11 April, 2016
For all the latest information about PMAS 2017, check out the mission homepage: spacegeneration.org/pmas2017
The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of The United Nations Program on Space Applications is preparing to conduct a Mars Analog Simulation Mission in Poland during 2017!
SGAC is a global Non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization and Network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia.
SGAC has worked with several generations of incoming space professionals and hopes to continue to support many more in the future. Learn more about our partners, sponsors, and supporting National Space Agencies.
SGAC has been actively participating in projects that support and promote space exploration, space law & policy, commercial space, human spaceflight, detection and deflection of Near Earth Objects, satellites and global navigation systems, space safety & sustainability, and space technologies for disaster management.
Analog Simulation missions are notable steps of real space exploration missions, where the hardware, along with the psychological behavior, the scientific and geological experiments, and operations are scrutinized and conducted in a simulated Martian environment to prepare astronauts and space agencies for actual missions. Comprehensive research is done during each simulation mission to expand our knowledge and understanding of the systems and operations of possible future space operations.
The idea is to study certain aspects that will become important for a real Mars mission, such as the operations (procedures, time-delayed communication, planning strategies, infrastructure, etc), the group dynamics (psychological effects of isolation, working efficiency, etc), testing engineering concepts and performing scientific experiments. These studies will result in valuable data and experiences worthwhile of publishing and presenting at conferences at the end of the mission.
How Is This Mission Different From Other Simulation Missions?
The Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 (PMAS 2017) Mission will be unique among the Mars analogue simulations undertaken so far, as it aims to evaluate the joint human and robotic surface operations. The most significant outcome of this mission will be to prove that the systems, capabilities, and operations we use to explore Mars are sustainable and efficient, requiring little or no support from Earth. To do so, a set of objectives were proposed and subdivided into primary and secondary objectives.
Objective 1: To evaluate the performance of astronauts conducting geologic fieldwork.
The harsh conditions under which the astronauts will have to work will make the use of special suits, tools and specific protocols imperative. We propose to evaluate how these conditions may affect the astronaut’s performance during the geological fieldwork and how they can be implemented for future surface missions. This may include traverse planning, communications, sample collection, curation and in-situ geochemical analysis.
Objective 2: Applications of technologies to support human activities on a planetary surface.
During future surface exploration missions, it is highly likely that astronauts will be assisted by robotic technologies (i.e. rovers) to perform their experiments. We propose to test some of these technologies, such as cameras on-board rovers, mobility systems etc, in order to understand how their implementation can lead to a better robotic-human interaction.
Objective 3: Controlled investigations and experiments in psychology and human factors.
We propose to study how isolation and a high degree of anxiety and stress may affect the crew during the mission. Also, the interactions among the astronauts may be observed for a better understanding of the psychological issues they face.
Objective 4: Studies of plant growth on Martian soil simulants
Through the development of Martian soil simulants, it may be possible to address the optimal characteristics and seeds for vegetable growth under the Martian environment.
Objectives 5: Astronomical studies
This mission may take advantage of the nearby observatory facility to perform astronomical experiments.
Mission Architecture/Operations, Location, and Timeline
The mission will be executed analogue to a real space mission to Mars, except for the in-flight phases, solely concentrating on surface operations.
There will be two teams, one comprised of the 6 analogue astronauts that will be placed in the Martian habitat at Rzepiennik Biskupi in the Polish mountains, where they will perform the experiments and measurements in and around the Habitat and Exploration Site, log their activities and report everything to the Mission Support Center (MSC).
The second team will be the Mission Support Team located in the offices of ABM Space in Torun, Poland, who will support, supervise and analyse the astronauts' activities.
The 6 astronauts will be in full isolation for the entire mission duration. The only line of communication will be with MSC via a time delayed line. The time delay will be between 10 and 20 minutes, and simulates the long distance between Earth and Mars and the related communication delay.
The astronauts will be provided with analogue space suits for EVA activities. They will incorporate a basic real-time communication system suit-to-suit and suit-to-habitat.
The mission duration will be aimed at two weeks starting from March 2017, with an option to abridge it to a minimum of one week. This duration is necessary in order to monitor effects of the isolation on the behaviour of the astronauts and the efficiency of their work while conducting the experiments.
The mission is run by SGAC members from over 15 countries and 4 continents across the globe. PMAS 2017 is comprised of:
Planning and Scheduling Team (PST)
Science Team (ST)
Media & Outreach Team (MOT)
Funding Team (FT)
Astronaut Training & Selection Team (ATST)
Mission Support Team (MST)
Travel & Visa Coordinators Team (TVCT)
How You Can Get Involved
The Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 Mission is committed to reaching students and educators, as well as enthusiasts from all nations. The experience will be documented and released, allowing public access to the mission’s activities and outcomes.
If your research or your organisation is able to co-support a portion of the endeavour to help offset mission costs, you can purchase a slot for your experiment on our mission.
Furthermore, we have a contingent of free-of-charge experiment slots reserved solely for students and volunteers.
We are looking for:
- Scientific Experiments
- Motivated young people to join our team
- People to spread the word
Follow us on social media and check our websites to learn more about the PMAS 2017 Mission.
Support and spread the word across the universe and make this project become a reality!