Operations Report – September 28th

MDRS Operations Report 25-28-SEPT-2021

Name of person filing report: Shannon Rupert and Crew Engineer David Laude

Reason for Report: Routine daily

Non-nominal systems: Autoclave

Action taken for non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Generator: Nothing to report

ScienceDome Dual Split: Off

Solar— Nominal, providing all power

Solar— SOC % Last 24 hours:

Average 68.3

Minimum 47

Maximum 100

Note on solar: Nothing to report

Diesel Reading – Empty, tank to be removed soon

Propane Reading, station tank – 80%

Propane Reading, director tank— 74%

Propane Reading, intern tank— 72%

Propane Reading, generator— 80%

Ethanol Free Gasoline – 5 gallons

Water (loft tank): 41 gallons

Water Meter: 152,297.4 gallons

Water (static tank) – ~ 450 gallons

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water in GreenHab – gallons Unknown to me at this time. Will report after I find out how to measure it. Too late now.

Water in ScienceDome: 0 gallons

Water (Outpost tank) – 130 gallons

Hab toilet tank emptied: no

Perseverance rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Sojourner rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Spirit rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Opportunity rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Curiosity rover used: yes


Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: yes

Notes on rovers: We will get hours on the first EVA.

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

Reason for use: parked at Outpost

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 0 Gals

# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 1

Notes on ATVs: One of the 350’s is still acting as a sign because the battery is dead. I will move tomorrow

HabCar used and why, where? Yes, for water and supplies

CrewCar used and why, where? Yes, to Grand Junction to pick up crew

Luna used and why, where? Yes, but only moved on campus

General notes and comments: Nothing to report

Summary of internet: All old accounts are nominal. New service still not working.

Summary of suits and radios: We tried on both styles. All of us picked the single piece unit. The two piece is too flawed. The lower helmet ring is too far forward as it causes the head to be forced against the back of head restricting movement and constant muscle tension against it. Also, the rear ring clamps are forced against the frame making them difficult to open or close. On some helmets the upper ring front down-pointing latch section is bent backward causing it not to engage lower clamp mate. That is easily fixed with pliers, but every time the helmet is set down the front rests upon that small piece. We would send photos if requested. Regarding the one piece, unit 7 had no fan when switched on. One battery connector had slipped off a battery terminal. Reattachment was firm, but since it came off, I will make it hold better tomorrow by crimping the female connector. One radio has suddenly become erratic and unusable. With an in-situ crew of 4, we have spares.

Campus wide inspection, if action taken, what and why? Nothing to report

Summary of general operations: RAM and SciDome were cleaned. Four signs built by the work party had pier blocks attached and they were deployed-two along Cow Dung Road stating where our land begins and ends, and two on the driveways to restrict unauthorized personnel from driving to the station. So far tourist reactions are mixed.

Summary of Hab operations: All but a few food items supplied to the crew. Lower deck cleaning completed.

Summary of Outpost operations: Nothing to report.

Summary of GreenHab operations:

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Building was cleaned today but still some things to do before it is complete

Summary of RAM operations: Organized and cleaned. Tools used to assemble 4 heavy warning signs.

Summary of any observatory issues: Robotic observatory is down.

Summary of health and safety issues: All crew nominal.

Questions, concerns, supplies needed and requests: A few food items to come. Body temp thermometer coming. Smoke detector for RAM requested.

Journalist Report – September 28th

Forwarded on behalf of Remote Crew Journalist Stuart Hughes:


By Stuart Hughes, Remote Crew Journalist

One of the buzzwords of the moment is “hybrid” or “blended” working.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we’re living two parallel lives – one
of them in person and the other in the virtual spaces of Zoom and
Microsoft Teams that have become our natural habitat over the past 18

So it is with MDRS Crew 228. We are perhaps the first “hybrid” crew.
Our original mission date was for April 2020. Then COVID struck and
turned all our lives upside down. Remaining travel restrictions mean
we’ve been unable to come together in the Hab as we’d hoped and
planned for. As if to add insult to injury, the long-awaited news of
the lifting of the travel ban to the US came just last week – although
the changes won’t come into force in time for us to jump on a plane
and join our crew mates. So while half the crew carry out our mission
on “Mars,” the other half are watching on with more than a twinge of
jealousy from our home countries.

Prior to our original mission date I sought some advice on how to
approach a space analog mission from Anastasia Stepanova. Anastasia is
an engineer at the Russian Academy of Science. She spent a total of 10
months participating in space simulations with the Mars160 and SIRIUS
projects. When I met Anastasia, little did I know that COVID-19
lockdowns were just around the corner and the whole world was about to
gain more experience of living in isolation than any of us could have

In my job as a BBC journalist, I’m plugged into the news cycle all
day, every day. I confess that suddenly being cut off from that
constant stream of information was the thing I was fearing most during
my time at MDRS.

Anastasia trained as a journalist, so I asked her how she coped with
living in an information black hole.

"We didn’t have the internet, only an internal server, but the
psychological team would send you information if you requested it,”
she told me.

“Funnily enough, nobody in our crew asked for any news, apart from
space news! I was asking for space news – so they sent me screen grabs
from space.com. But we didn’t know what’s going on in the world.

“I liked that. I had a little break from all that. A digital detox is
the best thing I had – I still miss it! It’s harder when you’re in
civilization but I still try to go to the countryside on the weekends
and not check my phone for a whole day."

Not being able to monitor the TV news bulletins for months on end may
not have troubled Anastasia Stepanova but there were some reminders of
home she yearned for while taking part in analog missions.

“You start to miss smells and sounds,” she admitted.

“In the last simulation (SIRIUS) we had a really artificial
environment. We were in a hermetic chamber and we had a unique
atmosphere, totally independent from Earth’s. The air pressure was 3%
higher than on Earth to keep dust particles out. We had the sound of
the ventilation but we didn’t have the sound of the wind or rain or
waves. We didn’t have pleasant smells. When mint appeared in the
greenhouse everyone came there to smell it and remember the Earth. You
also miss colours and lights. I think the design of a future space
station is very important. It should be a mixture of high tech and
very earthy.”

I asked Anastasia for her personal tips for coping with the
confinement of an MDRS mission, never anticipating that I’d soon be
using them inside the four walls of my own home in London!

"Always separate the professional from the personal,” she advised.

“If you discuss something and have a disagreement, don’t take it
personally. Keep your sense of humour – in all my crews we had a sense
of humour, and it saved us so many times. When we had conversations
that were on the edge, jokes would lighten things up and we could move
on. If you feel a bit irritated, try to put yourself in the other
person’s place or go and do some exercise.

“If something bothers you, calm down first and then discuss how you
can sort it out. That’s the key. I know it’s hard, especially when
you’re in there and everything seems so big. But just breathe out,
breathe in, do some yoga or meditation, write, play video games or
listen to music. I did yoga in front of the greenhouse, so I had my
"Earth corner." Just take some time for yourself and then you can

Although it’s frustrating not to be able to be alongside my crew mates
at MDRS, my frustration dissolves into nothing when I remind myself of
the overarching goal – to create a permanent human presence on Mars.

As Anastasia Stepanova says, “For the first time ever in history maybe
we’ll build a life on Mars. Maybe we’ll be the ones who see how the
whole conception of our existence changes – and that’s amazing.”

The pandemic that has ruled our lives for too long will pass and the
chance to fulfil my long-delayed dream of visiting MDRS will come. If
there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s the importance of patience
and the ability to overcome disappointments and setbacks.

The end goal is worth the wait.


Sol Summary – September 28th

Sol: 1

Summary Title: The Orange Bucket

Author’s name: Jin Sia (HSO)

Mission Status: Nominal, Hab fully prepared for in-sim operations

Sol Activity Summary: We started the day with breakfast pancakes made
by Dave, during which we discussed how our daily routine will run for
the next few sols. Then, we got to work cleaning the Hab lower deck
and the RAM. After a thorough vacuuming and mopping, including Inga
and Lindsay going over every square inch of the lower deck with paper
towels, the floors are now sparkling clean. We hope they won’t get too
dirty again if we keep our EVA boots confined to the airlocks –
perhaps this is a bit optimistic, given that we are surrounded by
literal mountains of dust! After a lunch of broccoli cheddar soup made
by Lindsay, we tested out the EVA suits by donning and doffing them on
the lower deck, then walking through the tunnel between the Hab and
the RAM. We found that the old style of spacesuits worked best for us
if the straps are secured properly. However, a ferocious Martian dust
storm (that contained a suspiciously large amount of liquid water)
quickly forced us back into the Hab. I proceeded to make a Malaysian
staple, Chinese-style fried rice. It turned out to be the best fried
rice I’ve ever made – does this mean that restaurants use freeze-dried
ingredients for fried rice?! Overall, it was a productive day that
ended with us all being very well-fed. We may find we’ve gained weight
at the end of this…

Look Ahead Plan: Inga will begin her psychological journal pilot study
later tonight. We also hope to file a plan for our first two EVAs on
the Red Planet tomorrow, if weather permits.

Anomalies in work: We encountered issues with the new spacesuit neck
rings that made them uncomfortable to wear. We will contact Dr. Rupert
to discuss next steps.

Weather: Warm and sunny this morning, but a thunderstorm came near the
Hab late in the afternoon. We did not need to evacuate to the lower

Crew Physical Status: All crew nominal, feeling better than yesterday.

EVA: None today.

Reports to be filed: GreenHab, Science, Photo, EVA request

Support Requested: RAM seems to be missing a smoke detector,
requesting an additional one to put there.


Science Report – September 28th

Crew 228 Science Report 28Sep2021
Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer Inga Popovaite
Group Processes Study:

Continuing data collection for the study (University of Iowa IRB# 201911141) on small group interaction in space analog environments. This is an ethnographic study during which Inga Popovaite is documenting interactions between a group of people that live and work in a confined environment. It is the final part of her dissertation in which she examines group dynamics from socio structural perspective.

Other research projects:
Nothing to report.

Inga Popovaitė,


Science Report – September 28th

Crew 228 Science Report 28Sep2021
Crew Scientist / GreenHab Officer Inga Popovaite
Group Processes Study:
Continuing data collection for the study (University of Iowa IRB# 201911141) on small group interaction in space analog environments.
Other research projects:
Nothing to report.

Inga Popovaitė,


Greenhab Report – September 28th

Crew 228 GreenHab Report 28-09-2021

Crew Scientist/GreenHab Officer: Inga Popovaite

Environmental control: Kept up at 65F at night; temp higher during the day.

Average temperatures: ~70-80F during the day; kept at 65F at night

Hours of supplemental light: N/A

Daily water usage for crops: ~20-25 liters (more on a hot day, less on a cloudy/cooler day)

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes:

Water in Blue Tank _____ gallons (~3/4 full)

Time(s) of watering for crops: 7.30, 12.30, 16.00, 19.30

Changes to crops: Seeds are sprouting nicely!

Narrative: Mostly caring for the seedlings; bigger plants are watered once a day. I plan to plant carrots, chamomile, some lettuce and other crops during my tenure here for the upcoming crews to enjoy.

Current crops: Seedlings/sprouting: tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, other.

Mature: green onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, aloe, rosemary, basil, cilantro, micro greens, mint, other.

Harvest: 10 grams of green onion, 5 grams of basil. Ready to harvest: cherry tomatoes, spinach, green onion, micro greens, other herbs

Support/supplies needed: None

Next GreenHab report: 01Oct2021

Inga Popovaitė,

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