Crew 186 Sol 5 Summary Report 05JAN2018
Summary Title: The Hunt for Blueberries and Microbial DNA
Author’s name: Max Fagin
Mission Status: Excited for our first scheduled R&R
Sol Activity Summary: We awoke today to Hans Zimmer’s “Elysium” from the movie Gladiator. Clouds had rolled in as forecasted, preventing the solar panels from being used for daytime power. The generator had failed during the night, and while it was easy to restart, it took a few attempts before it kept running for more than ~10 seconds. We suspect it simply had to warm up, but our reducing the hab power load before turning on the generator may have also helped. After breakfast, we prepared for our first 5 crew EVA to Greenstone Rd to continue the hunt for the hematite blueberries that had eluded us on our first and second EVA. After suit up and a brief radio discussion with Shannon, we decided to drop the navigation component of the EVA and focus on pure geology. Unfortunately, although we spent almost 3 hours on site with 5 pairs of eyes, and obtained multiple geological samples and spectra from around the area (including from the laser spectrometer generously lent to us by NASA Ames) we were not able to find any Hematite Blueberry formations. This evening, we got our first positive results from Sam’s microbe DNA experiment after swabbing around the hab. The PCR machine will continue to run throughout the night, and we eagerly await tomorrow’s results!
Look Ahead Plan: To commemorate reaching the midpoint of our mission, tomorrow will be a light duty day of Hab upkeep and catching up on photo/video uploads and emails, followed by some R&R. No EVAs are planned for tomorrow.
Anomalies in work: Generator failures
Weather: -2C, Winds E at 5 MPH, visibility 10 miles,
Crew Physical Status: Healthy
EVA: Greenstone Rd, 3.0 hrs, Geological sampling and search for hematite blueberries
Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Journalist Report, Operations Report, Science Report (Geology), Greenhab Report, EVA Report
Support Requested: The generator failures are concerning, as we have no way to detect them unless someone is outside or in the science dome to hear the generator turn off. We can schedule a round of hourly checks, but it would interfere with our sleep schedule. Any recommendations on ways to prevent/detect the generator failures?
Our water conservation efforts are probably not going to be sufficient, as we are projecting a ~1 sol deficit in our initial allotment of 550 gallons. Of this, 40% is going to Hab usage for drinking, washing and hygiene, 7% is watering our crop experiments, and 53% to watering the crops that were present in GreenHab at handoff. Would it be possible to schedule a water resupply so that we can ensure no interruption to the crops?
Tomorrow we plan to catch up on the photo/video backlog that we have developed. We have heard conflicting reports on upload limits during regular hours. Is it truly unlimited, or is that a mistake?