The MDRS Handbook
As you read the daily journalist reports, some terms may have confused you : Hab, Green-Hab, Science Dome… To fix that, Benjamin, the mission journalist, would like to take you on a tour of the MDRS!
The MDRS, or Mars Desert Research Station, is a small haven on the red planet. It is made of several distinct zones :
The Hab is the crew’s main living space : this two-floor, 8 metre wide cylinder is the centre of the station. The upper deck is just like a small apartment, where you can find the crew’s rooms, the kitchen and dining room as well as places to rest. All in all, not that big a change for crew-mates used to small student housing. On the Lower Deck, you can find the restrooms and showers, that latter of which see limited use due to water conservation measures. The extravehicular activity (EVA) suits are also stored on this floor. Lastly, you can find the airlocks that allow crew members to get in and out of the station.
The Green-Hab: the small piece of green in the middle of the desert! It is the station’s greenhouse, taken care of by Norbert. Thanks to it, the crew can enjoy some fresh produce to complement their dry food, and also houses some plant-based science experiments.
The RAMM (Repair and Maintenance Module) is the most recent addition to the station. Its purpose is to be a space for maintaining or repairing the station’s equipment.
The Science Dome: This large dome helps us carry all sorts of scientific experiments, and is where you can find most experimenting material.
The observatories: they’re the tools of Aurélien, the mission astronomer. One of them, the Musk Observatory, is used to study the sun during the day. The second one, remotely controlled, is used during the nighttime.
The Rovers: They’re our only means of transportation during missions outside the station. They’ve been named Curiosity, Spirit and Opportunity, referring to some of the first objects to ever explore Mars. They can be driven on all terrain, and are powered by electricity, most of which comes from the station’s solar panels.
Written by : Benjamin Auzou, Journalist