Mission to Mars 2017: UCL Crew 178 en route to Mars via the Utah desert
Mission to Mars Crew 178 is composed of seven UCL students and mentored by Frank De Winne, a Belgian astronaut and the first European commander of the International Space Station. This is the ninth UCL crew to take part in the adventure, which for them will entail 15 days of simulated life on Mars and seven scientific experiments.
The goal is to simulate a scientific mission on Mars via a base in the Utah desert. Six students will conduct experiments for testing equipment and procedures in conditions that could occur during Martian exploration. The project’s main goal is to identify difficulties scientists might have to overcome to successfully carry out their experiments on the red planet.
Crew 178 is the ninth crew to take part under the name of ‘UCL Mission to Mars’, and includes a bioengineer, five engineers, an astrophysicist and a biologist.
- Mobile telecommunication relay: testing an innovative solution based on using relay drones.
- Using x-ray diffraction to characterise soil hydration: using x-ray diffraction to characterise rock hydration.
- Analysing photosynthesis oxygen replenishment: testing an oxygen replenishment process in a closed loop.
- Using seismic refraction to characterise soils: assessing the value of seismic refraction.
- Assessing Mars mission crew muscle loss: testing the effectiveness of training exercises and strength tests, in tandem with using a cuff.
- Muon detection: detecting muons in ‘Martian conditions’, using a portable muon detector provided by the Université catholique de Louvain.
- Drone-assisted mapping and surveying of base surroundings: characterising base surroundings using a drone.
Info : www.ucltomars.org
Calogero Montedoro, vice commander and press officer : firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile on request
Aurian d’Avernas, first officer : email@example.com, mobile on request