Crew 175 Journalist Report 15Feb2017
Journalist report, 02/15/17 – Sol 3: First time outside.
Today was the day of our first EVA. I was going to go out with Arthur, our Commander, and today also EVA leader, Mouâdh and Simon. We had two goals: find a place to bury the seismometer and if possible dig in there, and try our first use of the balloon. The EVA was planned from 9:00 a.m. to noon. In order not to start late, we had a quick breakfast after the sport session, before suiting up.
Preparing for the EVA was more challenging than expected. Everything that seemed trivial before became a problem. For instance, the only fact that we had to block our earplugs to be sure that they would never fall from our ears during three hours was not that simple, and no earplug means no radio contact, that clearly doesn’t help on the outside. That is why we tried different styles of earplug fixation methods. Mouâdh went straight forward: a cap under the helmet. Arthur used his head lamp. Simon used his engineering skills, building a headband out of bubble wrap. Then, I went through the pragmatic way: tape. Anyway, this small crew, after having dressed up properly, went in the airlock a few three minutes late. Good for a first time.
Our first steps outside were pretty disturbing: the backpack is heavy, the gloves restrain us from any precise movement, and fog accumulates quickly on the glass of our helmets. We had to begin the EVA by different checks: water and fuel level, battery of the rovers, etc… And to refuel what needed to be. This whole time, we were guided on the radio by Xavier, our engineer, in charge of this overseeing this task. I also realised very quickly that having a reflex camera and a video camera around my neck would not help in moving outside. More than this, using the camera was very hard. I prepared before, configuring it to be usable without the visor, but the fact that it was attached to my neck, kept away from my eyes by the helmet and its fog made me shoot more than half of the photos blind, even if the result wasn’t that bad as I discovered afterwards.
After a quick rover trip, we reached a plain in which we deployed the balloon. It went almost surprisingly well for a first shot. The balloon after having been filled up, went up as high as the rope let him. We just did not anticipate the wind that was blowing 20 meters high, preventing our balloon from going straight up. The result was impressive and we had our first graph of pressure and temperature, along with a beautiful shot. We also found the right place for the seismometer, in a dry river bed, and started to dig the hole, in which we will deploy it.
At the same time, in the hab, Victoria managed to start growing the freshly received lettuce in the Vegidair. Louis take a first shot at cooking pancakes and the second at baking bread. We might live abroad, but already have to eat, and cooking will help in diversifying our meals.
Tomorrow will start by another EVA in which I will take part for the second time, with Louis as leader, Victoria and Xavier.
Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175
Crew 175 Sol Summary 15Feb2017
SOL SUMMARY REPORT SOL 3
Person filling out Report: Louis MALLER, XO
Summary Title: Pancakes and EVA!
Mission Status: Successful first EVA, all systems go, work on experiments ongoing
Sol Activity Summary: sport, science work on different experiments, EVA, making bread and pancakes
Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow will be our second EVA, more for exploration and PR purposes
Anomalies in work: /
Weather: very sunny, hot, ground dry
Crew Physical Status: Crew feeling well
EVA: EVA to explore south of the Hab, successful deployment of the balloon, found a good spot for the seismometer experiment
Reports to be filed:
– Commander report
– Operations report
– Journalist report
– GreenHab Report
– Science report
– EVA request
– EVA report
– Astronomy Report
Green Hab Report – Sol 3
Report written by: Victoria DA-POIAN (Crew Biologist)
Date : 02/15/2017
Functionality: The heater in the green hab is working well. Today was a very sunny day again! I checked the temperature in the GreenHab twice today. It was around 38 Celsius degrees around 10 :00 AM while the temperature in the tunnel was around 10.3 Celsius degrees. I switched on the cooler and the green hab temperature was brought down to around 28 Celsius degrees at 3 :30PM while it was 16 Celsius degrees in the tunnel. I kept the cooler on (at the medium step). I watered the seedlings twice today.
Status: The existing seedlings in the green hab are continuing to grow well. There is spinach, lettuce, radish, and beans growing very well in the small pots.
The lettuces are growing well too.
NAME: Mouadh Bouayad CREW: 175
SKY CONDITIONS: clear.
WIND CONDITIONS: no wind
OBSERVATION START TIME: 9:30 pm
OBSERVATION END TIME: 10:00 pm
SUMMARY: I replaced the battery, and only one of them lighted the LED. However, yesterday evening, there wasn’t enough charge to rotate the dome. We could hear a little noise while pushing the button, but nothing happened. We thus decided to leave it there, and to retry it today, and rotate the dome in order get more sunlight on the solar panel.
I returned to the observatory today at 4:15pm and TADAAAAH! It finally worked! I oriented the observatory north-west, for it to receive sunlight. I plan to make a long observation tonight! We could observe Mars and Venus if we go soon enough, and take some pictures of Orion nebulae. I hope we’ll be able to have great pictures!!
Crew 175 Science Report 15Feb2017
Science report Sol 3
Experiment : AR Glasses
Person filling in the report : Louis Maller
Today I continued working on the AR glasses, the issue with the screencast was solved, and I continued exploring the functionalities of the glasses, and inspiring myself from the needs around the Hab (engineering check for example), I am imagining more potential uses for the glasses. The realization might be an issue, but hopes are good. It’s interesting work, but I wish I had been able to do it earlier, which wasn’t possible since the glasses were in France and I was in Russia.
We did our first EVA today: Sol 3 is definitely a milestone in our
mission. With the eyes still full of stars after our night-sky
observation, we faced some unexpected issues keeping the earplugs in
place. Luckily, MacGyver is among us, so we ended up wearing bubble
wrap around the head. This very professional look was in perfect
harmony with our first words when stepping outside: one second before
the solemn “It’s a small step…” prepared by Simon, Mouâdh dropped a
quite down-to-earth “Where did they put that shovel again?”. End of
The EVA was the occasion to start working on two of the most exciting
experiments we brought here. Indeed we deployed the atmospheric
balloon and we dug the hole to bury the seismometer.
Louis, Simon, Mouâdh and I came back to the airlock with some ideas
for Xavier, which is currently adapting diving protocols to EVAs. The
nice lunch prepared by Xavier, Louis and Victoria took the form of a
lively EVA debriefing, followed by the routine work on experiments and
Important advice for future Mars explorers: the sweet fragrance from
the bread machine is quite efficient to cover the smell of a 7-person
crew keeping away from the shower for four Sols…
Commander of the pragmatic Crew 175
EVA#1, Sol 3
Crew members: Arthur Lillo (EVA leader), Mouâdh Bouayad, Simon Bouriat
and Louis Mangin (EVA buddies)
Habcom : Xavier Rixhon
Departure time: 9:08 AM
Return time: 12:00 PM
Location: South of the Hab (12N 518500, 4250000) and beyond Rock
Garden on Main Road (12N 519200, 4248200)
• Around the Hab exploration
• EVA training for newcomers
• Seismology experiment: search for a good spot to install the
seismometer during a later EVA
• Balloon experiment: first deployment
After that we took the rovers Phobos and Deimos to go South on the
Main Road. We stopped when we reached the plain located just North of
Camel Ridge. There, we deployed the 5-meter-wide balloon: three of us
were needed to run in circle while the balloon was filled with air
(not an easy task with the bulky spacesuits). Then under the action of
the sun on the black plastic, the air inside could get warmer and take
the cardboard platform to the sky. A sport camera and a set of
atmospheric sensors recorded the ascension. In the beginning the wind
pushed the captive balloon behind a hill, with the 90-meter rope
almost horizontal. The wind finally stopped and we could anchor the
now vertical rope in the middle of the plain.
Meanwhile, we searched for a place where to bury the seismometer. We
dug a square hole in the clay of the delta, a later EVA will be needed
to install the equipment. 40 minutes before the end of EVA, we stored
the balloon and took the rovers for a ride on Main Road, South of
Camel Ridge, to explore and take some pictures. We came back to the
Hab exactly on time, and our fellow Hab-dwellers welcomed us with a
song on the walkie talkie during pressurization.
Crew 175 Journalist report 02/14/17 – Sol 2: Valentine’s Sol.
Today was our first day lonely: even if yesterday was Sol 1, we saw Shannon and her dogs in the morning, breathed the fresh air, felt the sun… Today was our first day locked in. No EVA was planned for today because of our gloves missing (that arrived late this evening in the engineering airlock, brought by Santa Shannon, along with seeds and fertilizers for our brand new Vegidair, the autonomous vegetable garden), so that nobody left. But this time was precious: we now were able to launch our experiments for real, having lots of time, and being able to spend time together, to set the bases of our routine.
As meant to become usual, we started our day by a sport session, easier that yesterday, real business being planned for every other day. We started the morning by a series of tasks we never had time to do before: I checked with Xavier the life support system, helmets and walkie-talkie for future EVAs, Victoria while taking care of her plants in the greenhab, collected our first lettuce, grown by the previous crew, Simon and Arthur worked on the balloon acquisition system, while Louis and Mouâdh worked on the EMUI (Hud simulation by connected glasses).
For lunch, we enjoyed eating our first native Martian lettuce, along with what was supposed to be “premium ham”. As usual, both were very convincing, talking about taste, even if the contrast of charisma was shocking: one being overly attractive, because of its freshness, the other being stored in a can, just to look more like pet food. Anyway, to end up talking about food, we gave us our first shot in trying to bake bread. It just tried to run away from its bread machine, looking for freedom, after having tripled of volume, but did not manage to escape from us.
This afternoon, we had a briefing with Xavier, our crew engineer, about all the equipment we will use from tomorrow in EVA, and about all the check-ups to do while in it. We also had a brainstorming about the video blog, filmed some shots, worked on the preparation of our experiments for EVAs… To sum up, we now know what to do and are kept busy.
I am very excited about tomorrow, probably like at least the 3 colleagues that will follow me in the first EVA, which goal is to explore the surroundings to find the right place to bury our seismometer, operated by Mouâdh. But for now, I must leave you, to go enjoy our re-hydrated Valentine’s dinner…
Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175