SCANZ 2013: Martian Diaspora – a discussion on what culture can mean to a spacefaring civilization

SCANZ graphicArts Council logoGeon logoian clothier logo





Author: Haritina Mogosanu


Between the 21 April and 5 May 2012 a piloted Mars analogue expedition was organised by KiwiSpace Foundation at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. During the expedition, the crew undertook various analog experiments and interacted daily with students from New Zealand via the Mission Control Portal at Carter Observatory and the Mission Support Portal on the KiwiSpace website. From the expedition, resources for the New Zealand Science Curriculum – Earth and Space Sciences and Te Puutaio section of Te Marautanga O Aotearoa (the Maori Science Curriculum) are being developed.

To engage the public in the mission, an interactive ESRI ArcGIS Online application was created which allowed users to follow the crew’s movements and explore the environment in Utah through an elevation profile viewer. GPS tracks, geotagged photos and various points depicting experiment sites and blog posts were highlighted on the map allowing the public to follow the journey as it progressed.

Also during KiwiMars 2012, a joint operations simulation (Antipodes) between the OeWF (Austria), KiwiSpace (New Zealand) and the Mars Society (USA) was undertaken.
Antipodes was a world premiere experiment simulating a loss of communication with Earth. A parallel landing party on the other side of Mars was requested to take over the coordination of an ongoing Extra-Vehicular Activity via their habitat, relayed via a satellite in Martian orbit until Earth was able to reestablish contact again.

In this paper we present an overview of the experiments, reflections on hybridised culture in space and recommendations for the future development of non-Earth habitats for multicultural groups.