Analogue Planetary Surface Missions
Camilo Andres Reyes, Crew180 LATAM | U.Libertadores, SGAC National Point of Contact (Colombia)
Analogue planetary missions are notable steps of real space exploration missions, where the hardware, along with the psychological behavior, the scientific and geological experiments, and operations are scrutinized and conducted in a simulated planetary environment (Moon or Mars) to prepare astronauts and space agencies for actual missions. Comprehensive research is done during each simulation mission to expand our knowledge and understanding of the systems and operations of possible future space operations.
Credit: Nicolas MCay, MDRS Crew 172
The idea is to study certain aspects that will become important for a real Mars mission, such as the operations (procedures, time-delayed communication, planning strategies, infrastructure, etc), the group dynamics (psychological effects of isolation, working efficiency, etc), testing engineering concepts and performing scientific experiments. These studies will result in valuable data and experiences worthwhile of publishing and presenting at conferences at the end of the mission.
What Makes PMAS 2017 Unique?
Credit: Monica AlcazarDuarte, SGAC - SEPG
The Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 (PMAS 2017) will be one of the most comprehensive missions ever conducted in Europe. It aims to evaluate the joint human and robotic surface operations, conduct controlled investigations and experiments in psychology and human factors, evaluate the performance of astronauts conducting geologic fieldwork, test plant growth on simulated Martian soil, and engage the public and involve students and young professionals in actual space research.
In addition to its concrete scientific goals — PMAS 2017 is on a mission to inspire! A key aim of the mission is to engage the public in space exploration. The one thing that makes PMAS unique is its international outlook (engaging and involving everyone, everywhere, in space exploration) and its emphasis on educational/outreach activities.
PMAS 2017 also hopes to demonstrate the importance of international, multidisciplinary, and multicultural collaborations in space exploration. It will be the most internationally outlooked analogue mission ever conducted. PMAS 2017 represents planet Earth, it represents humanity; our team members come from every habitable continent (North America, South America, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, and Africa) and over 30 countries (India, Italy, Sri Lanka, Germany, UK, Mexico, Iran, France, Canada, USA, Greece, Argentina, Nigeria, Poland, USA, Fiji, Croatia, Denmark, Austria, Australia, Romania, Colombia, Hungary, Portugal, Israel, Puerto Rico, Egypt, and Japan) around the globe. There are no boundaries in space!
The most significant outcome of this mission will be to prove that the systems/capabilities we use to explore Mars are safe, sustainable, and efficient, requiring little or no support from Earth. To do so, a set of objectives were proposed and subdivided into primary and secondary objectives.