EVA Report – January 12th

Purpose of EVA: Collect and analyze samples of shale obtained from the region below Skyline Rim. Collect samples of fossilized shells that were discovered on a previous EVA near White Moon.

Destination: Skyline Rim

UDM27 Coordinates: 515300E, 4251200N

Destination: White Moon

UDM27 Coordinates: 517100E, 4254600N

Participants: Justin Mansell (Journalist), Melanie Grande (Engineer), Sam Albert (Health and Safety Officer)

Narrative: This was the final EVA of the mission and the members of the team were tasked with obtaining samples of shale from the base of Skyline Rim and analyzing them in the field with a spectrometer. Our secondary objective was to collect a handful of fossilized shells from a deposit near White Moon. This deposit was discovered on a previous EVA but no samples were taken. We departed the airlock at 11:07 am and drove north to White Moon. I led in the Deimos rover followed behind by Sam and Melanie in Spirit. We made a brief stop near Gray Moon to search for the fossil bed but were unsuccessful in locating it. We remounted the rovers after several minutes and continued to Skyline Rim by way of Copernicus Highway 1574 and Sagan Street 1103. We arrived on site at approximately 12:30 pm.

Sam was able to make contact with the habitat from atop a small hill using a ham radio while Melanie and I searched for shale near the end of Sagan Street. Once we had positively identified several samples of shale the team collected equipment from the rovers and proceeded to the base of the cliff. We also made a brief test of the navigation radio to verify the direction to the habitat.

Sam made his way up an escarpment to collect chips of shale directly from the cliff wall using a rock hammer. Melanie also climbed an escarpment to take complimentary spectra using the spectrometer. I remained at the base of the escarpments to monitor Sam and Melanie’s safety. The team then returned to the rovers and departed Skyline Rim at 1:15 pm.

We made a second stop at White Moon on the return journey and relocated the shell fossils found on a previous EVA. We filled a sample bag with a handful of shells and returned directly to the habitat. We arrived at the habitat at 2:23 pm. The total time on EVA was 3 hours and 21 minutes.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist