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    Jun 5, 2020

    An All-Female Crew On The Mars Desert Research Station In Utah

    An all-female crew has been selected by the Mars Society to participate on a two-week mission on the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, USA that will take place in February 2021.

    The crew

    WoMars / Via womars.co.uk

    The crew is composed of one geologist, the Crew Commander, Julie Hartz; one geophysicist, Kelly Vaughan-Taylor; two aerospace engineers, Cristina V. Reynel, the Crew Executive Officer, and Laurène Delsupexhe, the Crew Engineer; and two nanoscientists, Paula Peixoto who will take on the role of Crew Biologist, and Marta Ferran Marqués, who will be the Crew Scientist

    The station

    Mars Society / Via mdrs.marssociety.org

    The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), owned and operated by the Mars Society, is a space analogue facility in Utah, USA that supports Earth-based research in pursuit of the technology, operations, and science required for human space exploration.

    The relative isolation of the facility allows for rigorous field studies as well as human factors research. The campus is surrounded by a landscape that is an actual geologic Mars analogue, which offers opportunities for rigorous field studies as they would be conducted during an actual space mission.

    It is composed of a science dome, by an observatory, donated by the one and only Elon Musk, a Repair and Assembly Module and of course an Equipment Room where the crew will prepare for EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities)

    The research

    Being one of the few all-female MDRS crew, the six women will take this opportunity to study the scientific, social, and medical performances of the team.

    Performances will be assessed on both an individual and group scale and based on criteria such as achievements, food/fluid consumption, vital signs, length of EVAs, amount of sleep etc… Some methods include individual mission logs (videotaped or hand-written), individual vital signs record (e.g., using a connected watch for heartbeat, number of steps, body temperature, blood pressure), food/fluid consumption records, length of menstruations if applicable.

    Moreover, each crew member will be required to provide a research log, monitoring their research objectives, achievements, and obstacles encountered. These mission logs will represent a significant part of the group performance assessment.

    This research aims to provide crucial data on female performance in space exploration that is currently lacking in the literature.

    In addition to teamwork experiments, each of the crewmember will lead different projects directly linked to their field of expertise.

    If you're interested in their research and wish to follow them on social media, you can find them on Facebook , Instagram.

    You can also help them cover the cost of some fees through their Crowdfunding page.

    For additional details, visit their website.

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