An all-Florida Tech crew spent two weeks in January at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, carrying out real-world research that could contribute to scientists’ understanding of what it’s like to live and work on another planet.
MDRS Crew 219 consisted of seven students and one alumnus, listed here with their research station title and the department they represented:
David Masaitis, Commander (Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences)
Nathan Hadland, Executive Officer (Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences)
Hannah Blackburn, Lead Science Officer (Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences)
Keith Crisman, Health and Safety Officer (Human Centered Design)
Alejandro Perez, Engineer (Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences)
Robinson Raphael, Astronomer (Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences)
Cynthia Montanez, Green Habitat Officer (Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences)
Abdul Elnajdi, Geologist (MS ‘18)
Masaitis, Hadland and Blackburn were making their second visit to MDRS. Along with their rigorous schedule of experiments and tests, crew members continued to establish and refine mission-critical procedures during their stay. Their research topics included human factors studies, dust mitigation on telescope mirrors, flight testing of an experimental reconnaissance drone, and the sampling, cataloging and remediation of locally sourced substrates. The crew’s findings will contribute to the international research community’s understanding of how to live and work on other planets.