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Third Mars Simulation Base Team Arrives At Desert Station

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  • Hanksville - Mar 13, 2002
    The third crew rotation of the Mars Desert Research Station has begun. The rotation, which started March 10, will run through March 24. During this time, the crew will continue the MDRS's program of sustained field exploration of the Utah desert while operating under many of the same constraints that a human crew would in an expedition to Mars. The purpose of this work is to learn how to explore on the Red Planet.

    The commander of the third rotation is Dr. Bjoern Grieger, of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy, Katlenburg-Lindau. Dr. Grieger has a background in physics, astronomy, and paleoclimatology and has had cosmonaut training in Star City.

    Nell Beadle, a professional field geologist with Fugro Seafloor Surveys, Seattle, Washington, will serve as chief geologist for the crew.

    Other crew embers include Tiffany Vora of the Department of Molecular Biology of Princeton University, Jon Dory an engineer with Spacehab Inc. at NASA Johnson Space center, Erik Carlstrom a geologist who is president of the Oregon Mars Society, Stacy Sklar, a geologist with Northern Arizona University, and Sybil Sharvelle, an engineer with the university of Colorado at Boulder. Grieger, Beadle, Vora, Carlstrom, and Dory will all serve the full two-week crew rotation.

    Sklar and Sharvelle will share a crew slot, with Sklar serving March 10-17 and Sharvelle serving March 17-24.

    Rotation 3 is the first MDRS crew to be composed of equal numbers of men and women and is the first to be commanded by someone who is not an American national.

    4th and 5th Crews Selected
    The crews for the 4th and 5th rotations of the Mars Desert Research Station have been selected.

    Rotation 4, which will run March 24-April 7, will be commanded by Dr. Judith LaPierre. Dr. LaPierre is a professor of psychology at the University of Quebec in Hull. She has participated in space human factors simulation work in Russia in conjunction with the Russian and Canadian Space Agencies. She is both the first woman to command the MDRS and the first French Canadian.

    Other members of the rotation 4 crew include Shannon Rupert, a professor of biology with the Department of Physical Sciences at Miracosta College near San Diego, Andrew Hoppin a space entrepreneur from New York with a degree in geology from Brown University, Joel McKinnon, a Bay Area information sciences professional with a background in geology, Jennifer Knowles, a mission operations engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center, Alexander Kazerooni, a biomedical researcher working with Lockheed Martin and NASA JSC on EVA issues, and Matt Lowry a physics teacher and Mars Society leader from Chicago.

    LaPierre, Rupert, McKinnon, Hoppin, and Knowles will all serve the full 2-week rotation. Lowry and Kazerooni will split their crew slot, with Lowry serving the first week and Kazerooni the second.

    The fifth MDRS crew rotation will run from April 7 to 21 and be commanded by Dr. Bill Clancey of the NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Clancey is a professional space exploration human factors researcher who has taken part in Mars Society and NASA Haughton Mars Project joint expeditions to the Arctic in 1999 and 2000, and who was a member of the crew of the Mars Society's Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station during the summer of 2001.

    Also participating in the 5th crew rotation is Dr. Vladimir Pletser.

    Pletser, a Belgian national, is a geophysicist and astronaut trainee working with the European Space Agency in Noordwijk, Holland. Like Clancey, Pletser was a member of the crew of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station during the summer of 2001.

    Other members of the rotation 5 crew include Dr. Nancy Wood, Senior Scientist at the Department of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Jan Osburg, a doctoral candidate and lecturer at the Space Systems Institute of the University of Stuttgart, Andrea Fori, an aerospace engineer and planetary geologist with Lockheed Martin in San Jose, and David Real a freelance journalist who has written extensively for the Dallas morning news and other publications.

    The fifth crew rotation will be followed by a 6th which will run from April 21 to May 4. After may 4, the MDRS will cease simulation operations for the summer, during which time Mars Society simulation research will continue at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island and the MDRS will be used for public outreach and educational activities.

    The MDRS will then resume operations in October for its second field season which will run until May 2003.

    The crews of the Mars Desert Research Station are all volunteers who serve without any pay from the Mars Society. The current crews have been selected from a pool of over 400 applicants who responded to the Mars Society's open call for volunteers issued in October of 2001.

    Applications from new volunteers are always welcome.

    A complete report on the activities and future plans for the Mars Desert and Flashline Mars Arctic Research Stations will be given at 5th International Mars Society Convention, which will be held August 8-11 at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Registration for the convention is now open.

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    Mars Simulation Base Completes Second Crew Rotation
    Hanksville - Mar 6, 2002
    The tour of duty for the second crew of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is coming to a close, formally ending on March 7th, 2002. The past two weeks of activities has marked an exciting, stimulating, and at times challenging environment for everyone here.

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