Misión cumplida: Colombian Air Force crew spends 13 days in UND Lunar/Mars habitat

Simulating a mission on Mars, the crew researched well being, communication and different components astronauts doubtless will encounter

Pablo de Leon with Columbian Force Members
Pablo De Leon, professor and chair of House Research at UND, presents UND House Research patches to Colombian Air Pressure officers earlier than the officers participate of their 13-day mission contained in the Built-in Lunar/Mars Analog Habitat on campus. Photograph by Arjun Jagada/UND Aerospace.

By Averie Eixenberger

On Oct. 28, 5 officers from the Colombian Air Pressure accomplished a two-week mission throughout the UND Aerospace Built-in Lunar/Mars Analog Habitat (ILMAH).

The group of 5 spent 13 days throughout the ILMAH, simulating a mission on Mars and conducting analysis from inside whereas a sixth member supported the group from the bottom.

The staff egressed into a chilly morning with smiles on their faces and a perky “Good Morning!” from Capt. Diego Ernesto Cortés Guaje, commander of the mission. Members of the group remarked that this was their first time seeing snow.

The staff included:

  • Diego Ernesto Cortés Guaje – commander
  • José David Ortega Pabón – communication officer
  • Brian Ingerman Sánchez Ayala – medical officer
  • Second Lt. Indrid Xiomara Bejarano Cifuentes – aerospace engineer
  • Second Lt. Joseph Néstor David Sequeda Ramón – knowledge officer
  • Lt. Jeimmy Nataly Buitrago Leiva – mission assist officer

“It was wonderful,” mentioned Cortés Guaje. “We discovered quite a bit and developed a briefing for every mission. General, it was a giant success.”

The group researched numerous subjects throughout the habitat to collect greater than a thousand items of information. The plan is to make use of take this knowledge again to Colombia for additional evaluation.

“It offers us concepts for future missions,” mentioned Cortés Guaje. “Now we all know what software program to develop.”

Every member of the crew was chargeable for conducting a special “mission” or analysis undertaking. One focus of every crew member was on communication, each with one another and with Mission Help exterior the habitat.

Members of the crew studied extravehicular floor communications and activity loading for operations exterior the habitat in rovers and house fits, in addition to the results on communication {hardware} from vacuum chambers. In addition they coped with 10-minute delayed communication with Mission Help, which simulates the time it could take to ship messages from Earth to Mars.

“We tried to get forward of the message,” mentioned Cortés Guaje. “We might ship the message 10 minutes earlier than we wanted the response, and would attempt to determine how you can resolve any issues we had on our personal first.”

Different subjects studied in the course of the keep included the results of isolation on crew psychological and bodily well being, in addition to the results of train on health, weight loss program and general crew wellbeing.

“On the fourth day, we felt actually gradual and drained within the morning,” mentioned Cortés Guaje. “We observed that our coronary heart charge lowered because the mission went on.”

The crew was additionally chargeable for rising and overseeing plant care throughout the habitat. Bejarano Cifuentes, the aerospace engineer, spent vital time with the crops within the Plant Manufacturing Module.

“I beloved working with the crops,” Bejarano Cifuentes mentioned. “To me it was wonderful, as a result of I’d say ‘hiya’ and discuss to them.”

Whereas the crew was usually busy with duties, in addition they took time for themselves, spending time collectively watching motion pictures.

With the mission accomplished, the members positioned their mark on the rover hatch within the Core Module, including theirs to the record of profitable missions throughout the habitat.

Shifting ahead, the habitat will proceed to assist experimenters from not solely the US but additionally around the globe within the preparation for lengthy period spaceflight. The ability plans to host not less than 4 simulated missions in 2024.

In regards to the creator:

Averie Eixenberger is a Business Aviation and English main at UND. After commencement, she hopes to pursue a profession as an airline pilot and work inside aviation journalism.

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