Author: Max Fagin
Purpose of EVA: The last testing of the Yagi-Uda antenna based navigation experiment for navigating back to the hab. Destination change the night before to Skyline ridge allowed photographic reconnaissance in preparation for tomorrow’s geology EVA to the same site.
Destination: Plains to the east of skyline ridge
UDM27 Coordinates: 516000 E, 4251000 N
Participants: Max Fagin (Commander), Kshitij Mall (Executive Officer)
Narrative: This EVA was the final demonstration of the radio beacon navigation system, with the goal of demonstrating its effectiveness when line of sight was obstructed for the duration of the walk. Kshitij served as the lost astronaut, and had the hood in place over his helmet that limited his field of view to 5m from his feet. Max monitored the route and tracked the progress via gps to ensure the route was safe. We left the airlock at 10:36 and walked north along a foot path to the top of the ridge that rises over the hab to our west. After cresting the ridge, we walked due west along Sagan Rd before swinging south 50m to await the first beacon transmission. When the beacon was received, we started back, Kshitij leading the way, and Max monitoring. When Kshitij would stop to check the bearing on the hab, Max tested an experimental chlorophyll detector that Chris McKay and Matteo Borri had designed for us for use on the local flora. A loss of the beacon for ~15 minutes led to a complete turnaround, but it was corrected when the beacon was picked up again. We crested the ridge 45 minutes later at the ridge’s closest point to the hab, exactly where we should have been. So close that Kshitij gave an audible gasp when Max removed the hood and saw the habitat was so close. We deactivated the beacon, and walked north to find the route back down to the hab. Airlock ingress was at 12:37 for a total EVA time of 2:01.
Note: One of the hab’s radios has been damaged beyond repair. I was carrying it in my front pocket as a backup radio, and when I lifted my leg while climbing the ridge, the antenna was pinched against my front and snapped off. Shannon: There are still more than enough radios at the hab to provide spares, so I don’t know if you will want to replace it or not, but either way, I will note this on the checkout sheet as damage incurred. My apologies for the damage.