Research

SPECTRA: a Lucy Electric station, MOON 2030.


Our mission simulation occurs in 2030. The site of the habitat is the Leuwin Crater; a to-be-discovered permanently dark crater, which provides clear views of the universe without the interference from the visual noise from Earth. Permanent crews are working to establish facilities and operations that will support the Teela Telescope Array and point for deep space observation and communication. This is the most significant example of human engineering since the build of the International Space Station and the rapid acceleration of intelligent robotic exploration. Lucy Electric has built a state-of-the-art outpost at the Crater with the support of public and
private partnerships. The main station: the Lunares Habitat, comfortably accommodates 4 long-duration Lunar Crew, and 2 mission specialists on shifts between Earth and Lunar transfer orbits. Their mission is to install power to the facilities for human habitation and deep space observation. With expert teams and support from Earth and low Earth orbit, the crew designs and tests future-focused creative research experiments. Physical, psychological and engineering challenges, habitability, art, science, education and outreach activities are all aimed at supporting life on the Moon.

Psychology


Safety and the ability to perform for prolonged periods is an integral part of all planning for human spaceflight. There different requirements for "short-term" and "long-term" human spaceflight. For the most part, short-term exposure is reasonably well tolerated. MoonMars "long-duration" missions require deep study of psychological and physiological risks and the pursuit of realistic countermeasures to support crews.
The foci of our Psychological Research suite is on perception — mathematical models of human perceptual systems: vision, pattern perception, audition, motion perception, spatial understanding, and haptics; cognition — understanding situational awareness, modeling cognitive workload, and evaluating usability and effectiveness of human-automation and mixed reality interfaces; communication - interfaces for mission communications among all crew, PI's, support personnel, vehicles, etc., across many forms (audio, video, data, etc.); and workload - distribution of tasks between crew with respect to human performance and capabilities, both physically and cognitively.

  • Personality types and group effectiveness.
  • Group dynamics, cultural background and personality types.
  • Psychological condition and isolated environments.
  • “Napping Mask” : UX Design of Rest Enhancement Tools for Use in Space.
  • “Life Tree” : UX Design of Breathing Exercise Games for Use in Analogue Space Environments.
  • “EYE” : Optical Illusion Zero-G system.
  • Psychological Support: To dance with you across moon beams would be as if music itself

Life Tree is a Virtual Reality breathing exercise game that helps players practice pursed-lip breathing in an immersive and engaging way. As opposed to immersing players in the virtual world, we use VR technology to help focus on minimalistic visuals in the virtual world to help them focus inwards and increase their bodily awareness while practicing breathing exercises. Refining the biological activity of breathing to achive a good breathing technique enables people to improve their performance and wellbeing in their everyday activities here on Earth, but what about on the Moon? The crew will use this game every day and test how it might support crew wellness during a simulated mission analogue.

Assigned Crew

Andreea Rădulescu

Principal Investigators

Dr. Jamie Guined - Untethered Exploration
Prof. Sheryl Bishop- Untethered Exploration
Rakesh Patibanda - RMIT University
Prof. Floyd Mueller - RMIT University
Maryam Nabavi - Levitate
Robert Bolton - Studio from later
Udit Vira - Studio from later
Alyssa Alikpala - Studio from later
Dr. Agata Kołodziejczyk - Space Garden
Benjamin P. Burke - Ocean Synapse
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell - Performing Astronautics

Assigned Crew

Omar Samra

Principal Investigators

Dr. Jamie Guined - Untethered Exploration
Prof. Sheryl Bishop- Untethered Exploration
Andreea Rădulescu - Untethered Exploration
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell - Performing Astronautics

Physiology


During space flight astronauts experience alterations in multiple physiological systems due to exposure to microgravity. The objective of Physiology Research is to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to performance of functional tests that are representative of critical mission tasks for Moon and Mars surface operations. We test astronauts on an integrated suite of functional and physiological tests before and after short-duration lunar analog surface mission simulation.

  • Health and Human Performance during a Short-Duration Simulated Lunar Surface Mission
  • "Hexoskin shirt" : UX wearable body metric monitoring
  • "Lunar Olympiad" : Community, competition and ritual

Lunar Olympiad is a novel research-through-performance exercise designed to support astronauts undertake physiology research and psychosocial interactions in a fun and engaging way. By using the framework of a Lunar Olympiad scenario – including an Opening Flag Baring Ceremony, Warm Up routines, Athletic Competition, and highly theatrical interactions with Coaches and Officials, Commentators and Crowds – we enable the analogue astronauts and mission support crews at Lunares to design both athletic and spectatorship activities for the purpose of promoting teamwork, inclusion, personal performance, and community spirit. The event provides new opportunities for the collective imagination and shared experience of physical and mental performance. Who will win Lunar Gold?

Microbiology, sanitation and hygiene :: Clinical and laboratory diagnostics


In space analogues we must expand our understanding of symbiotic and pathogenic relationships between human and microbial inhabitants of contained spaces. We consider microbiotic flora as co-habitants, even fellow explorers, within the space environment, rather than interlopers. This suite of research investigate the elements that both support and inhibit all forms of life including the microflora and micro particulates in our water, waste, and living systems. Crew also monitor aspects of the environmental microclimates daily to contextualise clinical and laboratory diagnostics research.

  • Longitudinal study of Lunar habitat microbiome population shift
  • Assessment of human health and the microflora of the environment
  • Parameters of the environment and microclimate

The purpose of the Longitudinal study of Lunar habitat microbiome population shift, or Long Drop, is to develop mission strategies for planning optimal microbial population and diversity within the totality of the habitat. The study includes metagenomic sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of DNA from microflora found in areas of high activity or contact. By gathering data characterizing shifts in microbial diversity over the course of a mission, this research delivers strategies for the assessment of human health and the microflora of the environment, and recommendations for informing future missions.

Assigned Crew

Jaden Hastings
Dr. Sian Proctor

Principal Investigators

A/Prof. Christopher E. Mason - Weill Cornell Medicine

Operations and technology


How we perform in space.
This suite of research concentrates on the design, development, testing and evaluation of Human factors - guidelines for tools, facilities, crew aids, fasteners, etc.; Work stations - safe vehicle, lab and operator stations; Work modes - robotic manipulators, perceptual and physical human capabilities, as required for mission execution, etc.; Tools - for manual and/or gloved (EVA), to support planned and contingency tasks; Standardized procedures - for skill acquisition or task learning, time; Logistics - accessible supplies and safe equipment; and Emergency Proceedures i.e. for safe transport of ill or injured crew.

  • "Lunar Luggage" : Needs of the crew and consumption of resources
  • “Carry All” : UX Design and pack for various occupations in space.
  • MEAL Moon Environment Appetite Log: Photos of dining dynamics.
  • Moon Mood Dining : Survey on Mood of Food in Space.
  • "ROV" : Tele-Operated Lunar Rover Navigation Using LIDAR
  • “Workspaces” : Reimagining state-of-the-art in gloveboxes

A key priority in Robotics is to optimize lunar surface operations and reduce hazards to astronauts. Many robotic platforms, rovers in particular, are considered to carry out a multitude of missions involving potential Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) sites survey, surface and cave reconnaissance, path planning and obstacle detection and classification. We customise payload instrumentation of a rover to map the terrain while piloted from inside the Habitat. The "ROV" : Tele-Operated Lunar Rover Navigation Using LIDAR combines GPS coordinates, ime, Distance, and LiDAR for mapping the lunar surface robotic surveying and scouting by a laser beam and measuring the pulse time-of-flight and the bearing. Documentation of the custom integration including written and illustrated concepts, ideas, and description of capabilities will result, and feed into a suite of extended EVA activities networked between Moon-Earth. [For example, between the Lunares 3 Crew, Mission Contorl Poland, and Mission Control at the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform, Melbourne Australia.]

Assigned Crew

Omar Samra
Dr. Sian Proctor
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell

Principal Investigators

Andreea Rădulescu - Untethered Exploration
Maryam Nabavi - Levitate
Robert Bolton - Studio from later
Udit Vira - Studio from later
Alyssa Alikpala - Studio from later
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell - Performing Astronautics
Dr. Sian Proctor - South Mountain Community College

Assigned Crew

Dr. Sian Proctor
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell

Principal Investigators

Mark Splittgerber - Practon Group
Barry Janse Van Rensburg - Lucy Electric
A/Prof. David G. Barnes - Monash University
Andreas Hamacher - Monash University
Owen Kaluza - Monash University
A/Prof. Ryan Kobrick - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell - Performing Astronautics

Extravehicular activity (EVA) and simulator surface activity


The space analogue extravehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk scenario puts into practice the very heart of systems thinking and human factors. Our operations and technology research is particularly relevant for spacesuit design and mission planning for surface activities and interactions with essential infrastructures of a Lunar outpost.
There will be four kind of EVAs: experimental (E), operational (O), exploratory (X) and emergency (M). From space-suits to vehicles, specialist utilities equipment and mixed reality robotics, our EVA research measures the ability to coordinate locomotion and cognitive responses in extreme conditions (aerodynamic tunnel, reversed view, gravity ramps) while using a spacesuit, a rover, and virtual reality; Memory, learning and time perception; Reflex and operations on simulators; Communication; VR Operations in hazardous space environments; and emergency drills from the "crater".

  • High Voltage Switching Virtual Reality Training
  • Trident RMU : Using special equipment and tools on the Moon
  • "LiDAR Spacewalk" : EVA Planning with 3D Maps
  • "SpaceSuitUP" : Simulated Spacesuit Range of Motion Testing

The High Voltage Switching Virtual Reality Training supports crew in a remote situation to learn to operate a critical piece of equipment. We compare learning from VR and paper-based training manuals. A remote lunar base will be supplied new machines and tools. Living far from Earth, training on new equipment and processes will become more difficult. The ability to train astronauts on new equipment by uploading VR scenarios allows a rapid evolution of technology and processes to be implemented at reduced cost and increased access. Lucy Electric builds industrial electrical equipment. In collaboration with Practon Group, they have designed a VR training program for their Trident Switch gear. The abilities of the crew to learn how to safely operate the switch will be tested on the physical equipment within the simulation. The crew will be evaluated on the time and accuracy of the tasks they perform.

Biological experiments in and from the isolation facility


This suite of biological experiments evaluates strategies for generating an optimal environment to sustain life within a confined, resource-constrained habitat. This includes the growth of a nutritive source of fresh micro-greens in hydroponic and aeroponic systems as a source of food as well as material for hygienic and clinical purposes. Further, we assess the performance of biomaterial devices for conducting research and fabrication in the habitat environment.

  • "BioSuit" : biological materials wearable
  • Plant-derived hydrogels
  • Growing microgreens
  • "BioPen" : application for bioprinting device in space

Assessing the utility and efficacy of a gestural "BioPen" bioprinting device within a resource constrained environment, the objectives of the project are to ascertain multiple novel applications and functions within a spacen analogue, and assess performance across an array of novel printable materials. Preliminary data towards understanding the utility of gestural bio printing in an orbital or planetary space environments will be useful. Recommendations for further research into cross-purpose utilisation, to propose a range of additional functions that the BioPen might serve within a resource constrained environment (medical, nutritional, artistic) will also inform future applications for bioprinting devices in Space.

Crew Assigned

Jaden Hastings

Principal Investigators

Dr. Agata Kołodziejczyk - Space Garden
Prof. Peter Choong - St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Prof. Gordon Wallace - University of Wollongong
Prof. Gordon Kapsa - University of MelbourneJaden Hastings - University of Melbourne

Principal Investigators

Jaden Hastings
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell

Principal Collaborators

A/Prof. David G. Barnes - Monash University
Richard Move - Move It Productions
Dr. Elizabeth Presa - Victorian College of the Arts

Art, Media, Communications and Culture


Human expression and connection fuels our evolutionary humanity, curiosity and passion. This suite of research focuses on arts-led-research, practice-through-performance experimentation, prototype media and cultural engagement foci is exploring the critical pathways, discourse and cultural practice surrounding space as inspiration for new works of art, and new ways of working with art and space, during a unique mission simulation.
Through the exposition, publication and communication of new works of art within a pop-up exhibition space, and on-line, new design tactics for engaging space phenomena are presented, increasing opportunities towards new trajectories for enabling discovery. These opportunities also support safe forums for reflexive analysis of our human ambitions, and indeed our assumptions, about a human return to the Moon, and future extraterrestrial culture.


  • “Roman Vitriol” : Colonised Earth icon sculpted in copper sulphate crystal on the Moon.
  • "Moon Henge" : installation for celestial navigation from the Lunar vantage.
  • “eREEF” : Virtual Reality submarine sensations streamed from MIVP to the Moon.
  • “LID-DI-DAR” : LiDAR inspired Light Interactive Dance Art Reception from Moon to MIVP.
  • The Agency of Human-Robotic Lunatics
  • Lunar grey pigment
  • "Lunar Olympiad" : Community, competition and ritual

Roman vitriol: uses a science to create an artwork by growing copper sulphate over intertwined looped rods: encrusting a blue icon of Earth symbolizing the flowering of life. The Roman Vitriol artwork will be on show by the ‘Culture Night’ dinner and Medal Ceremony (28th July 2018), where the crew will be asked to engage in deeper reflection about the philosophy and fundamental principals of Colonising the Moon (flowering with life, panspermia or terraforming) with a future MoonVillage in line with the ESA exploration and priority goals. Aside from the aesthetic and philosophical contribution, Copper sulfate crystals have many practical applications such as an herbicide, fungicide, and pesticide for use in space. Knowledge of crafting temperatures and growing crystals on the Moon also seems to be an important precursor to 3D sintering regolith as a construction material. Trans disciplinary methods are exploited.

Education, Outreach and Community Engagement


Education, Outreach and Community engagement is about sharing outcomes and building connections. This suite of STEAM projects focuses on sharing the individual crew experience; the mission; and broading impact and significance in human spaceflight and knowledge-building.
From the development of symbolic ritual activites, to the publication of personal insights into the day-to-day life of a crew in a Lunar Simulation, we use a cross-platform of tools and media outlets to inform, inspire and interact with global general and expert audiences alike. In space, there is room for everyone.

  • “Our Space Place” : One Second Everyday documentary of a 14-day analogue mission.
  • Space4Space” : Podcast episodes on understanding our need for space.
  • “Lunar Times” : weekly news service from the Lunar Mission.
  • Curating a Cinematic Culture and Film tradition for Analogue Astronauts.
  • “Evil Corp” : Board game challenge: Save the world, no matter the cost.
  • Avenue of Honour: Crew Pre-flight Tree-planting ceremony before leaving Earth.

A 14-episode Podcast series hosted by Dr. Sian Proctor on understanding our need for space, the Space4Space Podcast documents the crews perception of space on multiple metrics from physical space, to emotional space, and creative space. Each day crew will record 3-8 mins to the ZERO microphone answering a space related question. The curated themes include forms of space, and crew perception of space, while they are in the LunAres habitat. Recordings will form the basis of a daily Space4Space Podcast. Each unique crew personality, education, research, and experience offers a variety of ways to enter and make sense of the analogue, and the interdisciplinary field of space, and while our different points of view allow us to challenge received ideas, we build new understandings around our need for space. The Space4Space Podcast will be published to a suitable platform, then iTunes for distribution to media.

Crew Assigned

Omar Samra
Dr. Sian Proctor

Principal Collaborators

Dr. Barbara Imholf - Liquifer Systems
Sean Elliot - Rough Science
Louis Savy - SCI-FI-LONDON
Alfie Denne - Newbie Games Company