Science Report – February 16th

[English]

Hello there!

My name is Atila Meszaros and I have the honor of being the first intern of The Mars Society. I have been on MDRS for more than a month. During the first weeks (during the rotation of the Purdue crew), I researched all the literature and information necessary to start working on the Aquaponics project.

What is Aquaponics? It is a system that behaves like a small ecosystem: it combines fish, plants, and bacteria to generate processes of greater efficiency. The fish excrete ammonia, which if its accumulated becomes toxic, water with ammonia goes through biofilters, which contain nitrogen-fixing bacterias. These little ones, are responsible for the conversion of ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates, which, not only are not toxic but serve as nutrients for plants. In this way, the plants filter the water, which returns to the fish, practically new. The objective of this research is to verify if an aquaponics in a Martian Analogous Habitat is really advantageous, comparing to the common gardening methods.

I was one of the crew members of the fantastic Latin American crew 187. During my rotation, I was able to assemble almost all the equipment, while, at the same time, working with my project related to the resistance of Peruvian seeds to Martian analog soil. The seeds that I am using are quinoa and kiwicha. Both are fruits with high nutritional content, and knowing that both are powerful candidates for future Martian missions, is the goal of the project.

The crew of Supaero will be arriving tomorrow, and hopefully, the agronomic part (without fish) of the aquaponics will be working. To compensate for the lack of fish (and its residue: ammonia), external nutrients will be added. The aquaponics project is a long-term one, and to achieve all the goals, I will make a protocol guide which will serve the future Green Hab Officers so that they can be guided during the course of the project. I know it will be in very good hands.

On the other hand, the hunting of halophiles has just begun. Halophiles are beings that, not only support the high amounts of salts but, are in their optimal state. To find them, we are looking for gypsum in different areas where their presence has been previously registered. We have already defined the points of interest and I have already been trained for the hunt.

Also, I consider myself Shannon’s assistant and I try to support in everything that is necessary. One of my personal goals is to learn as much as I can from her. She is a fantastic person and above all, an incredible teacher.

In the course of these weeks, the number of science reports will increase, so check it out!

At the end of the internship, I will make a final report with all the projects we have done and the progress of all the investigations.

It is an honor to be able to give my small grain of sand to this great project that is Mars.

Ad Astra!

Atila Meszaros

[Español]

¡Hola a todos!

Mi nombre es Atila Meszaros y tengo el honor de ser el primer interno de The Mars Society. Me encuentro en el MDRS desde hace más de un mes. Durante las primeras semanas (durante la rotación de la tripulación de Purdue), investigué toda la literatura e información necesaria para empezar a trabajar en el proyecto del Aquaponics.

¿Qué es el Aquaponics? Es un sistema que se comporta como un pequeño ecosistema: combina peces, plantas y bacterias para generar procesos de mayor eficiencia. Los peces excretan amoniaco, el cual al acumularse llega a ser tóxico, el agua con amoniaco pasa a través de biofiltros, los cuales contienen bacterias fijadoras de nitrógeno. Estas pequeñas son las encargadas de convertir el amoniaco en nitritos y posteriormente en nitratos, los cuales, no solo no son tóxicos, sino sirven como nutrientes para las plantas. De esta manera, las plantas filtran el agua, la cual regresa hacia los peces, prácticamente nueva. El objetivo de la investigación es comprobar si es realmente ventajoso un aquaponics en un Habitat Análogo Marciano, respecto a los métodos de jardinería comunes.

Fui uno de los tripulantes de la fantástica tripulación latinoamericana 187. Durante mi rotación, pude ensamblar casi todo el equipo, mientras trabajaba a la par en mi proyecto relacionado con la resistencia de semillas peruanas a suelo análogo marciano. Las semillas que estoy usando son de quinoa y kiwicha. Ambas son de los frutos con mayor contenido nutricional, y saber que ambas son potentes candidatas para futuras misiones marcianas, es el objetivo del proyecto.

La tripulación de Supaero estará llegando el día de mañana, y con suerte la parte agropónica (sin peces) del aquaponics estará funcionando. Para compensar la falta de peces (y su residuo: amoniaco), se añadirá nutrientes externos. El proyecto del aquaponics, es uno a largo plazo, y para conseguir todos los objetivos voy a realizar una guía protocolo la cual servirá a los futuros Green Hab Officers para que puedan guiarse durante el transcurso de la investigación. Sé que estará en muy buenas manos.

Por otro lado, la caza de los halófilos recién ha empezado. Los halófilos son seres que, no solo soportan las altas cantidades de sales, sino que, en ella, se encuentran en su estado óptimo. Para encontrarlos, estamos buscando en yeso en distintas áreas donde ya se ha registrado anteriormente su presencia. Ya hemos definido los puntos de interés y ya he sido entrenado para la cacería.

También, me considero el ayudante de Shannon y apoyo en todo lo que sea necesario. Uno de mis objetivos personales del internado es aprender todo lo que pueda de ella. Es una fantástica persona y sobre todo, una increíble maestra.

En el transcurso de estas semanas, los reportes de ciencias van a aumentar, por todo el trabajo que estaremos haciendo. ¡Échele un ojo!

Al finalizar el internado, realizaré un reporte final con todos los proyectos que hemos realizado y los avances de todas las investigaciones.

Es un honor poder dar mi pequeño grano de arena a este gran proyecto que es Marte.

Ad Astra!

Sol Summary Report – February 16th

Crew IKEA Sol Summary 16 Feb 2018

SOL 6:

Summary Title: Finally… Adventure Time

Author’s name: Atila Meszaros

Mission Status: All nominal

Sol Activity Summary:

I feel like I haven’t been in the Hab all day. The weather looked friendly and allowed us to make our first day of expedition. We spent most of the morning doing the growth mediums for our extremophiles, defining the microbiological points of interest and planning the activities for the arrival of the next crew.

The contractor already has almost the entire ladder of the lower deck made. Tomorrow they will come to finish it. It looks amazing. Tomorrow we will be sending some pics! While the guys worked, we managed to turn on Shannon’s car, apparently, it will not need a new battery. However, we shouldn’t take your eyes off and go carefully in case this event repeats. We picked up a package that contains equipment to record some footage at MDRS and we filled the aquaponics with water to have it almost ready by the time the next crew arrives. By the way, the Green Hab plants are looking amazing.

On our first day of adventure, we entered the Valley of the Stars in search of gypsum that may contain halophiles. Looking in any direction was simply spectacular. It is one of the most majestic places I’ve ever seen. We collected 5 different samples of vein, soil, and eruption. In a few days, we will be sending a Science Report with the findings of our first search.

It has been a very hectic day. But I am happy with everything we have achieved today. Now, I have to clean the Hab for the next crew and move to RAM (I’m going to be the first person to live there, I’m kind of excited).

Thanks for joining us tonight, Veronica!

How are you doing?

Atila

Look Ahead Plan: Recieve Supaero crew. I’m looking forward to meeting them!

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Temperature: °6C

Crew Physical Status: Healthy

Reports to be filed:

Sol Summary

Operations Report

Science/Intern Report

Support Requested: None

Operations Report – February 16th

Crew IKEA Operations Report 16 Feb 2018

SOL: 6

Name of person filing report: Shannon Rupert

Non-nominal systems: Power System Control

Notes on non-nominal systems: Nothing new to report

Generator (hours run): Off at 8:30 am, on at 6 pm. Turns out the

power system works just fine with lots of welding happening!

Solar— 98% SOC

Diesel – 72 %

Propane – 46 psi.

Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 10 gallons.

Water (trailer) – 0 gallons.

Water (static) – 400 gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used – no

Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water Meter: not recorded

Toilet tank emptied: no

ATV’s Used: no

Oil Added? n/a

ATV Fuel Used: n/a Gals

# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 0

Notes on ATVs: Nothing to report

Deimos rover used: Yes

Hours:

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 96

Currently charging: Yes

Sojourner rover used: No

Hours:

Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: yes

Spirit rover used: Yes

Hours: 20.2

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 75

Currently charging: No

Opportunity rover used: Yes

Hours: 14.9

Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: No

Hours:

Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No

HabCar used and why, where? Yes. To town for water for the

aquaponics, packages, searching for the trailer hitch in storage. To

Valley of the Stars for fieldwork. To town to pack food. To town to

get gas for the ATVs and more water.

General notes and comments: How did it get to be Friday already?

Summary of internet: Nothing to report

Summary of suits and radios: Nothing to report

Summary of Hab operations: Installations of the stairs is almost

complete! We will have photos tomorrow.

Summary of GreenHab operations: Hydroponics (no fish) set up complete

and water added. We will get it circulating tomorrow. We also

realized that we have two kinds of tomatoes, regular sized and cherry.

Atila and I each had two of the best cherry tomatoes I have ever

eaten.

Summary of ScienceDome operations: We did some lab work this morning.

Summary of RAM operations: Nothing to report

Summary of health and safety issues: Nothing to report

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: Nothing at this time