Mission Architecture/ Operations, Location & Timeline
Beyond addressing the big questions — Can we survive, and build a sustainable human presence, beyond Earth? — PMAS 2017 has a range of more immediate scientific goals. The mission will conduct research on topics including human-robotic interaction, field-work operations, the psychological effects of isolation, and plant growth on simulated Martian soil.
The mission will be executed analogue to a real space mission to Mars, except for the in-flight phases, solely concentrating on surface operations.
There will be two teams, one comprised of the 6 analogue astronauts that will be placed in the the Modular Analogue Research Station (M.A.R.S.) in Pila (nearPoznan),Poland — provided by the PMAS 2017 partner, the Space Garden Company — to simulate real planetary exploration conditions, where they will perform the experiments and measurements in and around the Habitat and Exploration Site, log their activities and report everything to the Mission Support Center (MSC).
The second team will be the Mission Support Team located in the offices of ABM Space in Torun, Poland, who will support, supervise and analyse the astronauts' activities.
The 6 astronauts will be in full isolation for the entire mission duration. The only line of communication will be with MSC via a time delayed line. The time delay will be between 10 and 20 minutes, and simulates the long distance between Earth and Mars and the related communication delay.
(Artistic Rendition of the Airlock developed by the M.A.R.S. Project. Marshub.org. Credit: M.A.R.S. Project)
The astronauts will be provided with analogue space suits for EVA activities. They will incorporate a basic real-time communication system suit-to-suit and suit-to-habitat.
The mission duration will be aimed at two weeks starting from July 31 2017 to August 13. This duration is necessary in order to monitor effects of the isolation on the behaviour of the astronauts and the efficiency of their work while conducting the experiments.