Martian Medical Analogue and Research Simulation

November 10 - 18, 2018
Cost: $2,495

Learn aerospace medicine. Live like an astronaut on Mars.


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 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, learn to navigate using the stars through a dedicated observatory, and study medical issues unique to astronauts, space flight, and life on other planets. This course offers 37 CME credits!



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. Previous space medicine topics have included:

  • 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
  • Medical Kits for MARS Travel
  • Altitude Illness
  • Pressure Changes during Extravehicular Activity
  • Decompression Sickness
  • Medical Contingencies during Extravehicular Activity
    Medicine in Austere Settings
  • 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
  • Celestial Navigation
  • Musculoskeletal Physiology in Spaceflight
  • Women’s Medical Conditions in Spaceflight
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders in Spaceflight and Splint Improvisation in Austere Environments
  • Radiation Illness and Exposure
  • 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
  • Dragonfly: Cultural Considerations in Space Medicine
  • Exercise at Mars Altitude
  • Psycholsocial Stressors of Isolated, Confined and Extreme Environments


All food, supplies, equipment, and lodging at MDRS except personal gear, including a sleeping bag
Ground transportation from Salt Lake City to MDRS
CME Registration


Flights to/from Salt Lake City
Meals prior to arrival/departure from MDRS


November 10- Arrive at Salt Lake City International Airport by 12:00 PM.
November 11-17- In simulation. See below for typical daily schedule.
November 18- Simulation ends. Depart MDRS for Salt Lake City via WMS coordinated van. Departing flight should be no earlier than 3:00 PM. 

The exact day-to-day itinerary will be determined by the crew according to the needs of the simulation. All days will include one extra-vehicular activity (EVA) and simulated medical scenario. All crew members will also have to complete daily tasks that are necessary to maintain the Hab.

A sample daily schedule is included below:

Time Activity
7:00 Wake-Up and Breakfast
8:00 EVA – Search and Rescue, Evacuation of Crew Member with Long Bone Fracture
11:00 Lunch
13:00 Simulation of intubation, sedation, fracture reduction via telemedicine instruction
16:00 Crew Maintenance Activities
18:00 Dinner
19:00 Next Day Briefing and Crew Reports
19:30 Personal Time
23:00 Lights Out











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 fun and challenge of the simulation. 

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. 

Flight Director and Course Co-Founder

Jay Lemery, MD, FACEP, FAWM
Jay is the Past President of the WMS and an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is the Chief of the Section of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine at the CU School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine. He was the original co-author of the ‘Space Medicine’ Chapter in Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine and interned at the Bioastronautics Division of Wyle Laboratories in Houston TX—a NASA subcontractor. In 2014 he became the EMS Medical Director for the United States Antarctic Program.

Mission Crew and Course Co-Founder

Richard Cole, MD
Rick practices emergency medicine in Houston, Texas and works at the Johnson Space Center as a contract flight surgeon where he has served in multiple roles including direct medical support for three International Space Station expeditions. He is board certified and residency trained in both emergency medicine and aerospace medicine. In addition, he has completed an ultrasound fellowship. Rick is a co-author of the current Space Medicine Chapter in Auerbach's Wilderness Medicine textbook. He has served as the member-at-large of the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons, is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), an Associate Fellow of the Aerospace Medicine Association (AsMA), and has received numerous NASA awards.

Mission Crew and Course Co-Founder

Benjamin Easter, MD
Ben is an Emergency Medicine physician at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed residency at Denver Health Medical Center. He is currently doing a fellowship in Operations, Quality, and Safety at University of Colorado Hospital. His interests include space medicine and wilderness medicine.

Flight Advisor

Dana Levin, MD
Dana is an Emergency Medicine Physician in Houston, Texas and currently training as a resident in Aerospace Medicine with UTMB. He Graduated Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to residency at New York Presbyterian before moving south. Prior to his career in medicine he trained as a pilot and a dive master and continues to pursue research interests in space and aviation medicine. He is also director of the Exploration Medicine podcast.


We will be living in the Mars Hab at the MDRS site outside Hanksville, Utah. This is a simulated Mars base that involves very close living quarters. Each participant will have their own sleeping area, but these are small and the conditions are minimalist. Please refer to the Hab diagram on this page. There is very little to no cell reception and internet access is severely limited.  Consistent with the simulated Mars environment, all time outside the Hab’s air lock will require participants to wear spacesuits.

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)


The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The WMS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 37 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This course is designed to educate participants in the pathophysiology, recognition and treatment of a variety of medical problems encountered in austere environments and settings remote from hospital or definitive care. Upon completion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

• Establish a set of treatment priorities for care of the sick or injured in austere settings.
• Demonstrate basic aspects of improvised care, rescue and evacuation.
• Learn basic field skills enabling a physician to be more capable in a setting remote from definitive care.

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.

Physician Assistants:
The American Academy of Physician Assistants accepts Category 1 CME approval from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Other Professionals:
Check with your governing entity to determine usefulness of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Academy of Wilderness Medicine:
Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM™) is designed for individuals who want to be acknowledged for their professional achievement in Wilderness Medicine and validate their training for their patients and clients.

FACULTY DISCLOSURE:  It is the policy of the Wilderness Medical Society to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor.  All faculty members are required to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation. Accordingly, the Wilderness Medical Society has determined there are no conflicts to report associated with this conference.






  • Because of the late announcement for this special session, there is no refund available.

After you've registered, we'll need to get several things from you:

  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Adventure Medical Review Form
  • A copy of your passport (if applicable)
  • Evidence of Evacuation and Medical insurance coverage
  • Evidence of trip interruption/cancellation insurance
  • Release of Liability

Use THIS LINK to upload required documents, or scan/email to