowledge, we were the first crew to participate to a program which aimed at comparing our reactions and results to two different Mars analog environments.

Mars 160 was originally designed as two simulations of an equal length of 80 days, one performed at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, and the other at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (F-MARS) on Devon Island in Canada. The mission at MDRS happened on schedule within the specified time frame, while the mission at F-MARS was shortened due to two main factors: funding and weather conditions. Rather than representing a failure of the mission by the F-MARS portion being shortened, it highlights two extremely powerful variables to performing a Mars mission simulation, both of which are tied to location: the cost of operating the simulation, and the logistics of getting to the facility.

MDRS offers the best of both worlds – providing an analog setting that is similar in many respects to a human exploration zone on Mars while also being easily accessible from a logistical standpoint. Getting to MDRS is as easy as booking a commercial flight to Grand Junction, Colorado and then making the two hour drive by car to the facility. The geological and biological areas of interest along the San Rafael Swell near MDRS have been extensively studied during mission simulations for over a decade, but few locations in the world offer a better proving ground for testing the scientific and engineering skills and technologies needed for mounting a mission to Mars. It is for this reason that adjacent portions of the desert near MDRS are a growing attraction for space agencies from around the world looking to test Mars rovers and associated hardware.

On the other hand, F-MARS offers a landscape that is as close to Mars on Earth as can be found – both in terms of local geology and climate. For half the year, F-MARS sits in polar darkness during the winter, with temperatures that are as cold as or colder than the surface of Mars. While temperatures are above freezing during the summer, the periglacial landscape revealed beneath the snow shows striking similarities to features that are observed on Mars – features that are not present near MDRS due to its more temperate location in a warm desert of the American southwest. The landscape of Devon Island, and the features surrounding the Haughton Impact Crater upon which F-MARS is located, is one of the best places to study a multitude of processes known to occur under similar circumstances on Mars. In many respects, field research on Devon Island is the next best thing to having boots or a spacecraft on Mars.

[Paul Knightly, Crew Geologist]

Going to Mars is no easy feat. Sending humans on the surface of the “red planet” should not be taken lightly. This is why Mars analogue missions, like the Mars 160 program, are paramount to the future success of a manned mission on Mars. Mars Society is acting as a pioneer in this field of science. Mars 160 should provide valuable knowledge of what still need to be improved.

[Claude-Michel Laroche, Crew Engineer]

Going to Mars will be indeed a challenging journey. Mars analog simulations will prepare us the best it can be, but no one can assert that these simulations can cover all the unexpected issues that a real mission will face. Will human be ever ready to endure the psychological effect to leave the Earth cradle and explore another world? As it seems to be the biggest fear, many simulations have focused on the psychological and group dynamic point of view.

To my opinion, this is the wrong question. “How do we make sure that the mission, as an independent entity, drives the best of the crew ability to make it successful?” is the right one. As a canvas for the Mars 160 program, it has been hypothesized that boredom is one of the biggest threat to the crew dynamic and cohesion. Therefore, I have been directed to make sure that my crewmates spent their days by conducting an unprecedented science, engineering and outreach program.

I discovered after some thoughts that written reports are essential, including logging activities or scientific reports, but too much of it will overwork the crew making them feel like doing little to no actual work besides reporting things. It is a fine tuning and a balance needs to be achieved, because a Mars mission will cost a lot, making the hourly rate impressive.

This is one of the most important findings I made: pacing is crucial. A good balance of work and rest during working days is what I think could make the difference between a successful Mars mission and a failed one. Being overwork could contribute to the degradation of social relation which could affect work output and efficiency. I discovered this by overworking myself some weeks and not being the best crew mate I could have been.

[Claude-Michel Laroche, Crew Engineer]

I had always wondered why there were so many possessed people by Mars. I never dreamed like that. But on the other hand, I got very interested in such people who would head straight for the unknown. I want to be an architect to support their life. I believe in the force of creativity. A human creativity come into existence from their attitudes towards the unknown. “What is life on extreme?” is the biggest unknown for me. I want to improve my “attitude” by an experience of real life in the unknown. This is why I have been heading toward varying exploration, like Antarctica and Himalayan expeditions, and most recently toward these Mars160 expeditions.

[Yusuke Murakami, Executive Officer]

When planning for exploration on the surfaces of Mars, the value of field trained geologists will be dependent on their ability to observe, record and interpret emerging geology and biology in extreme settings as context provided through observation is vital to multiple hypotheses, data collection and sample interpretation. Here on Earth, geological drawing in field science in Mars analogue environments is an iterative process of field work, one that emphasizes the study of authentic phenomena in context, helping us to understand how Mars was formed through terrestrial studies. Drawing helps translates our experiences in the field into thought.

As artist and hypolith research assistant on the Mars 160 team, my research addresses methodologies for adapting existing field sketching skills to the analogue Martian environment. Through an experimental practice that follows the goals of the science on EVAS, the aim is to compare the effect the spacesuit has on the performance of field work tasks through the quality of contextual observations around sampling. At the same time, fifty hours of drawing in the space suit during the Mars 160 mission allowed me to develop tools, methods, resources and protocols useful for conducting planetary field science in an extreme environment, and applicable to all future users in similar studies.

The results of field drawing research in and out of simulation are consistent. Overall, in relation to quantity of output and time constraints, productivity in drawing decreases by one fifth when wearing the space suit. All evidence indicates field drawing in the space suit to be a little slower and there is less comfort drawing in the suit but this is a manageable factor. Experiments show that the quality of the suited drawing itself is marginally less, for instance, in clarity of line or expression, but this does not impede meaning. Importantly, research concludes that whether field drawing is undertaken in or out of the spacesuit, the science return in terms of the data is basically the same. This is significant when we think about astronaut training for Mars. With the right materials, tools and protocols, extraterrestrial geologists will be able to draw and take notes in science fieldwork on Mars, just like they do here on Earth.

[Annalea Beattie, Crew Artist and Journalist]

The Utah desert was full of sun, rich red and brown colors, which led to high energy level and workaholic mood. It was an intense mission, full of learning experiences. Every day I was growing faster than in a usual world, due to 24/7 working environment. Just imagine living back to back with engineer, architect, artists, geologist and astrobiologist. To start the day as an assistant of microbiologist and finish it as a journalist. To be always alert to any kind of tricky, unforeseen and/or expected event. To always work towards being the best crewmate! The more I learned the more was the desire to continue. Multitasking became my lifestyle and even when I was back on Earth, I kept the Martian tight schedule of learning and working.

Oddly enough, the behavior not only of one human, but of the whole crew transformed when the environment changed. Devon Island was full of rain, fog, grey and white colors, wet and moldy, but still with its own bizarre beauty. As an effect – melancholy, peacefulness and inaccessibility. The relationship in the crew changed from strictly working to 100% trustable family environment. It takes a lot of learning experience, mistakes and effort to be able to separate work from personal feelings. Yes, you can have an argument about how the things should run at the station. Yes, you can make the mistakes and be told off by the commander. But nothing of it makes sense to take it personally. To me, it is the biggest discovery of Mars Arctic part of the mission.

[Anastasiya Stepanova, Health and Safety Officer]

Clothing was one of the three main constraints to science operations. In both halves of the mission we did a mix of suited and unsuited EVAs. Some of the unsuited EVAs were done under inclement weather conditions, requiring multiple layers of warm clothing beneath wind and waterproof outer shells. Working under these constraints was almost as great as the simulated EVA suits themselves. The less the impedance from clothing, the more effectively we were able to work in the field. For suit design this means that gloves have to be as flexible and thin as possible, helmets have to excellent ventilation (much better than at present) to allow hard physical work and prevent fogging. The helmets have to be safe so that they do not injure the wearer if they fall. The backpacks also have to be comfortable, secure and safe so that the wearer will not be injured if they fall. Safe equipment increases the confidence of the wearer on steep and/or rocky surfaces.

Science equipment was the second major factor in science operations. We were promised a wide range of science equipment that did not in the end eventuate. The need for equipment to analyze samples and sites is keep to better inform evolving research programs in the field. The importance of this equipment increases with the duration of the surface stay. The equipment must be simple, deliver results quickly, and cover the essentials. As a geologist a mineralogy and a geochemistry instrument would have been both useful. During the first part of the mission in Utah I was able to measure soil properties such as moisture content, salinity (conductivity), and pH. This required a balance, oven, and a conductivity and pH meter. These were not full available in the Arctic part of the mission, the equipment was either missing or not able to be used because of power issues.

Time was the last major constraint on science. Mars surface missions can be considered short and long stay, short stay missions being typically one month, long stay missions 12 months or more. The Arctic part of our mission was a good approximation of a short stay Mars mission, the Utah part highlighted some of the issues that might appear on a long stay mission. Long stay missions are less vulnerable to delays caused by establishment of the station (in our case pre-sim cleaning and maintenance tasks) and weather. They also offer more potential for long range exploration as competency increases, follow up visits to sites of particular interest (“super sites”), and therefore more on site analytical capabilities.

[Dr. Jon Clarke, Crew Geologist]

But for us it was much more than a very intense and hard work! We were living and working together 24/7. That brings much more connections among the crew than a strict working relationship. The relationships fluctuate from a strict chain of command to loving friendship as all the spectrum is required to deal with all kinds of situations during simulations. But if a feeling has been mostly shared by all crewmembers, is certainly this unconditional love to each other.

It was a testbed for those things I had observed over almost two decades of analog experience. Crews did best when they had worked with AND knew each other prior to the mission. The Mars 160 crew and Earth-based support team was made up of people who knew each other in multiple ways. Most both knew and had worked with each other in the past. I do not think the challenges of this mission would have been met by a less interconnected team. It was this shared sense of who we all were, and what we were doing, that made it a success.

I have also observed that some people who are very talented in either teamwork or fieldwork or isolation didn’t always fair best at MDRS or F-MARS. It was the person who is able to handle all three of these things competently will flourish. Often it is this person who is the person to pull everyone through a particularly rough situation. So if that were true, how would the same crew change their dynamics in two different environments? We don’t have all the answers yet as we have only begun to look at the data, but I imagine we will discover that in all the planning for every contingency who cannot plan for who will be the person to step up and set the pace for success in every situation.

[Dr. Shannon Rupert, Mission Director]

Mars 160 was a fantastic opportunity for me to explore synergies between art and science, a unique learning experience and a challenge, not only for art-based research in science operations and for my practice as an artist with an interest in Mars, but personally, as a member of the Mars 160 team. Off Earth, in vulnerable micro-societies living in isolated, controlled surroundings in extreme environments under constant surveillance, concepts of community will play a definitive role. On Mars, where the weight of daily activity is geared towards negotiated duties, safety and survival, one’s quality of life might easily be diminished. How we understand a sense of community through our crew family is an important thing to consider when we are preparing for extraterrestrial settlement.

Highly adaptive and hardy, the Mars 160 crew was a skilled, interdependent team performing very complex functions in a challenging environment. Shared norms around the goals of the mission and the work it entails, a communal orientation ensured that our team functioned in a way that met the rigor of an extensive science research mission, while managing with limited resources and living together in close proximity in isolation over long periods.

On our mission, good problem solving capacities combined with cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural competence all contributed to the development of a healthy balance between autonomous motivation and conscientious teamwork. Clear communication skills from our commander and a flexibility around leadership roles enabled the crew to engage with daily directives and long term objectives. Courage, stamina, a tolerance for new situations and a common openness to new experiences led our strong team performance. Mars 160 was a team of explorers. At the same time, our crew family valued human-centered outcomes, − we all cared for each other. Empathy, warmth, listening to others, helping, shared exercise, common routines and good food all contributed to group solidarity and the emotional stability of our crew.

[Annalea Beattie, Crew Artist and Journalist]

The expectations of mission planners (and the crew) must be realistic, and grounded in what the crew can realistically achieve in the time available. Allowance must be made for human (the need for rest and recreation), technical (engineering down time), and environmental (such as weather) limits. Expectations must be grounded in realism. The mission schedule must also be realistic, allowing adequate time for setting up, packing up, sleeping, eating and, for an extended mission, rest days (the biblical one day every seven works well). Both over and under work can be an issue, but with motivated mission planners and crews over work is perhaps more likely. Adequate allowance must be built in for bad weather and technical problems.

Unreasonable expectations from mission support was the biggest greatest source of tension on the mission. There is a clear need on crewed missions to Mars for the roles of the crew and mission support to be clearly demarcated and understood, and that mission support needs to understand that its role is support, not control. Rules need to be well understood, agreed to, and not arbitrarily changed.

Crew interaction is the cause of much speculation and both popular and technical commentary. Dire predictions of conflict, mental illness, social dysfunction, and aberrant behavior are common. Mixed gender and international crews are often regarded as being particularly susceptible to such issues. The Mars 160 missions shows that selection of the right people can keep such conflicts to a minimum and that the gender and cultural diversity part of ensuring positive crew performance. For me, most conflict came from outside the crew, not inside. I would have no hesitation doing another long duration missions with the same crew again. A good crew of compatible, hardworking people who are good, respectful friends makes all things possible.

[Dr. Jon Clarke, Crew Geologist]

Having spent about five months in a Mars simulation mission, if there is a word that defines my journey then it is: reinvention. I joined this mission as a Crew Biologist having the sole objective in mind to explore the hidden extreme niches of two disparate Mars analogs and understand how life sustains. But, this simulation is also a matter of your own sustainability. I did not know that until I spent this long time inside our cylindrical home, completely isolated from my loved ones, and being effortlessly merged into a new life regime with my crewmates. So, along with the science I did spending hours in uncomfortable condition of EVAs, it’s also about the science of subtle emotions acknowledging themselves inside the Martian habitat. I think my notes at Sol 92 at the MDRS can describe this intellectual evolution better:

“Living in this place, sometimes you feel that you are getting interviewed by your own sensibilities. You think that you are searching Mars, but instead, Mars searches you. I say this because it showed me a new me. You learn to stabilize your emotional fluctuations by inevitably diving into the situational intricacies. But, while witnessing all these nuances of living on Mars, something else dawns on to you. You come to know that Mars limits your extensions in so many ways. As sometimes you feel helpless in absence of required supplies, breakdown of a system, inconsistencies in the communications and coordination with the Earth-based team, merciless weather preventing you from exploration and many more. Because it is Mars, not Earth. It will pose its extremeness on you in some way or the others. You may think that we do have similar limitations on Earth, but they may not be curbed as swiftly and feasibly on Mars as on Earth. Encountering these limitations is also part of this process of humans going beyond the human frailties. You rise. This transition is important. When you are on Mars, it may not be a perfect picture. And when it is not, you have to live with it.”

[Anushree Srivastava, Crew Biologist]

Sometimes during a meal time at F-MARS, we became silent spontaneously. According to a French proverb, “if no one talks around the table it means that the meal is great” said our commander. Therefore I should remain silent about this mission. If you insist, I just want to mention, we were not heroes. Surely, our life in MDRS and F-MARS were a bit stranger and lonelier than a common life. Even so, they were no different usual life. We represented all the people on the Earth, because we were ordinary people rather than special. At all times, wherever we are, “eat well, sleep well, laugh well” are everything in life. And this was our way of life during Mars 160 expeditions. Like a family. An honorable mission is merely a little spice of life.

“My dear fantastic man,” a mail from my wife began from these words. I know she was feeling very lonely with me away. And yet she hearty cheered me on. So I could devote all my energy to the mission without any worry. If there were any heroes on this mission, our supporters were the very ones. Our families, friends, mission support team and many others. I very much appreciated your support!

[Yusuke Murakami, Executive Officer]

Now that the program has come to an end, we hope to see manned Mars mission becomes a reality. It is time for us to go back home, go back to our families and friends. We may live thousands miles apart to each other, we will be forever bound by friendship and this common feeling that we, all together, add our stone that may have paved the way to go to Mars a little bit further.

For me, the Mars 160 mission wasn’t supposed to have an impact on any real mission to Mars, it was about science return at two different Mars analogs. But as usual, the synergy of a mission brings to the forefront questions you had never thought to ask. I knew we were putting the same crew, a trained crew, in two separate simulations, and I was interested in the operational aspects of these two separate environments and how it changed the science, but it turned out that it also changed the crew and rest of the team in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. Those changes to me were the most interesting. It means to me that no matter how we select a crew, or how we train them, or how we interconnect them with each other and with their Mission Support teams, we are not going to be able to control all the variables in a human mission to Mars, and our strength will be in ourselves, in our teams, and in our shared vision, and not in the details of the plan.

[Dr. Shannon Rupert, Mission Director]

My love for space exploration started as a naïve desire to be able to behold the face of Earth from far away years ago. This desire was actually driven by my mere imagination of the cathartic effect this event can leave on you, which I think is inexplicable. Suddenly your sense of self becomes menial or possibly unifies with the unfathomable vastness of the space, vanishing this duality. Hard to say. I felt the similar emotional pull when I saw F-MARS from the sky. I was teary-eyed. I was awed as this single event flashed a series of events in my mind that caused me to witness this. So, what I want to say is being part of such missions significantly contributes towards building an ignited mind and heart along with professional accomplishments and trains you to work with humility and responsibility.

[Anushree Srivastava, Crew Biologist]

The wild nature of hostile planet will inspire and suppress, play with the mind, challenge the man’s power, tear the concept of the human world apart and inside out. But at the end it will give to the human kind the biggest present – the chance for a new, better start! We are as close as never before to prove that we can be better, that we can be the planet of explorers, that we can be not the humans, but the Humans!

[Anastasiya Stepanova, Health and Safety Officer]

Mars 160 created positive social value for all of us, sustaining us over the many isolated months of our mission. Planning for Mars, if I could choose a long duration space crew, considering what attributes astronauts might need to build growth and resilience in a tiny frontier societies living in space in the future, the team of Mars 160 would be the one. They would be my guiding star.

[Annalea Beattie, Crew Artist and Journalist]

A mission to Mars will be unlike anything humans have undertaken before, and when it comes time to train the first crews to go, there will be little room for guesswork. We need to know how to train astronauts going to Mars before that training is required, and it is to this body of knowledge that I feel Mars 160 has contributed to the future exploration of Mars.

[Paul Knightly, Crew Geologist]

“Some say that we will not go to Mars because it would be too psychologically hard for crewmembers to handle the mission. Why cannot we expect the best from these pioneers instead of the worst? Given what is at stake, I believe that they would perform the mission more easily than one wants make us to believe.”

I wrote this lines when I applied for the MA365 program. You may think that belief was naïve regarding how low my field experience was at that time. But after spending over 5 months in the field, I am more convinced than ever that a carefully chosen team will perform beautifully such adventure.

Soon enough, it will be time for me, and certainly for my Martian family as well, to embark for new journeys. Certainly in ones even more significant than the Mars 160 program may have been…

Dr. Alexandre Mangeot,

Crew Commander of the Mars 160 expeditions,


ad Astra per Espera!

Second Half of Mars 160 Mission Begins as Crew Arrives at FMARS

July 17, 2017 | Permalink

Continuing its leadership in high-level Mars analog research, the Mars Society is pleased to announce that the second half of its Mars 160 mission has officially begun with the arrival of a six-person crew this weekend at the organization’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), located on Devon Island in northern Canada.

Mars 160 is a unique two-part mission involving a sustained program of advanced field exploration and testing in Mars-like terrain, initially in a desert setting at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah last year and now in an Arctic environment at FMARS, operating under many of the same constraints that human explorers on the Red Planet would face. The dual program is intended to carry out nearly identical field analog research in order to determine how mission location affects science return.

During its Canada-based simulation, the crew will carry out a wide variety of specific Mars-relevant research, focusing on areas such as geology, microbial and lichen ecology, science field protocols and small group function in isolated environment research.

Located on the rim of an approximately 40-million year old impact crater in a truly Mars-like arctic environment, FMARS will serve as home to a multi-national crew of six veteran researchers and science professionals:

  • Alexandre Mangeot (France) – Crew Commander and Engineer
  • Yusuke Murakami (Japan) – Executive Officer
  • Jonathan Clarke (Australia) – Crew Geologist
  • Anastasiya Stepanova (Russia) – Crew Journalist and Health & Safety Officer
  • Anushree Srivastava (India) – Crew Biologist
  • Paul Knightly (U.S.) – Crew Geologist and Field Operations Manager

The mission’s second phase is being coordinated by two principal investigators: Dr. Shannon Rupert, Director of the Mars Desert Research Station program, and Paul Sokoloff, Senior Researcher at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

“Mars 160 is a unique mission that combines and compares both desert and Arctic Mars analogs as field test environments for Mars mission operations research. The Mars Society has opened up this vital field of research, which is now expanding worldwide. With this mission by an outstanding crew drawn from four continents, we will advance it substantially. On to Mars,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.

For daily updates and photos about the Mars 160 mission, please visit our Mars Society web site ( Also a full review of the Mars 160 mission will be presented at the 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for September 7-10 at the University of California Irvine.

Final Report of Jon Clarke

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Jon Clarke – Mars 160 phase one final words

As the first half of the expedition ends I look back on what we have achieved here look forward to we aim to achieve at FMARS. Looking back, from my perspective, the missions has been a great success. We have collected significant new data on the geology and geomorphology of the area that should lead to publishable results. Similarly we have collected a lot of data on the operational aspects that will help us better understand the capabilities of analogue field exploration. The context of what we aim to do at the two stations lies at the heart of the twin mission concept, the similarities and differences between the two stations and their settings and the work done at each.

Both stations are similar design, differing mainly in details. Both stations both are located in arid environments which have many Mars analogue features. The focus of both halves of the mission is on operations, carrying out exploration and field science under operational constraints similar to those which would exist on Mars missions. These include working while wearing simulated space suits, limited facilities and resources, restricted, asynchronous communications, similar core station structure, almost identical crew and leadership, and executing extensive and multi-disciplinary field research over many months.

The differences arise from the contrasting settings. MDRS is located in a mostly hot desert, FMARS in a cold desert (although it must be recognised that the MDRS field area is subjected to frost for at least 160 days of the year). The geology at MDRS consists of Jurassic and Cretaceous non-marine to marine clastic sediments, that of FMARS of Ordovician to Silurian marine carbonates. FMARS is underlain, like the Martian surface, by permafrost, absent from MDRS. The prime feature of FMARS is that it is located on the rim of the Haughton impact crater. Impact processes are important factors on the surface of Mars and FMARS is in a unique location where such processes are overprinted by permafrost.

Other differences exist in the human context of the two expeditions. We expect the facility at FMARS to be more basic, more isolated and more confined than MDRS, with far less interactions with mission support. In this regard it will be a sterner test of the crew. Consequences of any problems will be potentially much more severe for the individual, the crew, and the mission. However during the first phase of the mission the crew has shown itself capable of working together as a caring and bonded team, with few disagreements, and I expect this to be an asset for the much more severe conditions of the Arctic.

Looking forward to the Arctic I would expect a stronger emphasis on the geological aspects of the research because of the presence of two experienced geologists on the crew instead of one. This would be both in the area of specific research and research in support of the biological objectives.

Final Report of Claude-Michel Laroche

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Claude-Michel Laroche – Mars 160 first phase last words

For me, this mission was important, when trying to put my thought together to think about what this mission means to me, I was a little conflicted. This mission is very dear to me, that is for sure, at the same time I am also happy it is coming to an end, and will miss it.

My role for this mission was to take care of the systems of the MDRS complex and to manage the Smart Pot project from the inside. The Smart Pot project was by far the most satisfying, frustrating, and rewarding project I had to work on. Satisfying because seeing the plants growing everyday gave me the feeling that what we were doing was working and worth doing. This project was for us about verifying the technology, to make sure it was working, but our reward was the plants themselves, the fruit they bear and what we saw grow from our hands and work, and what ended up in our plate at the end of the mission. It was frustrating because we faced difficulties in growing plants and some of them did not survive the process and our care.

My days were without rest. I got out of my comfort zone, several times, as everyone in the crew did, I won’t say it was easy, but nothing worth doing is easy. No matter how hard we worked together or individually on our things, we were always a unified crew and that is nothing I ever had before.

I will not be part of the second half of the mission in the Arctic and I wish the best for all my crew mates and will support them remotely as best as I can, like I tried to do on this half of the mission.

Final Report of Anushree Srivastava

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Anushree Srivastava – Mars 160 phase one final words

Mars 160 mission in the Utah Desert is towards its end. I think we have not just performed a Mars simulation but lived a life, a life which was entirely different from what we had been living. It is a bonding that we have created with our Hab and with each other. We became a family. We had our both stressful and funny moments like all families have, but I think somewhere, we all learned to be unconditional in our approaches to ensure the harmony inside our isolated Martian home. I was going to jot down things that I would miss, but I think, I am going to miss everything.

Being part of a long-term Mars simulation mission and living in an isolated condition is not easy. You tend to feel monotony sometimes or want to stay confined into your own world, but then your WORK reminds you the love you kept harbouring in your heart and you crossed all the boundaries to chase it, to achieve it. You remind yourself that you are working for a mission that not everyone has the opportunity to be part of. I think, to not to lose the perspective is the biggest challenge of a long term simulation mission. The most wonderful thing I found about our sojourn at MDRS is – we lived and grew beautifully. It is simple to say and sounds idealistic, but we have done it.

I am coming back to MDRS as Crew Biologist and the Executive Officer of Crew 172. So, I will be carrying forward my Mars 160 science goals in the Utah desert for another fifteen sols. Mars160 mission is not over yet. Now, with the culmination of the first phase of this mission, there is a dawn of another phase, hope, and challenge – the Arctic. Our mission in the Arctic is going to be much more challenging, in terms of field science, safety and habitability. The first phase was a test of our efficiency as a crew and the patterns of mission operation, to prepare us for the practicalities and upcoming hardships of living in a true extreme environment of the Arctic. We were supposed to learn what worked and what not, in order to apply those lessons when we embark on the Arctic mission. I still remember that it was a ‘mission’ for me even to arrive at MDRS. I believe this tryst of me and my work is what kept me going through these 80 sols and will continue to do so for another 80 sols.

Final Report of Annalea Beattie

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Annalea Beattie – Mars 160 first phase final words

At the end of this three months we have become explorers in this desert. This last quarter has been the greatest. Now we know each other well and we are really bonded together as a crew by our common goals for the Mars 160 mission. We want it to work and we are sure we can do it.

In terms of our crew working as a team, we know we have done well. We work together to share our experiences, our daily plans, our field trips, and any work that needs to be done around the Hab or sometimes we just hang about in an easy way. Even wearing the spacesuits provokes communal activity and shared understanding. Constructing roles during training and field trips strengthens our crew. We support one another through the different kinds of work we do and through the physicality of a simulation which requires our endurance.

Inside it’s much the same. We contribute to the way the Hab is run, and there is a continual and healthy balance between autonomy and obligation. It’s a respectful situation and we work hard to protect it. There is no substitute for working together and learning to speak the same language about how the mission proceeds. Alex, our Commander has done a fantastic job in managing diversity within our group. He is passionate and has so much stamina, always juggling between tasks and our different interests as crew members.

Framed by the science, a key part of my own research is to explore perspectives about what it means to do field drawing in the spacesuit when we arrive on the surface of Mars. Within the limitations of simulation, I’m focused on the field science and my goal is to create a set of tools, practices and protocols that support geologists to use their own observations and knowledge to understand where they are, through drawing and field notes.

All the results from my tests field drawing on science EVAs indicate that there is very little difference between field drawing in the space suit and field drawing out of the suit.

With the right materials, tools and protocols, extraterrestrial geologists, constrained by bulky heavy space suits, will be able to interpret and evaluate a site using field drawing, as well as improvise and respond to the unexpected, just like they do here on Earth. There is no reason why not. Understanding what this means will be my focus for next year’s research in the Arctic.


Final Report of Anastasiya Stepanova

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Anastasiya Stepanova – Mars 160 phase one final words

What is 80 days for you? Is it a lot or too short for a space mission? Usually astronauts spend three months on International Space Station, therefore we passed already the time test. We did not go crazy from 80 days away from the Earth. Actually, in the first part of the Mars 160 mission we passed too many tests, some not planned at all, some confusing, challenging and some enjoyable. The first lesson learned – things will be as they are and not as you expected. You can draw positive or negative conclusion out of it, but just accepting the fact and dealing with it means you have already passed the test. The second lesson learned – there is no limits to human’s ability to adapt and keep on going, living and surviving. At the station we are surrounded by limitations all the time and instead of stressing out, we are liberated from Earth habits and try to like the new way of living. The third lesson learned – there is never enough of new skills and knowledge. I like the saying “the more we learn the more freedom we have”. The knowledge is a powerful tool to overcome any critical situation, to deal with problems, to help and to create. These are the three pillars of knowledge on which my Mars160 experience is built.

Every day was filled with various activities from cooking to dissolving gypsum samples and waiting for microorganisms to grow. The busy schedule kept the crew in healthy psychological environment and in good brain shape. I guess the amount of work and new bridges to cross were the reason I did not miss Earth as much as it would be expected. Not even once, I was sad and lonely. Not even once, I wanted to give up and run away. Not even once, I regret changing my life in order to be on this unique mission.

The day has come. “Welcome back to Earth” – said Shannon on the radio, the Director of MDRS and Principal Investigator of our mission. For a few seconds I stopped in time, looked from aside to this sudden new world. Or, better to say, an old world but with new me. I will miss the silence and tranquility of isolation from the outside world, the breathtaking view of the desert, the beautiful and cold nights, the wit jokes, the friendship and crew bonding, the everyday learning, the life on Earthy Mars. Is it the end? No, it is just the beginning!

Final Report of Commander Alexandre Mangeot

December 19, 2016 | Permalink

Alexandre Mangeot – Mars 160 phase one final words

For me, the mission started a while ago. One year and half ago actually. At that time the roles were unclear. But the time passing, my role shifted few times before being assigned as Commander. It is a strange feeling to have desired this position for so long and them boom this is happening. And while you are still dreaming you just see the bright side without worrying too much about the responsibilities. But soon enough you realize the duty that now is yours and just hope for that everything will be fine.

I never thought that my presence in the Crew would be worth if I just come without any project. I thought it was expected from me to assume my role of commander and still conducted personal projects. And projects, I had plenty. So I took one (actually I started with four different technological projects), an ambitious one, and I worked on it during 6 months before the actual mission even started. But over here my prime duty is not to make my own personal project working. My prime duty is to make sure that everyone works toward the same goal. That may sound easy, but it is not. It requires a lot of attention and dedication. On a seven people crew you cannot count on the inertia of a massive crew, so you have to be careful of every detail. This was demanding. Especially because I spent 6 months designing my spacesuit interface and nothing was working how it was supposed to; but despite that I had to stay focus on the crew dynamic rather on my project. It is hard to have sacrificed a lot of personal time for a project and not being able to give proper attention when it is supposed to work. But at the end of mission while I was discussing with mission Director Shannon Rupert I could have come without a project to conduct because Commander is a full time job. So for the Arctic, I do not intend to come back without project but I must make sure that it will not require too much time so I can fully focus on my responsibilities.

For the mechanical engineer and hybrid rocket scientist that I am, starting a project that aims to develop a spacesuit user interface is challenging in more than one way. Learning everything that needs to be learnt in electronics and software development in order to design something that works (somewhat) in a 6 months timeline is far from being easy and without pitfall. But I also had to manage my budget and the logistics of all the components. So quite obviously, I made decisions in the development process that turned out to give me so much hard time during the mission attempting to make the hardware or/and the software working. I was not anticipating that because I am too optimistic – the proof is that I brought enough material to make 4 interfaces. So during my little despairs I was preparing for the worse: nothing will be working by the end of the mission. Hopefully, there were enough small victories here and there to keep the motivation alive and for pursuing the goal with the little time I could spare. It ends-up that the last EVA performed in Sim was dedicated to the ultimate test of the interface. I remember that I delayed this EVA by one hour because all my checklist board was not all green. I was torn by the fact that I was messing with the schedule. But I also remembered that you do not launch a rocket if someone says “no go”. And this was the best decision. Because now I can be very happy to announce that during this EVA everything behaved like it was supposed to be. I have the navigation data, the temperature and humidity inside and outside the helmet, the ambient atmospheric pressure, the light measurements from infrared to ultraviolet, the battery voltage, and even my heartbeat rate! Yes, for those who read my SSUIt project entries, the SPI line was operational on this EVA. So in addition of rewriting/reviewing 11 000 lines of code for the second version of the software, I was able to make progress and push a little bit further the features. So for the Arctic, I will have a much better hardware architecture thanks to the lessons I have learnt and an interface ready to go.


Facebook/NatGeo Launch Live 360 Video

December 13, 2016 | Permalink

On Tuesday, December 13 at 12:00 pm PDT / 3:00 pm EDT, Facebook is launching Live 360 video with National Geographic, live from the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) facility in Utah. People around the world will be able to discover and explore this video on Facebook.

Over the past 80 days, seven space scientists from around the world have lived in pods simulating every aspect of life on Mars, including total isolation from humanity. As part of our global effort around MARS, National Geographic will be live on Facebook in 360 degrees as the scientists emerge from the pods. We will take you behind the scenes to explore the living quarters, see how the scientists suit up in their space suits, and take a rover out for a spin across the Martian landscape.

This first Live 360 will also include a Q&A with a line-up of science experts, writers and thinkers, and will take questions from the Facebook audience.

Watch it on Facebook

[Source: National Geographic]

Sol Summary – December 12th

December 12, 2016 | Permalink

Sol Summary Report (SSR):


Person filling out report: Annalea Beattie

Summary Title: Sol# 80 The Final Day of Our Simulation

Mission Status: on track

Sol Activity Summary:

We are preparing to leave the hab and packing for the Arctic but are still in simulation. Everyone tried to finish their own work. Today is the last chance for Yusuke to finish his 3D graphic. He is multi-tasking today as he is also helping Claude-Michel, going out with Alex on the EVA, and doing the GPS coordinates for lichen sampling with Anu. She is now mopping the lab and then she will work on her last lichen report.

Jon wrote lists for the Arctic and cleaned and mopped downstairs.

Alex is testing his suit interface out on a final EVA this afternoon. Claude-Michel received ipod touches from Heather Hava and is connecting them to the internet to monitor relationships between us and the plants. I cooked dinner, cleaned, washed and finished my last article for space. com and sent it off.  We all worked on the final report for the last quarter of the mission. Then we wrote to Polina. A final yoga today! Will we ever be this fit again? Through the round window we can see a crowd outside. Nat Geo setting up discs and cameras outside. Someone just furled the American flag.

Jon is very pleased as he has had a second paper on Mars analogue research  accepted for publication while he has been here. The first was with David Willson on the potential of the Coober Pedy area in South Australia to test water extraction from sulphate-rich regolith, the most recent second was with David Willson and Heather Smith proposing Meridiani Planum (the site of the Opportunity rover mission) as the location for the first crewed landing on Mars. David and Heather are both at NASA Ames Research Center and part of the Mars 160 support team.

See you in the Arctic.


Reports Submitted to CapCom:

  1.   Sol Summary- Annalea
  2.   Journalist – Anastasiya
  3. Pictures – Anastasiya.


MDRS lessons for today:

Struggle is important. Giving up is not an option. (Anu)


Plans for tomorrow:  Back to Earth! EVA, live 365 Facebook event, Nat Geo more NHK interview followed by more cleaning and packing.

Crew Status: We are great.

Weather: Not as cold!

Anomalies:  Dozens of people outside the hab is an anomaly!

Sol Journal – December 12th

December 12, 2016 | Permalink

The fascinating rocks

What do you imagine when hear the word “geology”? The search on the internet will show that “Geology is an earth science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the geology of the Moon or Mars).”

In our mission Mars 160 we have an outstanding geologist Jon Clarke, whose partner in crime is microbiologist Anushree Srivastava. Together they represent geo-microbiology, which is the study of living and fossilized organisms and their interaction with the rocks. It is a perfect team for future Mars explorations. In order to know the sampling area for soil, gypsum, hypoliths, and lichens, the crew microbiologist seeks an advice from Jon Clarke. He is the one who can tell where to go to find sandstone, gypsum, fossils and other interesting and relevant rocks. He is the one who tell jokes and interesting phrases about the geology, such as:

Lichens is what stops me from seeing the rock

A dust is windblown regolith

Regolith is everything between fresh rock and fresh air

If you observe what crew geologist does on the EVA, you would think that this is some kind of sightseeing. Yes, Jon walks around with 75cm stick and a hammer (provides scale), climbs the hills and takes the pictures. Those actions all together are called “geological scouting”.  Sometimes the scouting is sufficient for the purpose, because Jon is building on knowledge gained on previous trips to the station. Other times the scouting leads to more detailed investigations of sites, sampling, and laboratory analysis of the collected material.

Jon’s main geological focus in this part of the expedition was two-fold.  Firstly, he was following up previous studies into the relationship between the ancient rivers that deposited the rocks that make the geological succession at MDRS and the modern landscape.  Secondly, he was collecting samples of the different types of clays in the succession for our other crew geologist, Paul Knightly who is currently at the University of Arkansas but who will join us in the Arctic, to determine their composition.  Jon was also supporting Anushree by characterizing the substrates that had been colonized by hypoliths and lichens and providing the broader geological context.

The Mars Desert Research Station environment allow us to explore and study geological and landscape features at a scale similar to those found on Mars. Geology is the key to understand the history of Mars, provides the context for the search for life, and is essential for the search for martian resources and determining safe places to build mars stations. Mission Mars 160 also provides a visually, topographically, and geologically realistic environment to test instruments, procedures and conduct operations to assist future mission.

Picture of the Day – December 12th

December 12, 2016 | Permalink

Only Martians allowed

Crew Photos – December 12th

December 12, 2016 | Permalink

Beautiful gypsum


Gypsum sampling


Happy microbiologist


MDRS and dome at night


The first salad on Mars will be cooked


Watching 3D pictures


You are needed on Mars in Russian

Sol Summary – December 11th

December 11, 2016 | Permalink

Sol Summary Report (SSR):


Person filling out report: Annalea Beattie

Summary Title: Sol #79 Le silence est d’or.

Mission Status: on track

Sol Activity Summary:

It’s the bare bones today as it’s a cleaning up day and there is nothing to say but that. Anu went to lab and assembled shelves with Yusuke and cleaned the lab. The two of them also worked downstairs and built new shelves for the smartpot plant project. They cleaned. Anastaysia and Alex also rearranged shelves in the greenhouse . Alex worked on his project the rest of the day with the ultimate field test tomorrow which should be very promising. To cut a long story short, the rest of us cleaned and cleaned.

Something wonderful did happen. We had a lovely dinner together. See Alex’s dinner report. And the sunset was magnificent. More cleaning excitement tomorrow!


Reports Submitted to CapCom:

  1.   Sol Summary- Annalea
  2.   Dinner Report- Alex
  3. Picture – Alex

MDRS lessons for today:

Le silence est d’or.

Plans for tomorrow:  More cleaning and packing.

Crew Status: We are great.

Weather: not as cold!

Anomalies: no.

Recipe for Spacey Antarctician Grilled Salmon with Salted Koji

December 11, 2016 | Permalink

Food Report for the 11nd of December 2016.


Spacey Antarctician Grilled Salmon with salted Koji -: (for 7 Space cadets or they Antarctic equivalent)

1 packet of Grilled Salmon with salted Koji (from Kyoku syoku) / person
1 packet of flavored Deep-Fried Eggplant (from Kyoku syoku) / person
2 Cup + (120 ml of water / person)
1 Cup of Rice / person

Note: Other recipe like this will come so please stay tune.

Step 1: Add 1 cup of rice with 2 cup of water in pressure cooker.

Step 2: Boil the 120 ml of water per person that is left left.

Step 3: Open both packets and get the inside bowl next to the plate.

Step 4: Serve the rice once it is ready

Step 5: Verse 50 ml of hot water in the Grilled Salmon with salted Koji container. Wait 1 minutes.

Step 6: Verse 70 ml of hot water in the flavored Deep-Fried Eggplant container. Wait 1 minute.

Step 7: Mixed the eggplants and the salmon along with the rice for a delicious meal.

Step 8: Enjoy.

Koji, or Aspergillus Oryzea, is a fungus, similar to yeast use in east Asian cuisine, used for making food like soy sauce, sake and shōchū.
The more you know.

This was the last time we had this type of meal for the desert portion of this mission. We were eager to have this meal and sad at the same time, knowing it would be our last time for almost half a year. This time we had a salmon recipe, not too unlike the first time, but very different, it was very delicious mixed in with rice and the eggplants.

Thank you and as always please try this at home.

Crew Photos – December 10th

December 10, 2016 | Permalink

Anushree on her last EVA




Microbiologist at work


Sanjerooni Butte


The Moon


Uncertain sunrise


Using the grid

Picture of the Day – December 10th

December 10, 2016 | Permalink

Rover and panels

Recipe for A Bed of Fried Rice

December 10, 2016 | Permalink

Food Report for the 10th of December 2016.

A bed for fried rice: (for people who are very affectionate for rice and want to build them a small bed. To make it more comfortable before eating it)

1 kg of brown Rice / 7 persons
Twice the volume of rice for the water.
Some oil to fry the rice

Meat pillow
2 can of SPAM / 7 persons
1 cup of dehydrated green beans
1 cup of dehydrated carrots
Some water to hydrate

Egg blanket
2 Eggs / persons
1 Cup of dehydrated cheese
Some water to hydrate

Note:  we had way too much food, so you can cut the portion a little, but make sure you still have enough eggs to cover the rice near the end, we still want the rice to be warm and cozy before we eat it.

Making the Rice.
Step MtR – 1 : Put all the rice and twice the volume of water in a pan.

Step MtR – 2 : Once the rice is cook add some oil at the bottom of the pan and fry the rice

Making the Meat Pillow
Step MtMP – 1 : Hydrate the vegetables, if you added too much water, purge the excess.

Step MtMP – 2 : Open the can of SPAM and cut the meat in small pieces.

Step MtMP – 3 : In a pan mix all the ingredients until the meat has a golden brown cover.

Making the Egg Blanket
Step MtEB – 1 : Hydrate the Cheese. (which ever you prefer, Cheddar and Colby are good choices here.)

Step MtEB – 2 : Prepare the eggs in a mixing bowl, if you have powder eggs get the right amount of eggs and water, if you use fresh eggs, just crack them open and mix them together.

Step MtEB – 3 : In a large pan put one portion of eggs and let it solidify. Don’t let it get too crispy, ideally you want the eggs to be solid but still yellow.

Step MtEB – 4 : Once the bottom of the egg omelet is solid enough turn it around to cook the top part.

Step MtEB – 5 : As the new bottom part of the eggs get cook add the hydrated cheese on top of the omelet and let it melt.

Step MtEB – 6 : Once you feel the whole omelet is cook, fold the omelet on top of itself, in a way that the cheese become a middle layer of the omelet.

Making the Plate Right
Step MtPR – 1 : To make the plate right, first you must put the rice in a upside down bowl shape on a plate.

Step MtPR – 2 : Put the meat pillow preparation and surround on third of the rice. Make it look like the rice is resting on the meat, like it was a pillow.

Step MtPR – 3 : Cover the opposite side of the rice to where the meat is with the omelet. The rick here is to lay the omelet on top on the rice like you would cover someone with a blanket. The cheese might run down, but that is fine.

Step MtPR – 4 : Serve it to all your guests, friends and family. Tell them all to be quit, the rice is probably sleeping..

Yusuke made this meal for us using an extra large quantity of food, to our pleasure. The mix of rice and  eggs was a first in this mission and the extra meat was very welcome. Another Yusuke experiment that was successful and delicious.

As always please try this at home. Very little supervision is require, and to eat. Please enjoy.

Sol Summary – December 10th

December 10, 2016 | Permalink

Sol Summary Report (SSR):


Person filling out report: Annalea Beattie

Summary Title: Sol #78 is a day of cleaning.

Mission Status: on track

Sol Activity Summary:

Cleaning up today. We began by cleaning upstairs and downstairs, packing up the shelves, cleaning inside and outside cupboards, moving the drier, tables, and gym equipment. We cleaned the kitchen and the EVA prep room so that they are spotless. Yusuke did the final food inventory which was pretty quick! Claude-Michel and Yusuke made Deimos the new electric rover compatible withe the backpacks by removing the upper sections of the seats. Anu cleaned up in the lab and we began to pack for the Arctic. Early night.

Reports Submitted to CapCom:

1. Sol Summary- Annalea

2. Food Report – Claude-Michel

4. Pictures – Anastasiya

4. Photos of the Day – yes

MDRS lessons for today:

L’ habit ne fait pas le moine.

Plans for tomorrow: More cleaning and packing.

Crew Status: We are united, happy and in fine physical and mental health.

Weather: very very chilly

Anomalies: no.

Crew Photos – December 9th

December 9, 2016 | Permalink

Anastasiya preparing the group IBMP test


Anushree on her last EVA


Japanese freeze dried food for dinner


Jon on his last EVA




Little Wild Horse Canyon


The Moon

EVA Narrative – December 9th

December 9, 2016 | Permalink

Here is an EVA narrative for the last EVA of the mission.


Jon Clarke


Sanjerooni Butte

Today we went on our last EVA.  Anushree, Alex and I took the Phobos Rover and a quad bike out to the north west to the area known as “The Moon”, above hab ridge and on the way to Skyline rim.  Alex wanted to carry out one last test of his astronaut user interface.   It was a crisp morning, puddles were frozen and the air was very still.  The temperature according to SUIt was one degree above zero.

Alexandre – walking on the Moon

It was a rather happy-sad experience.  It’s always good to be on EVA in such majestic surroundings.  But there are still features to see, things we could visit, but for which we have no more time.  The MDRS area is so diverse and complex that even after 12 weeks we have ony started to scratch the surface.  In fact, even though I have clocked up 20 weeks at MDRS  over the course of four crews, I have not seen it all.

Something for next time

We were able to enjoy the view from the lookout known as Widows Peak.  The view included Skyline Rim, Factory Butte, our old friends the Henry Mountains and the San Rafael Swell to the north.  I thought I could even see Wild Horse Mesa, which we drove past the other day on the way to Little Wild Horse Canyon.

Anushree contemplating the unknown

Low batteries in the SUIt and the rover forced us to end the EVA sooner than we would have liked.  On the way home we made one last stop to look at a magnificent cluster of orange lichen colonies, along with the more usual black lichens.  There were even some bright green ones, which are quite rare. Our next EVA will be in the Arctic where, ironically, it may not be as cold.  This is the Mars 160 EVA crew signing off – until next time!

There are always more lichens to study!

Sol Summary – December 9th

December 9, 2016 | Permalink

Sol Summary Report (SSR):


Person filling out report: Annalea Beattie

Summary Title: Still busy and our time here is running out

Mission Status: on track

Sol Activity Summary:

Alex, Jon and Anushree were on EVA today to the Moon  where Alex tested his spacesuit interface with mixed results. His battery ran out of power and he had to remove the helmet. Dammit. Afterwards Anu worked in the lab most of the day trying to plate halophiles but the salts wouldn’t dissolve! Jon reworked his time sheets.

Anastasiya wrote her Russian media articles and organised an IMBP Group Discussion as human factors research for us all after lunch. Yusuke helped Claude-Michel on the accuracy of the water meter and then worked on his human scale study and the lichen report but not the 3D model, no time. Claude-Michel wrote the final engineering report for this mission. I also wrote – for next week, some notes for the final Mars 160 report and to you . Yoga – but we were a bit tired after a solid day’s work . Gradually we are getting through all the jobs to do before the end of the mission next week.

Early night. Over and out.


Reports Submitted to CapCom:

  1.   Sol Summary- Annalea
  2.   EVA narrative- Jon
  3.   Time Lapse Dome Report- Yusuke
  4. Pictures – Anastasiya
  5. Photos of the Day – yes


MDRS lessons for today

As soon as you stop, its over.


Plans for tomorrow: Cleaning up

Crew Physical Status: Excellent

Weather: chilly

Anomalies: no

Picture of the Day – December 9th

December 9, 2016 | Permalink

Our heroic commander