Latest Headlines:

Final Report of Annalea Beattie

December 19, 2016

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.