Crew 181


Mission Plan


Cassandra Klos

Crew 181 Commander / Artist-in-Residence

Cassandra Klos (b. 1991) is a Boston-based artist. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston at Tufts University. Her projects focus on negotiating truth from fiction as well as the psychological ties that bind memories to images. Her photographs have been featured in group exhibitions across the United States and in solo exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts and the Piano Craft Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work has been published in The Atlantic and The Boston Globe and her photojournalism reporting has been published in TIME Magazine. She is the recipient of the Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography and the United States Emerging Photographer Award from the Magenta Foundation, as well as a Traveling Fellowship Grant from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

As she pursues her photography project entitled Mars on Earth, this is her second rotation at the Mars Desert Research Station, previously attending in 2015 on Crew 155 as artist-in-residence and crew journalist. She has also documented the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the University Rover Challenge at the MDRS, and will photograph the Human Exploration Research Analog in Houston, Texas later this year. She is excited for the opportunity to be in a leadership role of a Mars simulation for the first time.



Janet Biggs

Crew 181 Artist-in-Residence / Journalist / Astronomer

Janet Biggs is an American artist working primarily in video installation, photography and performance. She normally lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, but for now she lives and works on Mars!  Her work focuses on extreme landscapes and situations, and on the ability of individuals to define a sense of themselves within these extremes. Her work has captured such events as kayaks performing a ballet in Arctic waters, sulfur miners working inside an active volcano, the exploration of an otherworldly crystal cavern half a mile below the earth’s surface, and nomads defending a volatile and volcanic boarder.

Biggs has had solo exhibitions and screenings at the SCAD Museum of Art; Blaffer Art Museum; d’art contemporain de Montréal; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; and the Tampa Museum of Art, among others.

Reviews of her work have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, ArtForum, ARTNews, Art in America, Flash Art,



Charlie Rogers

Crew 181 Engineer and EVA Specialist

Charlie Rogers lives in Los Angeles but was born and grew up in Portland Oregon. He is an avionics systems engineering by profession with broad interests in topics ranging from planetary geology, nuclear and material physics, and cross disciplinary system optimizations. He enjoys frequently reading about spaceflight history and finds the knowledge valuable for present and future spaceflight developments.

Charlie graduated from Gonzaga University studying Mechanical Engineering, spent his final year of school mostly working on a start up company developing phased array ultrasonic sensors for application in autonomous aircraft, and has finished school but is never done satisfying his energetic appetite for learning and new challenges. He is excited to be a part of Crew 181 at MDRS for the challenges and lessons it will offer.



Juan Jose Garcia

Crew 181 Artist-in-Residence / Journalist / Health & Safety Officer

I study at The Cooper Union for advancement of Art and Science in New York City. I aspire to be a part of the history of art and outer space. I am excited to be part of a group of artists and scientists working in anticipating of the future of space travel. I am immersed in understanding what the future holds for the world and the even greater role space will have in our society. The golden era of the space age is ahead of us. I have always wanted to be an astronaut. I identify with the values of the Mars society because I work knowing and preparing for widespread commercial space travel and the implications for our society.

I work to channel the excitement of outer space by creating expansive and intricate landscapes. Through my work I strive to spark a sensation of the sublime similar to the overview effect astronauts experience when seeing the Earth from above. Through photography and drawings, I create optimistic landscapes inspired by thought experiments and science.

The photographs and the stories of the Apollo astronauts are the most enduring parts of their missions. I aim to do the same with the experiences at the Mars Desert Research Station. Planned projects include building a runway for guest ships, bringing the experiences of Earth to the base by projecting sounds and landscapes of nature in our habituation module, celebrating Earth awareness day, and testing Earth souvenirs that don’t work on other planets like kites and compasses. Living on a new planet will reveal that our perception and experience of the natural world on Earth are not universal. This is as true for physical objects as well as our understanding of ourselves. As an artist on Mars I am compelled to make tangible the power of experiencing outer space.




Avishek Ghosh, PhD
Crew 181 GreenHab Officer / Crew Scientist

I am Avishek Ghosh and I originate from West Bengal, India. After graduating in Physics from India, I decided to further pursue Masters in Space Studies (MSS) at International Space University (ISU), France. I got an opportunity to work as a Research Scholar at NASA Ames Research Center. The main objective of my research is to focus on application strategies and understand the additive manufacturing capabilities of utilising IN-SITU Resources for lunar architecture developments.

My passion and interest for Space have grown up gradually from an early age with a dream of becoming an astronaut. This enthusiasm towards exploring human space exploration has propelled me to delve deep into diverse technical subjects and courses that provided me hands on experience towards my career objectives. As part of bridging gaps and exploring my new frontiers towards the human aspect of surviving in space, I have been selected as a Citizen Scientist-Astronaut organized by PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and an Analogue Astronaut with Crew 181 in a human space simulation program, Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) organized by The Mars Society. At present, I am working on Additive Manufacturing Capabilities of Metamaterials (SYMETA) at the Loughborough University, UK. Beside my professional attributes, I am also involved in outreach activities and volunteering for STEM education through DR. Kalam Initiatives. During this program, I have this opportunity to represent my country India as an international participant which is the best achievements in my career.

During my career, I witnessed the benefits of intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange. Being surrounded by such an environment encouraged me to accelerate the development of my research work at interacting with delegates from various organizations around the world. My interest has always been to contribute for future space exploration and developing advanced technology through scientific research and implementing ideas for microgravity application. The areas of my overall research goals are always to tackle and execute scientific and technical assessment of a particular concept. I feel that I am born to serve for humanity. I realized the values and importance of life and I want to take part in transforming life, not just by the thoughts but by actions. Space exploration is challenging, but it is worth pursuing dreams with passion. In my assessment, Space is another frontier to explore and develop technology which could be beneficial to humankind as well as transforming MARS into a habitable planet.

The desire to explore space has become an integral part of my journey with MDRS analogue Mission.  I am intending to fulfil this pursuit with adventures and the inquisitiveness which attracts me towards uncovering fear factors from within.  I am driven to experience such an adventure with extreme environments and sharing knowledge with crew-mates. This ability to be a part of such an experience, in just that type of environment is only possible in MDRS analogue Mission program. It is an organized platform where I have opportunity to absolute spot-on identifying factors related to Human Physiology, psychology and Isolation for a long duration, and perform in depth evaluation.  This inquisitiveness to come into contact with such a distinctive international collaborative training session would be possible to find in this organized multidisciplinary program. This program would also be beneficial to gain knowledge and practical experience working with dedicated individuals from diverse background and get insight on a typical training program.