Broadcast 1218 (Special Edition)

06 Sep 2009 Brian Shiro
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Guest: Brian Shiro. Topics: FMARS, Mars analog simulation, life on Devon Island & in the Arctic Circle. Brian Shiro was our guest today to discuss his recent experiences at the Mars Society Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic (FMARS). Brian has blogged his experiences and you can read about them at http://www.astronautforhire.com as well as the FMARS site, which is http://www.fmars2009.org/ . In the first segment, Brian provided us with an overview of FMARS, Devon Island, Haughton Crater, and the nearby NASA Ames HMP project. Brian explained in part why the area is such a good analog site for Mars including the fact there is no nitrogen in the soil, no life, the cold temperature, etc. We talked about the polar bears in the area, guns and dogs for polar bear defense, and then Brian described a typical work day. If you ever wanted to know what it’s likely going to be like in an isolated habitat or Martian simulation, listen to this show as Brian Shiro does an excellent job taking us through the entire experience. In the second segment, Bryan told us about the science gypsum experiment that they did, heating gypsum to turn it to water. He explained the relevancy of this as gypsum is present on Mars. Don't miss this discussion. In response to one of many listener question, he told us what they did on July 20 to honor the 40th anniversary of Apollo. Don't miss this either. Also in this segment, Brian went into detail about the EVAs, simulated spacesuits, and more. He also talked about other science projects and medical tests done for this season's FMARS group. ITAR issues were discussed given that FMARS is in Canada and we talked about how the FMARS participants distribute their work and science writings/papers to the larger academic and conference communities. In the third segment, we started off talking about the voluntary communication delays at FMARS which simulate reality on Mars. The participants agree to a twenty minute delay on all communications. Listen to this discussion. We also compared FMARS to the Mars Society Desert Research Station in Utah as there are some similarities, but differences as well. A listener asked about psychological issues for the crew in keeping with known issues that exist with long duration spaceflight. You do not want to miss the information Brian shared with us on this important topic. Toward the end of the program, a listener asked if FMARS was green in its energy usage and used solar. As it turns out, it’s been considered, but for now they still use diesel generators. Joe who was on the FMARS team this year and will return next year sent in a message that there is an effort to get a wind turbine up on the ridge as there is plenty of wind at Devon Island where FMARS is located. Brian described recycling, water usage, garbage prep and as you will see, the FMARS project has a very high conservationist attitude and approach. If you have questions for Brian Shiro, you can use the contact link on his website, http://www.astronautforhire.com/2006/12/contact.html . In addition, you can email him at brian.shiro@gmail.com .

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