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Use of Web 2.0 Technologies for Public Outreach on a Simulated Mars Mission
Brian Shiro , Joseph Palaia , and Kristine Ferrone
1 2 Summary 3





2009 Fall AGU


Recent advances in social media and internet communications have revolutionized the ways people interact and disseminate information. Astronauts are already taking advantage of these tools by blogging and tweeting from space, and almost all NASA missions now have presences on the major social networking sites. One priority for future human explorers on Mars will be communicating their experiences to the people back on Earth. During July 2009, a 6-member crew of volunteers carried out a simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS). The Mars Society built the mock Mars habitat in 2000-01 to help develop key knowledge and inspire the public for human Mars exploration. It is located on Devon Island about 1600 km from the North Pole within the Arctic Circle. The structure is situated on the rim of Haughton Crater in an environment geologically and biologically analogous to Mars.

Living in a habitat, conducting EVAs wearing spacesuits, and observing communication delays with “Earth,” the crew endured restrictions similar to those that will be faced by future human Mars explorers. Throughout the expedition, crewmembers posted daily blog entries, reports, photos, videos, and updates to their website and social media outlets Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa Web Albums. During the sixteen EVAs of their eld science research campaign, FMARS crewmembers collected GPS track information and took geotagged photos using GPS-enabled cameras. They combined their traverse GPS tracks with photo location information into KML/KMZ les that website visitors can view in Google Earth.


1. NOAA and University of North Dakota, 2. 4Frontiers Corporation, 3. NASA and University of Houston



Beaufort Sea

Selected Tweets
The FMARS 2009 Mission has o cially come to a close. Thanks to everyone for following us! Sun Aug 02 05:04:23 2009 All of the FMARS space suits and backpack covers are now washed and dried ready for the next crew to use in 2010! Sat Aug 01 04:55:26 2009 Brian is the last remaining FMARS crew member in the arctic. He is washing space suits and writing the remaining postcards today. Fri Jul 31 15:09:54 2009 The nal FMARS press release looks really good. We can't wait to release it and share the summary of our accomplishments soon. Thu Jul 30 04:02:21 2009 The entire FMARS crew made it to Resolute Bay yesterday. Now we're working on nal reports and a press release summarizing the mission. Wed Jul 29 21:54:08 2009 Joe, Vernon, and Brian are in the Hab taking care of last minute winterizing like clearing the water lines. Tue Jul 28 19:49:45 2009 The rst of three ights today has just left Devon Island. FMARS-XII is coming to a close. Tue Jul 28 19:00:52 2009 FMARS is now very clean and organized. About 2/3 of the stu here is now inventoried too. You're welcome, FMARS-XIII. Tue Jul 28 05:53:51 2009

Arctic Ocean

Devon Island


Baffin Bay

Gemini Hills

Hudson Bay

seismic station electromagnetic survey

We're resting up for tomorrow's big day of shutting down the Hab systems, inventory, packing, etc. Mon Jul 27 06:19:43 2009 The EVA 16 crew has made it back safely from the nal FMARS 2009 EVA. Sun Jul 26 22:58:01 2009 Our last simulated Mars mission day. We have 2 EVAs today: 1st to retrieve the seismometer and 2nd to study geology of hydrothermal pipes. Sun Jul 26 21:01:56 2009 It's inventory day at FMARS. Sat Jul 25 18:49:40 2009 EVA #14 is out the door for a late EVA to y the UAV looking for hydrothermal pipes near Trinity Lake. Sat Jul 25 03:24:21 2009 Joe, Kristine, and Stacy are going on an EVA to y the UAV around and look for speci c targets. Fri Jul 24 20:14:58 2009 The FMARS crew is in the middle of a video conference with about 60 Florida middle school students. Fri Jul 24 17:21:52 2009 Vernon got his heater, asks, and tubes all set up to evolve water from gypsum samples collected on EVA 9 a few days ago. Fri Jul 24 05:51:02 2009 The EV crew have nished the last set of time domain electromagnetic readings and are taking photos before tearing down the equipment. Thu Jul 23 21:48:07 2009 After a bumpy start, the webcast went well when we switched to audio only with slides. Thanks to all who watched! Thu Jul 23 15:45:13 2009 We're up earlier than usual preparing for our video conference, which begins in 15 min utes on Thu Jul 23 14:14:36 2009 EV crew is outside laying down the second coil for the time-domain electromagnetic survey. Wed Jul 22 21:02:50 2009 We had a productive EVA to take more electromagnetic readings to look for groundwater near FMARS. Wed Jul 22 04:44:39 2009 Live video webcast with FMARS crew on Thursday, July 23 at 10:30 am EDT on the NASA Distance Learning Network: Tue Jul 21 21:34:01 2009 It's a windy day, but we're getting ready to go out for some more FMARS geophysics. Tue Jul 21 20:47:47 2009 The crew is back from a 6-hour cross-country EVA to Gemini Hills. We found the gypsum - time to make some water from it! Tue Jul 21 04:37:49 2009 The crew is in a video teleconference with NASA KSC interns. Mon Jul 20 19:15:41 2009


Haughton Crater

The FMARS crew helped people back on “Earth” its extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) by sharing GPS tracks and geotagged photos in Google Earth. On this map, red lines depict the 128 km traversed by crewmembers during all 16 EVAs. Flights of the Maveric unmanned aerial vehicle

Happy Anniversary Apollo 11 from analog Mars - we only wish we were celebrating this one from Mars itself! Mon Jul 20 16:05:36 2009 The crew worked very hard today on our rst 5-person EVA and are taking a welldeserved rest watching a movie tonight. Mon Jul 20 03:21:47 2009 Looks like a great day for weather at FMARS. Just had a resupply ight with some more ATV parts and other goodies. Sun Jul 19 15:38:08 2009 Vernon and Kristine have returned from their pedestrian EVA testing the Trimble GPS navigation system. Sat Jul 18 22:06:44 2009 The FMARS crew just ate a huge meal from Chez Kramer. Fri Jul 17 22:57:20 2009 We had two successful EVAs today. A UAV ight, geology of a hydrothermal pipe, and installation of a seismic station. Thu Jul 16 04:25:38 2009 We had our rst real EVA today. Brian, Christy, and Stacy went to Marine Rock to nd a location for the seismic station. Perfect day! Wed Jul 15 05:24:52 2009 We woke up to the smell of pancakes this morning to celebrate Brian's birthday and the rst full day of our Mars simulation. Tue Jul 14 14:34:47 2009 The FMARS crew is going over polar bear safety protocols in today's morning meeting. Mon Jul 13 15:41:08 2009 Joe ew the UAV while Brian and Christy ran 5 miles in the Haughton Crater. It was a good day. Sun Jul 12 00:40:51 2009 The crew is resting today before going into sim tomorrow. Sat Jul 11 16:47:22 2009 We spent all day giving the spacesuits some much-needed TLC and upgrades. Fri Jul 10 03:20:09 2009 We started making some improvements to the spacesuits and got the seismic station working today. Thu Jul 09 05:48:23 2009 The FMARS crew had a long and productive day taking care of projects around the Hab: xing ATVs, getting water, building fuel spill mats. Wed Jul 08 06:33:05 2009

unmanned aerial vehicle

(UAV) are shown in blue and yellow. The background image shows a

laser study

view to the southwest with the Haugton Crater on the left. Nikon donated geotagging Coolpix P6000 cameras.

Live Webcasts
Although the crew observed a strict 20-minute communication delay with “Earth” to simulate a real Mars mission, they broke this rule to conduct four successful live webcasts with student groups to provide them a glimpse of life on “Mars.” These sessions included the SMU Talented & Gifted Program, NASA Kennedy Space Center Interns, NASA Digital Learning Network via Georgia Tech, and Gardendale Magnet Elementary School in Florida. The Omega Envoy rover also broadcast telemetry live on from FMARS.

It's a beautiful day on Devon Island. The Mars ag is now ying over the FMARS Hab! Soon the simulated Mars mission will begin. Mon Jul 06 19:36:58 2009 All six FMARS crew members are on Devon Island! Mon Jul 06 03:01:13 2009 Vernon and Brian are ying to Devon Island in less than two hours. Joe, Christy, and Stacy will go later today. Kristine tomorrow. Thu Jul 02 17:03:12 2009 Brian has made it to Resolute Bay and is busy with FMARS preparations while the rest of the crew makes their way here. Sun Jun 28 20:58:34 2009

Omega Envoy rover SMU Talented & Gifted Program
Stacy Cusack, Vernon Kramer, Christy Garvin, Brian Shiro, Kristine Ferrone, Joseph Palaia