We're Learning How to Live in Space, on Other Planets
Who We Are
The Mobile Extreme Environment Research Station (MEERS) at the Daytona Beach Campus is a student-run project to design and build a mobile laboratory and space habitat simulator out of a 31-foot 1976 Airstream trailer for the purpose of testing and advancing space technologies. It will allow for the study of human behaviors and performance in extreme environments, such as Mars.
MEERS will offer a unique opportunity for students and faculty to conduct experiments, collect data, evaluate technologies related to space operations, and study behavioral factors in isolation and confinement. Because MEERS is mobile, the facility can be transported to any location in the United States to support research and do outreach.
We Need Your Help!
MEERS needs funds to finish construction of the mobile laboratory. When complete, MEERS will provide crew quarters for four individuals, a galley, hygiene facilities, and workstations to facilitate data collection, science, and communication with a MEERS Mission Control Center (MCC) on the university campus. We have already installed a solar panel and battery system to power MEERS and now must finish all renovations.
Specifically, we need donations to buy materials for a number of key areas:
- Install electrical wiring and LED lighting = $1,500
- Install flooring and dividers for main areas = $500
- Install a low-water hygiene facility with tanks for fresh, grey, and black (waste) water = $2,000
- Install a small galley for food preparation = $1000
- Install WiFi network = $300
- Purchase four laptop computers for use by crew during missions = $2,000
- Install two flat-panel displays for crew workstation area = $2,000
Why It Matters
MEERS will offer a unique opportunity as a “hands-on” laboratory to design, test, and then redesign technologies for long-duration space habitats, such as power and resource utilization and communication systems.
Example areas include:
- Human Factors research on space technology, architecture, and habitat design
- A mobile “Mission Control” platform for monitoring satellites or other unmanned systems
- Test facility for “green” technologies — such as solar power, water reclamation, and aeroponics-based food production — to support future long-duration space operations
MEERS also provides a dynamic environment for developing and testing prototype systems. Combined with equipment and facilities in Embry-Riddle’s laboratories on the Daytona Beach Campus, students and faculty can conduct usability testing on technologies for spacesuits, information displays, or habitat configuration.
MEERS can also promote STEM education by visiting elementary, middle, and high schools in Florida and surrounding states to demonstrate space-related technologies and allow students to be “astronauts for a day” by participating in simulated missions.
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