Dr. Michaela Musilova is the director of the Hawaii House Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, which conducts analog missions to the moon and Mars for scientific analysis at a habitat on the volcano Mauna Loa. At the moment, she is in charge of the two-week Selene III lunar mission and contributed this report back to House.com’s Knowledgeable Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
Commander’s report for the Selene IV moon mission at HI-SEAS
Lunar day 2 (March 14, 2021)
One thing previous, one thing new. This rhyme goes via my head as I am taking within the new views contained in the HI-SEAS habitat. My Selene IV analog mission on the moon has simply began and already my house away from house is altering. I’ve been the commander of just about 30 analog moon and Mars missions, so HI-SEAS is a second house for me now. Some crews enhance the habitat, whereas others do not. The Selene IV crew was on the ball with making HI-SEAS their house too.
It began with the stock. I ask every crew to take stock of the meals and different provides that they’ve accessible to them throughout their mission. On this manner, they discover out what they’ll work and stay with. It is also their first crew train because it takes a number of hours and requires coordinating with each other to carry out the duty effectively.
Most crews simply plow via this activity and transfer on to extra thrilling actions. This crew took their time to each replace the best way we do the stock and to reorganize a lot of our provides, together with placing all the accessible spices in alphabetical order. I at all times tease crews that do that about how lengthy they’ll make such exact group final. Most fail inside just a few days.
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The following factor I knew, numerous new posters began protecting the habitat’s partitions. Crew Operations Officer Lori Waters introduced a number of stunning house posters along with her, amongst different objects which have began to make this analysis station really feel a lot cozier. They embody cute stuffed toys, mission patches and Crew Methods Engineer Invoice O’Hara additionally kindly gave us “take away earlier than flight” keychains from Sierra Nevada Corp.
To my shock, even previous decorations began coming down. That is one thing that I had a tough time coming to phrases with. I treasure the previous decorations earlier crews depart behind, so it began to interrupt my coronary heart a bit when the Selene IV crew determined to take away a few of these older drawings and indicators. Then, I noticed that maybe it was certainly time to maneuver on and alter issues up a bit within the habitat. Carry it on, Selene IV crew!
My favourite new set of decorations are little colourful paper notes on our fundamental habitat board, which comprise humorous quotes from my crewmembers. The board is filling up extraordinarily rapidly and we’re nonetheless at first of our mission. I am already imagining these quotes protecting half of the habitat by this mission’s finish. It additionally would not shock me if this crew will give you new decorations and traditions for future missions at HI-SEAS.
A number of decorations from earlier HI-SEAS missions survived Selene IV’s purge. The funniest ones embody “the valuable” (a reference to the Lord of the Rings films and books), which is the title of our sizzling air vent the place crewmembers huddle to heat up at night time. There’s additionally an indication that claims “the room of requirement” above one among our two emergency exits and off-limits zones. Lastly, we even have numerous fairly impolite indicators within the toilet alerting individuals to verify to carry out toilet-related duties accurately.
Now we have compost bogs at HI-SEAS. They’ll endure various kinds of leaks if the correct quantity of “human litter field combine” (because it has been nicknamed) shouldn’t be added to the bathroom and the bathroom barrel is not spun in the correct route. I admit that a kind of indicators is a drawing of me wanting very offended and utilizing robust language to make sure that the bogs are handled within the correct method. These sorts of crew inside jokes at all times make me chortle, which is why I depart these indicators up on the partitions.
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Lori began the pattern of redecorating the habitat and I’m grateful to her for that. She undoubtedly has a particular contact with every thing and everybody that she works with. On Earth, she is a co-investigator for the Magnitude.io ExoLab-8 mission and a College of North Dakota graduate pupil. Throughout the mission, she might be researching meals crop manufacturing by rising legume crimson clovers hydroponically, in addition to in simulated regolith. The ExoLab venture at HI SEAS will present floor trial information, whereas paired to the identical experiment aboard the Worldwide House Station.
The Selene IV crew engineer is Jack Bryan, who’s presently a member of the Methods Engineering and Integration crew at Masten House Methods, a startup firm in Mojave, California. His job is targeted on the event of the XL-1 Lunar Lander slated to ship eight NASA devices to the Haworth Crater on the south pole of the moon on the finish of 2022. Jack’s plan for our mission is to conduct analysis into the feasibility of mixing the habitat’s waste with in situ assets to kind composite constructing supplies. Jack is presently main within the “one-liner” division, at all times arising with one thing unexpectedly humorous to say a number of occasions a day.
One other inventive crewmember and jokester on our mission is Science Communication Officer Monica Parks. She is the vp of data expertise at Bank3 in Memphis, Tennessee. Monica holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, info applied sciences, management and is presently enrolled in a number of programs that embody astronomy, house mission design and operations. She is a SpaceKind alumna, citizen science communicator, an advocate for house variety and a candidate for spaceflight sponsored by the Denver-based nonprofit group House for Humanity.
Invoice is the one different veteran analog astronaut on the crew, aside from myself. He beforehand participated in a simulated house mission on the Human Exploration Analysis Analog (HERA) habitat at NASA’s Johnson House Middle and the Haughton Mars Venture Analysis Station (HMPRS) situated within the Canadian Arctic. At the moment, Invoice is a lead engineer in Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Superior Improvement Group and he is supporting NASA’s Artemis Human Touchdown System program aimed toward returning people to the moon. Throughout the Selene IV mission, Invoice might be performing a case research of the HI-SEAS habitat design and operations, whereas testing strategies for evaluating lava tubes for habitability.
Jack’s competitors on the crew, when it comes to one-liners and humorous quotes populating our habitat’s partitions, is in-situ useful resource utilization (ISRU) Mission Specialist Cameron Crowell. Cameron is an explorer and trainer at coronary heart who taught introductory astronomy in faculty. For the time being, he works for the Virginia-based aerospace and protection company Normal Dynamics as a mechanical engineer working a 3D printing lab. Cameron is endeavoring to find out the iron content material within the volcanic soil surrounding the HI-SEAS habitat by utilizing a magnet to separate iron from the regolith for ISRU functions.
Lastly, my title is Dr. Michaela Musilova and I am each the director of HI-SEAS and the commander of the Selene IV crew. My space of experience is astrobiology, with a deal with life in excessive environments (extremophiles). That’s the reason I actually get pleasure from performing analysis throughout analog house missions at HI-SEAS, since we get to discover lava caves within the environment of the habitat and research extremophiles that may survive in these underground techniques. We then carry out various kinds of analyses in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard House Flight Middle in Greenbelt, Maryland and Honeybee Robotics in New York Metropolis to know whether or not related extremophiles could possibly be discovered on Mars.
Commander Musilova signing off, listening to extra laughter coming from the kitchen. Apparently, I missed a joke about nuking a hitchhiker from orbit. I higher discover out what is going on on earlier than it’s going to be too late.
Observe Michaela Musilova on Twitter @astro_Michaela. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.