Antarctica/Mars Analog Field Report EVA Engineer's Experience and Lessons Learned 972459
Many studies and conferences have shown the similarities between human exploration of the Moon and Mars and Antarctic research. The use of Antarctica as an analog to human space exploration has also led to agreements between NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the agency responsible for conducting scientific research in Antarctica. This paper describes the experiences and lessons learned by a NASA extravehicular activity (EVA) engineer as a team member of an aerogeophysical research team based in a remote and isolated field camp, very similar to a Mars exploration base. Design of the tools, equipment, and techniques for scientific research that could be related to future EVA systems were studied. Logistics and maintenance strategies as they apply to EVA orbital replaceable unit designs and EVA maintenance were also studied. Antarctic operations were also studied due to the similarity with Mars EVA operations and the need to perform safe and sustainable operations for extended periods of time, such as from a Mars habitat or a pressurized rover. Experiences and lessons learned from this Antarctic expedition will be beneficial during planning and design of future EVA systems and operations for human space exploration.