Mexican student on the 'Mars mission' waves the UNAM flag. Mexican student on the 'Mars mission' waves the UNAM flag.

Six students off to Mars for two weeks

Two Mexican projects among 18 approved for Mars simulation in Poland

Six Mexican college students yesterday began a 15-day-long “mission on Mars” where they will test two experiments they have designed.

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The Polish landscape rather than the real thing is the setting for this analogous mission, called the Poland Mars Analogue Simulation 2017 (PMAS), for which students and researchers from all over the world had been invited to propose projects for testing in simulated Martian conditions.

Eighteen experiments were approved for PMAS 2017, two of which were developed by the Mexican team, made up of four students from the National Autonomous University (UNAM) and one each from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM).

The first one, called Rover, was developed by the robotics team UNAM Space and described by engineering student Juan Carlos Mariscal as a prototype of an autonomous Mars exploration robot, equipped with artificial intelligence and designed to obtain samples from the surface.

The rover can locate the samples, trace a route to them and finally deposit them in a container, all by itself.

The second Mexican project is also the only telemedicine experiment included in the Mars mission. Designed by UNAM and IPN students, it permits the remote monitoring of astronauts’ vital signs using a special vest that measures body temperature, heartbeat and respiratory rate.

All the data is sent to internet cloud storage where it can be consulted in real time from anywhere in the world — and eventually Mars.

Leader of the PMAS medical team is Carlos Salicrup, a pilot and medical graduate. He and his team of physicians will be in charge of monitoring the health of the analogous astronauts.

The Poland Mars Analogue Simulation mission started yesterday, and will conclude on August 13.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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