The minimal crew – The MARS discussions (II)

Have you ever meet an astronaut? One needs to check the requirements to become one to find out what kind of person an astronaut is. For starters, at least for ESA, it is required to speak 3 languages from the member nations. This is not so complicated to fulfil, since here in Europe we don’t speak English, but to be clear, it is already a red light about the communication issues you may face while working. For our discussion let’s dump this requirement and assume everybody will simply speak in English. An astronaut -so far- is some kind of Swiss knife and it’s supposed to be able to perform a lot of different tasks. With that picture in mind, what would be need to include in the first Mars crew? Let me remind you that SpaceX Starship has cargo space for 100 people. Since I’m assuming the first trip will also bring extra equip, like rovers, I will reduce the population to 50. Let’s start counting, and see where we get.

From the top, I would divide the 50 into 5 teams of 10 people. Maybe each group of 10 should be called with a colour, or a letter. I would go for colours, since on Earth we don’t even have the same alphabets. I will choose them already: yellow, green, brown, blue, and white. I’ve avoided red – the colour linked with Mars – and black – the colour of mourning – on purpose. Each colour should have one leader, and common actions would be decided by them. The leader should have of course a secondary ability beyond leadership, so we still have 10 people per colour. Let’s start covering functions. One person needs to be the medical doctor in each team, maybe each one an expert in a different field, respiratory issues, traumatology, digestive system, psychology, general, for example. Then we need a geologist. At the beginning it will be very important to know where you step, and what you can use and what not to build the necessary infrastructure. The geologist can maybe double as ecosystem officer and take care of the ecological budget, how much is consumed, how much is wasted. Speaking of which, we will need someone to take care of the plants, since I have no doubt we’ll plant at least potatoes on Mars. The five teams will account for 5 martian farmers, that is not a bad number, if you ask me. Another very important person is the mechanical engineer. Maybe we could use two per team. They will work together with the system engineer, that will be in charge of the connectivity, and with the software official – I’m not sure we need one per team, but I’m sure we will need a software expert.

I have issues filling up the three remaining positions. A cook per team? It’s important to prepare good meals with scarce components, but I don’t think it’s vital. Also, one cook per team is definitely too much, specially if you need to eat together. Let’s say it’s an option. So I’m going to fill the 15 empty sits in another way. We can have 5 tourists – they will need to fully pay their trips -, three cooks, three media experts, and three biologists. Which means we fill it up all the 50 – except one. That one is, and must be, the Captain.

It all ended up pretty much Star Trek lookalike, right? Now remember that a lot of items we now use, like the tablets, first appeared on that show. Please leave your comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

4 thoughts on “The minimal crew – The MARS discussions (II)

      • Well, I’m not sure what I was referring to. All the names for their gadgets just flew right by me, but I thought they were interesting and would be useful in our own lives. I’m not much of a trekkie, either. It’s been years since I watched an episode.


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