One of my goals as a participant in the HI-SEAS Mars Analog mission was to engage in a widespread public outreach campaign.
I wanted to offer an opportunity for students to communicate with our crew as they might a real real human mission to Mars. For as long as NASA flew the space shuttle and more recently with the International Space Station (ISS), the space agency routinely made it possible for classroom students to ask questions and send messages to the astronauts in space.
The 2nd HI-SEAS crew are not (yet) astronauts themselves, but they represent the kind of people who are candidates for future space missions. As students and graduates of a diverse set of scientific disciplines, this crew can offer insights and experiences to students wishing to learn more about careers in science and engineering.
In addition to myself, there are 5 others on the HI-SEAS crew. My Science Officer is Lucie Poulet, an aerospace engineer from France who is conducting an experiment to grow plant seeds that have flown in orbit. My Chief Engineer is Annie Caraccio, who works at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a chemical engineer. She is researching methods of recycling waste on space missions into useful gases. The Mission Technologist is Ross Lockwood– an experimental physicist from Edmonton, Canada. When he is not busy operating the various computer systems here in the habitat, he is experimenting on the use of 3D printed surgical tools for future space missions. Dr. Ron Williams of Bloomington, Indiana is our Mission Psychologist- his role is the study of the crew’s cognitive behavior during our 4-month mission. And my Medical Officer (and Life support Specialist) is Tiffany Swarmer, a Space Studies graduate student at the University of North Dakota. She is evaluating the human factors of the crew before/during/and after simulated EVAs. (Click on their names to read their biographies)
One of the things we all have in common is a passion for science, particularly space exploration. Even though we all came from different backgrounds (and countries), we’ve found ourselves drawn to the space program and what it represents. All of us want to encourage others to learn more about science, technology, math and engineering. We are all hoping to answer questions from aspiring young scientists and astronauts!
I’d like to ask a favor of all those who are reading this blog to help me spread the word about our public outreach campaign. The academic school year is almost over. In order for this part of the program to go forward, we need interested teachers, educators, camp counselors, and science center staff to see the flyer I’ve included in this post and contact us. This opportunity will slip away without your help.
Send your questions to myself and the crew at: firstname.lastname@example.org