One of our own A4H members, Iñigo Muñoz Elorza, will be participating in the upcoming Poland Mars Analog Simulation 2017, organized by the Space Generation Advisory Council's (SGAC) Space Exploration Project Group (SEPG), who is currently raising funds for the mission on Indiegogo.
It will be a two-week mission where a crew of six analogue astronauts will conduct and record their experiences and scientific research in the newly built the M.A.R.S. Laboratory habitat near Rzepiennik Biskupi, Poland. The mission will be complete with a time-delayed link with the offices of ABM Space in Torun, Poland, where 30 international students and young professionals will act as the Flight Support Team (FST) in the PMAS 2017 Mission Support Centre (MSC).
The mission will also include a 3-day lunar simulation in partnership with ESA to mimic the potential future plans of not only returning to the Moon alone, but using a Moon base as testbed for future Mars exploration.
Sebastian Hettrich, PMAS 2017 Mission Director, noted "The advantage of the Moon is that it a) is close enough to Earth to enable a quick return of the astronauts within only a few days at any time of the year and b) there is almost no delay in the communications. These two factors are what makes a Mars mission more difficult and risky, and we first need to learn again how to walk before we can start to run and jump."
PMAS 2017 aims not only to address the "big questions" but also to achieve some more immediate scientific goals like conducting research on topics including human-robotic interaction, field work operations, the psychological effects of isolation, plant growth on simulated Martian soil, and telescope-based astronomy.
Mina Talka, the Media and Outreach Coordinator for the mission, says "PMAS 2017 represents planet Earth, it represents humanity. Our team members come from every habitable continent and from over 30 countries around the globe. There are no boundaries in space! PMAS will certainly help us understand and tackle issues arising from deep-space exploration, but most importantly, it will help us change how we think about humanity and about human space exploration."
Contribute to the campaign on Indiegogo and follow the project on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.