Greenhab Report – January 9th

GreenHab Report
Mark Gee

Environmental control:
Shade cloth on

Working Hour: 06:15PM
Inside temp at working hour: 18 C
Outside temp during working hours: UNK
Inside temperature high: 24 C
Inside temperature low: 16 C
Inside humidity: 40 %RH
Inside humidity high: 48 %RH
Inside humidity low: 28 %RH

Hours of supplemental light:
For the crops 05:00 to 11:59 PM

Changes to crops: Quinoa seeds did not germinate and rotted in the tray. Threw them away. The past days have been very cold and cloudy. Nothing has germinated yet.

Daily water usage for crops: 6.5 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 10:00AM, 06:15PM

Research observations: Microgreens seem to be growing much better in the shady environment. Maybe the full sunlight was scorching them.

Changes to research plants: Applied fertilizer to microgreens.

Aquaponics: Not in use.

Narrative: Watering needs to be as efficient as possible in a Martian habitat. But after I finish watering, I often look around and see a water on the floor.
Some of the water comes directly from accidental spilling becase the spout of the watering can holds water and drips when turned upright. This waste could be eliminated with a differently designed spout or by using something crazy like a giant syringe so that no water is relesed unintentionally.

Most of the leakage comes from water that is poured into the pot and flows quickly through macropores in the soil and out the pot before there is time to soak in. This is a tricky problem to solve. The macropores are a beneficial part of soil structure and should not be removed by compacting the soil. If I water less so that less water flows through the pores, the plants might not get enough water.

We are currently trying to reduce this waste by growing plants on vertical shelving so that the plants below can catch the water leaked by the plants above. But this is not a perfect system. Another option is to install trays beneath every plant so that the leakage can be captured and recycled. It is uncertain how much labor this method would require and how much of the water would evaporate before it could be reused. A third way to reduce this waste would be to use drip irrigation tape that continually releases water into the soil at a slow rate. This would increase water use efficiency and also reduce the labor requirements for the astronauts. However, an adjustable drip tape would have to be invented so the same tape could be used with different crops. And it may not be feasible to rocket yards and yards of drip tape to Mars.

For now, I will stick with my watering can.

Support/supplies needed: None

Operations Report – January 9th

Crew 186 Operations Report 09JAN2018

SOL: 09

Name of person filing report: M. Grande

Non-nominal systems: Generator

Notes on non-nominal systems: Generator system has run for the past 48 hours due to the cloudy weather. I tried to check the coolant this morning, and noticed it’s a yellow liquid again, instead of being basically butter when I saw it at the beginning of the rotation. (Apparently a previous crew filled it with oil instead of coolantThe coolant seemed to be pretty full, but I did check it when the generator was still hot, and not sure if that makes a real noticeable difference in the fill level. If I am to add more coolant before leaving, I’ll have to schedule some downtime for the generator so it can cool down first, probably in midday, if this cloudy weather persists.

Generator (hours run): 13h

Generator batteries switched at 7:15am

Generator batteries switched at 7:30pm

Solar— SOC

@ 7:15am : 94%

@ 5:00pm : 100%

Diesel: 50%

Propane: 30%

Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 7.15 Gallons

Water (trailer): 10 Gallons

Water (static): 446 Gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used: No

Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used: Yes

Water Meter: 129293.0 Gallons

Toilet tank emptied: No

ATVs Used: None

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 00 Gallons

# Hours the ATVs were used today: 00:00 hours

Notes on ATVs: The 300 apparently died today, because the intern took it out and couldn’t get it to start again. Please refer to Shannon for further details.

Deimos rover used: Yes, briefly by Shannon

Hours: 98.4

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.

Hours: Director discretional hours

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Maybe

Spirit rover used: No

Hours: 10.5

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: No

Hours: 5.5

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No

Curiosity rover used: No

Hours: 3.1

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No

HabCar used and why, where? No

General notes and comments: None, really. Sad, cloudy, snowy day. We watched “Black Mirror” (on Netflix, pre-downloaded) and diffused bombs (on a VR game, not real bombs, come on) instead of our EVA excursion.

Summary of internet: All nominal

Summary of suits and radios: All nominal

Summary of Hab operations: All nominal

Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal

Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal

Summary of RAM operations: Not Operational

Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: Coolant might need to be replaced, but I don’t think we have any extra here, that I could find. We do have a bottle of engine oil.

Sol Summary – January 9th

Crew 186 Sol 9 Summary Report 09JAN2018

Sol 9

Summary Title: Weathering the mild storm

Author’s name: Max Fagin

Mission Status: Spending the day in hab due to a light snow

Sol Activity Summary: We awoke to cloudy skies and a light snow dusting all around the habitat. The snow was still falling by the time we had finished morning yoga and breakfast, so we decided to postpone today’s EVA. The snow let up by the late morning, but by that point, too much time had passed to complete the EVA before our scheduled return time. This will happen on Mars, there is no more a guarantee of cooperative weather there than there is on Earth, and it’s something future crews will have to learn to work around. Instead we broke out our blankets, sleeping bags, and laptops, and spent the rest of the day working on our own projects. We shared an all crew lunch of mac-n-cheese prepared by Melanie (which was a nice departure from routine, as we are usually on our own for lunch due to EVA scheduling). GreenHab is nearing harvest time, and two dinners from now we are planning a green feast of its bounty of microgreen, lettuce, beans and herbs. And we were even happier to receive a radio call in the afternoon indicating a supply ship had delivered us a new bread maker! We have set it up in our kitchen, and are planning to break it in (de-flour it?) at dinner tonight.

Look Ahead Plan: The uncompleted EVA 8, scheduled for today from 1030-0130, will be rescheduled to tomorrow from 1230-0330, which is after the rain/snow is forecasted to have stopped and the temperatures will have risen above freezing. Sam Albert will also be replaced with Mark Gee as the lost astronaut, but the route and objectives of the EVA remain unchanged.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: 3C, Wind N 6MPH, Overcast, Humidity 87%

Crew Physical Status: Healthy

EVA: None

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, GreenHab Report, EVA Request, (no EVA report)

Support Requested: The snow and sleet can be heard falling through the vent holes at the escape hatch at the top of the habitat. We have put two old dish towels across the chicken wire to catch it and keep the wooden floor of the attic dry. Is this acceptable as a permanent solution?