Wilderness Medical Society Adventure CME - Martian Medical Analogue & Research Simulation

Event Category: 
Mar 15, 2020 to Mar 21, 2020

Wilderness Medical Society Adventure CME
Martian Medical Analogue & Research Simulation
March 15-21, 2020

Nothing speaks to the essence of “wilderness” more than another planet. Mars represents the most remote and austere environment that humans have ever contemplated exploring. To simulate the demands of living and working on Mars, The Mars Society has established an analogue Mars base, called the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), in the Utah desert. In partnership with the Mars Society, the WMS and the University of Colorado will use MDRS as a base of operations for exploring “Mars.” Participants will enter a dedicated Mars mission, in which we will utilize spacesuits and rovers to explore the Martian surface, live in the Mars Hab, collaborate with Mission Control, and study medical issues unique to astronauts, space flight, and life on other planets. In addition, this course offers 37 CME credits and is eligible for FAWM credits. 


Target Audience: 
Physicians and other Medical Care Providers who have an interest in providing medical care in “remote” environments such as wilderness settings or in developing countries are encouraged to attend. Physicians interested in space medicine and physicians counseling their patients traveling to remote areas will benefit as well. 

We will be living in a Mars Hab located in a remote environment outside Hanksville, Utah. The simulated Mars base involves very close living quarters. While each participant will have their own private sleeping area, these are small and the conditions are minimalist. (See Travel tab for diagram.) There is very little to no cell reception and internet access is severely limited to nonexistent.   

Access to the second floor of the Hab (living quarters) requires climbing a very steep set of stairs that is essentially a ladder. In addition, EVAs will require hiking and riding ATVs through rough desert and rocky terrain in bulky simulated space suits with your head contained in a helmet. At least a few crew members will ascend rocky outcroppings while in space suits.  

Crew members will also be lifting and carrying others over loose terrain. Participants should be generally fit. 

Physical Challenges: 3 (1-5) 


Mars 2020 - Martian Medical Analog and Research Simulation (2MARS) 
Learn aerospace medicine. Live on Mars.  
March 15 – 21, 2020



The purpose of this simulation is to learn about space and wilderness medicine in the context of a simulated Mars mission at the MDRS site outside Hanksville, UT. Participants will be in simulation as Mars astronauts during the stay at MDRS. As a result, there will be a significant component of experiential learning. Participants will learn the following: 

Role of Flight Surgeon in Space Travel 
Land Navigation on Mars 
Planning for Group Extravehicular Travel 
Overview of Space Physiology and Potential Medical Emergencies 
Medical Support during Extravehicular Activity (Spacewalks) 
Medical Kits for Mars Travel 
Altitude Illness 
Pressure Changes during Extravehicular Activity 
Decompression Sickness 
Medical Contingencies during Extravehicular Activity 
Genitourinary Conditions in Spaceflight 
Atmospheric Considerations and Environmental Toxicology 
Motion Disorders, Including Space Motion Sickness 
Sleep Derangements in Flight and Space Travel 
Improvisational Techniques to Evaluate Dysbarisms and Ear Barotrauma 
Solar Radiation and Protection 
Ophthalmologic Considerations in Spaceflight, Including Visual Impairment and Intracranial Pressure 
Musculoskeletal Physiology in Spaceflight 
Women’s Medical Conditions in Spaceflight 
Musculoskeletal Disorders in Spaceflight and Splint Improvisation in Austere Environments 
Radiation Illness and Exposure 
Celestial Navigation 
Psychological Response to Medical Crisis in Spaceflight 
Evaluating Psychiatric Fitness for Space Travel 
Medical Futility in Extreme and Austere Environments 
Winter Survival  
Water Survival and Submersion Injuries  
Nutritional and Metabolic Considerations in Spaceflight 
Travel Medicine Practice in Star City, Russia 
Dragonfly: Cultural Considerations in Space Medicine 
Exercise at Mars Altitude 
Psychosocial Stressors of Isolated, Confined and Extreme (ICE) Environments 


During simulation, we will function as a semi-autonomous Mars crew, and to the extent possible, simulate conditions on Mars. This means limited outside communication with Earth (there is generally no cell phone service and internet is extremely limited), wearing spacesuits whenever we are outside the Hab, and rationing consumable resources such as power, fuel, and water. This is part of the challenge and fun of the simulation.  

All crew members will also have to complete daily tasks that are typical of spaceflight, such as cooking, cleaning, and Hab maintenance.  

We eat foods that are shelf stable, and the food supply is not able to accommodate specific diets (other than vegetarian). Participants with dietary restrictions may still participate, but will need to supply their own food.  

Visit the WMS website for more details, and follow us on Facebook for all things wilderness medicine!
Mars Desert Research Station
Hanksville, UT 84734
United States