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Meet Heather Smith Commander of Crew 54. Research in life detection instrumentation and Mars Analogs soils. Spaceward Bound Science Overview. Science is the driving force behind planetary exploration.

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Meet heather smith commander of crew 54
Meet Heather SmithCommander of Crew 54

Research in life detection instrumentation and Mars Analogs soils.

Spaceward bound science overview
Spaceward Bound Science Overview

Science is the driving force behind planetary exploration.

The space environment poses many challenges to fundamental science procedures and methodology.

The challenges of space exploration need to be overcome as much as possible before leaving Earth.

MDRS science includes the methodology and protocols used in obtaining samples as well as the results from the sample analysis

Science goals overall themes

MDRS Science

1. Biology

2. Geology

Soil Science

Radiation Studies

Mars Science

1. Biology

2. Geology

3. Soil Science

4. Radiation Studies

Science GoalsOverall Themes

Science in preparation for and support of human space exploration of Mars.

Spaceward bound science the unique utah desert

Spaceward Bound ScienceThe Unique Utah Desert

The barren Utah desert (formally a lake) has a striking Mars-like red color consisting of layered sandstone outcrops.

These sandstone outcrops are home to the world’s largest collection of Endoliths.

Endo= inside

Lith= rocks

Endoliths are the green layer

Mdrs science biology cyanobacteria at mdrs
MDRS Science – BiologyCyanobacteria at MDRS

Cyanobacteria can live by itself, or in a symbiotic relationship with fungi (lichen).

We will be concerned with endoliths mostly


Endoliths are cyanobacteria organisms that live in the top centimeters of sandstone rocks. The rocks provide a sponge for water and shelter from high UV. The endoliths get their energy from the Sun and their food from the rocks. The black layer in this picture is likely to be an organisms breaking down the rock for the endoliths.

Biology studies all crews
Biology Studies:- All crews

Map and characterize the endolithic population around MDRS by:

  • Asceptically collecting samples while wearing the space suits.

    2. Analyze the samples in the habitat Laboratory.

    3. Document and process the results in a useful and consistent manner among all the crews.

Geology crews 53 55
Geology- Crews 53 &55

We will study the formation and relationships of geological structures and processes. In particular we'll be looking at paleoenvironmental interpretations of the formations.

Soil studies crew 52 54
Soil Studies- Crew 52 & 54

Measure basic physical and biologic properties of the soils such as pH, strength, pore space, and microbial bioload estimation.

Radiation all crews
Radiation- all Crews

1. We will characterize the radiation environment around MDRS in regards to human activity.

2. We will measure the radiation profile of the endolithic rocks to determine the filtering effects of the sandstone rocks.

Any questions about the science
Any Questions about the Science

If you have any more science or exploration ideas, let your commander know.

There is a list of available lab equipment at the Mars Society website.