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.
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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. […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]