Sol Summary – February 24th

Person filling out Report: Louis MALLER, XO
Summary Title: Outlandish landscapes!

Mission Status: successful EVA in the morning, all systems go, work on experiments ongoing
Sol Activity Summary: sport, EVA, science work on different experiments
Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow there should be an EVA, hoping for less windy weather for balloon deployment, and other experiments can also be tested outside.
Anomalies in work: 3D printer being troubleshooted
Weather: beautiful and sunny in the morning, but quite cold and with irregular blasts of wind
Crew Physical Status: Crew feeling well

EVA: tried to deploy the balloon on the location we had identified north of the hab, but failed because of heavy and sudden gusts of wind. Then we headed north, scouted for interesting places, took some pictures, and were particularly stunned by the place aptly named “The Moon” on the MDRS Map. Truly out-of-this world. We felt like Apollo astronauts as our vehicles and boots lifted up fine gray dust. Weather cold and windy but blue sky and absolutely no fogging in helmets, so we could fully enjoy the wonders of our Mars.

Reports to be filed:
– Commander report
– Operations report
– Journalist report
– GreenHab Report
– EVA #11 report
– EVA #12 request
– Science report
– 3D Printer status report

3D Printer Status
We have set to the task of making the 3D printer work, as we had some free time on our hands. We found the task more difficult than we had previously thought. Indeed, last year, when Arthur and I were on the station the 3D printer was perfectly working. It had no problem calibrating, and all the material was inside the box (with the possible exception of the Gap Gauge, sandpaper and Allan Wrench, citing by memory as this was one year ago).. It had a USB key in which we had put the executable for the printer and a few printable files.

When we opened the box again today, we found the printer in a sorry state. The scraping spatula, the quick start guide, the pliers, the casing and its content (including USB key)… had disappeared.

The cube glue is almost empty. There is only one cartridge left (which seems logical as it the other one has probably been used up), but it wasn’t operational.

We first decided to repair the cartridge, as we found it in three different pieces which is not its normal state. We then tried to calibrate the printer. We think that one of the three knobs that are supposed to maintain the plate is broken. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to repair it and we couldn’t calibrate the plate so our test print failed. One of the issues might be a malfunction of the printing head as the melted plastic does not seem to come out of it and as the color of the plastic is mostly grey even if it is a black colored cartridge. This is the next step we will look forward to fix the printer but it’s an issue we still have to work on. We also hope to fix the knob maybe directly by using glue.