Crew 173

Commander and GreenHab officer: Dr. Michaela Musilova, Slovakia. Michaela Musilova is an astrobiologist with a research focus on life in extreme environments (extremophiles). Similar life could potentially be found on other planetary bodies, such as Mars, which is why extremophiles are very important for the search for extraterrestrial life. Michaela holds a PhD degree in physical geography, microbiology and astrobiology from the University of Bristol, UK. She studied at both University College London, UK and the California Institute of Technology, USA for her MSc degree in Planetary Science (completed with First Class Honours and a Dean of Science commendation). Michaela is also a graduate from the International Space University (ISU)’s Space Studies Program, 2015. Michaela’s astrobiology and space research experience includes: working on astrobiology and planetary protection research projects at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; simulating lunar and planetary surfaces through NASA’s and the UK Space Agency’s MoonLite project; searching for exoplanets at the University of London Observatory; and being an analogue astronaut at the Mars Desert Research Station, USA. She is currently the Chair of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), a visiting lecturer for ISU and the senior research adviser for Mission Control Space Services Inc.. She is also a lecturer at several universities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Michaela returned to Slovakia to try to increase the number of space-related research/industry there, improve SOSA’s international collaborations and create a Slovak space research centre. She also enjoys participating in STEAM outreach activities from teaching at schools, giving public presentations, to working with the media and more, as well as encouraging people to pursue their dreams.


Executive officer: Mr. Arnau Pons Lorente, Spain. He holds a BSc. and MSc. in aeronautical engineering with specialization in space engineering by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC-BarcelonaTech), in Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, he holds a MSc. of Aerospace Propulsion Theory and Engineering by Beihang University in Beijing, China. He also attended the International Space University Space Studies Program 2015, hosted by Ohio University in partnership with NASA Glenn Research Center. He worked as a research assistant at the Hybrid Rocket Motors Laboratory at Beihang University. At this capacity, he designed, performed 3D CFD simulations and experimentally tested an innovative injector configuration towards increasing the performance of hybrid rockets. In addition, he has recently been admitted at the Ph.D. program in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) starting in Fall 2016. His research interests encompass space propulsion systems as well as the development of 3D printing and in situ resource utilization technologies for enabling human space exploration into the solar system and beyond.


Scientist (Geologist): Mr. Roy Naor, Israel. Roy Naor is a planetary geologist, with a specialization in Planetary Geochemistry. He pursued his undergraduate degree from Ben Gurion University, majoring in Geological Sciences and continued to graduate studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, conducting research to characterize formation environments of minerals on Mars with the aim of explaining the mechanism and conditions of present and future findings from Mars rovers and spacecraft.

Roy is also alumnus of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program conducted in the Summer of 2015 in partnership with NASA Glenn Research Center and Ohio University. He is also a space exploration educator, inspiring the next generation through analogue simulations researching the Martian environment, he is part of a team launching a new youth program simulating astronauts training supported by Israel Space agency and the Davidson Institute.


Engineer: Mr. Idriss Sisaid, France. Idriss is an engineer in mechanics and in space-systems from France. He is also an entrepreneur, currently the CEO and CTO of O’SOL, a startup based in Cannes which is specialized in mobile solar energy. He also holds a degree in astronomy from the Paris Observatory and he is an alumni of the International Space University. Through his mission at MDRS, he will study and test 3d-printed multifunctional blocks for building future Martian infrastructures using In-Situ resources. This project is the continuity of his MSc thesis, through which he developed a conceptual life support system for radiation shielding and waste management. His concept, initiated in 2014, was rewarded by the British Interplanetary Society and the International Astronautical Federation. He will also be investigating the possibility of using his concept of solar generators for potential future space applications. Besides his professional and academic activities, he is a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, a keen astronomer and hopes to inspire the young generation, especially from socially-disadvantaged backgrounds, to be ambitious and always aim high.


Crew Artist in Residence/Journalist: Dr. Niamh Shaw, Ireland. Niamh is an Irish performer, scientist and engineer, and is passionate about awakening people’s curiosity. With 2 degrees in Engineering & a PhD in Science, she is a keen advocate of promoting STEAM to inspire future generations to consider careers in STEM. As alumnus of ISU’s Space Studies Programme 2015, she lectured on the Humanities programme of SSP 2016 & is  chairing the Core Lectures programme for SSP17. As artist in residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, her STEAM lecture/performance piece, ‘To Space’, toured internationally from 2014-16 & was supported by Culture Ireland, ESA and the Arts Council of Ireland. She has begun making her next theatre piece ‘A Hand in Space’ working closely with ESA’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne. Niamh speaks on thought leadership & provides specialised communication, ideation & futures workshops in the private sector. With over 14 years of improvisation experience, she co-founded a new communications centre for academics in Ireland, affiliated with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, New York. As an advocate of ‘Women in STEM’ she was recently voted one of Ireland’s top 10 science communicators by Silicon Republic acknowledging her work in STEAM & contributions on national TV, radio, press & public speaking events incl. TEDxUCD, World Science Festival. She co-founded & is a member of function(core), an international transdisciplinary problem-solving & ideation collective. She is the Dublin point of contact for Space week Ireland & is Northern Ireland Space Ambassador for ESA’s education and resource office (ESERO UK). She has presented scientific papers on the collaborative nature of her work with research institutes & universities at the International Astronautical Congress, European Geosciences Assembly, European Planetary Sciences Congress & is a regular blogger about Space for Irish popular culture magazine, Headstuff. Niamh’s work in Science Art has been supported by The Arts Council of Ireland, CultureIreland, Science Foundation Ireland, ESERO Ireland, European Space Agency, Arts@CERN. Niamh believes that we can be many things at the same time. She is curious, always & embraces failure every day.


Crew Scientist (astrobiologist): Mr. Richard Blake, Australia. Graduated university with a B.Sc majoring in biology and palaeobiology with a minor in geology. Also an ISU graduate of the Space Studies Program 2014 in Montreal, Canada. Currently undertaking a Masters of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Australia in collaboration with the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Working on understanding the sources and modes of biological contamination in ancient rocks from 2.7 billion year old outcrops in Western Australia. Also working as a native floral ecologist in Sydney, Australia. Restoring native bushland through the removal of invasive species and introduction of endemic species. Interested in working as a research scientist in remote stations such as Antarctica, as well as self sufficient habitats, especially creating closed circuit food webs in isolated hostile environments.