Journalist Report – Dec 23rd

Crew 236 Journalist Report 23DEC2021

Journalist Report

Ben Durkee, Crew 236 Journalist

Sol 04

We had our first death in the field today. It wasn’t the engineer, she had her equipment on lock and in tip-top shape. It wasn’t the geologist, he collected a plethora of gorgeous samples without interruption. It wasn’t the scientist, fortunately for his research and for the perilous drive back, which tested his acute rover piloting skills. That only leaves one.

It’s a funny thing, losing your air. At first you don’t even notice it’s thinning. And then it’s like you’re biting into something that doesn’t have nearly as much texture or flavor as you were expecting. And then the flavor’s completely gone, and you’re left utterly lacking for a moment. You can still inhale and exhale perfectly fine, but your lungs come out of the exchange empty-handed.

I made it back to the rovers with visibility failing, but it was a 25 minute drive back to the Habitat and admittedly I hadn’t been practicing my Olympic breath-holding techniques. I let out one last wisecrack, and that was that. Not a bad way to go, honestly. My family hasn’t been notified yet, so I suppose this is how they’ll find out. Surprise!

While the four (three and a half, really) of us repressurized at Hab, sweet Hab, the rest of the crew finished preparing some kind of unconventional medicinal salve. Its technical name was something along the lines of “chicken noodle soup,” though I could be misremembering. The medical realm eludes me, but it seems to have done the trick! I retreated to my hobbit hole to recuperate and took the most bomb nap of my life (lives?). Something about departing from this mortal coil really takes it outta you, I guess!

Other than my equipment-based curse rearing its ugly head in the most morbid way possible, the EVA was a success! We made it to Barainca Butte with little tribulation. We did have to ditch the rovers at a certain point, when the trail became too treacherous, but we needed the exercise anyway. The butte blessed us with picturesque landscapes, plentiful rocks of unbelievable variety, and nooks and crannies ripe for interesting thermal imaging.

One quick dissociation from reality later, and the smell of dinner suddenly permeated through the whole Hab. Pavi and Cesare prepared a phenomenal couscous & curry concoction, as conversation vanquished the hours and the weather slowly began to sour.

I now write this as the Habitat shakes and resonates, battered by the elements. The wind whistles over the dimple in our roof like a belligerent god blowing a giant jug of moonshine. Sometimes the raw power of the Martian climate just takes my breath away.

Ooh, maybe a little too soon for that one…

Sol Summary Report Dec 23rd

Crew 236 Sol Summary Report 23DEC2021

Sol: 4

Summary Title: Groundhog Day

Author’s name: Kasey Hilton

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: It’s not Groundhog Day but it feels like we lived yesterday all over again. After having to cut yesterday’s EVA short due to radio issues, we retried the EVA today with the same wake up time, same breakfast, same EVA crew, same destination, but without the radio failure. Meanwhile, the remaining crew at the Hab spent time catching up on research and a few good books. After reuniting over bowls of chicken noodle soup, we continued with research and individual free time. The plan is to watch Airplane on someone’s small laptop screen to top the night off. Too bad the Hab doesn’t have any Bill Murray movies.

Look Ahead Plan: The forecast for tomorrow includes some rain, so we will request an EVA and see if the weather allows for EVA tomorrow. If no EVA is possible, the crew will spend a day inside working on research, outreach and free time.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Partly overcast, temperature in the 40s

Crew Physical Status: Nominal

EVA: Today’s EVA was successful with both research objectives achieved. A crew member’s spacesuit fan died towards the end, but the crew quickly returned to the Hab after.

Reports to be filed: Operations Report, GreenHab Report, EVA Report, Health and Safety Report, Sol Summary, and Journalist Report (with photos).

Support Requested: It is very windy tonight so is there anything special we need to do to make sure doors don’t blow open?

Operations Report Dec 23rd

Crew 236 Operations Report 23DEC2021

SOL: 4

Name of person filing report: Pavithra Ravi

Non-nominal systems: None

Notes on non-nominal systems: N/A


Hours run: 16 hours 2 minutes

From what time last night: 16:58

To what time this morning: 09:00

List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: None

Solar— SOC % (Before generator is run at night): Information provided by Outpost

Station Propane Reading – % Information provided by Outpost

Ethanol Free Gasoline: Not in use

Water (loft tank): 32.5 gallons

Water Meter: 1539893 units

Water (static tank): approx. 370 gallons

Static to Loft Pump used: No

Water in GreenHab: approx. 213 gallons

Water in ScienceDome: N/A

Toilet tank emptied: No

Deimos rover used: No

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: N/A

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: N/A

Spirit rover used: No

Hours (before EVA 1): N/A

Beginning charge (Before EVA 1): N/A

Ending charge (On return from EVA 1, before recharging): N/A

Hours (before EVA 2): N/A

Beginning charge (Before EVA 2): N/A

Ending charge (On return from EVA 2, before recharging): N/A

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: Yes

Hours: 76.6

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 75%

Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: Yes

Hours: 155.1

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 97%

Currently charging: Yes

Notes on rovers: One of the rovers was accidentally not turned off after the EVA today. This was identified about three hours after the return from the EVA and resolved with an emergency EVA.

ATV’s Used (Honda, 300, 350.1, 350.2, 350.3): None

Reason for use: N/A

Oil Added? N/A

ATV Fuel Used: N/A

# Hours the ATVs were used today: N/A

Notes on ATVs: N/A

HabCar used and why, where? No

CrewCar used and why, where? No, but we did not report mileage when leaving Grand Junction and heading to MDRS. Mileage – 198640. Tank is full. No damage besides normal wear and tear. Oil was checked — it’s about 75% full (oil level was around the 4th of 5 dots).

General notes and comments: None

Summary of internet: Nominal

Summary of suits and radios: Nominal. The new headset works properly.

Today, the fan on one of the suits slowed down considerably about two hours into the EVA, causing the crew member’s helmet to fog up. The EVA was immediately halted, and the crew attempted to return to the Hab before the fan stopped. Unfortunately, the fan completely failed just about 10 minutes after. It was later found that the suit was only plugged in partially, resulting in an incomplete charge.

Summary of Hab operations: Nominal

Summary of GreenHab operations: Nominal

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Nominal

Summary of RAM operations: Nominal

Summary of any observatory issues: In correspondence with the

astronomy support team.

Summary of health and safety issues: Nominal

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: None

Green Hab Report Dec 23rd

Crew 236 GreenHab Report – 23DEC2021

GreenHab Officer: Vladimir Zeltsman

Environmental Control: Around 17% Humidity

Average Temperatures: 78 degrees

Hours of Supplemental Light: 7 hours

Daily Water Usage For Crops: 9 gallons

Daily Water Usage For Research and/or Other Purposes: None

Water In Blue Tank: 213 Gallons

Times of watering for crops: 8:00 am

Changes to Crops: None

Narrative: None

Harvest: 7g Basil, 20g Mint

Support/supplies needed: None

Astronomy Report Dec 23rd

Crew 236 Astronomy Report 23 Dec 2021

Crew Astronomer:

Name: Dylan Dilger

Crew: 236

Date: 12/23/2021


Robotic Telescope Requested: Montana Learning Center

Objects Viewed: None, but processed M37 images taken 2 days ago

Problems Encountered: The same steady wind that affected the Crab nebula images taken the same night elongated the stars


Solar Features Observed: None

Problems Encountered: Still troubleshooting observatory dome controls, communicating with Astronomy Team about this.

EVA Report Dec 23rd

Crew 236 EVA Report 23DEC2021

EVA #4

Author: Cesare Guariniello

Start time: 9.31 AM

End time: 12.02 PM

Narrative: The team began EVA preparation around 9 and entered the airlock at 9.31, just at the beginning of the EVA window. Crew Journalist replaced his earpiece that caused issues on EVA #3. After depressurization, the crew boarded the vehicles and headed south along Cow Dung road. After a drive of about 5 km, the crew walked towards Barainca Butte. Along the way, XO had a couple of stops to collect rock samples. One rock is brown and black and heavily vesiculated (possibly scoria). Other rocks came down from upper layers of hard mudstone and conglomerates. Meanwhile, SCI took rock temperature measurements for a project on thermal inertia of minerals at MDRS. ENG and JOU assisted and documented the work. The EVA crew reached the south side of Barainca Butte and continued its research proceeding counterclockwise around the butte. After having walked about one quarter of the perimeter of the butte, JOU noted some increasing fogging of the helmet and asked to position the fan switch at maximum speed. The fogging decreased, but JOU reported the fans slowing down. The crew decided to reduce the EVA time and began walking towards the vehicles. Unfortunately, within just a few minutes, JOU experienced a total loss of the fans which, on Mars, would require an urgent contingency rescue or would result in loss of the crewmember. Since the fogging disappeared quickly and JOU reported receiving enough air from underneath the collar, he elected to keep his helmet on for the drive back to the Hab. During the drive back, the crew met some astronauts onboard terrestrial-looking vehicles. The crew stopped the vehicles on the side of Cow Dung road, south of Kissing Camel range, to let the unknown astronauts pass by, with a brief and very amicable exchange of nods and smiles. The crew returned to the Hab about one hour earlier than the expected time, without further incidents.

Destination: Around Barainca Butte

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): N4247200, W519000

Participants: Cesare (XO), Tyler (SCI), Ben (JOU), Pavi (ENG)

Road(s) and routes as per MDRS Map: from the Hab south on Cow Dung Road, west towards Barainca Butte (region J)

Mode of travel: Driving and walking

Vehicles used: Curiosity and Opportunity

Cesare Guariniello


Crew 236

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