Note before reading that nobody was hurt, and no property was damaged. The red ATV was successfully recovered and returned to the Hab. We had to go out of Sim since Shannon needed to come to help rescue the red ATV. Now on with the report…
EVA #8 Report (Operation Rescue Rover)
The sole purpose of our EVA today was to bring back the red ATV to the hab, whether that meant driving it back under its own power, or towing it back. We equipped ourselves with jumper cables, wrenches, pliers, and any other tools we needed for repairs.
We left the Hab at approximately 12:15 PM. In our party was Shannon, Carmen, Atila, and I. Shannon and Carmen manned Deimos. Atila and I piloted two of the blue ATVs. We kept within following distance of each other, passing Tank Wash, White, Yellow, & Green Moon without incident. Passing Sagan St, we arrived at the red ATV at approximately 12:50 PM.
Once we arrived, Shannon attempted to start for good measure. As expected, it wouldn’t go. So, as we concluded yesterday, the battery was most likely drained due to attempting to start it multiple times. So we decided that we’d need to jumpstart the red ATV. We got it running at about 1:05 PM.
We connected the jumper cables without incident, attempted to start the red ATV, and success! It worked like a charm and started right up. We had Carmen ride the red ATV with everyone else in their same vehicles.
Our return trip proceeded without incident. We returned to the Hab at 2:20 PM, refilled the gasoline on the ATVs, and plugged in Deimos.
Surprisingly, after going all that way, Deimos lost only 6% charge, according to Shannon. I did observe yesterday that Deimos was set to High instead of Medium, when I took control of it. I was leading in the red ATV that day, and at times, would go a little bit ahead and wait for Deimos. This may have compelled him to use the High setting to keep up with my ATV. In future EVAs involving an ATV and Rover, I’ll make sure that we caravan together, so as not to put pressure on the Rover driver to keep up. My observations yesterday about Deimos still gives us an upper limit for its High setting. I’d estimate that the High setting drains the battery about 15 times more quickly. This is a good reason why crew members using the ATVs should match the speed of the rovers, and stay within visual contact. Preferably, the slowest vehicle should lead; in order prevent the above from happening, along with other potential safety issues that can occur when crews become separated.
There was no additional EVA today, since the rescue operation took up much of our time for the day. This is all I have to report. Have a nice night mission support!