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Spacesim is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to teaching people about space, as well as fostering a love and respect of the "final frontier." Explore our site to learn more about Spacesim, and we hope you enjoy your visit.
Archives: Moon 2004

Previous Updates
Previous Missions:
     Borrelly 2007
     Titan 2006
     Mars 2005
     Moon 2004
     Ida and Dactyl 2003
     Mars 2002
     Europa 2001
     Io 2000

     Phobos 1999
     Jupiter 1998
     Europa 1997

Photo Archives


This year’s mission was to the Shackleton Crater, which is part of the Aitken Basin network on the south pole of the moon. The mission was a great success and you can see some pictures taken both inside the habitat and during the numerous extra vehicular activities (EVAs) in the photo gallery. The numerous experiments conducted during the mission were divided into two different areas—analysis of the Aitken Basin surface conditions and composition to determine if it would be a suitable location for a moon base, and physical and psychological experiments on the astronauts to learn more about how people behave in cramped living quarters and high stress environments. The procedures and results for all of these experiments can be found in the experiments section.

Songyan Cai (engineer)

Songyan Cai is a Grade 11 student at Lisgar Collegiate who has returned to SpaceSim this year.  He was born and grown up in China.  With a considerable knowledge and interest in Mathematics, Science, and Mechanics, he has always been a hands-on kind of guy, who likes to solve problems, take challenge, and goes around and fix/take a part everything.  Other than playing with computers, trashing electronics, he also loves the “Great outdoor” as he calls it.  He likes to participate in various sports, and especially enjoys outdoor activities, such as Camping, Canoeing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Snowboarding.  

Michael Garfinkle (pilot)

Michael Garfinkle was born in Montreal in 1986 and moved to Ottawa when he was eight. He entered Lisgar in grade 9 and enjoys the serene bike rides from his home in the Glebe to school along the canal—if he’s on schedule that is. He is clarinet in the Lisgar senior band and orchestra and also plays the piano. In his spare time Michael enjoys patronizing his three younger siblings and surfing his favorite web sites. Michael’s other hobbies include model rocketry, and he recently built a launchable, one-meter scale model of the Saturn V rocket. Michael’s love for rocketry also motivated his climb up the steep learning curve of simulated space flight. Michael joined spacesim in grade 11 and will be primary pilot during the mission.

Lucia Qiao (payload specialist)

Lucia Qiao is a Grade 11 student who spends most of her time 3.82m above the grounds of Ottawa. As a child, she dreamed of exploring stars in the sky as an astronaut. Now that her dreams will come true (in a simulated way) – she will do her best to drive the senses out of her fellow astronauts during the 96-hour mission. Lucia is good at history, logic, science posters, etc., however, she does have serious trouble driving people mad… so she might just remain peaceful… Her other hobbies include sleeping on the bus, arguing with teachers, and trying to play her flute.

Tong Shen (co-pilot)

Tong Shen is a grade 11 student attending Lisgar. She spends most of her time with her books in silence and darkness (since her window is blocked by a wall). She has played the violin for close to 11 years and is attached to art for even longer. She thinks that mathematics is a way of life and science holds the answer to all the questions she could ever ask. She has loved playing ping-pong ever since she was half a head higher than the table. When she's not studying, she reads Walkie Collins or George Orwell, and O'Henry but only occasionally. Because astronomy is her favorite subject, Tong has decided to study rocketry from Mike. Her motto is "Never hope for the best, be."

Dan Sirbu (mission commander)

Dan Sirbu is a grade 12 student at Lisgar Collegiate and this year's mission co-commander after having been involved with SpaceSim since grade 9. He enjoys reading and learning about a variety of fields ranging from physics and mathematics to history and economics so he is particularly hard-pressed making a decision this year for a field of study at university. Outside of SpaceSim and schoolwork, he is engaged in other activities such as debating, fencing, and robotics. When he has any spare time, he pursues his hobbies which include playing chess and with computers, listening to music, and reading science fiction as well as about new scientific developments .

Jiayi Zhou (payload specialist)

 "Ooh, shiny things."  This could sum up Jiayi Zhou's outlook on life, the planiverse and spacesim.  She attends Canterbury High School for Literary Arts.  Yes, writing is an art, hyperbolas are wonderful and worms eat her garbage.  If she gets to the other side of the Grade 11 Homework Mountain, she'll be tinkering with machinery, looking at Betelgeuse, reading about fractals, or playing a flute.  Any and all time left over is spent on shuteye.  Jiayi would like to remind everyone that the universe arose from random collisions of particles blinking in and out of existence.  Compared to that, how much does a French summative amount to?  Or some high school diploma? Bombs away.


The main objective of our experiments this mission is to determine the feasibility of establishing a permanent moon base. A tentative list of our planned experiments is as follows
Experiments pertaining to creating a permanent moon base
Experiment DescriptionResearcher
Searching for water-indicating minerals: HematiteBryan
Searching for H2 and O2 with SpectroscopyCalvin
Cobalt Chloride Water TestsStephen
Carbonate, calcium and pH soil testsMichael
Classifying organic compoundsDan
Carbonate soil AnalysisQuian
Solar WindAndrei
Moon geology (Mohs hardness tests, streak tests)Lucia
Ambient light level[unclaimed]

Experiments pertaining to astronaut psychology / biology
Experiment DescriptionResearcher
Effects of coloured lightingBo
Reaction time tests (manual reflexes)Lucia
Reaction time tests (computer control panel)Michael
Polygraph style tests (blood pressure, skin moisture levels, conductivity)[unclaimed]
Determining optimal noise frequency distributionJosh

Other experiments
Experiment DescriptionResearcher
Crystal growing in low gravity and in the presence of magnetic fieldsTong


Programming: These guys are responsible for writing the computer software programs that will be used during the mission. Currently, they are writing an extensive suite of programs that monitor every aspect of the habitat, from hull integrity to gas concentration. They are also working closely with the control panel task force to integrate this status information into the habitat's physical structure. Josh Zahl heads up this taskforce.

Website: Headed up by the resident web-wizard Dan Sirbu, these chaps are in charge of ensuring the smooth functioning of the website and bullying various Sim peons and commanders into writing content for

Procedures: Tynan Sylvester is currently leading the group of people that are reviewing the procedures that will be used by the astronauts and mission control staff to ensure that they remain up-to-date and accurate.

Control Panel: This is all about soldering and wiring. This taskforce is led by Josh Zahl and Alex Weznouski and is currently building status indicator panels into the habitat so that the astronauts know whether they're dead or not.




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