Expedition One: New Metrics and Vision for Mars Exploration

Fathi Karouia

University of Houston, Texas

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Abstract: A team of scientists and engineers from the Mars Society of Canada and Australia have partnered to create an International and Interdisciplinary long-term program in Mars analogue studies, in order to tackle the challenges of a future human exploration of the red planet.

Expedition One (ExOne) was the first of a series of 15 planed expeditions by a single crew to Mars analogue research sites around the world. The one-month expedition took place from February 15th to March 16th 2003 at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah.  The crew carried out a variety of studies using a systemic mission sciences scenario approach, including the testing of Mars-analogue rovers and space suit technologies while studying crew social-psychology and conducting task analysis to optimize field work during the Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs), which were part of an intensive Geology and Biology research program. The overall level of information gathered during the EVA field work was equivalent to that which could be gathered during a 150 day mission on Mars.

PROFILE: Mr Fathi Karouia is a French-born PhD Candidate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Houston. He is investigating the genes expression of bacteria under various stressful conditions in Professor G. E. Fox’s (co-founder of Archaebacteria) laboratory. He also has a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics, and a MS in Physics from Henri Poincaré University, a MS in the Applications of Space Technologies from Louis Pasteur University, and a MS in Space Studies from the International Space University. Fathi has been a Research Associate in Space Sciences at NASA-JSC-Houston since 2000 and has had previous work experience with the French Space Agency (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Fathi's research interests include shielding and radiobiological assessment for space exploration, space physiology training programs, spacesuit material characterization, human cellular injury induced by ionizing space radiation, astrobiology and genomic databases. Fathi was a crewmember on Expedition One at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, primarily conducting research involving biodiversity and soil chemistry. His research during Expedition Two will focus on characterizing the extremophile population surrounding Arkaroola using molecular probes.