UND Space Studies student team to exit Inflatable Lunar/Mars Habitat after 10-day mission Crew went to the ‘moon’ without leaving campus

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


Press Conference at 210 Clifford Hall, UND Aerospace, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m.

Who: University of North Dakota Space Studies graduate students Tim Buli, Erica Dolinar, and Travis Nelson, with the help of mission chief and UND Space Studies faculty member and director of the UND Human Spaceflight Lab Pablo de León.

What: Press conference--The student crew of "ILMH Mission I" will exit UND's ILMH after their 10 day Mission I; they will be transported by Rover to Clifford Hall and will meet UND Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Thomas DiLorenzo in Clifford Hall 210.

The ILMH and mission are part of the North Dakota Planetary Exploration Initiative.

The logo of the mission is available here http://www.spacesuitlab.blogspot.com/2013/10/mission-i-patch.html.

The daily blog is here http://www.spacesuitlab.blogspot.com/.

The Mission I crew, the mission director, and other UND people connected with the mission will be available for media interviews after the press conference.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m.

Where: Clifford Hall Rm 210


The all-volunteer student crew and their soon-to-be-completed simulated lunar mission are part of of the UND Space Studies North Dakota Planetary Exploration Initiative.

The student crew spent 10 days in the specially constructed Inflatable Lunar/Mars Habitat (ILMH) on a simulated mission, living inside the pressurized inflatable habitat as part of a trial funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

During the mission, the crew donned the NDX-2 planetary exploration suit—designed and built on campus by a crew that included UND faculty, students, and staff from several departments--and driving an electrically powered moon rover.

The trial included tests of the habitat's life support and other engineering systems.

Researchers also designed the trial to see how well the system, including the habitat, rover, spacesuits and airlocks work together. This trial was a prelude to a much longer trial scheduled for spring 2014.

Pablo De León, a UND Space Studies faculty member and lead investigator on the ND Planetary Exploration Initiative, foresees that UND will be testing and working a lot more with NASA as well as with the space industry and international partners to make lunar and Mars missions a reality.

De León, a native of Argentina, is an aerospace engineer and director of UND's Human Spaceflight Laboratory. He says UND is uniquely qualified for the work ahead.