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  • richardmitnick 11:06 am on March 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Meet the DC16 crew", ESA Concordia,   

    From ESA Concordia: “Meet the DC16 crew” 


    European Space Agency
    From ESA Chronicles From Concordia

    ESA Concordia Sunrise Sunrise

    20 March 2020
    laylan

    It takes a village to get through a period of isolation, especially at a remote base in Antarctica. From medical staff to mechanics, researchers to cooks, the 12-person winter-over crew spending nine months at Concordia research station are keeping the station running, the research going, and each other company.

    Who’s who at Concordia

    1
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Alberto Salvati (4th Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: Italian
    Role: Station leader and project manager of research in atmospheric physics and meteorology
    Hobbies: travelling, films, running, writing, hiking

    2
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Andrea Ceinini (7th Antarctic expedition – 6 of them ‘traverses’)
    Nationality: Italian
    Role: Auto mechanic. Maintains and operates station mechanics, including the water flow and waste management systems.
    Hobbies: mountains and open-air sports, alpine guide

    3
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Bastien Prat (5th Antarctic expedition, previous 4 at French base Dumond d’Urville)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Electrician. Installs and manages electrical systems, alarm systems and automatic control systems
    Hobbies: running, volleyball and paintball

    4
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Camille Breant (2nd Antarctic expedition, first at French base Dumond d’Urville)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Glaciologist. Studies air impurities and water cycles to better understand human impact on the environment
    Hobbies: yoga, Pilates, gardening, knitting, cinema

    5
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Elisa Calmon (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Cook. Manages the kitchen and warehouse.
    Hobbies: music, reading, theatre, photography, and writing

    6
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Ines Ollivier (2nd Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Glaciologist. Works on projects relating to snow, atmosphere and meteorology.
    Hobbies: skiing, hiking, swimming, playing rugby, taking pictures

    7
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Loredana Faraldi (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: Italian
    Role: Station MD. Takes care of crew members and manages the base’s hospital. Responsible for internal medical emergency procedures.
    Hobbies: Travelling, diving, cycling, drawing, painting and cooking

    8
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Luca Ianniello (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: Italian
    Role: ICT. Manages and maintains networks and systems, radio room control and satellite communications.
    Hobbies: snowboarding, flying drones, playing computer science, swimming and kite surfing

    9
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Stijn Thoolen (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: Dutch
    Role: ESA research MD. Facilitates studies on the effects of extreme environments on the physical and mental health of the participants in the winter expedition
    Hobbies: running, music, travelling and reading

    10
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Sylvain Guesnier (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Central mechanic. Manages systems for generating electricity, fresh water and heating.
    Hobbies: hiking, running and kite surfing

    11
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Vivien Koutcheroff (3rd Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Technical leader and plumber. Coordinates the technical team, manages and maintains the water, heating and recycling plants
    Hobbies: doing downhill, skiing and travelling

    12
    Credits: IPEV/PNRA/S. Guesnier

    Name: Wenceslas Marie-Sainte (1st Antarctic expedition)
    Nationality: French
    Role: Electronics engineer working on atmospheric physics, seismology, geomagnetism and astronomy
    Hobbies: going to the gym, painting, drawing, listening to music, reading science fiction books, hiking

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ESA Concordia Base

    Concordia research station in Antarctica is located on a plateau 3200 m above sea level. A place of extremes, temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average temperature of –50°C.

    As Concordia lies at the very southern tip of Earth, the Sun does not rise above the horizon in the winter and does not set in the summer. The crew must live without sunlight for four months of the year.

    The altitude and location mean that the air in Concordia is very thin and holds less oxygen. Venturing outside the base requires wearing layers of clothes and limits the time spent outdoors.

    During the harsh winter no outside help can be flown in or reach the base over land – the crew have to solve any problems on their own.

    In addition, Concordia sits in the largest desert in the world. The air is extremely dry, so the crew suffer from continuously chapped lips and irritated eyes.

    No animals can survive in this region – even bacteria find it hard coping with the extreme temperatures. The nearest human beings are stationed some 600 km away at the Russian Vostok base, making Concordia more remote than the International Space Station.

    In the great open landscape covered in darkness, colours, smells and sounds are almost non-existent, adding to the sense of loneliness.

    The isolation and sensory deprivation can wreak havoc on crewmembers’ biological clock, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

    Despite all these hardships, up to 16 people spend around a year at a time living in Concordia in the name of science. Far removed from civilisation, the white world of Antarctica offers researchers the opportunity to collect data and experiment like no other place on Earth.

    The base is so unlike anything found elsewhere in the world that ESA participates in the Italian-French base to research future missions to other planets, using the base as a model for extraterrestrial planets.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:01 pm on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A typical day: part 1, ESA Concordia   

    From ESA Chronicles From Concordia: “A typical day: part 1” 


    European Space Agency
    From ESA Chronicles From Concordia

    ESA Concordia Sunrise Sunrise

    Dr. Carmen Possnig is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica.

    7

    She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carmen walks us through a day in the life of Concordia

    1
    Weather balloon. Credits: IPEV/PNRA–F. Cali Quaglia

    A typical day looks different for each of us. The technical team has fixed working hours from 8:30 to 17:30 and they must be ready at all times should there be a problem. We have an alarm system for technical problems, and these alarms are particularly popular in the middle of the night. As they are so loud, we all sit upright in our beds as soon as they go off. It reminds me very much of doing night shifts in a hospital and I am very happy that I can simply fall asleep again after these alarms.

    2
    The workshop, workplace of the technical team. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–C. Possnig

    Scientists are employed depending on the type of work. Our glacier researcher has to go out every day to count snowflakes and change filters. Our meteorologist cleans the weather station every morning and lets his weather balloon rise every evening.

    Our radio and IT specialist sits in the radio room and takes care of maintaining communication so that nobody gets lost.

    Our cook dances through the kitchen listening to music and our doctor waits (so far in vain) for a medical emergency. Our astronomer cleans his telescopes daily and programs the search for exoplanets.

    My working month is divided into days with blood tests and days with simulated flights in the Soyuz capsule. On the blood collection days, depending on which of my teammates I meet in the lab, the alarm usually rings much too early. All other doors are closed all around, and I am one of the first ones to get up.

    Then I go yawning down the stairs of the quiet tower, through the corridor to the noisy tower; In the corridor in front of the entrance door I take a look at the monitor showing the current weather situation, disbelievingly shake my the head, then shuffle on up twice as many stairs to the living room on the second floor.

    Breakfast is eaten at the dining table in the living room. The choice is large, but most eat biscuits. Eggs are now only enjoyed by the more adventurous among us – they expired in January, but still taste relatively normal, stored at +4°C, though they are now so dry that you need a lot of persuasion to get them out of their shells. The easiest way to separate egg yolk and egg white is with scissors.

    Looking for the last pack of grapefruit juice, I wobble sleepily towards the storage room one floor down. Here I meet another early riser in our mini market, looking for his favourite muesli.

    On the way back to the quiet tower I have to leave the station, but only a few steps away. A few meters behind the entrance door is my polystyrene box full of snow, which I placed there the day before. Sometimes, when you open the door first in the morning, you get a shower full of snow, sometimes a gust of wind that takes your breath away, sometimes brilliant sunshine, sometimes a white wall.

    I then go back to the quiet tower. Right next to my lab is the office of the Station leader: here Cyprien sits behind his computer and writes on a paper, takes care of outreach or does the planning for next week’s dishwashing service. Walking through this office you get to Filippo, our atmospheric physicist. He usually sits in front of his nine computers, listening to music, following the path of his radiosondes, learning German or physiology, and guarding the biscuit stock on the floor.

    3
    Filippo in the meteorology lab. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–C. Possnig

    Back in my lab, the blood tubes are being processed. Each of these tubes wants to be treated differently. Some of them want to be treated on the previously mentioned snow (I have to mix it with water before, otherwise it is too cold and the blood freezes immediately. This mistake is made only once); others immediately go into the centrifuge; others want to stand around for an hour before, into the 37°C warm water bath; or as fast as possible be divided into six more tubes and mixed with antibodies, magnetic beads, buffer A-XY, bioparticles or other reagents.

    5
    The operating theatre – here equipped for a film shoot and accordingly no original surgical instruments. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–A. Razeto

    At the end I take a blood count and some blood values in our hospital. This is on the first floor of the quiet tower, and fully equipped for any emergencies. There is an operating room with video conferencing option in a hospital in Rome, should help be needed, a dentist’s chair, an examination room with an extensive pharmacy and a patient’s room.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ESA Concordia Base

    Concordia research station in Antarctica is located on a plateau 3200 m above sea level. A place of extremes, temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average temperature of –50°C.

    As Concordia lies at the very southern tip of Earth, the Sun does not rise above the horizon in the winter and does not set in the summer. The crew must live without sunlight for four months of the year.

    The altitude and location mean that the air in Concordia is very thin and holds less oxygen. Venturing outside the base requires wearing layers of clothes and limits the time spent outdoors.

    During the harsh winter no outside help can be flown in or reach the base over land – the crew have to solve any problems on their own.

    In addition, Concordia sits in the largest desert in the world. The air is extremely dry, so the crew suffer from continuously chapped lips and irritated eyes.

    No animals can survive in this region – even bacteria find it hard coping with the extreme temperatures. The nearest human beings are stationed some 600 km away at the Russian Vostok base, making Concordia more remote than the International Space Station.

    In the great open landscape covered in darkness, colours, smells and sounds are almost non-existent, adding to the sense of loneliness.

    The isolation and sensory deprivation can wreak havoc on crewmembers’ biological clock, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

    Despite all these hardships, up to 16 people spend around a year at a time living in Concordia in the name of science. Far removed from civilisation, the white world of Antarctica offers researchers the opportunity to collect data and experiment like no other place on Earth.

    The base is so unlike anything found elsewhere in the world that ESA participates in the Italian-French base to research future missions to other planets, using the base as a model for extraterrestrial planets.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
  • richardmitnick 3:20 pm on November 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESA Concordia, , White Mars: the ESA experiments   

    From ESA Chronicles From Concordia: “White Mars: the ESA experiments” 


    European Space Agency

    From ESA Chronicles From Concordia

    ESA Concordia Sunrise Sunrise

    02/11/2018
    laylan

    1
    Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station. Credits: ESA/NASA

    Dr. Carmen Possnig is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carmen discusses the European experiments she is performing in Antarctica.

    “Next scenario: You are a pilot in the Soyuz, autopilot docking doesn’t work, you have to do it manually. At the same time you realize that the International Space Station has a problem: it is out of control and rotates around an axis. Good luck!”

    I enter the scenario into the computer and wait until my respondent has completed the preflight checks and selected a target. Then I close the curtain and my colleague is now undisturbed – with his monitors he can fully concentrate on docking to the Space Station. Then I lean back and watch the flight progress.

    2
    Testing fine motor skills. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–M. Buttu

    For one of the ESA experiments my crew members fly a Soyuz capsule simulator every month. The Soyuz is the Russian spacecraft that currently brings astronauts to the International Space Station. If the radar navigation system fails on its way to the Space Station, the pilots have to dock manually. If the target monitor also fails, docking must be purely visual and with the help of a periscope. If the Space Station were out of control and would move randomly through the area, this would also have to be mastered. So we have many scenarios available to test my subjects.

    The whole point is to find out how motor skills change in the course of isolation. Do they deteriorate, do they stay the same? In addition to the simulator, my subjects also complete motor and cognitive tests, as well as questionnaires.

    3
    In the Soyuz Simulator. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–C. Verseux

    The whole point is to find out how motor skills change in the course of isolation. Do they deteriorate, do they stay the same? In addition to the simulator, my subjects also complete motor and cognitive tests, as well as questionnaires.

    Astronauts on a long-duration flight to Mars, for example, may not have to steer the spaceship themselves for months. Upon arrival to the Red Planet, would they still be able to land the spacecraft and bring it back to Earth safely? After months of isolation, would they still be able to do that? How often do they need to train to perform well?

    Like the real Soyuz, the simulator has three monitors, one of which is the periscope viewer. With two joysticks, one for rotational and one for translational movements, the test subject can steer the spaceship. Flying is trained for hours over the summer; now in winter I don’t give any more tips – my crewmates are on their own.

    More science
    4
    Early in the morning at the blood test. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–F. Calì Quaglia

    Concordia is the place on Earth that has most similarities with a station on another planet, or a long-term space flight. Similar to future astronauts, we are completely isolated from the outside world – for nine months at least –, we have unusual light conditions – three and a half months night, followed by long twilight and then three and a half months sunlight –, we have to dress carefully with special clothing before we can go outside, where it is not uncommon to have -80°C and we always have to be in contact by radio; we are at 3233m altitude with very low air pressure and low humidity; we are a crew of 13 people. Lovingly we call our surroundings “White Mars”. Accordingly, the environment is optimal for human spaceflight research. I do it, and my crewmates are the test subjects.

    One of the other three experiments I carry out is mainly concerned with height adjustment. For this I take blood samples, urine collections every 24 hours, and various parameters like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature of the feet and hands, and oxygen saturation. In addition, there are several questionnaires.

    5
    Working at Concordia’s lab. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–F. Calì Quaglia

    Two further experiments focus on the immune system. Since no pathogenic viruses, bacteria or fungi survive outside our station, and we are always the same thirteen people for nine months, our immune systems have no new inputs and not much to do. This is also a similar situation as it would be during a long-term spaceflight. It is therefore particularly exciting to observe what our cells say about this. I take monthly blood samples, urine collections, saliva, hair, and, especially popular, stool samples. And again many questionnaires.

    The immune system is a bit like a muscle: it gets stronger the more we have to use it. It is no wonder that when the first new people arrive at the beginning of summer, the winter overs get slightly sick.

    I analyse some of these blood samples in the laboratory. We have a flow cytometer which sorts and counts cells according to all possible values. Sometimes fast, mostly rather slow, and always quite loud. But everyone is fascinated when they can observe their cells unraveled on the screen.

    6
    The blood samples are processed and analysed on site. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–C. Possnig

    We also have the possibility to take complete blood pictures, and other blood values can be determined in the hospital. I regularly watch our cholesterol levels rise. The adaptation to the altitude is also clearly recognisable: my haemoglobin is currently at 15.4g/dl, after all an increase of almost 30%. We are looking forward to fleeting sporting successes when returning to normal oxygen conditions.

    I don’t get bored. The adventures of my colleagues in the simulator are always worth seeing, even if less and less gets lost in space. Watching our blood cells get used to the strange conditions here is no less exciting.

    And if the temptation gets too big, I jump into my simulator myself, let the Space Station rotate and the target monitor fail and save my spaceship with semi-elegant docking manoeuvres. At least my motor skills don’t suffer here.

    To read Carmen’s adventures at Concordia in German, see her personal blog.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ESA Concordia Base

    Concordia research station in Antarctica is located on a plateau 3200 m above sea level. A place of extremes, temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average temperature of –50°C.

    As Concordia lies at the very southern tip of Earth, the Sun does not rise above the horizon in the winter and does not set in the summer. The crew must live without sunlight for four months of the year.

    The altitude and location mean that the air in Concordia is very thin and holds less oxygen. Venturing outside the base requires wearing layers of clothes and limits the time spent outdoors.

    During the harsh winter no outside help can be flown in or reach the base over land – the crew have to solve any problems on their own.

    In addition, Concordia sits in the largest desert in the world. The air is extremely dry, so the crew suffer from continuously chapped lips and irritated eyes.

    No animals can survive in this region – even bacteria find it hard coping with the extreme temperatures. The nearest human beings are stationed some 600 km away at the Russian Vostok base, making Concordia more remote than the International Space Station.

    In the great open landscape covered in darkness, colours, smells and sounds are almost non-existent, adding to the sense of loneliness.

    The isolation and sensory deprivation can wreak havoc on crewmembers’ biological clock, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

    Despite all these hardships, up to 16 people spend around a year at a time living in Concordia in the name of science. Far removed from civilisation, the white world of Antarctica offers researchers the opportunity to collect data and experiment like no other place on Earth.

    The base is so unlike anything found elsewhere in the world that ESA participates in the Italian-French base to research future missions to other planets, using the base as a model for extraterrestrial planets.

    The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA50 Logo large

     
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