(Subtitles from Youtube are available)
We are Team PRIMA, a crew of six highly qualified scientists, engineers, artists and leadership experts from all over the world and have been selected by the Mars Society to take part in a Martian simulation. On January 14, 2017, we will enter the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the high, winter desert near Hanksville, Utah.
The Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) hosts researchers, scientists, and engineers to work on researching hypotheses, conduct simulated field work, and gain experience living and working in the physical and social confines of a martian analog environment. It is a laboratory for learning how to live and work on another planet. It is a prototype of a habitat that will land humans on Mars and serve as their main base for months of exploration in the harsh Martian environment.
Once at the Mars Desert Research Station, the six simulated-astronauts of team PRIMA will be undertaking several research projects. Thanks to the crew's wide range of expertise, they will be able to work on multiple scientific projects and experiments, explore the Martian analog environment as well as study behaviours and psychological aspects of containment, all this in a multicultural and international atmosphere. These projects will lay the ground base for future research that will someday enable a Martian settlement. Five main projects will be undertaken by the six astronauts:
The use of 3D printing for manufacturing building blocks and other objects has the potential to facilitate the construction of human habitats, buildings and tools on Mars. This project will be directed Arnau Pons and Idriss Sisaïd (engineers). PRIMA has designed a multifunctional brick that can be assembled to make an infrastructure while storing water and providing extra-radiation shielding.
GROW MARTIAN FOOD
A practical way of eating is the key to long-term expeditions in extreme conditions on the ground and in future long-duration missions in space. Food will have to be compact (for easy transportation), full of the most important nutrients (for maintaining good crew health and performance), but also diverse for all the different human senses. This project will be directed by Dr Michaela Musilova (astrobiologist). PRIMA will monitor the changes in the quality of food for extreme conditions and their nutritional content. These space food products are designed to be easily storable, concentrated, nutritious and varied.
TRAIN THE MIND FOR MARS
Human adaptability is largely regarded as the most compelling argument for manned space missions. Both directly controlled and autonomous robots are limited by many factors, such as complete dependence on their programming and inputs from humans back on Earth. The communication delays and lack of basic human situational awareness slows down exploration, inhibits adaptability, and limits serendipitous discoveries. Thus, in recognizing the importance of human flexibility, the value of human decision making must be cultivated and allowed to flourish. PRIMA’s research proposal is to test different levels of Mission Control input during mission critical tasks and decisions while accurately simulating communication delays.
UNDERSTAND MARTIAN GEOLOGY
The potential of extraterrestrial life on Mars is well connected to the distribution of water and carbon on the planet. Carbonate minerals are seen as powerful tools with which to explore these fundamental relationships, as they are intimately tied to both the water and the inorganic carbon cycle. This project will be led by Roy Naor (Geologist). PRIMA will undertake carbonate analysis field work and will concentrate on locating and sampling carbonate minerals in the topsoil and exhumed formation in the vicinity of the research station.
INSPIRE SPACE THROUGH ART
It has been shown that the most successful communication of science to the general public comes through the use of story and humanity. So, what is the story of Mars for the non-scientist? How can we help them understand why there is so much interest in our nearest neighbour and 4th planet from the sun? This project will be led by Dr Niamh Shaw (artist and scientist). PRIMA will use their mission as a source of educational activities to increase children’s and students’ interest in STEM subjects, particularly space; and use outreach and the media to promote investment in space exploration worldwide.
We need to raise €15,000 in total (or €2,500 per crewmate) to cover travel, equipment and mission costs. Help us get to Mars and get our supplies for our 2 week mission at the Mars habitat. We appreciate any support you can provide and will credit all support on our website and social media sites. If you want to sponsor only one specific crew member, please contact us. You can donate anything you want by clicking on the donation button below:
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Private people who have donated: Hugh BYRNE (Ireland), Marie Hélene BERNIER (Canada), Reinhard TLUSTOS (Austria), Lars HOVING (Netherlands), François FERRE (France), Pankaj PAGARE, Annette WINKLER, Perrin RYNNING
Organisations who have donated: The Israel Space Agency (Israel), SOSA (Slovakia), O’Sol (France), The Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), Purdue University (USA), The University of South New Wales (Australia), The International Space University (France), Slovenske Elektrarne (Slovakia), Ministerstvo Skolstva (Slovakia), Kozi Vrsok (Slovakia), Vedy (Slovakia), Vyskumu a Sportu Slovenskej Republiky (Slovakia), Team-Active (France), function(core) (Ireland), Australian Centre for Astrobiology (Australia), Teach On Mars (France).