Operations Report – Nov 17th

Crew 215 Operations Report 17-Nov-2019
SOL: 7
Name of person filing report: Shane Usher

Non-nominal systems: N/A
Notes on non-nominal systems: N/A

Generator: run
Hours run: 12h
From what time last night: 1910
To what time this morning: 0710
List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: N/A
Solar— SOC % (Before the generator is run at night): 72%

Diesel Reading – 48%
Station Propane Reading – 69%
Ethanol Free Gasoline: N/A

Water (loft tank) (gal): 47
Water Meter (units): 1458472
Water (static tank) (gal): 354
Static to Loft Pump used – yes
Water in Green Hab (gal): 250.7
Water in Science Dome (gal): 0

Toilet tank emptied: no

Deimos rover used: no
Hours: –
Beginning charge: –
Ending charge: –
Currently charging: –

Sojourner rover used: Assigned to Director
Hours: –
Beginning charge: –
Ending charge: –
Currently charging: –

Spirit rover used: no
Hours: 111.2
Beginning charge: (Before EVA): 100%
Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before recharging): 100%
Currently charging: yes

Opportunity rover used: no
Hours: 66.5
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: yes

Curiosity rover used: no
Hours: 117.1
Beginning charge: (Before EVA) : 100%
Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before charging): 100%
Currently charging: yes

Notes on rovers: N/A

ATV’s Used: (Honda, 300, 350.1, 350.2, 350.3): no
Reason for use: N/A
Oil Added? no
ATV Fuel Used (gal): 0
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 0
Notes on ATVs: Assigned to the director

HabCar used and why, where? With Director
CrewCar used and why, where? At Grand Junction awaiting Crew 216

General notes and comments: N/A
Summary of internet: Functional
Summary of suits and radios: Radios switched from CH9&12 to 19&22.
Summary of Hab operations: N/A
Summary of GreenHab operations: Atmospheric equalization to the green hab carried out
during the afternoon, plants were watered (8L,2.3 gal). Door closed at 5pm.
Summary of Science Dome operations: N/A
Summary of RAM operations: Nominal
Summary of any observatory issues: Nominal
Summary of health and safety issues: Crew in good health.

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: N/A

Sol Summary – Nov 17th

Crew 215 Sol Summary Report 17-NOV-2019
Sol: 7
Summary Title: Day of Rest
Author’s name: Andrew Wheeler

Mission Status: Active

Sol Activity Summary: Today was a day off where not only the batteries got to recharge.
Personal chores and inactivity marked our day as we relaxed our way to the evening meal and the daily link with CapCom. It’s nice to be on Mars soaking in the grandeur.

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow sees a long-range emergency retrieval simulation EVA in the afternoon. The morning will see the gypsum cement experiments kick into full attention with the completion of the sampling and dismantling of the micrometeorite grid.

Anomalies in work: N/A.

Weather: Just freezing overnight, light winds, clear skies.

Crew Physical Status: Healthy


Reports to be filed: Sol Summary Report, Operations Report, EVA Report, Journalist Report, Photo of the Day.

Support Requested: Resupply for plain flour and milk, trash removal

Journalist Report – Nov 17th

Sun 17 Nov Sol 7
by Guy Murphy

Illustrations of an early Mars landing often show a Habitat, Earth return vehicle, solar plant or a nuclear reactor, supply landers and a small greenhouse ‘for growing the mission’s food’. Usually, the greenhouses shown are way too small to meaningfully grow anything, but a real Mars base is going to need fresh produce to supplement the crew’s diet and to pioneer the growth of large scale crops.

The Greenhab at the MDRS is a good size for demonstrating the range of crops that can be grown in greenhouse conditions, and after a few months should be able to provide something for the crew’s
meal plates at least once a day. I have commenced as Greenhab Officer at the start of the field season. I am therefore planting crops with a time horizon lasting till May 2020. (There are no perennial plants here).

Some crops such as radishes and lettuces will be ready to harvest very quickly. It is best to plant these every month or so in modest quantities, so the crew doesn’t suddenly have more on hand than it can eat or store. Species with long yield times should be planted as soon as possible to allow time to mature. These include tomatoes, capsicums, onions and members of the cucurbit family such as pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, and melons. Some of these can be stored as harvested, or dried or frozen.

There are no bees or other insects to pollinate flowers, which means there will need to be hand-pollinated instead. Larger growing plants will need larger pots. Trailing plants are good because they can grow over a much larger area than their soil container, running over the ground or up over frames. The legume family will produce its own nitrogen in its roof system, providing benefits to the soil that can be available to other plants. On Mars, species where all the plants can be eaten (or fed to other edible creatures) will be given preference, as these will help minimize waste.

With these considerations, we now have tomatoes, capsium, cucumbers, snow peas, onions, carrots, radishes, strawberries, spinach and rocket currently growing in the Greenhab, with more to be planted with the next soil delivery. As long as the Greenhab officer in the future crews tends the crops, a bountiful harvest should be possible here.

On Mars, the crew will need larger greenhouses to establish a more reliable food supply and allow for crop failures, including accidental pressurisation. Artificial soils based on the surface regolith will need to be created, with reliable heating, water sources, pressurisation, and lighting. Some argue hydroponic systems might be more efficient.

Future Martian gardeners should not have to worry about insects and rodents at least. We, on the other hand, saw a wild white-tailed antelope squirrel, which had wandered inside from the adjacent plain. Before I leave here I will pot up the bag of narcissus bulbs, like a pot or 2 of these inside the Hab would bring some cheer.

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