Commander Report – December 3rd

Crew 216 Commander Report 03-DEC-2019
Sol: 9
Summary Title: A major accomplishment
Author: Marc Levesque
Crew 216 completed a long awaited survey of radioactive ores and minerals using an ultraviolet (UV) light source in support of Mike’s project. As he noted in his project plan, Martian colonists will have to exploit local resources to survive and thrive on Mars, and UV searches can identify possible sources of rare-earth ores, radioactive ores, and other useful minerals, such as industrial gemstones for cutting, polishing, and abrasive processes. Traditional rock sampling, either by chipping rock faces or cone and quartering, would net only small samples (kilogram or smaller scale). An in-situ UV search of a rock-face or a gravel deposit can rapidly scan many tons of material in a matter of minutes. If a target “lights up,” it can then be sampled for further analysis in the Hab. The timing of this activity comes at an optimal time, as the crew’s time on station is rapidly diminishing with only three more sols left on the mission.