Mars One announces ten potential university payloads to fly to Mars in 2018
Amersfoort, 1st December 2014 - Mars One is proud to present the ten Mars One University Competition finalists eligible to fly to Mars. One of these ten payloads will receive the once in a lifetime opportunity to fly on Mars One’s first unmanned Lander mission to Mars in 2018. For the first time ever the public will be able to decide which payload receives the extraordinary opportunity to fly to Mars.
The ten remaining projects from an initial 35 submissions were submitted by diverse universities worldwide. In order to get this far, the payload proposals needed to meet all requirements as described by Mars One supplier Lockheed Martin. Mars One community members, social media followers, and the general public will have the opportunity to vote on and select the winning payload. Voting opportunities for the public will be opened in the first weeks of December, 2014. Voting submission will be accepted until December 31st, 2014. The winning university payload will be announced on January 5th, 2015.
The winning payload needs to be feasible and meet the requirements and restrictions as outlined in the Proposal Information Package (PIP) and on-going discussions with Lockheed Martin, who will build the 2018 lander. Additionally, if in any case the winning team can not perform or adjust to additional requirements the runner-up will be chosen instead.
Arno Wielders, Co-founder & CTO of Mars One said, "These ten final projects are unique and creative and we are very happy with the payload proposals these teams have presented. It would be highly interesting to see each and every one of these projects being launched to Mars. Now it is up to the public to decide which project they would like to have on Mars."
Here are the ten finalists in the Mars One University competition with a brief payload description.
#CyanoKnights - Generating O2 out of CO2
by Robert P. Schröder (Germany) in Mars One University Challenge
Dreams become true if we change a small amount of the 95% carbon dioxide Mars atmosphere into oxygen with the great power of cyanobacteria. The idea is that missions on Mars will combine it with nitrogen to breathable air or just recuperate consumed air over and over again. They are already testing those on the international space station for oxygen generation and food production. So let us take it to the next level and investigate the first cyanobacteria on Mars finding the best survival species for mankind!
You like it?! Please help and vote for our great scientific project :D
Cyanobacteria will deliver oxygen made of their photosynthesis of carbon dioxide and is potentially for food production suitable too. In different environmental conditions on plates in quarantined boxes cyanobacteria will be monitored of their activities to determine the best working solution on Mars as well as on the way to Mars.
- Cyanobacteria Anabaena
- Cyanobacteria Nostoc
- Cyanobacteria Spirulina
- Chlorophyceae Haematococcus
And maybe other non toxic microorganisms to be determined/inspected as well to fully take advantage of the given space on the lander.
- Pressure (1024 hPa ... 1 hPa)
- Temperature (140 K ... 293 K)
- Composition of air
To simulate Mars-like and habitat-like conditions and stages between we have fixed and an alternation of parameters.
- Gas sensors (CO2, O2)
- Environmental sensors (pressure, temperature, ...)
- Turbidity & viability measurement
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>>> BIOMEX project | Great Oxidation Event
Why don’t we use plants?
Plants won’t survive in harsh mars conditions, just in habitats and they need more power and protection. Cyanobacteria made life on planet earth possible in the beginnings, they are more flexible and adaptable, so we will give them a try.
At the end of the mission those very well quarantined microorganisms will be burned to dust and this mechanism can be used for other cases as well and won’t harm the lander itself.
Minimal given space of the box?
Millimeters 370 x 130 x 200
University of Applied Science Darmstadt and Technical University of Darmstadt are located in the middle of Germany next to Frankfurt am Main. The team consists of an interdisciplinary group of students advised by scientists of doctors and professors. We work in the laboratory in Darmstadt.
HELENA - Oxygen Production & Art Time Capsule
by Josh (Australia) in Mars One University Challenge
HELENA, whose name is drawn from Shakespeare’s heroine who “breathed life into stone,” is intended to demonstrate oxygen production from water in the Martian soil through electrolysis. Helena will be the first example of a life-support technology on the surface of Mars and a precursor to the arrival of the Mars One colonists in 2025. In addition to the scientific half of the payload, and inspired by the “Golden Record” mounted on each of the Voyager 1 & 2 interstellar probes, Helena will also carry a “time capsule” in the form of a radiation-hardened DVD - filled with content submitted by the public via social media during National Science Week 2015.
HELENA’s primary science payload is an electrolysis module housed in a custom made chassis (approx. 300mm x 200mm x 100mm) units designed to demonstrate key life-support technology - producing oxygen from water extracted out of the Martian soil with a dry launch weight of
Radiation-hardened electronics for controlling and collecting data from the system will be duplicated across the payload for redundancy. The electronics will transmit the status of the system and the gas production back to Earth, telling us how much power was used and when we have successfully generated life-sustaining oxygen on surface of Mars.
A custom made electrolysis module will house the liquid water drawn from Mars One’s “water extraction payload”, each bay will house independent Ni-NiO2 anode/cathodes and an oxygen sensor for data comparison and redundancy. Both the Oxygen and Hydrogen will be vented after successful detection. This has been adopted, as a reduced scope will ensure our focus on a successful Electrolysis process.
The potential for utilisation of electrolysis is vast and widely applicable for sustaining life and operation on Mars for the astronauts in 2025. Electrolysis has the potential to generate not just life sustaining Oxygen, but Hydrogen for a fuel cell or the early stages of methane when mixed with CO2 from the Martian atmosphere. There are also future possibilities for the electrolysis to become efficient enough to develop a wearable solution, where an astronaut could load the ice into their suit and with sufficient energy available generate oxygen for immediate use or backup storage.
In addition to the science payload, HELENA will carry flag etchings on its outer casing to inspire all nationalities to reach for Mars, and a “time capsule” in the form of a radiation-hardened DVD, filled with content submitted by the public via social media. Both the etchings and time capsule will have negligible engineering impact, and are intended to provide the wider community a means to contribute to a record of daily life on Earth in 2017 for the Mars One colonists to recover in 2025, and to creatively record the human experience of present day life on Earth.
Andre Van Vulpen is the UWA Motorsports 2015 Project Manager, responsible for a team of 60 engineering students. As a HELENA Project Co-Lead, Andre and his team will coordinate the project's engineering, directly supervised by Associate Professor Angus Tavner (http://www.uwa.edu.au/people/angus.tavner) and Winthrop Professor David Blair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blair_(physicist).) Josh Richards is a physicist and Mars One candidate. As a HELENA Project Co-Leader, Josh is coordinating the project's concept and design. Developing the time capsule and etching components through Flinders University for a PhD in Space Archaeology, Josh will be supervised by Dr Alice Gorman
In situ Habitat Improvement through Soil Strengthening - IHISS
by Joseph Finkiewicz (United States) in Mars One University Challenge
Project Update: Working on preliminary design sketches and CAD models of structure, and components, BOM, and cost estimates. Pictures coming soon ||| Human settlement of outer space and other planets provides many difficulties for those who want to participate in this sector. One of the most costly, and necessary factors is the launch and transportation of habitat building materials. However, if we were to use in situ materials to help develop our habitats it would reduce not only cost of material transportation, but help regulate environmental factors and protect against dangerous events, Dust storms, micro-meteors. For centuries humans used mud and clay habitats on Earth. Why not do the same on Mars?
The “In situ Habitat Improvement through Soil Strengthening (IHISS)” will begin its mission once the MarsOne rover is on the Martian surface. It will activate a series of sensors to obtain the control data, average radiation amount, and average temperature cycle. Next working with the soil acquisition payload to obtain a sample of Martian soil, our system will collect this soil and inject a polyester resin into the sample. This mixture will be turned and heated so that the bonding will be continuous within the composite we are creating. The new composite is now moved in location over the sensor. After the sensor is blocked with our composite changes in radiation, temperature will be looked at, and a structural integrity test performed. with this data we can compare just how useful a shield of this composite material will be over human habitats on Mars.
The Auraria Campus provides us with a unique team as we are comprised of students from three different universities, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado Community College of Denver. We have students from all three universities working on the team ranging from freshmen to sixth year seniors. Our team is comprised of undergraduate students who are part of the SEDS, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, chapter on Auraria's Campus.
MARA-DS: MAterial RAdiation Degradation Study
by Nick Orenstein (USA) in Mars One University Challenge
Exposure to cosmic rays and solar radiation is an extreme health hazard to human explorers. Many in the space exploration community have expressed hesitation to send humans to Mars because they will likely develop cancer if radiation doses present in the living environment are not diminished. While studies have been conducted to measure the radiation received in Earth-Mars transit and on the surface, this project will take the next step by evaluating various materials and their radiological degradation potential on Mars.
MARA-DS is designed to record the energy and impact events of Galactic Cosmic Ray (GCR) and Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) flux at the surface of Mars. Ionizing radiation in the form of X-Rays and Gamma rays are near massless high energy photons and will not be measured by MARA-DS. The payload will establish a baseline control for the radiation environment while also measuring the massed radiation flux through the potential habitat structural material of JSC Mars-1: a Martian regolith simulant. The information collected will help plan for protective Martian habitat structures. The primary objective is to learn about the GCR and SEP radiation environment at the surface and try to determine its impact on potential human colonists while testing Mars One’s principal shielding strategy.
The MARA-DS layout consists of a stationary, zenith directed array of six silicon-lithium detectors for charged particle spectroscopy. Each of the first three sensors will be covered with a one centimeter thick shield of JSC Mars-1. Each shield diameter will be 1 cm and will completely cover its respective sensor. The final three sensors will serve as the control group and will not be shielded in order to act as a radiation environment baseline. All six sensors will be encased on their other five sides by the payload housing which will be Al-7075.
The silicon-lithium detectors will register energy impulses and will count interference events. This data will be pulled from the sensors and stored in the redundant onboard memory which can be queried up request by the payload. Due to power and data constraints the payload be operated once per day for fifteen minutes. While it would be ideal to have continuous operations, this will be a comparable sampling size to MSL’s RAD.
The JSC Mars-1 can have its radiation impedance characterized on Earth. However the Martian environment offers many different variables, including intense thermal cycling, dust build up, and even small localized magnetic fields. The value of field testing these materials when human lives are on the line, cannot be overstated. Previous experiments do not provide data about the surficial environment for Mars, where the human colonists will spend most of their time
The results from MARA-DS will help Mars One habitat designers select materials to overcome a primary health hazard to human mission participants.
The MARA-DS student team comprises former colleagues with demonstrated passion for expanding human capabilities, particularly in space science and technology. The team has previously developed complex space systems, such as remote-controlled robotic exploration platforms (Mars Rover Design Team Missouri S&T), balloon-launched microsatellites (SEDS-NCSU), and hand-crafted suborbital rockets (USC Rocket Propulsion Lab). Members have experience with the Mars Desert Research Station, various entrepreneurial endeavors, and diverse employment histories including NASA Centers and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Through detailed project management and systems engineering, this team of dreamers works to realize the next giant leap of humankind.
by Hector Geoffrey Hamilton (United Kingdom) in Mars One University Challenge
A self-sustaining colony on Mars will need to grow its own food. The objective of the Mars Micro-Greenhouse is to bring a small pressurised greenhouse utilising an aeroponic system to Mars with the Mars 2018 lander. The aim is to demonstrate the ability to grow small plants with atmosphere obtained from the Martian environment, with a minimum of material imported from Earth. Proving that plant life can thrive in the controlled greenhouse environment and that the resources within can be appropriately managed is an important step towards demonstrating that a human colony will also be able to thrive.
Plants require carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, sunlight, and a source of nutrients, either dissolved in water, or contained within soil. To reduce the dependency on other payloads, we intend to grow lettuce in the growth chamber of our payload using an aeroponic system, obtaining a supply of carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere. Though the project is intended to last only 4-12 Earth months, longer than the 4-6 weeks the lettuce takes to grow to a reasonable size, the system that will be used to grow the plants can be scaled to support more plants in the long term.
The greenhouse (200x200x100mm) will be pressurised with air from the Martian atmosphere so that plant life will become viable. The Martian atmosphere contains mostly carbon dioxide, but has very little oxygen. Plants will require oxygen to survive during seed germination, and during the night when no sunlight is available. The initial composition of the atmosphere inside the payload will be nitrogen, but significant outgassing is expected during travel through deep space. When the payload arrives on Mars, the optimum gas composition will be reached by obtaining carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere; oxygen, obtained from electrolysis of water, while nitrogen can be obtained from the Martian atmosphere using a membrane filter. Both oxygen and nitrogen can also be obtained using the catalytic decomposition of nitrous oxide.
As it has been shown that lettuce can grow well in hypobaric conditions, typically 60kPa, but as low as 25kPa, our payload will be pressurised to at least 60kPa. By using a pressure lower than atmospheric, this minimizes the pressure difference that the structure of the payload will be required to withstand.
Lettuce was chosen for this project, as it is a complex plant and so will prove that the micro greenhouse will be able to meet more challenging requirements. Though the nutritional value of lettuce is low in comparison to other, because it is a “crunchy food” and has a low volume requirement, it is more suitable than other plants. It is also well studied in space and our University has an existing research interest into Lettuce growth.
Planetary protection for transporting seeds will be provided by chemically sterilising the surface of seeds before launch. In flight the seeds will be contained inside a shell of acid or similar so that in the event of a catastrophic failure on landing the seeds will not survive. It will be removed on successful landing.
The University of Southampton Spaceflight Society is a Student Society supported by the University with links to UKSEDS and the British Interplanetary Society. It has Physicists and Biologists as members as well as aspiring Electrical, Mechanical, Astronautical and Chemical Engineers. Academic levels range from Undergraduate to Post Doctorate. The Society regularly launches payloads to the edge of the atmosphere. Southampton University has a dedicated Astronautical Research Group and every year trains ESA and industrial Spacecraft Engineers. It has flown several experiments on the ISS and is building a Cubesat for launch. The University has a full suite of manufacturing and design facilities for space vehicles suitable for this project.
MIDDAS: Mars Ice Deposit Detection by Application of Seismology
by David Susko (USA) in Mars One University Challenge
The success of a Martian colony will be dependent on its ability to locate and utilize the natural resources of the planet, chief among them being water. Water does not exist in liquid form on Mars, but rather in the form of ice. At the poles, ice can be observed at the surface, but in the regions favorable for a permanent settlement, the ice is located in the subsurface. Astronauts will have to locate significant subsurface ice deposits, recover them, and melt them in order to extract large quantities of water. Colonists will use this water for a wide variety of tasks such as, drinking, cleaning, producing air and fuel, and growing plants. MIDDAS will allow astronauts to locate ice deposits beneath the surface.
MIDDAS will use a seismic source on the Martian surface to allow sensors to record velocity changes in acoustic seismic waves propagated through the shallow subsurface and reflected back to the sensors. The payload will use this data to detect the presence of ice-water in a vertical column of regolith beneath the lander. The sensors are piezoelectric accelerometers, which measure the acceleration of acoustic, seismic waves propagating through the surface. Surface-condition hardened wires will connect the sensor pad back to the lander’s deck, where the signal is boosted and stored. The sensors will be deployed to the surface from the science deck of the lander using a set of telescoping arms, which utilizes two lightweight servo-motors. When these arms are extended, an additional servo motor will turn a rotating spool, lowering the pad to a flat surface.
The MIDDAS team has concluded that the most efficient seismic source available on the surface of Mars will be the acoustical frequency produced by the sample acquisition device. Utilizing the sample acquisition device, we remove unnecessary complexity from the project, significantly reducing the mass of the optional payload, the fiscal burden of the project, and a potential source of failure.
The triple point of water is at a temperature (T) of 0°C and 0.6 kPa of pressure (P). The average T of Mars is well below this value and the average P is comparable. In the northern hemisphere of Mars, where the lander is expected to make ground fall, the surface is below average elevation allowing for an increase in air pressure. Within a half meter of regolith P increases enough to ensure that if water is present in the regolith, it will be stable in the form of ice.
Dr. Juan Lorenzo demonstrated the feasibility of this instrument in a saturated sand-tank experiment (Computer & Geosciences, 2013). Using the similar sensors, different water table levels in the sand tank could be detected based on the change in velocity, demonstrating the ability of the instrument to detect water below the subsurface. Ice will be easier to detect because the difference between the wave velocity of ice and regolith is greater than that of water and sand. Furthermore, the entirety of the experiment will complete with a few minutes, so if an unforeseen problem were to occur to the lander, the success of this payload could still be secured quickly. All this makes MIDDAS an ideal subsurface ice reconnaissance instrument for Mars.
The MIDDAS team is composed primarily of undergraduates at Louisiana State University, majoring in geology, engineering, physics, computer science, and art & design. We utilize these different disciplines in order to ensure the success of our instrument both operationally and scientifically. Dr. Suniti Karunatillake, Dr. Juan Lorenzo, Dr. J.R. Skok, and PhD candidates Nicole Button and Don Hood offer insight and advisement to the team. We have begun contacting experts in professional fields to begin the external collaboration necessary for the completion of this project. The team is spearheaded by the Planetary Science Lab at LSU
PECR - PhotoElectroChemicalReduction of CO2
by Kartikay Tehlan (India) in Mars One University Challenge
CO2 is an extremely stable molecule and abundant in the martian atmosphere. Converting CO2 to a useful state by activation/reduction is a scientifically challenging problem, requiring appropriate catalysts and energy input. The challenges are great, but the potential rewards are enormous. Photoelectrochemical and photoelectrocatalytic methods involving p-type semiconductor electrodes seem to be very efficient methods for the sequestration of CO2. Solar Energy being used for the conversion, the project can be considered an artificial photosynthetic process.
Photoelectrochemical reduction of CO2
The payload required to carry out the above experiment contains an electrolytic cell containing the electrolyte methanol, the semiconductor electrodes, bubbling tube to carry atmospheric carbon dioxide to the electrolyte for reduction and transparent cell wall to let solar radiation inside the cell. The payload further has a gas container to collect the product gases and an analyser to record the products and their concentrations.
The process is beneficial in converting the unusable carbon dioxide of mars to useful forms that will be required for development on Mars, to provide a different fuel source and probably in near future for the generation of oxygen from CO2.
The steps involved in the reduction process are :
1. An air blower propels the atmospheric air into the catholyte methanol, having less than one micrometre diameter copper particles, with LiOH as the ionophore.
2. The Martian Solar light, the UV light in the range 180-300 nm reduces the carbon dioxide on the p type Zn doped InP semiconductor surface to methane and ethylene as the gaseous products.
3. The reduction potential is maintained by an external rechargeable Li-ion battery. The anode is a platinum wire.
4. The gaseous products leave the reduction cell through an outlet tube which takes the gases through a tunable laser spectrometer to find the intensity of the produced gases, before releasing them back into the atmosphere.
5. The reduction cell carries a temperature sensor which will turn the immersed thermostats on if the temperature drops below -80 degree celcius.
6. The readings of the tunable laser spectrometer are sent to the earth.
7. The inlet and outlet tubes are fitted with check valves and degassing valves to prevent the outflow of catholytic fluids.
This simple experiment on mars will open hitherto unknown avenues for alternate fuels, which can be used when solar energy is scarce, especially on the poles during martian winter, and many more applications while developing settlements on mars.
by Teresa Finisterra Araújo (Portugal, Spain & Netherlands) in Mars One University Challenge
Scientific and technological developments are leading us to a time when it will be possible to make our species interplanetary and the red planet seems to be the best place to start. However, Mars imposes extreme conditions for long-term human life regarding different factors such as temperature, pressure, CO2 rich atmosphere and partial gravitational force. Plants are one of the key solutions to contribute for the settlement of a human extraterrestrial base due to their photosynthetic capacity to create oxygen and food and resistance to adverse environments.
The aim of our project is to germinate the first seed on Mars and to prove the concept that it is possible to germinate and grow plants on Mars. Besides the social impact of growing the first life form on Mars, the possible scientific outcomes of our experiment could contribute to a better understanding of plant growth on Mars and possibly contribute for the development of life support systems.
In order to achieve our goals, the team proposes the “Seed” payload that will be composed by two parts: the external and the interior container. The first one will provide protection from the outside environment namely through Multi-layer Insulation (MLI) sheets. The interior container corresponds to several seed cassettes, a concept already used aboard the International Space Station (ISS) (Katembe et al., 1998; Kiss et al., 1998). The cassettes will be fixed inside the external container. The best model plant is Arabidopsis thaliana and it is commonly used in space plant studies aboard the ISS. The team also considers the selection of nitrogen fixators such as Medicago truncatula. Other plants with agronomic value include Brassica rapa and rucola (used in the Dutch Soyuz mission DELTA).
Seeds will be transported to Mars glued to a filter inside the cassette. After activation of the Lander, the cassette will be heated and growth medium will be injected on the filter, providing the conditions for germination and seedling growth. Growth will be recorded using photographs and images will be transmitted via orbiter from Mars to Earth. During the photograph periods, low consumption LEDs and an anti-fog resistance must be activated. At the end of the experiment, seedling growth will be terminated by deactivating the localized temperature system.
Several identities will support our project in case of selection: Aralab (controlled environments for plant growth), Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto (FEUP) (scientific and technical support), INEGI (development, characterization and testing), HPS Portugal (exterior thermal insulation), LEPABE (bioburden assays), DESC/ESA-ESTEC (altered gravity tests) and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC) (plant experiments).
References: Katembe et al., 1998. J. Plant Res. 111: 463-470, 1998; Kiss, J.Z. et al., 1998. Physiologia Plantarum 102:493-502.
The Seed Team is composed by 4 students of the Integrated Masters on Bioengineering at FEUP/Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS) from the University of Porto and 2 phD students from MIT Portugal and Center of Biological Investigations, University of Madrid. The team is oriented by Dr. Maria Helena Carvalho, plant researcher at IBMC and Dr. Jack van Loon, professor at VU Medical Center, University of Amsterdam and scientist at ESTEC-ESA.
In addition, the team benefits from scientific and technical support from several advisors with different expertises, from biological systems to spacecraft development and validation.
- Daniel Carvalho (Bioengineering, Molecular Biotechnology FEUP/ICBAS)
- Guilherme Aresta (Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering FEUP/ICBAS)
- Miguel Ferreira (Bioengineering, Molecular Biotechnology FEUP/ICBAS)
- Teresa Araújo (Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering FEUP/ICBAS)
- Raquel Almeida (Bioengineering Systems, MIT Portugal)
- Miguel Valbuena (Plant Space Biology, Seedling Growth project (NASA and ESA), Center for Biological Investigations - Madrid)
- Maria Helena Carvalho (Plant Biology, IBMC)
- Jacobus van Loon (Gravitational sciences, ESA-ESTEC and VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam)
- António Paulo Moreira (advisor, Portuguese Society of Robotics)
- Celeste Pereira (advisor, COO HPS Portugal)
- Hugo Faria (advisor, Mechanical engineer, Pressurized systems INEGI)
- Luís de Melo (advisor, Heat and Mass transfer, Biological engineering, FEUP)
- Nuno Rocha (advisor, Materials Engineer INEGI)
- Paulo Garcia (advisor, Physics Engineer FEUP)
Portugal, Spain & Netherlands
University of Porto, University of Minho, Computence University of Madrid and University of Amsterdam
S.P.A.R.C (Sensing Pressure and Atmospheric Research Console)
by Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory (United States) in Mars One University Challenge
What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? Get a cup of coffee? Switch on the news to check traffic and weather? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could give Martian colonist the same luxury? Well I’m sure Mars One has plans for coffee and colonist won’t have to worry about traffic for awhile, but what about weather? Mars experiences massive dust storms and powerful winds without much notice; this could be devastating for future colonists who are caught off guard. S.P.A.R.C hopes to help our colonist stay up to date on the most recent weather patterns by observing these weather patterns in advance and working with scientist from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU in order to one day be able to predict these weathe
In order to establish a human colony on Mars we will need to first limit the danger, we hope to do this by observing Martian weather as it happens. This will be done by videotaping dust devils, dust storms, and clouds as we record data from the atmosphere such as pressure and temperature. Things such as wind speed are also important but can we obtained from our visual data. Doing this will allow us to better predict Martian weather and give the Martian colonist as much time as possible to prepare!
S.P.A.R.C’s primary mission objective will be to characterize Martian weather patterns by collecting visual and atmospheric data. This will allow us to see how the environment that we are putting our colonist in might change over the course of our year long mission. It is of great interest to see how these things might change as the seasons change, what do you think a Martian Christmas looks like?
Predicting weather has always been a pretty tricky business, and to date no one has ever tried to predict weather on Mars. Lucky for us, SDSL is working with the School of Earth and Space Exploration and we have access to some pretty well known planetary scientist. Now SDSL is an engineering club, we only know how to build a payload that will survive the space environment. So let’s leave all the science stuff to the professionals.
Finally, SDSL hopes to include various other sensors with our payload if our mass budget allows it. Things such as relative humidity and solar radiation sensors would prove to be quite useful in reducing the risk our colonist are exposed to. Solar storms could play an important part in Martian weather, I mean we have a nice magnetic field and they still pose a risk to us. These sensors would fall under a secondary objective as we are unsure if we will have enough mass to include them.
All of the data we hope to collect can be collected using sensors with a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL). We have also chosen to stay on the lander to reduce further risk. SDSL has made choices to ensure that our project is simple but provides Mars One with vital information for the first manned mission to Mars. SDSL hopes to obtain as much information as possible about the hostile environment of Mars to ensure the future colonization of Mars.
Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory (SDSL) is a student club at Arizona State University. The team for this project will consist of students at ASU from various backgrounds, along with professors acting as mentors. Our members include undergraduate and graduate students studying electrical, aerospace, and mechanical engineering, along with astrophysics and planetary sciences. Since we have formed a partnership with the new School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU, we will have access to professors such as Phil Christensen, Jim Bell and Craig Hardgrove who are involved with Martian environment studies, the Curiosity rover, Themis Camera, and Mars 2020 rover. This will allow us to make use of their experience to ensure a successful mission.
- Sun Devil Satellite Laboratory
- Bryan Sonneveldt
- Brody Willard
- Alexander Cannady
Arizona State University
URINE GREENBOX: Urine to Water with Energy Recycle
by email@example.com (United States) in Mars One University Challenge
The objective of the demonstration will be to evaluate the reliability and operation of a system to convert urine into clean water and hydrogen. For the unmanned 2018 mission urine from earth will be used. This will provide sufficient data to develop the next generation system that could be sent in the first-ever human mission to mars in 2025. I hope that you find this idea compelling and that we have the opportunity to develop the proposal according to the needs and constraints of the operation. This proposal could line up very well with the thin film solar power demonstration. This demonstration opens the possibility of capitalizing in human waste to obtain water but to also recover energy. Water is indispensable for human life in mars.
The project consists on using synthetic urine and urine to produce hydrogen/energy and clean water. The system will be built by Ohio University through the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research (http://www.ohio.edu/engineering/ceer/). This project will capitalize on a system that was developed by the same group (TRL-4) for military applications (please refer to the video that shows the demonstration unit that was built for the Department of Defense through the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, W9132T-09-10001). The process uses Ohio University’s technology, “urea and urine electrolysis.” It is envisioned that the proposed system will include: 1. Synthetic urine and urine (collected on earth), 2. Urine electrolyzer (urine GreenBox), 3. Solar panel (this could be coupled to the thin film solar power demonstrator), 4. Clean water collection system, 5. Hydrogen collection system, and 6. Carbon filter (to collect other minerals present in urine that will be useful in the future when demonstrating with urine collected in Mars).
The proposed system will include the capability to measure the amount of clean water produced, hydrogen produced, and basic sensors to test the quality of the water. The proposed project can be coupled with the thin film solar power demonstrator, that is, the Urine GreenBox System could be powered by the solar power demonstrator.
Why to test on mars? g-levels (gravity levels) in any process are important. The technology must be tested in the Mars surface as the behavior will be different to earth, for example, gravity changes from 1 g to 0.38 g. on Mars. The demostration must be tested on mars to confirm that all systems function correctly under different gravitational conditions.
The team members will follow the constraints of the design (example, weight of the system will not exceed maximum allowed, e.g., 2 kg).
Water is the priority for life. This project will demonstrate a technology that allows direct conversion of urine to clean water with energy recovery.
The team will be led by Dr. Gerardine G. Botte. Russ Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director of the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research. The team will consist of graduate and undergraduate students from chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, as well as researchers and engineers from the Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research (CEER) at Ohio University. Dr. Botte and members of her team had experience building prototype and demonstrations. In addition, members of the Ohio University team will also partner with experts in aerospace design as mentors for the project.
Quelle: MARS ONE
Tiny Greenhouse Could Fly Plants to Mars in 2018
Lifeforms from Earth may touch down on Mars just a few years from now — but those interplanetary travelers would be plants, not people.
A tiny, self-contained greenhouse has been selected to fly on the robotic lander that Red Planet colonization effort Mars One intends to launch in 2018, group representatives announced Monday (Jan. 5).
The greenhouse experiment, known as Seed, was one of 35 proposed lander science payloads submitted by university groups around the world. Mars One whittled this original pool down to 10 finalists, and Seed was chosen by a monthlong public vote that closed on Dec. 31.
"We are really pleased to be the selected project among so many excellent ideas," Seed team member Teresa Araújo said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be the first to send life to Mars. This will be a great journey that we hope to share with you all."
The payload will send seeds of the small flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, an organism commonly used in space-science experiments, to Mars inside two containers. (The outer one will serve a protective function.) Upon landing, the seeds will be exposed to heat and a growth medium, giving them the chance to germinate and grow. Images relayed to Earth will let team members — who are based at several universities in Portugal and Spain — know how the experiment is going.
Seed is designed to advance researchers' understanding of the potential for plant growth on Mars, which could aid the development of life-support systems on the Red Planet, experiment leaders said.
Although Seed won the competition, it has not yet locked down its spot on the 2018 mission. Mars One will first examine the proposal, to make sure it is feasible and can be integrated on the lander, group representatives said. If this analysis reveals any serious issues, Mars One may end up going with one of the contest runners-up. (You can read more about all 10 finalists here; the second- and third-place finishers are Cyano Knights and Lettuce on Mars.)
Mars One aims to land four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2025, kickstarting a permanent colony that will be augmented with new arrivals every two years thereafter. There are no plans at the moment to bring any of the settlers back to Earth.
To help prepare for colonization, Mars One — a nonprofit based in the Netherlands — plans to launch a number of robotic precursor missions, including the 2018 effort, which would send a communications orbiter and lander to Mars.
Mars One intends to pay for its ambitious activities primarily by staging a global media event around the colonization process, from astronaut selection through the pioneers' time on the Red Planet.