Science Report – December 26th

Crew 236 Science Report 26-DEC-2021

Crew Scientist – Tyler Nord

Science Report


Vladimir is investigating the optimization the habitat’s space and assessing alternate locations for habitat placement. With respect to the space optimization, Vladimir has completed taking measurements and photographs, as well as sketching the habitat. Thus far on EVA, he has scouted two locations near Galileo Road for habitat feasibility; one of which held potential. He still has two additional locations to evaluate on future EVAs: Candor Chasma and Toothy Ridge.


Pavi is investigating the effect of uncertainty in food and water consumption on the station’s robustness. Resource (food/water) consumption rates cannot be assumed to be constant and naturally vary with respect to a crew’s daily needs and activities. This project entails the monitoring of daily food and water consumption rates of the crew (using mass) over the two week period. A percentage uncertainty of consumption can calculated based on the variation of food/water consumed over the period of the mission. A system dynamics model with an agent-based controller is being implemented on AnyLogic 8 PLE to assess how long the station could ‘survive’ with levels of uncertainty observed during this crew (and uncertainties much higher, out of curiosity), if extended over a period of two years.


Using a Flir One Pro IR system, I am conducting thermal images of the habitat to identify locations of heat loss to the surrounding atmosphere, which lead to excessive power usage for heating. Before entering simulation, I collected thermal readings of the habitat at night, and I plan to do the same during the day on a future EVA. I have also collected interior thermal images of the Hab.

In addition to the Hab research, I am also taking thermal images of the surrounding landscapes at different levels of solar exposure to quantify the thermal inertia of the soil and rocks. I have scanned the Barainca Butte region early in the day, so intend to return at a later time of day on a future EVA and conduct moring and afternoon scans of one additional region.


Dylan is utilizing robotic observatories and a solar observatory to produce images of a plethora of celestial objects. These images will be used to increase interest in the mission and space exploration in general. These color images of nebulas, open star clusters, galaxies, double stars, and the Sun are not only beautiful to look at but also show the variety that our universe has to offer and inspire the next generation to help delve deeper into humanity’s knowledge of the cosmos.


Cesare is working on hydration of Martian analog rocks. Due to EVA cancellations, he collected only four rocks in the first week, but they show a good variety. The Barainca Butte area offered sandstone and mudstone from upper layers, but also an igneous rock. Cesare weighted the rocks as collected in the field, then soaked the rocks for 36 hours and weighted them again. The sandstone shows the highest percentage increase in weight, with hard compact mudstone/siltstone showing almost no water absorption. Then, Cesare cycled the rocks for one hour in the lab oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. All rocks had a final weight slightly lower than the original weight at collection, and again the sandstone showed the widest change in weight.