At the Mars Desert Research Station, every crew member is realising scientific experiments. Those experiments are prepared, sometimes in collaboration with companies and/or researchers, during the whole year preceding the mission.
Are you a company or an academic interested in using our user case on Mars ? Do you want to work together with us in order to realize a scientific experience ? Let us know !
Study on the isolation of social networks
We are constantly connected to social networks and information. So connected that sometimes our relationships with others are impacted. So what would be the impact on us and our relationships with others by being disconnected for 2 weeks as part of a life simulation on mars. For this, I will study the individual use of […]
Study of psychological and behavioral adaptation to isolated and confined environments
I have always been interested in people’s relationships and interactions. Creating a strong and unit crew is not easy when you start with a team of foreigners. By completing questions files, making several exercises, mental games and using actual psychological tools I would like to analyze the personalities, emotions, desires, expectations, and fears of my […]
Space Oddity: reducing stress with music ?
Confinement and isolation is difficult for every crew that leaves the Earth. It leads to stress that can impact the body in a negative way, psychologically but also physically by increasing cortisol and blood pressure levels. One solution to this problem could be listening to music; it’s pleasant and not a complicated strategy to […]
Development of the emergency procedure
The Martian environmentis not suitable forthe survival of human beings. So, what would happen if the protective layer around the astronauts were to be damaged? Then our astronauts would be exposed to the greatest of dangers. They must react fast to guarantee the mission survival. Therefore, a simple and explicit procedure must be defined […]
Search for a radiation-shielded site in the Mars underground
Radiation in space is one of the most challenging problems for long manned space missions. Recent proposals have been put forward to benefit from natural shielding, by implanting the astronauts’ base in the Martian underground. The Martian caves should be chosen according to some criteria, such as the effectiveness of the shield, the presence […]
Study on Mars radiation
The radiation is invisible and odorless. The martionauts on mars will have to face this invisible enemy much more than we on earth. So how do you protectthem? By deploying a whole series of dosimeters. Each person will have 1, 1 will be put outside, 1 inside, 1 underground and 1 in Belgium to […]
Study of the biocompatibility of the Martian environment for Terrestrial organisms
Terraforming Mars? Why? Well, because life as we know it cannot survive to Mars’ extreme conditions. But that may not be entirely true. Indeed, some organisms on Earth have the ability to survive conditions that are lethal to most other organisms, they are called extremophiles. But could they withstand Mars’ extreme conditions ? This is […]
Study on the influence of the specific nutrition of astronauts on the microbiota
Thanks to an experiment previously carried out on astronauts, we know that containment has an impact on our microbial flora that we call our “second brain”. But containment will not be the only parameter to have an impact on our micro-organisms. The specific food of the astronauts is obviously a major element and my experiment […]
3D printing is a relatively new technology with endless possibilities! Easily scalable and transportable, future marstronauts will undoubtedly bring multiple 3D printers to our sister planet. My experiment will consist of 3D printing scaffolds in bio-ink to seed stem cells and then perform mechanical stress-strain tests on the resulting micro-architecture.
Imagine being on a mission on Mars, suffering from an accident or trauma following an EVA that would require surgery and prevent your repatriation to the Earth… Wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to find a device to treat the problem on the spot and without the need of a surgeon? It is exactly […]
Sleeping Hypnosis experiment.
Based on a previous experimentation at the MDRS, we learned that the sleep quality of an astronomer in the station is not as good as at home. Therefore, I would like to see if some hypnosis technique as we use in medicine before falling asleep would help to have a deeper and better sleep. In […]
Assessment of metabolic changes due to alterations in physical activity and nutrition.
Mars colonization is a technological challenge but also a physical challenge for the future marstronautes.Microgravity, environment and nutrition changes will have a big impact on the crews’ health. My goal is to develop a protocol for the monitoring of essential parameters of the health and metabolism of the crew members. The collected data will help […]
Evaluate different living conditions in the breeding of insects in order to integrate them into the astronauts’ diet.
I would like to conduct an experiment that would contribute to improving the nutritional qualities of a future crew of astronauts through an alternative food solution with a good yield for a minimum of space and energy used by using insects. There are very interesting contrary to the other living beings from different points of […]
Study of the effect of biofertilizers on the germination rate of edible plants of interest in a Martian soil substrate.
During my studies, a strong emphasis is given to plant biology and physiology, and I am familiar with plant experiments and the work environment of greenhouses. I will therefore direct my research to help find a solution to the great question of: the supply of food for a crew that would live in complete autarky […]
Terrain modelling by Synthetic Aperture Radar
As part of his thesis on the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Cyril Wain will carry out an imaging campaign. SAR is a form of radar that is used to create 2D images or to perform 3D reconstructions of objects or landscapes. The principle of SAR is that it uses its motion to obtain radar images […]
Study of the efficacy of a potential living-antibiotic, the bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, inside and outside a research station in a Mars-like environment
Due to its particularity of killing other bacteria without killing human cells, Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is being studied as a serious alternative to antibiotics, especially against resistant strains. Moreover, unlike antibiotics, its effectiveness over time does not diminish, which is particularly relevant for long-term travels such as the transport and establishment of a colony on Mars. […]
Fast assessment of mineral content on Martian-like soil with portable XRF device
This experiment is about testing an innovative way to analyze Martian soil composition. At the MDRS, our goal is to provide a rapid and reliable assessment of Martian-like soil mineral content, which will contribute (i) to evaluate the suitability of these soils for food production and (ii) to study the potential ancient presence of liquid […]
Data collection and transmission over low-powered devices for station monitoring.
By installing a series of low-powered sensors and transmitters, it will be possible to model the MRDS’s environment and extra-vehicular activities (temperature, humidity, pressure, brightness, etc.) in order to detect variations in the habitat, the greenhouse and along expeditions. The objective is to collect, transmit and analyze the data as efficiently as possible as we […]
Study of the survival of human flora bacteria as well as efficacy of several antibiotics under Martian environmental conditions.
When we will colonize Mars, we will not come alone: the microorganisms of the intestinal, oral, cutaneous flora, etc. will accompany us. It is therefore essential to predict what type of microorganisms in these floras would be able to survive and colonize Mars. Audrey proposes to carry out experiments to study the survival of some human flora bacteria and the efficacy of several antibiotics under Martian environmental conditions found on the mission site.
Spirulina as a food solution for astronaut
An astronaut eats one kilogram of food, breathes one kilogram of oxygen and drinks three liters of water. Astronauts also produce waste, mainly water. During long-term space mission, it is impossible to carry as much food and water for reasons of costs and logistics. Let’s recycle! The MELiSSA project (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative) focuses […]
Martian bread : fermentation based on bacteria from human microbiota
The Apollo 11 mission brought the first humans on the moon and back in 8 days 3 hours and 19 minutes. An inhabited mission to Mars will take years – the one-way trip is estimated at 6 months at the shortest. The organization of such a journey requires spectacular scientific and technological skills, including the […]
Cartography with drones & MDRS drone monitoring
The project involves the use of a drone in the field of geomatics for a mission at the MDRS. Establishing a detailed and interactive mapping of the environment close to the station is a relevant objective. Indeed, carrying out efficient and secure missions is only made possible by studying the relief, the gradients and the […]
Study of drug degradation at Mars Desert Research Station
Medications degrade over time. Degradation of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) can result in reduced drug potency and increased toxicity due to the formation of degradation products. This degradation is accelerated by suboptimal storage conditions, as well as by some environmental factors of a Mars expedition such as microgravity, temperature variations and radiations, which may […]
Impact of a Martian lifestyle on memory and reflexes
On Mars, several factors may have consequences on our organism such as the confinement, the change of scenery and the energy consumption spikes due to additional activity. These factors can induce fatigue and lead to decreased attention and memory performance, and increased reaction time. Being 225 million kilometers away from Earth, the crew will be […]
Construction of a vertical NFT hydroponics system in the MDRS
A steady supply of food for the astronauts is one of the most fundamental requirements for any autonomous long-term space mission, such as an expedition to Mars. That food will almost exclusively be supplied by plants grown hydroponically in very tightly packed greenhouses, with very high exposure to different risk factors. It is therefore essential […]
The effect of hydrogel on the plants growth in the GreenHab
In the next long-duration exploration, plant systems will become essential components: the farther and longer humans go away from Earth, the greater the need to be able to grow plants for food and atmosphere recycling. Thus, we definitely need robust and innovative plant systems which work in particular environments and with limited equipment, space, water […]
Biocompatibility of the simulated Martian environment for Terrestrial organism
Future long-duration space missions raise a lot of challenging questions. Can terrestrial organisms survive in a Mars environment, and what are the physical and chemical limits for Life? Biocompatibility of the Martian environment for terrestrial organisms is of particular interest for Astrobiology and space exploration. In that sense, we propose to study adaptation and survival […]
Development of a telescope for cosmic muon flux and density measurements
This project is based on the building of a compact telescope based on small and gastight Glass Resistive Gas Chambers (”minigRPC”) and is aimed at performing a feasibility study of possible research on Mars geology. The first part of the project will be a simulation optimizing parameters for the detector conception. The second part will […]
Analysis of soil chemical composition
Bringing human life on a mission will be the first step of the Mars odyssey. Bringing humans to Mars is already a challenge, but keeping them alive is another one, and a much more complex one. In order to reach this objective, the humans who will live on the Red Planet will have to produce […]
Operation scheduling on MDRS under uncertainty: comparing classical and robust models
We will consider the problem of scheduling a set of (experimental and logistic) operations in a constrained context such as the MDRS. When taking uncertainty into account while designing models, a robust solution that minimizes the probability of a failure in the mission global objectives can be obtained. Based on real-life operations at MDRS, we […]
Development of a telescope for cosmic muon flux and density measurements
This project is based on the upgrading of a compact telescope based on small and gastight Glass Resistive Gas Chambers (“minigRPC”) build last year by Sophie Wuyckens and is aimed at performing a feasibility study of possible research on Mars geology. The first part of the project will be an improvement of the software used […]
Automating high-precision tasks with drones
While the GPS may be enough for a variety of tasks, when it comes to precisely checking tank levels or approaching a precise object on the ground, it’s just not precise enough. First, we need to gather a list of these tasks and evaluate what precision they would need (an error of less than 1 […]
Fully autonomous 3D mapping
We plan to improve usability and efficiency of drone 3D mapping to the next level. The first step will be to gather data and software used by our predecessor Bastien Baix from the UCL to Mars 2018 mission. Mapping techniques are constantly evolving and updating the software behind the project is necessary. The core idea will […]
Impact of a Martian lifestyle on sleep quality
A correct and regular sleep is essential for the recuperative power of the crew. For a long-term mission, the recuperative power is crucial for the preservation of the reflexes and the cognitive functions of the members of the crew. The particular conditions of such a mission which are among others the confinement, the seclusion and the […]
His research will consist in the drafting of a Martian constitution. Today, no rules or legislation apply to Mars. However, law is necessary to organise the human society, as Martian missions are going to develop. He would like to draft it together with the crew because a text of such importance needs to gather all different […]
Spirulina as space food
As water is a limiting factor on Mars, lots of questions related to how to grow food on the Red Planet remain unsolved. On this purpose, current scientific researches focus on developing technologies to grow highly nutritive food requiring small amount of water. One possible option is spirulina! Indeed, those cyanobacteria are highly prospective for […]
Enhancing leguminous plant nutrition via mycorrhiza symbiosis in a Martian simulated environment
As a one-way trip to Mars is estimated at 6 months at the shortest, a round-trip mission to the Red planet could last years. Therefore, setting up technologies to grow food in complete autonomy seems crucial. One main issue remains enhancing plant nutrition and increasing their resistance to stress and drought. To elucidate that point, we […]
Deployment of a swarm of CubeLands
Mars presents a dynamical environment that cannot be fully described by measures taken by a small number of probes. However, current Martian missions are very costly and do not allow to cover large region of its surface. In order to get a more comprehensive view of Mars climate evolution, we propose to rely on miniaturized […]
Devices of interest tracking with Ultra Wide Band geolocation system
Here on Earth, GPS technology brought various tools to our society in a wide tech area. Up there on Mars, it might be as useful to implement GPS-like devices and keeping track of what’s going on in our new Martian civilization. Nowadays, there are different geolocation technologies for different purposes. In regard of the relatively […]