ICAres-1 Mission Objectives

Scientific objectives

Marcin Kaczmarzyk, disabled analog astronaut

The main objective of this analog mission is to test how a person with disability functions in a daily life in analog mission environment, to develop procedures that would be equally valid for astronauts with and without disabilities, and to test solutions serving people with disabilities in space.

The second objective of the mission is to perform chronobiological studies and subjective time perception experiment. While in space, the astronauts are isolated from natural sunlight, which implies desynchronization of circadian rhythms, and negatively affects immunity, sleep quality and concentration. During a two weeks isolation, the analog astronauts will work using Coordinated Mars Time, and will be completely cut off from UTC time, sunlight and urban noise. They can leave the habitat only to enter an isolated hangar, where the martian surface is simulated. In this experiment we test the influence of developed lighting systems on analog astronauts’ circadian rhythms, also during EVAs. We also measure its influence on analog astronauts’ stress levels using specific non-intrusive methodology. Lighting systems of the habitat (including circadian lighting, EVA lighting and hydroponic lighting), will be controlled remotely from Mission Control Center in ESA ESTEC HQ.

The third objective of the mission is to investigate the development of medically useful parasitic species in microgravity conditions.

Technical objectives

  1. Test new concepts of the EVA suits with or without exoskeleton
  2. Test and develop procedures for the use of Blumil wheelchair as a Manned Martian Roving Vehicle (MMRV)
  3. Improve habitat systems (document translation, server development, etc).

Experiments

Blumil – electric wheelchair on simulated Mars surface

During ICAres-1 mission we conduct experiments in the fields of psychology, sociology, biology, physiology, geology and engineering.
From psychology and sociology perspective, we investigate group dynamics, stress and performance analysis, we follow the daily life in the hab of a person with disability, we monitor interactions between the astronauts. From biology stand point we investigate time perception and biorhythms, we grow plants in hydroponic conditions, we monitor development of earthworms in meteoritic material, we check the development of the leeches in simulated microgravity conditions; we observe development of flesh fly larvae in simulated microgravity conditions. As part of physiology and medicine studies, we test astronauts health and develop training programs for them, we test Blumil wheelchair for EVA operations and develop procedures for its remote operation, we test the use of android cameras during EVA and we 3D print the elements of vBionic prosthetic hand in the hab. We also work on meteoritic material processing.

Critical experiments

  • Subjective time perception, biorhythms
  • Daily life in analog mission for a person with a disability
  • Blumil wheelchair use for EVA operations
  • vBionic prosthetic hand testing
  • Leeches development in simulated microgravity