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HI-SEAS Crew Named for Fourth Mission

August 3, 2015, 3:26 PM HST
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Crew members for the 365-day Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission have been selected.

The team, comprised of six scientist,s will embark on a yearlong isolated journey in a solar powered dome on the slopes of Mauna Loa.

Aug. 28 is the take-off date for the fourth and longest HI-SEAS mission, part of a University of Hawai’i at Manoa research project that simulates long duration space exploration.

This fourth HI-SEAS mission will be similar to the previous two, focusing on crew cohesion and performance.

NASA funds the study as HI-SEAS researchers work towards the development of effective team composition and support strategies that allow crews to successfully make the estimated three-year journey to Mars and back.

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“The longer each mission becomes, the better we can understand the risks of space travel,” said Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS principal investigator and UH Mānoa professor from the Department of Information and Computer Sciences. “We hope that this upcoming mission will build on our current understanding of the social and psychological factors involved in long duration space exploration and give NASA solid data on how best to select and support a flight crew that will work cohesively as a team while in space.”

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During the duration of the project, some of the ways that crew members will be monitored are through the use of cameras, body movement trackers, and electronic surveys. The data will be used by UH-Manoa researchers and their collaborators to study the group’s cohesion and gather a wide range of data consisting of cognitive, social, and emotional factors that could impact team performance.

HI-SEAS crew members for the 2015-2016 mission include:

Sheyna Gifford has worked on research projects in astrophysics, neuroscience and psychology and is a contributor to NASA educational websites, a medical writer, and an advocate of STEM education. Her previous work includes working on the HESSI satellite at Space Science Laboratories. She holds a bachelor of science in neuroscience and english, a master of clinical laboratory science and biotechnology, a master of science in journalism, a doctor of medicine and is currently earning a master of business administration.

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Tristan Bassingthwaighte is currently a doctor of architecture candidate at UH Mānoa. He is in the final stage of completing his master’s degree in architecture from Tongji University in Shanghai, where he studied abroad for a year looking at human habitation in extreme environments. His doctoral work will involve designing a next generation conceptual Mars habitat.

Carmel Johnston is a soil scientist from Whitefish, Montana. Her previous research focused on the effects of permafrost thaw on trace gas emissions in peatlands. Her interest in global food production and sustainability lead her to HI-SEAS to research food production in Mars simulation. She has a bachelor of science in soil and water science and a master in science in land resources and environmental sciences from Montana State University.

Andrzej Stewart is an ardent light aircraft pilot and previously worked at Lockheed Martin as an interplanetary flight controller. He’s worked on console for the Spitzer Space Telescope, Mars Odyssey, MRO, MAVEN, Juno and GRAIL. Recently, he served as the flight engineer for the sixth mission of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), simulating a two-week journey to asteroid 1620 Geographos. He earned a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and an SM in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2007.

Cyprien Verseux is a doctorate student at the University of Rome. He is an astrobiologist working on the search for life beyond Earth and is also an expert in biological life support systems for Mars exploration. Part of his research aims at making human outposts on Mars as independent as possible of Earth, by using living organisms to process Mars’ resources into products needed for human consumption.

Christiane Heinicke is a German physicist and engineer. Most recently, she has worked on sea ice and has also gained experience working with polar lights, metal melts, and simulations of the Earth’s mantle. She received her bachelor of science in applied physics from the Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany and her master of science in geophysics from Uppsala University in Sweden.

Biographical information was provided by UH Manoa.

NASA awarded HI-SEAS a third grant that would provide funding for the research project through 2018.

To learn more about the HI-SEAS mission, visit the HI-SEAS website.

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Cyprien Verseux. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Cyprien Verseux. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Carmel Johnston. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Carmel Johnston. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Christiane Heinicke. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Christiane Heinicke. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Sheyna Gifford. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Sheyna Gifford. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Tristan Bassingthwaighte. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Tristan Bassingthwaighte. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Andrzej Stewart. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

Andrzej Stewart. UH Manoa courtesy photo.

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