Meet N.Adhithiyan and Rohan Chandra, UPES Aerospace Engineering students who recently returned from Poland where they participated in Poland Mars Analogue Mission (PMAS 2017). Adhithiyan is excited he got this opportunity which will motivate him to work towards his career in Aerospace and not limit his talent within India.
Adithiyan was appointed as a Science Data Officer at the mission. His responsibilities were to manage research and experimental data generated during the simulation period. Since he had to coordinate with the Mission Support Team and provide everyone with required data it made his role even more critical. Back from the mission equipped with practical knowledge and first-hand experience he now plans to publish research work basis his learnings.
Rohan, who was appointed as a Records Officer at the mission, is equally thrilled. “Working with inter-disciplinary crew members, being directly in touch with Flight Director and Capsule Communicators was worth an experience”. He was responsible for preparing log-files of the events, analyze workflows and procedures, plan and schedule analogue astronaut activities, and evaluate overall mission efficiency.
Explaining whether analogue simulations like this can really help us get to Mars, Sebastian Hettrich, PMAS 2017 Mission Director said in an article, “Analogue Missions in general are good and low-cost opportunities to test and study certain aspects of a long-term space exploration mission, such as a Mars mission. They help us understand and address potential risks and issues that the future Mars astronauts will have to face, and therefore, can make such missions much safer and scientifically more efficient.”
Adhithiyan and Rohan also got a chance to try their hands on Martian rovers, get inside the cockpit of Boeing 787- Dreamliner and visit tourist attractions of Poland.