EVA Report – January 18th

Purpose of EVA: Aerial mapping of terrain, testing of mid-range EVA protocols, and mid-range operation test of Cóndor Space Suit Simulator.

Participants: Atila, Cynthia, Danton, and Oscar

Narrative: Today we had a successful and interesting EVA, attaining all the main goals, as well as a secondary goal. The crew left the airlock at 13:15. It was the first of an intended set of mid to long range of explorations in the area of MDRS. The crew donned the suits, consisting on 3 Exo suits and the Cóndor Space Suit Simulator. The target area was a canyon located south east from the habitat, which has not been much explored. Given the fact that this canyon has not been named, crew 187 decided to propose for it the name of El Dorado Canyon. A crew of 4 departed in two Rovers, Curiosity and Deimos, going south from the habitat through Cow Dung Road. After a traverse of approximately 15 minutes, passing Robert’s Rock Garden, the crew parked the vehicles and started walking east towards the entrance of the canyon. After traversing a rocky but flat terrain, the crew arrived at the southern edge of the zone, entering the dry riverbed by a small slope, which was found by following prints of a herbivore animal. Upon arrival, the crew started walking East, following the riverbed, quickly finding several elements of interest for future exploration, such as dry salt deposits, which could harbor extremophile microorganisms, frozen ponds, and sedimentary and clastic geological structures. These structures were present during all the traverse, being even more relevant towards the deepest segments. When the crew had made a walk of about 20 minutes from the ridge, a small pond was found, and the observation was made that it was probable to find wild animals around, which was confirmed by finding several prints of was probably a pack of herbivores, also a carnivore feline print was found, which we assume, belonged to a Mountain Lion. The print was presumably fresh, of at most hours, which made the crew to decide to stop the walking exploration, send the drone a few hundred meters ahead, and proceed to return, following the same path. A few samples of rocks with salt deposits were recovered and stored. Unfortunately, upon landing, the drone’s camera mount engine was locked, and the issue is being assessed by Danton. At the arrival to the ridge, the crew started walking West, to find the main road and the Rovers to head back to the habitat. During this walk a coral fossil was found and retrieved. The crew arrived to the Rovers and headed back to the MDRS campus. Upon arrival the Cóndor Space Suit proceeded to the airlock, due to the fact that the battery was drained, and it could represent a hazard to operations. The rest of the crew made a short excursion inside the RAM module to inspect the contents related to the HSO, as well as to store the cage for the Curiosity rover. The EVA ended at 15:55.

We also noticed that the coordinates given by the map do not match the ones provided by the GPS equipment available in the lab, we’d like to further explore this issue.

No incident or anomaly was sustained during the EVA.

Oscar Ojeda – EVA Officer