Sol Summary – December 12th


Crew 217 Sol Summary Report 12Dec2019

Sol: 3

Summary Title: Grand Finale

Author’s name: Atila Meszaros

Mission Status: Sol 3 and end of the mission. Excitement for the future of this new and excellent program and organizing and cleaning the hab for the crew departure.

Sol Activity Summary: As the mission was beginning to end, there was only one more thing we needed to do: launch some rocket! During an hour and a half, we built, designed and put together our missiles, some of us more gracefully than others. After a harsh hour fighting with our crafts abilities (yes, S, I mean you), we had to wait for the magic glue to dry. In the meantime, part of the crew proceeded to perform our morning EVA to Hab Ridge to collect devil's toenail, seashells from the Jurassic. We organize and plant several new seeds in the GreenHab, we created miniature environments in our terrarium, made of Mars simulant soil, and planted the cutest succulents in the world (my little baby is called Piko). The rocket launching during our last EVA was something I'll never forget, Jenn and Shannon had a successful launch and recovery, while Teresa and I will keep trying. An amazing day on an amazing mission with an amazing crew.

Look Ahead Plan: Crew 217 is taking off and going back to Mars! Well, part of it, the two regular Martians will stay holding the base. The crew will be departing on different hours and by noon the Hab will have a week-off.

Anomalies in work: Nothing to report.

Weather: Warm during most of the day, partly clear skies, almost none winds.

Crew Physical Status: Tired, healthy, and accomplished.

EVA: The last two EVAs of the mission. During the first one, part of the crew explored the Hab Ridge area, next to Sagan St to collect Graphia, macroinvertebrate fossils for education purposes. The second EVA was focused on the first rocket launch during the sim.

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, EVA Reports 3 & 4, HSO Report, GreenHab Report, Science Report, Commander Report Operations Report, Journalist Report, and Photos

Support Requested: None

Command Report – December 12th


Commander’s Report

12 Dec 2019

Shannon Rupert

Today I had the fifth grade experience I never had when I was in the
fifth grade. I make a Space War alarm using a circuit set. I planted
a plant in Martian soil. And I made a rocket. A real one. That
worked and everything. I needed a hell of a lot of help to get it
fashioned out of the bits and pieces of paper and plastic in the kit,
and I got glue on my fingers and remembered how much I hated that, but
in the end it was a stylish retro rocket with a shimmering copper body
and a silver cone on top. At the end of the day I watched as it
soared straight up, fire lighting its way. It was very satisfying, and
even though I’m not a fan of the STEM movement, I have to admit I am
grateful now that kids get to experience these things, because I would
have loved them as a fifth grader, and I’m not going to lie, I loved
them today.

It’s been an inspiring week. For years, I have wanted to develop a
program to support and foster relationships among K-12 teachers here
at MDRS. I wanted to be able to bring them here and give them the
opportunity to explore new ways to connect themselves with space, and
in an extension of that, connect their kids with space. Thanks to
support from the Utah NASA Space Grant Consortium I was able to do
that, when they funded my proposal for a NASA Spaceward Bound Utah
(NSBU) program. And then, as a bonus, it all went better than

I couldn’t have asked for better teachers to inspire me and confirm
that there is magic when you bring together good teachers. Hope, Jen,
Teresa, Cynthia, Ann and Kevin have the right stuff. Amazingly
generous, filled with enthusiasm for space and a love for teaching,
they made me realize how good the world really is, that these people
are the ones working, against all odds really, to inspire this newest
generation to touch the stars, to not only dream about becoming a
space-faring species, but to understand that is it possible, and that
they have within them the tools to make it happen. Really good
teachers are the most valuable asset our children have. And this team
of Alpha-T, first cohort of NSBU, are the best!

GreenHab Report – December 12th


Crew 217 GreenHab Report - 12-12-2019

GreenHab Officer: Cynthia Hori

Environmental control:

Ambient with door open


Shade cloth (40% and 30%) on

Average temperatures

Low 66 F

High 90 F

Hours of supplemental light :5

Daily water usage for crops: 80 L

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes:

Water in Blue Tank—235 gallons remaining

Time(s) of watering for crops: 4:00 pm

Changes to crops: An animal is eating the plants. All 6 zucchini
plants have been eaten, 2 Cucumber plants, and 8 pea plants. All
acorn pumpkin squash plants were re-potted. All herbs were transferred
from pots to the herb garden plot. The herbs added were grapefruit
mint, pineapple mint, 2 rosemary plants, and spicy orange thyme.
More cilantro seeds were planted, replanted zucchini and peas.
Spinach, romaine, butter lettuce was planted along with a flat of

Narrative: All crew members helped in the garden today and we got so
much done! We jammed to some tunes as we worked, thanks to Atila. The
second shade cloth (30% cover) was put up and the white Ikea hanging
pots were hung at a height to allow for watering. We separated pepper
plants into pots, moved acorn squash into individual pots, thinned
basil and cilantro. All hands were on deck in the greenhouse and we
left feeling accomplished. Now to catch the little critter that is
eating the plants.

Harvest :78 grams basil and 13 grams cilantro--


Operations Report – December 12th


Crew 217Operations Report 12/12/ 2019

SOL: 3

Name of person filing report: Hope Zubrin

Non-nominal systems: nothing to report


Hours run: 12

From what time last night: 7:00 pm

To what time this morning: 7:00AM

List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: n/a

Solar— SOC 58 % (Before generator is run at night)

Diesel Reading – 22%

Station Propane Reading –not checked

Ethanol Free Gasoline: 5 gallons

Water (loft tank): 50 gallons

Water Meter: 1468493 units

Water (static tank): 375gallons

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water in GreenHab: 235 gallons

Water in ScienceDome: 0 gallons

Toilet tank emptied: no

Deimos rover used: off campus


Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging:

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR


Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: yes

Spirit rover used:no


Beginning charge: (Before EVA) 100; 100%

Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before recharging) 100%

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: off campus


Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging:

Curiosity rover used: no


Beginning charge:100%

Ending charge: 100%

Currently charging: yes

Notes on rovers:

ATV’s Used: (Honda, 300, 350.1, 350.2, 350.3)

Reason for use:not used

Oil Added? n/a

ATV Fuel Used: zero gallons

# Hours the ATVs were used today:

Notes on ATVs: nothing to report

HabCar used and why, where? No

CrewCar used and why, where?At HAB, David picked it up in Grand Junction

General notes and comments:

Summary of internet: nominal

Summary of suits and radios: Suit 11 needs to be checked - shoulder
strap & snap loose, Suit 4 did not charge

Summary of Hab operations: nothing to report

Summary of GreenHab operations: 30 % black shade cloth installed

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Nothing to report.

Summary of RAM operations: nothing to report

Summary of any observatory issues: nothing to report

Summary of health and safety issues: nothing to report.

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

Science Report – December 12th


Research Report 12 December 2019

Crew 217 – NSBU 217

Submitted by Science Officers Ann Rockett & Kevin Berean

1. Sharing of Mars and Space-related Classroom Activities:

Crew members continued to discuss ways in which teacher experiences at
MDRS during SIM can inform new lessons, activities and projects for
students. Several ideas were recorded and shared among the crew and
plans have been made to connect students across states as they engage
in space-related curriculum. Two hands-on activities were conducted
among the crew (rocket science and Mars bio systems) and discussions
took place to further develop said activities.

2. Conducting a Biodiversity Survey of Ephemeral Potholes in a
Mars Analog:

Nothing to report.

3. Investigating if Life Exists in a Green Layer of the Morrison
Strata that is Exposed Throughout the MDRS Exploration Area:

Crew Scientist, Kevin observed the green band samples plated yesterday
and incubated overnight. He reported no change.

4. Search for Halophiles in Surface Gypsum:

Nothing to report.

5. Exploration of Ways to Communicate with Classrooms at MDRS.

The crew continues to discuss the feasibility of utilizing Flipgrid
for future NSBU teachers. Crew HSO, Jen has logged 2.6 hours of
engagement during her Flipgrid pilot this week with her students in
Salt Lake City. The pilot was successful; however, it was noted that
preassigned topics for students would be beneficial as would more
reliable internet access at MDRS.

EVA Report – December 12th


Crew 217 EVA Report
11 Dec 2019

Ann Rockett

EVA Date: Sol 2, 12-11-19

Start time for EVA: 9:00 am

End time for EVA: 12:30 pm

Weather was clear and sunny.

Purpose of EVA:

To investigate the presence of life in water found in potholes study.
Green bands sample collection to bring back to lab for analysis and

Destination: Lith Canyon

Cow dung road Dino quarry at Lith Canyon traveling by rover and on foot

EVA Participants: Cynthia, Teresa, Kevin, Ann


EVA One (Ann, Cynthia, Kevin, Teresa) journeyed to Lith Canyon. One
of MDRS’s absolute rules is that one stops when the Rovers’ battery
reaches 60%. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not take the
Rover further afield when the battery reads 60%. About two-thirds
the way to Lith Canyon, Spirit’s battery read 60%. Not to be deterred,
the astronauts continued with their mission, one Rover down. Failure
was not an option.

They successfully collected water samples from three separate
potholes. They also took measured pH and temperature and took
salinity readings They also scaped rock samples from four samples from
the green sediment in the Morrison strata: one from above the green
layer, one from the green layer, one from under the green layer, and
one from a group of crystalline structures in the layer above the
green layer. Finding themselves with over 60 minutes left in their
EVA allotment of time, the group also collected gypsum samples at the
Cow Dung Road/Moon Overlook Road junction.

Journalist Report – December 12th


Crew 217 Journalist Report
12 Dec 2019

Teresa Hislop

Rockets, river beds, and rodents….

Our final day of sim started with a raucous rocket assembling party.
The four rocket experts (Ann, Cynthia, Kevin, Hope) tutored the four
rocket novices (Shannon, Atila, Teresa, Jen) and, in the end, four
rockets were assembled, painted, and ready for an afternoon launch.

The morning EVA took the six teacher explorers along a dry river bed,
up a winding road, past Badlands-esque geologic vistas, and onto a
plateau of literally littered with 150 million year old Devil’s
Toenail (Gryphaea) fossils. The teachers took many fossils and more

After dusting the hike’s soil from their boots, the crew got their
hands dirty when they planted succulents in pint jars. Each of the
eight crew members made a mini-terrarium using a small cactus, 5-10 ml
white gravel, and about 200 ml Mars simulant soil.

From mini-terrarium to full size greenhouse, from Martian simulant
soil to Earth-origined planting soil, the crew moved from the Hab to
the greenhouse to plant, re-plant, and repair. During the night
something ate all the zucchini, most of the peas, and several
tomatoes. The once healthy plants disappeared at ground level. We
suspect a rodent with a green tooth. Cynthia and Teresa replanted the
munched plants, transplanted herbs, acorn pumpkin and peppers, thinned
basil and cilantro, and planted lettuce and more cilantro. Atila
hung planter pots out of reach of the rascally rodent, Atila and Kevin
hung a shade screen, and Shannon crashed through an old bed.

The day’s adventures ended with a BANG. Every missile was
successfully launched and every missile was successfully recovered.
Shannon’s happy dance reflected everyone’s happy mood. Life is good
on Mars!!
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