Sol Summary – December 4th

MDRS Daily Summary Report for Sol 3

Summary Title: First full up day of activities!

Mission Status: Today really felt like our first day on mars. It was our first full activity day as well as our first day on EVA! Surprisingly it was consensus among our crew that our first full day was actually the easiest day we’ve had so far! I think the excitement of going outside and our team getting into the swing of things has really made us more efficient.

The primary activity for the day was an EVA on all crew to familiarize ourselves with EVA procedures, suit functionality, and operation of the rovers. Many lessons were learned, and it was good that we got the kinks out on a EVA solely suited to it. This will allow our scientific EVAs to be successful later on, as well as ensure that we can safely perform EVAs at a farther distance from the habitat.

Our team is following a specific protocol for depress / repress operations modeled after ISS EVAs. Our team is doing a 25 minute prebreathe in the EVA Prep room to prevent decompression sickness, once complete we are doing a 5 minute depressurization in the actual airlock. During repress we are allocating 5 minutes for repressurization options, though we have the capability to do an ’emergency repress’ if needed at the risk of rupturing crew eardrums.

Below are the several lessons learned we had during EVA.

  1. Peripheral vision is nearly non-existent when wearing the EVA helmets. This makes it difficult to travel together in an ATV convoy as it is impossible to turn around and check on the status of those behind you. We attempted to mitigate this by placing the radios in VOX and keeping in constant voice contact to maintain proper spacing, we also played ‘leapfrog’ with the ATV’s where the leader would stop after several minutes of driving to allow the two behind him to catch up and pass, ensuring no-one was left behind.
  2. We had several communication failures during EVA due to earpieces falling out of ears. We addressed this via using medical tape to secure the earpieces in place.
  3. We had to abort a prebreathe operation due to forgetting to bring supplies into the EVA Prep room. We instituted a supply check prior to closing the Prep Room door. If necessary to break EVA prebreathe protocol we do a 3 to 1 buy back, i.e. if you break prebreathe for 5 minutes, you add 15 minutes to prebreathe to compensate.
  4. Several of our crew members are trained scuba divers. We found that it was difficult to hear other EVA crew while driving the ATV due to engine and wind noise, we instituted a series of hand signals to allow non-verbal communication which quickly and concisely allowed EVA crew status to be conveyed.
  5. Do not wear high pony tails – recommend low braid. A high braid interferes with the way that your head can move within the EVA helmet and vision is confined to roughly a 45 degree angle down and lower.

During the high winds today we heard a bang as the outer airlock door was blown open. The inner airlock door held closed and thus we didn’t all die! We immediately closed the door to the EVA Prep room to form a second seal to the martian atmosphere. During tomorrows familiarization EVA we will enter the EVA Prep room, close the EVA Prep room door, and use that as a depressurization chamber. Immediately upon departure on tomorrows EVA we will repair the outer airlock door.

We also completed our first scientific objectives today, covered below.

Reduced Gravity CPR Experiment: When on Mars there is a possible complication when performing CPR. With your body weight reduced the typical CPR techniques are non functional due to reduced force on the recipient. Our team is practicing techniques under the supervision of our medical officer to allow force application in excess of body weight and measuring output using a springed scaled.

Communication Delay ‘Bricks’ Experiment: Our first two experiment runs of the brick experiment were performed. We started with a 0 time delay baseline, and increased to a 9 minute time delay with verbal information transfer (martian time delay). Our runs will continue to collect more data and determine the most efficient methods of information transfer.

We also completed some major maintenance tasks today

The Musk Observatory has been set up and put through it’s paces and is ready for operation.

Trailer Tank to Static Water Tank transfer operation – Crew completed the transfer this morning completely filling our static water tank. Heartfelt thanks to the Team supporting us for dropping the trailer tank and instructions on how to transfer the water. The MDRS Hab Manual was a roaring success in allowing us to complete this task!

Sol Activity Summary:

  1. Tasks mentioned above
  2. Exercise
  3. Dirt dehydration
  4. Science Dome organization and clean up
  5. Repair of Roof Hatch hole
  6. Our first shower! Heartily enjoying the new heater
  7. Completion of reports (soon)
  1. EVA Request
  2. Sol Summary
  3. Greenhab
  4. Journalist
  5. Operations
  6. Astronomer
  7. Inventory

WiFi range survey Radio check with all radios (all functional except for 1) Look Ahead Plan:

1. Matryoshka EVA #1

2. Communication ‘Lego Bricks’ experiment

3. Sleep Study / crew medical questionnaires

4. Musk Observatory Observation

5. Journalist interviews and filming

6. Medical status surveys with Crew Doctor throughout the day.

7. CPR Experiment

8. HAB Cleaning

9. Radio Range EVA – This activity is cancelled due to 1 EVA per day limit. It will be rescheduled for a future day. We will work with schedulers to ensure they understand this limit for the future.

Anomalies in work:

  1. ATV wobbly wheel
  2. Non Functional Power Strip (removed and replaced)
  3. 3 Non Functional Radios (does not impact operations)
  4. HAB paneling peeling off due to wind damag

Weather: Very mild weather. This was welcome after yesterday.

Crew Physical Status: All crew in good health.

EVA: 2 Familarization EVAs today

Support Requested:

  1. ATV Fuel
  2. Food Drop (not urgent)


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