The overall focus of the EMMIHS campaign is on geological, physical, organizational, and psychological aspects of the HI-SEAS base and its direct surroundings.
Individual mission goals are set to enable the studies that will allow us to explore and utilize the Moon and Mars in a safe, efficient, and inspiring way.
Within this wide range of research possibilities, we chose to specifically deepen into the following projects:
One of the focus points of the EMMIHS campaign is on lava tubes. Lava tubes are elongated caves with a basaltic volcanic origin and are a common occurrence in volcanic fields on the Earth, the Moon, and Mars.
In-Situ Resource Utilization: Building out of "lunar" basaltic rocks. There are many ways rocks can be used in-situ to produce building material, water, and even oxygen!
Where can we find lava tubes? Is there a way to discover even those lava tubes that have no contact with the surface world? Once found, what is the most efficient and safe way to explore this potential site?
If the lava tubes have been discovered and marked suited for a potential habitational site, what are the next steps in designing, manufacturing and constructing a lava-tube habitat?
Social and psychological studies
Study on psychological and social factors of restricted habitation in close-quarters
As living together with a small group of people can lead to stresses in the personal and professional relationships, the social health of the crew should be closely monitored to ensure an optimally functioning group. For this subproject, daily anonymous surveys are to be filled in and a close connection is maintained with previous crews of the Hi-SEAS habitat and other analogue simulations.
To broaden the research in the psychological wellbeing during these kinds of missions, an analysis is made of the architectural components of the habitat. Finding out how the habitability of a restricted environment such as that of a Moon-base can be improved, is a crucial step towards a lasting human presence on the Moon.
Sustainability & Engineering
One of the unique aspects of living in a highly remote environment, is that one needs to be as self-sustaining and durable as physically possible. A key aspect in this is to locally produce resources through biological and mechanical processes.
Humans, like all living beings, need nutrients to survive. By growing plants in experimental soils, supplemented by human waste products - such as hair, feces, and old garments - fresh food can be grown to deliver nutrients that are essential in order for humans to thrive. Dietary needs of the crew will be closely evaluated and adapted individually.
Monitoring basic biological responses, such as the heart beat, blood pressure, and balance of the crew members gives a quick indication of their bodily well-being. Emergency-EVA-Evacuations and (simulated) handicaps will provide critical insights into what responses are required in actual emergency situations.
Although human EVAs are optimal in terms of scientific advances, they also form the prime potential hazard while on the Moon. To reduce the time humans are outside and prone to radiation, regolith, and other dangers, human-robotic interfaces should be optimized for a safe exploration of space.