Author: Karin Brünnemann, PMP®
Karin Brünnemann is PMI Slovakia’s first interplanetary project manager. Karin has more than 25 years of experience managing global strategic projects. She helps companies during phases of cultural change and digital transformation. Apart from being a PMP®, Karin is also a certified trainer for intercultural management. She is currently using her project management expertise in her work as a Flight Planner for the Austrian Space Forum’s AMADEE-20 analog Mars mission.
The Hydronaut project is an underwater habitat that started operations in 2020 and is currently the scene for analog space research. Dr. Miroslav Rozloznik, a Flight Planner for the Austrian Space Forum, conducted an underwater analog space mission in 2021 that was fully dedicated to science. The week-long mission, in which three analog astronauts participated, included a two-day underwater stay, and featured an EVA. Scientist-on-Board, Dr. Miroslav Rozloznik from Slovakia, conducted numerous experiments in the areas of physiology, microbiology, medicine, and space psychology.
Dr. Rozloznik explained “Conducting underwater analog missions complements Moon or Mars simulations in land-based habitats. While we might not be able to test rovers, drones, or rock sampling procedures, the feeling in the underwater habitat is much more space-like. I felt very detached from Earth, even the support diver appeared like an alien, when he was looking into our porthole, dressed in his diving suit. The underwater habitat also offers the possibility to simulate more complex conditions like long periods of darkness, or variation in temperature and humidity. Furthermore, the ‘psychological safety net’ of being able to open the door and get help in case something happens, is not there. We can leave the habitat but will face several hours of decompression in cold water before we are back in a safe environment.”
Part of the underwater experiments focused on the internal environment of the habitat, gathering data relating to air quality, temperature, humidity, and the microbiology of the habitat. Another area of research was dedicated to the medical and physiological well-being of the divers. Dr. Rozloznik tested novel diagnostic instruments, for example, a remote stethoscope that transmitted real-time heartbeat and breathing rates to a doctor located in the mission control center. Such equipment will be very useful for future space exploration and also has many applications for telemedicine on Earth. The crew also tested various biosensors, allowing for comparison and cross-link between physiological, neurophysiological, and psychological measurements.
One of the psychological experiments on board was a pilot of the Movement, Space, and Group health (MSG) study of the Eco Encounter Study Institute in Israel, which was later fully implemented during the ÖWF’s AMADEE-20 analog mission in Israel in October 2021. This study provides interesting insights into individual and group well-being in isolated and extreme environments. Under the scientific leadership of Dr. Rozloznik, the team participated in research interviews and regularly reported their well-being, thus producing a substantial amount of data, which was then analysed by the MSG experiment team so they could be prepared for its further application in the AMADEE-20 mission.
HYDRONAUT MISSION 2, basic facts: Mission length: 5 days, 41 hrs underwater
Depth: 7 meters | Temperature in the habitat: 12 °C | Ambient water temperature: 7 °C
Time to surface: 1.5 hrs (multi-staged oxygen in-water decompression)
More information: https://hydronaut.eu/en.php
About Dr. Miroslav Rozloznik
Dr. Rozloznik is an underwater scientist with more than 20 years of experience in doing research underwater and on divers. He lectures on hyperbaric medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Ostrava University in the Czech Republic. When not underwater, he has his own business to run related to quality control, ISO certification, and risk assessments, as well as helping organizations to write proposals for projects and grants. Dr. Rozloznik believes that being involved in extreme missions, whether in polar regions, mountains, or underwater helps him develop a much better understanding of risks and their management. As such, he is currently developing some high-profile training initiatives that will greatly benefit managers, plus his experience in extreme environments benefits the students he has in his capacity as a diving instructor. Dr. Rozloznik can be contacted at email@example.com
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