… and other ponderings in 11th-dimensional space

Dr. Barajas will be the opening Keynote Speaker at the IEEE Workshop on Engineering Applications (WEA) in Bogotá, Colombia

April 26th, 2012

Talks Titles:

– NASA-GM Robonaut 2: An Engineering Revolution in Robotics and Automation

– Mars Desert Research Station: Engineering Challenges in Self-Sufficiency Conditions
Read the rest of this entry »

Mars Desert Research Station – Crew 109 Summary Report

January 4th, 2012

The MDRS rotation for our Crew (CIX) has come to an end, and it is time for all to move on and to look for other planets!

The table below summarizes the Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) performed during the 2 week stay over the 2011 Christmas period (Dec 17-Dec 31).  And yes, we had almost 54 total EVA hours and  travel more than 230 Miles (370 Km) with a total elevation gain of over 9800 ft.
Read the rest of this entry »

Crew 109 Journalist Report Day 13

December 30th, 2011

Written by: Aster Stein.

Here it is, my final report as crew 109 journalist. This was our last full day at the hab, the two past weeks have gone by so fast. Everyone here is happy to go back home, but there is of course a tiny part of sadness that we have to leave our hab behind, in the hands of complete strangers! We were only now beginning to understand how to run a remote Mars base.

Then again, we were those strangers two weeks ago. And we took pretty good care of things here. Crew 110 will surely do the same thing. There will be a lot to take in on their first days though. Where is everything? How does everything work? What are those things scratching at your door at night? What do you mean, don’t add too much love to the breads? Before leaving the airlock one last time, we’ll bestow as much hab lore upon them, and then they’re on their own on their own adventure.

Crew 109 was a unique group of people. Our paths crossed, out of all places, in the middle of nowhere in the desert in Utah. Each one of us has their own quirks and personality, but it all worked out. There were no fights, no arguments, if my information is accurate, not even disagreements. We have lived and worked together for two weeks and got to know each other a bit. It just all happened naturally. We had a lot of fun learning and exploring Mars together. Problems? We took ‘em and threw ‘em to the ground!

I would like to thank Karon, Nicky, Leandro and Victoria for being such awesome crew mates. I would also like to thank David for the same, but he gets a tiny extra thanks for writing our daily haiku’s. It’s been a privilege making all those happy memories together.

But now we have to part ways again, and wake up from our two week dream at the the hab.  Back to real life. Odds are that we will not meet each other again. Then again, who knows… Until we do, we’ll always have Mars.


Rocks, robots, balloons

Completely schooled this planet

Acquired friendships too

This is crew 109, signing off.

MDRS EVA 22 Report: Skyline Rim

December 30th, 2011
Today, David, Karon, and I did our final EVA by hiking  8Km to Skyline Rim and back. The three of us also did our first EVA together about 2 weeks ago.

Read the rest of this entry »