Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Volunteer for the Mars Station's Dry Run 79

Posted by timothy
from the more-effective-than-with-an-election-board dept.
cfx666 writes "The Mars Society is seeking seven volunteers to participate as members of the crew of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) during an extended simulation of human Mars exploration operations on Devon Island (May 1 through August 31, 2007). As currently planned, the crew will consist of four individuals chosen primarily for their skills as field scientists in areas including geology, geochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, and paleontology. Two additional crew members will be chosen primarily for their skills in engineering areas. Ability of crew members to support both roles is considered a strong plus."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Volunteer for the Mars Station's Dry Run

Comments Filter:
  • I know it's a dry run but wanting 4 people and 5 skills implies some poor science is going to lose out. Let's hope the real one has enough people to cover all the bases.
  • What target? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andrewman327 (635952) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @10:03AM (#15926793) Homepage Journal
    I wonder what extremely skilled individuals have an entire year to spare. It could be an interesting sabatical for a university professor but most people who are physically fit enough for such a mission probably have other jobs and families and such to attend to.


    I also wonder what (if any) medical requirements they will have for the pretend crew. On the space shuttle one of the astronauts has to have an advanced medical license and they carry a first aid kit that would probably make your local ambulance company drool (I'm a rookie EMT so I'm very interested in this aspect).


    This reminds me of the movie (Rocket Man? [imdb.com]) where they had isolation testing on the ground and the main charector almost drove everyone else to madness by singing loudly and off key.

    • by Eagle7 (111475)
      I wonder what extremely skilled individuals have an entire year to spare.

      Er, May 1 to August 1 is 4 months, that'd be on quarter of a year. It even says 4 months in TFA.
      • by sharkey (16670)
        It also states that the deadline for putting in your application to be a part of this simulation is one month AFTER the thing is over. The dates given in the article don't seem to be very trustworthy.
      • by dantal (151318)
        When did the year go to 16 months?
    • "On the space shuttle one of the astronauts has to have an advanced medical license and they carry a first aid kit that would probably make your local ambulance company drool"

      It's a simulation. All they have to do is give the guy a couple of little silvery salt-shakers that he can wave over patients to instanantly perform brain surgery or cure the Denebian trots (or, if things go bad in the simulation, he can arch an eyebrow and say "He's dead (sim)".
    • This would be really easy for some grad student to do. The time frame is right for a summer internship. And think about how good this would look on a resume.
    • by dargaud (518470)

      I wonder what extremely skilled individuals have an entire year to spa

      ...well, the kind that enjoys this kind of situation. Great work can be done. I recently came back from my second winterover in Antarctica [gdargaud.net] where the situation was very similar to this: 13 people for 10 months, no bail out, conditions so harsh (-80C, high altitude) that it's just the same as wearing a spacesuit... There are a few important differences psychologically: we were doing something useful by building a new station and not playin

    • by Goldsmith (561202)
      You'd be surprised how much time scientists spend away from their families. I've worked with two people now who have had a significant other a few thousand miles away for a few years while they were doing research. Eventually both pairs found their way to jobs in the same place. It's a very common and accepted part of science culture to do this. It's not so much that we would have a year to spare but if anyone can be found who thinks this is more important or professionally prestigious than the research
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @10:04AM (#15926799) Homepage Journal
    Things will all go smoothly until Matthew McConaughey demands to know whether the candidates believe in God. [imdb.com]
  • Every movie I have ever seen when people are up in the arctic, they all go crazy and kill eachother, in part because they are scientists and not real people that can cope with danger/real problems. i.e. The Thing, X-Files(several episodes). You need to include some ghetto thug.
    • Just make sure Chuck Norris is there. That'll keep it all under control.
    • They had a ghetto thug in The Thing--the guy who was always going around on roller skates and playing loud music (the ghetto has obviously changed a lot in 24 years). The fact that they were killing each other had more to do with a shapeshifting alien than it did with any kind of emotional problems.
  • Biosphere 2 Redux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ToxikFetus (925966)
    Wasn't this already tried in 1991 [wikipedia.org]? And wasn't the 1996 followup [imdb.com] only slightly less disasterous?
    • I think The Mars Society should launch Pauly Shore to Mars as an experiement. I would find it very funny^H^H^H^H^H^H interesting.
    • Biosphere was intended to create a fully self-contained, (almost...heat was a problem) self-cycling bio-system...a miniature earth. It's primary concern was simulating a natural environment. The Mars Society's project is more concerned with people's ability to function in close quarters, in uncomfortable conditions for extended periods of time.

      The Mars Society will pay travel expenses to the Desert and the Arctic Stations. There will be no salary. (from the article)

      Hmmm, if they can't even pay their ta

  • There was a UK reality show based around a bunch of people thinking they were off in to space. I wonder if this is the US version? You have been warned!
    As you'd expect with a reality show, they all went a bit loopy pretty quickly. I do wonder what it is with the modern world that makes people flip out so badly under unusual conditions. If we had something like WW2 now I suspect everyone would just run around waving their arms mumbling 'wibble'. It just makes you appreciate what a level headed bunch our par
    • "There was a UK reality show based around a bunch of people thinking they were off in to space."

      There was a wildly popular reality show similar to this that ran on American TV in the late 1960s.
    • by mackil (668039)
      Don't forget the underwear on the head and two pencils up the nose (in combination with 'wibble')!
    • by john83 (923470)

      There was a UK reality show based around a bunch of people thinking they were off in to space. I wonder if this is the US version? You have been warned!

      It was called Space [imdb.com] Cadets [channel4.com].

      As you'd expect with a reality show, they all went a bit loopy pretty quickly. I do wonder what it is with the modern world that makes people flip out so badly under unusual conditions. If we had something like WW2 now I suspect everyone would just run around waving their arms mumbling 'wibble'. It just makes you appreciate what

    • I thought that Taransey was in Scotland, not Outer Space.. oh well.. shows what I know about geography ;-)
  • But where are the oil riggers? That's one survival skill needed in outer space. You never known when Phobos might decide to crash into Mars.
  • It is a Mars exploration, so far there isn't any life found, may be there was some several million years ago, but as a biologist I don't see any reason for any biologist be it molecular-, micro-, or Neurobiologist.

    Certainly a psychologist would be more helpful...
    • It might be handy to have a microbiologist on hand if mold gets out of control at the base or somesuch, and they'll need one for whatever experiments and such they'll be running. (I'm assuming they'll have biological experiments along for the ride...it seems like most space missions do.)

      Psychologists are always a part of the mission team but are usually kept planetside. (i.e. they do their job from "Houston.")
      • It might be handy to have a microbiologist on hand if mold gets out of control at the base or somesuch

        Show me a microbiologist who can help if sth. is out of control, aside that's for the testrun in the arctic as far as I understood and there is plenty of life, so you don't know whether you introduced some or if it was there beforehand. Of cause you could use genetically modified organism and trace them, but if they get loose you may get into trouble here on earth as well...

        Psychologists are always a p

        • by krell (896769)
          "Show me a microbiologist who can help if sth. is out of control"

          A microbiologist dealing with the sth threat had better be well-versed in midichlorians.
  • Do they need a historian? I can do that.
  • Paleontology? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aapold (753705) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @10:30AM (#15927026) Homepage Journal
    Paleontology? What isn't NASA telling us?

    I mean I know its not just the study of fossils [wikipedia.org], but still... given what we know this could well be someone with nothing to study up there.

    Talk about a proverbial 5th (or 7th as the case may be) wheel on a team. I'm guessing this'd be the prime candidate to have some other duties...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      My guess is that they want a geologist with palaeontology experience. That way, when they find unusual patterns in the rocks they have someone who can say with confidence whether they are fossils or not, rather than having someone proclaiming that they've found fossils on Mars that later turn out to be something far less interesting.
  • by DigitalRaptor (815681) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @10:31AM (#15927034) Homepage
    I thought they were looking for people willing to take a one-way trip to Mars for the good of exploration and humanity.

    We could learn a whole lot by sending one person to mars, on a one-way trip, with supplies for 90 days or whatever.

    The person would never be coming back, and would know that in advance, but I think you'd get people volunteering, even those terminally ill but still functional enough to survive.

    P.S. I'm not volunteering.

    • by Amouth (879122)
      i would.. for a chance at being on mars - i would go one way.. and being the first to go would just be an added bonus..

      anything to get off this planet...
      • On Planet Earth/I'll probably stay/on Planet Earth/it's a place to live your life/where pleasure follows pain/people go insane/fly around in planes/pray that it wont rain/drive around in cars/get drunk in local bars/dream of being stars/well I lived all my life on Planet Earth
    • by Gospodin (547743)

      True, it is sort of confusing... a "dry run" could be a real trip to Mars, right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lurker2288 (995635)
      I remember reading (I think it was in Michael Collins' book on Mars exploration) that back in the 70s, some folks in NASA talked about what they called the 'poor bastard' Mars exploration plan, in which a single man is landed on Mars with as many supplies as they can squeeze into the capsule with him, and he does as much science as he can before he runs out. Obviously there'd be almost no chance of resupply or rescue, hence making him the "poor bastard." There were some volunteers, but for obvious reasons
    • I proposed this very idea to the president of the Pasadena chapter of the Mars Society. He looked at me likee I was some kind of horrible person, and then told me to never mention it to anyone again.
    • Seriously, the human factor escalates the costs (and risks) mega-exponentially; yet we don't get anywhere equal to the bang-for-buck value of instrumental expeditions. We've already *been* to Mars dammit; Hello! Let's honestly assess the priorities and cost/budgets of science. And also, as any PC buyer knows, it can be wise to save up and pay cash later, for better technology yet-to-come. Bleeding edge isn't for everyone.

      ----
      --You can't be ahead of the curve, if you're stuck in a loop.
  • I like the application deadline, September 2007, after the 'experiment' is over. In quintuplet no less. Looks like they know how to bureaucracy like the big boys.
  • I realise that looking for candidates who have measurable IQs means it's significantly different from Big Brother, but this is one to incite deep suspicion.

    Actually, wouldn't it be more interesting and useful simply to send all the executives of Endemol ( and a few TV channels, plus Fox News) on a trip to Mars to see how they got on? Then, depending on the outcome, we could decide whether to send sentient beings the next time.

    • How about a shipful of advertizing executives, telephone sanitizers, etc?? Get rid of some of the truly useless people...
  • I'm willing to stand up for my nation and brave (simulated) space travel for the sake of mankind! ...as long as the rest of the crew are pretty ladies with nice personalities.
  • They need seven volunteers.... 4 science specialists and 2 engineers... and??? someone with a red shirt?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "In addition to the six person Mars exploration crew, one field support person will also participate in the expedition in an out of simulation role. This person should have excellent field mechanic and wilderness skills."
    • by CXI (46706)
      TFA: In addition to the six
      person Mars exploration crew, one field support person will also
      participate in the expedition in an out of simulation role. This
      person should have excellent field mechanic and wilderness skills.


      *sigh* RBC (read before comment)
      • by ehud42 (314607)
        *sigh* RBC (read before comment)

        You're kidding right? I'm going to have to report you to the Cmdr on the basis that your account (an id old enough to know better) must have been hacked by someone with too much time on their hands....

        As for the seventh person, I figured it as much. It's just a nicer place when summaries make sense (such as adding the phrase 'and one field support person'). But then again, this is slashdot...

    • by hyperlinx (775591)
      Number seven will undoubtably be someone without any critical skills so they can kill him/her off. Just like in Star Trek: the guy that always transported out with the main characters and never came home.
  • They should have just posted the first page of Stranger in a Strange Land on their website.
  • the crew will consist of four individuals chosen primarily for their skills as field scientists in areas including geology, geochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, and paleontology. Two additional crew members will be chosen primarily for their skills in engineering areas.

    What would the world be without the Gilligans, the Lucys, the George Jetsons, and the Jethros? Is there truly no room in this world any more for Inspector Clouseau, Phillip Fry, or even Scooby Doo?!?!

    I'm telling you, they're making a B

  • Experience with long durations of isolation (e.g. in Antartica and on old Soviet space missions) showed that the ability of the crew to get along with each other (and in some cases not go downright nuts) is a major factor. And normally it's completely overlooked...
  • Is it just me, or does this sound a helluvalot like the opening chapters in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy [wikipedia.org]?

    Read those books... Sounds like a really good idea to have a testing ground in the Antarctic...

    Cheers

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

Working...