Journalist Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 05-FEB-2019

Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author: Sonal Baberwal

Good Morning from Mars! Hello Earthlings. So how does our day starts? The very first thing we do is go to the window and observe the beauty of this place. Seems like the mountains have covered themselves by a red blanket.

This complete isolation is helping ourself to learn more about self. To make us aware of our weaknesses and overcome them with lot of courage. I have been learning many soft skills from the crew. When you observe someone for a lot of time, you eventually start becoming like them. I couldn’t stop sanitizing my hands before everything because of cleanliness habits of Space Bot. I couldn’t work hard all day and wait for the evening for mind refreshing games and movies that had been eventually taking place because of Cosmos. Nothing ever taught me to be such a brave heart and good sense of humor like the Commander of the crew. I am thankful to Mars Desert Research Station for this opportunity to get oneself analyzed.

Today had been really an interesting day. Space Bot had successfully assembled and tested the rover inside the RAMM and further did a demonstration to test remotely which was operated by Harish Ajankar of Sipna College of Engineering and Technology, India.

Commander Avishek Ghosh had interesting results in his composition of soils that he had been analyzing along with continuing his research in 3D printing.

Our GreenHab officer Cosmos had been welcoming the new sprouts that have spread their leaves in this soil. He had been engaged in taking care of the GreenHab with regular activities.

Followed by the delicious lunch cooked by the Commander, Rice and Lentils are just the Martian thing. Myself and Space Bot performed a short walking EVA around the Hab. Our main objective was to capture images via rover and operate it outdoor. This was a total new experience where we walked in strong winds and felt like a plastic bag drifting throughout the wind wanted to start again (Katty Perry, Fireworks). We had been on the top of the mountain where it was beautiful to observe our Hab from the top waving to the commander. It had been difficult to believe that we climbed the top of the mountain and observing the new perspective of nature. I wish I had words to describe about the view.

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise with a hope in better weather conditions to support the EVA. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about the application of our results.

Journalist Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 05-FEB-2019

Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author: Sonal Baberwal

Good Morning from Mars! Hello Earthlings. So how does our day starts? The very first thing we do is go to the window and observe the beauty of this place. Seems like the mountains have covered themselves by a red blanket.

This complete isolation is helping ourself to learn more about self. To make us aware of our weaknesses and overcome them with lot of courage. I have been learning many soft skills from the crew. When you observe someone for a lot of time, you eventually start becoming like them. I couldn’t stop sanitizing my hands before everything because of cleanliness habits of Space Bot. I couldn’t work hard all day and wait for the evening for mind refreshing games and movies that had been eventually taking place because of Cosmos. Nothing ever taught me to be such a brave heart and good sense of humor like the Commander of the crew. I am thankful to Mars Desert Research Station for this opportunity to get oneself analyzed.

Today had been really an interesting day. Space Bot had successfully assembled and tested the rover inside the RAMM and further did a demonstration to test remotely which was operated by Harish Ajankar of Sipna College of Engineering and Technology, India.

Commander Avishek Ghosh had interesting results in his composition of soils that he had been analyzing along with continuing his research in 3D printing.

Our GreenHab officer Cosmos had been welcoming the new sprouts that have spread their leaves in this soil. He had been engaged in taking care of the GreenHab with regular activities.

Followed by the delicious lunch cooked by the Commander, Rice and Lentils are just the Martian thing. Myself and Space Bot performed a short walking EVA around the Hab. Our main objective was to capture images via rover and operate it outdoor. This was a total new experience where we walked in strong winds and felt like a plastic bag drifting throughout the wind wanted to start again (Katty Perry, Fireworks). We had been on the top of the mountain where it was beautiful to observe our Hab from the top waving to the commander. It had been difficult to believe that we climbed the top of the mountain and observing the new perspective of nature. I wish I had words to describe about the view.

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise with a hope in better weather conditions to support the EVA. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about the application of our results.

Science Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Science Report 05-FEB-2019

Science report

Title: Happy hour germination

Author: Avishek Ghosh

1. Sprouting of seeds

Team: Sonal Baberwal, Avishek Ghosh

It feels great to see the initial stage of germination and plant growth in different soil compositions that are prepared by varying the amount of garden soil and carbon dust (extracted from charcoal) by combining with MDRS soil and JSC-MARS-1. The JSC-MARS-1 and it’s organic mixtures seem more promising as compared to local MDRS soil mixtures. The plants that are transferred from regular garden soil to JSC-MARS-1 Mixtures are surviving and growing even the germinated seeds started sprouting.

But, the MDRS local soil and it’s organic compositions seems to hold less capacity to provide enough nutrients to the plants which started dying on the first day of transfer. At the same time, the water is drying out quickly from these mixtures.

Although it is the initial stage of the investigation, however, more iterations through a long duration observation are required to derive the conclusions.

2. Experimental Greenhab preparation

Team: Pranit Patil, Sonal Baberwal, Avishek Ghosh

The crew is happy to see new seeds are sprouting and growing quickly. A few of them are actually turning into the green with leaves. Initially, after transfer, the plants were surviving during the first day but slowly started dying on local MDRS soil mixtures.

3. Rover assembly and integration

Kunal Naik (Space_Bot)

The technical difficulties in rover were resolved this morning. The battery test and camera have performed well during the EVA. The rover started rolling on MDRS terrains.

Operations Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Operations Report 05- FEB – 2019

SOL: 8

Name of person filing report: Kunal Naik (Space_bot)

Non-nominal systems: None

Notes on non-nominal systems: N/A

Generator (hours run): Turned on this evening by 1840 (5th Feb),
Stopped by this morning 0830 (5th Feb)

Solar— SOC % – Turned off Gen (5th Feb) 100%, Turned on Gen (5th Feb) 74%

Diesel Reading – 36%

Propane Reading – ~ 64%

Ethanol Free Gasoline – 10 gallons

Water (Auxillary tank) – Not in use gallons

Water (Static tank) – around 68%, ~ 340 gallons

Auxillary to Static tank transfer – No

Gallons transferred: Not Applicable

Water in GreenHab – ~ 207 gallons

Water (loft) – 12 marked level

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water Meter: 01408311 units

Toilet tank emptied: Yes

Deimos rover used: No, still not functional
Hours: N/A
Beginning charge: N/A
Ending charge: N/A
Currently charging: N/A

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR
Hours: Not Applicable
Beginning charge: Not Applicable
Ending charge: Not Applicable
Currently charging: Not Applicable

Spirit rover used: Not Used
Hours: 72.1
Beginning charge: Not Used
Ending charge: Not Used
Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: Not Used
Hours: 47.6 hours
Beginning charge: Not Used
Ending charge: Not Used
Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: Not Used
Hours: Not Used
Beginning charge: Not Used
Ending charge: Not Used
Currently charging: Not Used

Notes on rovers: None

ATV’s Used: None

Reason for use: N/A

Oil Added? N/A

ATV Fuel Used: Nope

# Hours the ATVs were Used today: N/A

Notes on ATVs: N/A

HabCar used and why, where? Used to go to the town

Crew Car used and why, where? Off Campus

General notes and comments: None

Summary of internet: Nothing to report

Summary of suits and radios: Nothing to report

Summary of Hab operations: Nothing to report.

Summary of Green Hab operations: Nothing to report

Summary of Science Dome operations: Nothing to report

Summary of RAMM operations: Used some engineering tools for Rover.

Summary of any observatory issues: Nothing to report.

Summary of health and safety issues: Nothing to report.

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: None

Greenhab Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Green Hab Report – 5-FEB-2019

GreenHab Officer: Patil (Cosmos)

Environmental control: Heating and Cooling w/ ambient air (5 hrs)

Shade Cloth (40%)

Average temperatures:

Low: 16.4°C

High: 25.9°C

Hours of supplemental light: 5 Hours

Daily water usage for crops: 12 gallons

Water in Blue Tank: ~ 207 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops:

TIME NOTED TEMPERATURE(° C ) / HUMIDITY(%)
[AT TIME OF WATERING]

1) 09.00 AM 18.6° C / 48 %
2) 12.00 PM 25.3° C / 55 %
3) 15:00 PM 23.7° C / 41 %
4) 18:00 PM 19.9° C / 52 %

Changes to crops: None

Narrative: Today was the blissful day for us in midst of winds. We learned that Gardening is the most therapeutic and blissful act we could do. It made us forget every difficult weather conditions around. We were enjoying the smell of things in soil, by getting dirty without feeling guilty. It took little time to grow sprouts but one tiny leaf appeared from one of sprout as a light of joy with a new era of life. And slowly-slowly browns started turning into greens with a sprinkle of water and martian warmth.

Harvest: None

Support/supplies needed: None

Sol Summary – February 5th

Crew 204 Sol Summary Report 05- FEB – 2019

Sol: 8

Summary Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author’s name: Kunal Naik (Space_bot)

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: An Isolation is the best way to know yourself and your team. The friendship, the bond and the trust within yourself and on each other is one of the survival keys to any Space mission.

The gradual increase in trust, bond, and friendship between the crew has been visualized. The crew woke up as per their schedule. The roaring Martian gust has not stopped yet it’s been usual for the crew. Some cheezy pasta and hot chocolate for breakfast does not seem to be
a bad combination. Today’s topic of discussion was Geo-Politics! It’s good to gather knowledge and know the perspective of others.

By Pre-Lunch, SpaceBot and Carbon Flight had a technical support call from India for the rover project. The rover had a minor issue with its left wheel slippage which was resolved at the earliest. The lunch was cooked by

Carbon Flight and Mars Bag while the other members cleaned the kitchen and synced well with other. Post Lunch the crew started to work on their assigned projects. The positive news from the Green Hab, the newly planted seeds are sprouting well. The EVA around the hab was
done by SpaceBot and MarsBag. The purpose was to test the rover outdoor. The test was successful. The system worked well. Got some good photos from the rover. The crew has planned to watch a space movie post dinner.

Look Ahead Plan: The 3D clay printer will be tested manually using different soil composition and printing some samples (will start from 6th Feb). The work on the child rover will be to operate the rover from India. Finger crossed on weather and servers. The sprouts and mix
seeds have already started showing good results. Hoping to observe proper growth.

Anomalies in work: None Encountered

Weather: Cloudy, Strong Winds

Crew Physical Status: Nominal

EVA’s location: Cancelled due to strong winds

Reports to file: 1) Operations Report 2) Green Hab Report 3)
Journalist Report 4) Photos 5) Science Report

Support Requested: None

Sol Summary – February 5th

Sol: 8

Summary Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author’s name: Kunal Naik (Space_bot)

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: An Isolation is the best way to know yourself and your team. The friendship, the bond and the trust within yourself and on each other is one of the survival keys to any Space mission.

The gradual increase in trust, bond, and friendship between the crew has been visualized. The crew woke up as per their schedule. The roaring Martian gust has not stopped yet it’s been usual for the crew. Some cheezy pasta and hot chocolate for breakfast does not seem to be
a bad combination. Today’s topic of discussion was Geo-Politics! It’s good to gather knowledge and know the perspective of others.

By Pre-Lunch, SpaceBot and Carbon Flight had a technical support call from India for the rover project. The rover had a minor issue with its left wheel slippage which was resolved at the earliest. The lunch was cooked by

Carbon Flight and Mars Bag while the other members cleaned the kitchen and synced well with other. Post Lunch the crew started to work on their assigned projects. The positive news from the Green Hab, the newly planted seeds are sprouting well. The EVA around the hab was
done by SpaceBot and MarsBag. The purpose was to test the rover outdoor. The test was successful. The system worked well. Got some good photos from the rover. The crew has planned to watch a space movie post dinner.

Look Ahead Plan: The 3D clay printer will be tested manually using different soil composition and printing some samples (will start from 6th Feb). The work on the child rover will be to operate the rover from India. Finger crossed on weather and servers. The sprouts and mix
seeds have already started showing good results. Hoping to observe proper growth.

Anomalies in work: None Encountered

Weather: Cloudy, Strong Winds

Crew Physical Status: Nominal

EVA’s location: Cancelled due to strong winds

Reports to file: 1) Operations Report 2) Green Hab Report 3)
Journalist Report 4) Photos 5) Science Report

Support Requested: None

Mission Summary – February 8th

Nix Olympica – Crew 204 presents…
“Journey to Mars”

Authors :
Avishek Ghosh (Commander)
Pranit Patil (XO & Greenhab Officer)
Kunal Naik (Crew Engineer)
Sonal Baberwal (HSO & Crew Journalist)

Acknowledgement:
We express our sincere gratitude to the delegates of MDRS foundation, Dr Robert Zubrin, Dr. Shannon Rupert & Carie Fay for providing us this opportunity to participate in this simulation mission. We convey our sincere thanks to the associates of MDRS looking after various areas. We sincerely thank the mission support and CapCom for their continuous support and cooperation to make our simulation better by educating us to maintain the right protocol. We want to thank Mr. Atila and Mr. David for their friendly and comforting nature with all support. Finally, we would like to thank our friends and supporters without whom this mission would have not been possible.

“The plants, the lab,
The rovers, the Hab.
The love, the care,
The friendship we share.
The food to cook,
The windows we look.
The signing in and signing off,
The mission support and Cap Com.
The EVAs we risked,
Yes, everything will be missed!”
~ Sonal Baberwal.

Introduction:
Reaching Mars was one of humanity’s most ambitious undertaking. The direct result of the decades-long global space race and the sheer audacity of humans to take exploration to the fastest reaches of our solar system. But make no mistake, this is no easy journey! The trip to Mars is as dangerous and challenging as anything we have ever tried. The journey alone seems extremely difficult, given the hostile environment of space. Nevertheless, if we manage to reach Mars (and not die on impact), it is empirical that if extremely difficult to survive the cold red planet! MDRS has bestowed a great opportunity for us, an all Indian crew this time, to drain our fears and it has given us insight beyond the horizon. It has given us a short glimpse, of how it would really be to live on Mars. The team – Crew 204 is a group of a super enthusiastic aspiring astronaut, who is determined to contribute their part towards the isolation program at MDRS. It becomes difficult at times to be all alone in isolation, but the Crew-204 is determined to conduct their research, no matter what the situation be. Our participation in MDRS will allow us to establish a research framework to continue our collaborative research activities for a long-term space exploration in near future. This inquisitiveness to encounter a thrilling environment would be possible to find at Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS).

The Crew 204 is a group of astronaut aspirants committed towards contributing for ongoing researches that are conducted under isolation during MDRS missions. Crew 204 is an organized team which outlines the framework to understand the necessity of performing scientific and technical experiments in isolation. We have realized how important it is to expand the boundary of exploration with an intercultural and interdisciplinary aspect. Our participation in MDRS will allow us to establish a research framework to continue our collaborative research activities for a long-term space exploration in near future.

Mission Objectives:
When it comes to colonizing Mars, it should be taken into account that the environment on the red planet is extremely hostile. Crew-204 is simulating a real-life environment on how life would be on Mars. We are made to experience a real-life adventure through analog. Considering the facts of possible challenges to survive in the extreme environment on MARS, the Crew 204 is paving their way to pursue a real-life analog simulation under isolated environment. We are instigated to experience a real-life adventure through analog simulation while resembling an extreme environment and living in isolation with crewmates in surroundings similar to the planet MARS.
This mission is designed to gain knowledge and practical experience working with crewmates with diverse background with intercultural and international aspects. This mission would also allow us gaining insight scenarios of an astronaut program and selection process for the long-duration space mission. With the recent technological advancements and scientific knowledge base, it is very important to perform some sophisticated assessment to find another frontier to explore and develop the strategic methodology, which could be beneficial to develop effective team compositions and technologies for the long-duration space mission. All this is just a small step towards the new adventure, that will take us, even deeper into the stars above!

EVA Summary:
In any mission, the ‘Extra-Vehicular Activity’ is considered as a fundamental element. However, the first Sol started with an invitation from a great explorer and admirer of nature Mr. Jad Davenport. It was another wonderful opportunity to exhibit the MDRS crew preparation for the simulation. Crew 204 feels honored to participate in a session invited by such personnel. Followed by this, the Crew 204 had performed total 10 EVA’s for general exploration, collecting soil samples while capturing some beautiful moments, landscapes and mesmerizing beauty of the nature.

EVA Sol Team Duration Destination Rovers used
1 2 Avishek, Kunal 1 hr 35 mins Pooh’s corner Spirit
2 2 Sonal, Pranit 1 hr 25 mins Pooh’s corner Opportunity
3 3 Avishek, Kunal 1 hr 30 mins Reservoir and Dam Spirit, Opportunity
4 4 Sonal, Avishek 55 mins Kissing camel ridge Opportunity
5 5 Kunal, Pranil 2 hr 4 5 mins White moon Opportunity, Spirit
6 8 Kunal, Sonal 1 hr Hab ridge Walking
7 9 Avishek, Pranit 1 hr 15 mins Hab ridge Walking
8 10 Kunal, Sonal 45 mins Hab area Walking
9 11 Avishek, Sonal 2 hr 30 mins Widow’s peak Opportunity, Curiosity
10 11 Kunal, Pranit 1 hr 15 mins Gateway to Lith Spirit

Our Research:
Our Research at MDRS aimed:
1. Green Hab
2. Science behind 3D printing
3. Experimental GreenHab
4. Design and development of Martian Rover for Lava tube exploration

Research Summary:
1. GreenHab (Pranit Patil):
No Astronaut launches for space with their fingers crossed. That’s NOT how we deal with risks. We calculate and recalculate and re-recalculate our equations and then bid Godspeed. GreenHab was one such moment of introspection for me. It gave us an insight into how something as simple as gardening, can be so much revealing. Below is a summary of how it all has been so far.

On January 30th, we started with 267.5 gallons of water in the tank, the sprouts beans were planted and were kept in damp soil and the next day, it already started sprouting. These sprouts were later harvested on February 1st. Meanwhile, another mixture of seeds of Mat bean, Kidney bean, Fenugreek, and Sesame was kept ready for planting. These two were kept in damp soil and the moisture in it was always maintained. A mist of water was sprayed on them every once a while to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out.

In a couple of days, the seeds busted out to give way to the newborn roots. All the sprouts in every soil tray had good growth. A couple of days more and we got used to the petrichor of soil; it somehow had a relaxing effect on the mind. On February 5th a tiny leaf appeared, and we hopped in joy. We can only imagine what a great moment of introspection in human history if we could be the first people to find that one little-fossilized flower on Mars. The next day, after almost 73 gallons, hours of supplementary light and lots of care later, the plants were noted to be in great shape and health.

Of all this time, the crops were mostly under room temperature but not below 16°C. And they received 5 hours of supplementary light each day. The moisture in the soil was observed to be significantly low around 3 o’clock in the afternoon but spiked back to normal in the evening. A net 12 gallons of water was sprinkled on the crops daily.

2. Science behind 3D Printing:
Since a decade, human being had been envisioning to establish a colony on Mars. Human colonization on Mars would be challenging because of the extreme environment but, it could be a perfect outpost to accumulate resources outside the Earth’s gravitational field. An operational Martian village would be economical, resourceful and efficient for human settlement and conduct further missions into deep space.

Additive manufacturing (a.k.a 3D printing) has become a choice of interest for building a habitat on Mars. The purpose of this experiment is to find conceptual design and evaluate the feasibility of using 3D printing technology for building infrastructure and habitats on Mars.

The aim of this experiment is to evaluate the additive manufacturing (3D printing) capabilities with artificial mars soil simulant to develop structures. In this method, the Martian soil simulant is mixed with binder chemicals in a certain ratio or proportion to obtain a colloidal suspension. The prepared ink is placed inside a tube and extruded to develop 3D structures using a customized 3D printer. A trial experiment has been performed with MARS soil simulant which has been utilized to prepare ink mixed with a polymer. The prepared ink has been 3D printed to develop some shapes and structures. The 3D printed bodies have survived and remained intact through an open-air drying for several weeks.

3. Experimental GreenHab (Avishek Ghosh, Sonal Baberwal):
It feels great to see the initial stage of germination and plant growth in different soil compositions that are prepared by varying the amount of garden soil and carbon dust (extracted from charcoal) by combining with MDRS soil and JSC-MARS-1. The JSC-MARS-1 and it’s organic mixtures seem more promising as compared to local MDRS soil mixtures. The plants that are transferred from regular garden soil to JSC-MARS-1 Mixtures are surviving and growing even the germinated seeds started sprouting. But, the MDRS local soil and it’s organic compositions seems to hold less capacity to provide enough nutrients to the plants which started dying on the first day of transfer. At the same time, the water is drying out quickly from these mixtures. Although it is the initial stage of the investigation, however, more iterations through a long duration observation are required to derive the conclusions.

4. Design and development of Martian Rover for Lava tube exploration (Kunal Naik):
In the last few years, there are lot of features like caves, vertical holes, lava tubes and basins on the Lunar and the Martian surface that has been discovered by various rover missions as well as Orbiters such as ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1, Maven, Curiosity – Opportunity rover, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Japan’s Lunar Orbiter SELENE. For future Lunar- Martian exploration and future human settlement, skylight is argued as the confirmed underground location. To investigate the lava tubes, The dual rover system will be deployed on the surface, one with the parent rover (4 wheeled rover ‘MoonRaker’) and second is the child rover (2 wheeled rover ‘Koguma’). The parent rover will be anchored on the cliff while the child rover will be deployed to investigate the lava tubes with the help of flexible length tether providing power and data transmission from mother to the child rover.

MDRS is the best platform to test the child rover tether system. The child rover project is a 2 – wheel rover system designed and developed by Sipna College of Engineering, India with collaboration with Nix Olympica Crew 204. The rover prototype was based on the IOT platform having the capabilities to be operated from India with live Audio/Video streaming. The project was undertaken by the crew Engineer. There was a problem with the rover inboard system during the transportation to MDRS the problem was solved during the mission. The main objective of the rover was to test the rover system at uneven inclined plane at MDRS platform in person and remotely from India. A local server was created to operate the rover connecting via the onboard Wifi Module and cloud computing platform. Various test like Indoor, outdoor, Wifi Module range test, Local Server test, tether test as well as Audio/Video tests were performed during the simulation. The project concluded well as all the test were a success except the tether test. The eye catching about the rover was being operated from Sipna College of Engineering campus India which is 13000 kms away from MDRS. The rover still needs some upgrades with its tether system and little work on its stabilization.

Journalist perspective:
It had been a difficult journey for the entire crew, to convert the impossible into a successful mission. Leaving the family and being into a complete isolated place with limited access to internet has been challenging. However, this had been a golden opportunity to have a self-analysis and gain an experience of extreme environment. This opportunity has made us aware of the fact that being an astronaut is not only a dream, this profession holds lot of responsibilities! We had an incredible opportunity to operate a rover from India, and we believe that this initiative will inspire other aspirants just like us to pursue their dreams on platforms like MDRS.

 

Final Notes and Remarks:
In general, there were no anomalies, The Hab operations, RAMM operations, Green Hab Operation were nominal. The crew 204 came up with their own projects which were successfully carried out along with their daily MDRS duties. The Crew was a best fit though it was a small crew, the objectives were accomplished. The workload was more but the team members had good bonding, understanding, trust, maturity, professionalism among each other. Water is life, Water was used very carefully in daily activities, the crew used ~ 300 gallons of water including the Green Hab water consumption. The food was sufficient for the crew of 4 members. The help and support from Mission Support is applaudable as they were very attentive and responsive to reports and requests.

Conclusion:
Living in isolation for days, with none other than the crew isn’t as easy as it sounds. One may have personal differences, habits or daily rituals that the other person isn’t used to. The MDRS has taught us – Crew 204, many things along with the baseline objective. It has taught us to live in harmony, to develop interpersonal relations, to work – not only for ourselves, but for the greater good of the entire team. And most importantly, it gave us hope and reminded us that “Life finds a way” not matter how hostile or seemingly impossible the environment.