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The Mars Desert Research Station

How a crowd helped an expedition

Early 2013: This was the first live trial for the Cerberus platform where we managed to verify in - situ what was mapped. The opportunity to do this was an astronaut analogue mission to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) where BlackShore's director Hans van 't Woud assumed the role of crewmember.

While this two- week expedition was running the crowd was asked to map the immediate surroundings as if it were like Mars since this desert region in particular is geologically similar to Gale crater where NASA's curiosity rover is driving around. Geological results disovered by the Cerberus crowd were uploaed through a satellite link to be used to plan an EVA* into the desert to verrify the crowd's effort and Cerberus's accuracy.

The results were astonishing regarding Cerberus's mapping precision. The proof dat actually new discoveries can be done using satellite information and thus to detect location no man has ever visited before has huge implications for the system. Not only this expedition was interesting from a research and system point of view, but also this expedition was a high level effort of doing science communication. The crowd was realtime involved in a scientific mission which has never been done before in the face of the earth.

*EVA = extra vehicular activity

Crew 125 (Reuters/ Jim, Urquhart

The Mars Desert Research Station is investigating the feasibility of Mars human exploration.
Hans van 't Woud, a mapping researcher and the health and safety officer of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission, collects geologic samples for study at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) outside Hanksville in the Utah desert on March 2, 2013. The MDRS aims to investigate the feasibility of human exploration of Mars and uses the Utah desert's Mars-like terrain to simulate working conditions on the red planet. Scientists, students and enthusiasts work together developing field tactics and studying the terrain. All outdoor exploration is done wearing simulated spacesuits and carrying air supply packs and crews live together in a small communication base with limited amounts of electricity, food, oxygen and water. Everything needed to survive must be produced, fixed and replaced on site.Hans van 't Woud in Business Insider picture of the year 2013 (Reuters/ Jim Urquhart)

The Mars Desert Research Station crew 125 Visited location in the Utah desert, sulphate deposits located by the crowd. Northern part of traverse. Traverse expedition  generated by the crowd
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