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Are you ready

…to explore our Solar System?

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Something truly groundbreaking is in the works. In the next few years, you and I are going to witness a fellow human leave Earth and permanently make Mars their home. Other vast space exploration efforts have already been made, of course. We’ve seen moon landings, the construction and expansion of the International Space Station, and powerful telescopes take unbelievable photos of the universe. It’s easy to see the end results of such efforts, but each mission is a culmination of years of collective hard work. The work to live on Mars is being done right now – in your state, your hometown, or even in your school. Though it may not be you or me to be the one to live on Mars, we can be one of the essential pieces to get them there safely. I am incredibly grateful to already be contributing, and I hope I can help inspire you to be a part of this great effort as well.

My name is Andy Greco, and I have been selected as the Crew Engineer for FMARS-15, the 15th expedition to the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station for the Mars Society. This expedition will take place in July and August of 2023 on an uninhabited island in far northern Canada. (How far north? This far north.) The plan for this expedition is to perform geology and biology field research using a facility, technology, and processes specifically designed to help us learn how to live and work on Mars.

As the Crew Engineer, my role for this mission is to provide a structural and systems assessment of the FMARS habitat (hab). This assessment will ensure that the research we do this summer will be as Mars-like as possible. The work I do may also help develop essential checklists and procedures for the Mars-bound astronaut to use when they roll up to their new home.

Since FMARS is on Earth, it has different atmosphere and gravity factors which will be taken into account in our work. However, everything else about the hab location and design is as comparable to Mars as possible. The location in the Arctic Circle is an extreme environment with harsh conditions, difficult terrain, and little to no human influence. The hab sits on the rim of a ~30 million year old impact crater (named Haughton crater) that has seen very little erosion due to the lack of plants and human activity to break down the rocks. The crater looks quite similar to how it was when it was first formed, which means it looks a lot like Mars.

As we get closer to the FMARS-15 mission launch, I will be providing you with my personal perspective through this site. I’ll introduce you to my fellow crew members and share my preparation for the expedition. I will also share photos, videos, and details of the day-to-day life in a small Mars habitat doing science on top of the planet. I look forward to sharing this unique experience with you.

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