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SEI Analog Mission 2022

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HI-SEAS

HI-SEAS

SEI Analog Mission 2022 

The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) takes an iterative approach to testing and deployments—from parabolic flights, to suborbital launches, to the International Space Station, and soon the surface of the moon. Expanding on this, SEI will launch field test opportunities in 2022 with an inaugural two-week analog mission. 

SEI has identified  two possible analog sites at 1) the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) in spring 2022, and 2) a research station in Svalbard in the High Arctic in fall 2022. The site for 2022 will be selected based on student interest and the program will be tuned to specific project needs . 

Questions about the program? Contact  us at analogmission@media.mit.edu

Complete the Application Form by January 10, 2022. 

What is an analog mission? 

Field tests in locations that have physical similarities to the extreme space environments, and help us problem solve and prepare for near-term and future exploration to asteroids, Mars, and the Moon. 

For selected projects, SEI will provide: 

  • Return flights & lodging 
  • Research mentorship & project preparedness (Note: participation is required for project reviews & planning meetings) 
  • Mission integration and logistics support 
  • Specialized safety & skill training 
  • Pre-mission briefing & post-mission debrief

Project Considerations & Requirements:

Research areas include, but are not limited to: 

Technology: robotic equipment, vehicles, navigation, mobility, infrastructure, habitats (exterior/interior), structures, storage, power generation, sample collection, sensor and communication, suits & protective gear, and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU)

Behavioral Effects: isolation & confinement, crew dynamics, ethnography research, and circadian rhythm

Safeguards Against Hazards: space radiation, isolation & confinement, distance from Earth (communication/supplies), gravity fields, hostile environment, risk assessment, and specialized training

***All projects must explicitly require one or more of the unique environmental conditions or features in HI-SEAS or Svalbard, and consider Earth-based benefits. 

Prospective Opportunities: 

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HI-SEAS

1) HI-SEAS

Location: Mauna Loa, Hawai'i

Target Dates: April 23 - May 4, 2022

Duration: 2 weeks

Crew: six max

Environmental Conditions: Mauna Loa mountain; ~8200 ft (2499 m) above sea level; cool/dry climate; very little variation in weather (*accessible year round); very little plant/animal life (*low environmental impact)

Geology: weathered basaltic materials similar to Martian regolith; lava flows 

Habitat Features: located on 1,200 sq ft dome 

Analog Features: Moon/Mars exploration; high-fidelity analog tasks & geological field work carried out by humans/robots; physical isolation; communication latency; customizable mission parameters according to study requirements

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UNIS

2) Svalbard

Location: Longyearbyen, Svalbard (archipelago midway between Norway & North Pole)

Target Dates: Oct 17 - 30, 2022

Duration: 2 weeks

Crew: six-eight max

Environmental Conditions: cold dry desert; winter temp: 8.6 to 4.0 °F (−13 to −20 °C); summer temp: 37 to 44 °F (3 to 5 °C); 60% glaciers; light season & dark season; little soil; no forests/agricultural areas (some plants)

Society & History: population ~2300; Longyearbyen is largest settlement; 17th & 18th century whaling base; 20th century coal mining town; 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty; governed by Norway, free economic zone & demilitarized zone

Analog Features: Martian characteristics (overall morphology, polar habitats, gullies, volcanic, etc.); remoteness; requires specialized skills, equipment, & gear; extreme temp; limited light exposure

Deadlines: 

January 10, 2022  | Applications due 

January, 2022  | Funding notifications, rolling 

February 14, 2022 | Acceptance packets & updated research proposals due

April 23 - May 4, 2022 | Tentative dates for two week HI-SEAS mission

Oct 17-30,  2022 | Tentative dates for two week Svalbard mission

Date TBD | ML project pages & public showcase 

Application Form


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