22 March 2017 – Sol 11
Dear Mission Support,
We went to the East to see the Jurassic formations in White Rock Canyon
with petrified sandbanks and dunes (Fig.1). I noted characteristic cross-
beddings. Similar beddings are noticable in Gale crater provided by the
Curiosity rover (Fig2). For milions years on Mars and on Earth layers of
small rock pieces have been deposited in a similar way and now they have
been exposited by erosion.
Commander and Crew geologist, MDRS Crew 176
Vehicles : Rover Deimos and ATV #2 and #3
Time : Departure at 9:30 pm and back at 12:30 pm
Duration : 3 hours
• Testing of black space suit
• Exploration of unknown areas of a desert including bottom of skyline Rim
On our way to edge of Lower Blue Hills we had occasion to explore white and Yellow Moon, as well as bottom of Skyline Rim near the end of Sagan Street. Our team collect significant amount of good pictures for our project documentation. We also gain important feedback for our black suit designers. Set of selected pictures (our favourites) are attached to this report.
Crew 176 Commander’s Report 21 March 2017 Natalia Zalewska Commander Report 21 March 2017 – Sol 10
Dear Mission Support,
Our daily routine remained unchanged today. We woke up in the morning and had a breakfast together, oats with dried fruits, as usual. Afterwards some of us completed psychological tests and then the selected members of the crew got ready for EVA and left. EVAs continue to be the most interesting tasks we undertake at MDRS in terms of research, technology and documentation-related activities and constitute one of the main subjects of our discussions. Personally, I find EVAs a rare opportunity for undertaking very interesting geological research.
We had lunch together and took some rest. In the afternoon we proceeded with working on the audio-visual content for the mass media, including taking photographs and video recordings in the MDRS hab. We were glad to have the Internet connection back (at least for a while) and online communication with Mission Support re-established. Also, the Green Hab Officer was happy to learn there are two more plants visible in the pots, all of the belonging to the Zinnia flowers family.
We expect to have the Internet issues fully solved by tomorrow. We will proceed with EVA and documentation activities, as well as my analysis of geological samples. We will also continue to test the robot. We are aware that the weather conditions will deteriorate but we hope it won’t affect our EVAs.
Yesterday we went to the West towards the rocks of the Middle Ages Cretaceous. I noticed that the large sandstone and mudstone walls of Ferron Sandstone Member were characterised by high erosion. Also, huge boulders lay on the road. I assume they earlier broke off and rolled down as a result of erosion. The landscape resembled the images provided by the HiRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from the Candor Chasma area. The images in question showed that the layers in the Chasma Canyon are not completely horizontal and are not homogeneous (Fig.1), (http://www.uahirise.org/nl/ESP_017174_1730). In case of the Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone, it consists of a series of deltaic systems stacked one above another and not a single prograded delta (T. A. Ryer, 1981), (Fig.2). Therefore, one of the possibilities is that the layers of the Chandor Chasma may be deposited by flowing rivers, through the Valles Marineris canyon.
Natalia Zalewska Commander and Crew geologist, MDRS Crew 176
I am sending you my journalist report. It concerns the last five days at MDRS. The journalist activities we undertook over the last few days include the following:
Video-photo sessions during different EVA. The goal was to document both geological sites as well as the crew members and their work. We also wanted to document the prototype versions of black space suits we have brought with us.
Preparation of audio files for the Programme 1 Polish Radio Station.
Preparation of the Social Media content.
As far as daily activities are concerned, we attach all the required photographs along to individual reports dedicated to Operations, Green Hab and EVA.
My daily activities related to the Green Hab include mainly watering seeds and waiting for the results. Today the day was different: I have found a tiny plant pointing out of one of the pots. It belongs to Zinna flowers. Of course, I was very happy to see it and I feel ever more motivated to take care about other seeds and potatoes.
The temperature was lower than usual, so I did not turn on the fan today. I very much hope to see more plants grow before the mission is over.
Week no. 2 started a bit differently than usual for us. We started the day from repairing the tunnel that got damaged by strong wind yesterday. Afterwards we had a breakfast and we undertook our daily psychological tests and sport activities.
During the day, we proceeded with the maintenance activities as we enlarged the ditch in front of the habitat to release the leak. It took us quite some time. Then we had lunch together and took some rest. We did not plan any EVA for today because we could not send the EVA request a day before due to the failed Internet connection.
In the afternoon, some of us proceeded with psychological tests and documentation of our mission. The Green Hab Officer was very excited to learn that one of the seeds has turned into a plant. She brought the pot to the hab, so that all of could share her excitement. Also, we were happy to see that the Internet connection was back. Unfortunately it did not last for long and we were left with no Internet again in the evening and without the possibility to send our report.
The overall mood of the crew is good although we are still worried about the issues with the Internet which makes it difficult for us to communicate with Mission Support and the rest of our team in Poland.
After few days of tests and calibration, finally I have configured stereoscopy system on Gaja rover.
The idea of stereoscopy is based on how human sight works. Given two shifted pictures, human mind creates an illusion of depth and 3D. This solution is implemented in our system.
First part of it consist of 2 cameras placed about 7 cm from each other, on a moving mounting on a rover. This distance is approximately the same as between human eyeballs. The second one are special Virtual Reality Goggles with LCD screen displaying the video. Video for each eye comes from different camera so they are shifted a bit.
Our tests proved that wearing goggles you can feel like observing the world from robot’s point of view. The depth of image is not as visible as natural sight, but someone can clearly tell if some object is closer of further than another.
This system can be useful in many fields. For example, when you operate a robot, you can now better recognize the surroundings and plan every move, if you know where exactly in space everything is placed.