ISU Graduates Chosen For Mars Analog Simulation Mission HI-SEAS

International Space University (ISU) graduates James Bevington and Brian Ramos have been selected as crew members of HI-SEAS, a long duration mission simulating life on Mars.

James and Brian, along with four other scientists and engineers, have begun an eight month stay in a solar powered dome on the slope of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano on January 19th. The crew will live in isolation in the Mauna Loa habitat as if they were actually on the isolated Mars planet. Communication with the outside world is limited and includes a twenty-minute delay to represent the time it takes for a signal to reach Mars when it is at its farthest point from Earth. Exiting the habitat requires the use of a space suit. Both James and Brian graduated with the Master in Space Sciences (MSS 15) from ISU in 2015. James continues work at the University as a visiting researcher on ISU’s MMARS1 project.

HI-SEAS - Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation - is a NASA funded research project of the University of Hawaii. The missions focus is on crewmember team building and performance, with the goal of developing effective team composition and cohesion strategies. Moreover, the astronauts have the duty to work also on research programs during their mission.

James will work on Mars reduced gravity influence on growth of sprouts. The gravity level is simulated thanks to a clinostat, donated by ISU to the crew. This work will be conducted with several crew members and will add knowledge about the feasibility of growing sprouts as a food source on a future mission to Mars.

Brian will test an innovative device developed by De Astris Generation LLC, and tested at the University of El Paso, TX together with ISU, able to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere and produce breathable O2 in a human spacecraft or human exploration habitat.  Research programs will be followed remotely from ISU campus in Strasbourg. 

“We are proud and we feel very fortunate to have two of the six crewmates having been educated with us and continuing the research work initiated at ISU in the very unique HI-SEAS environment” said Prof. JJ Favier, ISU Research Program Director.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” said James, “To be selected along with a former classmate and to have a chance to experience what life on Mars would be like is a dream come true.”

James hopes that his training in the 3Is spirit at ISU will help him to be a more effective crew member.

The mission can be followed at where further information and links to crew blogs can be found.

ISU’s press release can be found HERE.


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