Research Report – November 5th

WoMars Mission Plan at MDRS

Nerio I is WoMars very first space analog mission under Mars-like conditions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah, USA. Being one of the very few all-female MDRS crews, WoMars believes this is a great opportunity to study the scientific, social, and medical performances of our team. In addition, each of us is conducting innovative scientific research related to our field of expertise and our role as crew members at the MDRS.

There are four main research projects that WoMars is carrying out at the MDRS:

A New Deep Space Communication Tool For Astronauts

WoMars made the decision that their analog mission will adopt a ‘high fidelity to Martian conditions’ approach during their MDRS mission. This means that, except for any emergency situations, all communication between the habitat and “Earth” will be subject to a 5 minute one way time delay. In particular the crew is comparing the effectiveness of two communication tools that are designed for use in high latency situations. One of these tools, Latency Governed Messaging (LGM), is similar to the tool that has been adopted in previous similar research experiments in other analogs that have operated under time delay. The other, Space Braiding, is a novel tool also designed specifically for high latency environments. Both these tools have been designed and developed by Braided Communications Ltd.

Before coming to the MDRS, each crew member had to choose two friends or family members with whom they would like to communicate during the mission and thus, test LGM and Braided communication tools.

During the first week at MDRS, all the crew members had a one-hour LGM session with one of their relatives and a one-hour Braided session with the other relative. Next week, all the crew members will have another one-hour LGM session and another one-hour Braided session with their respective friend or family member. So that, at the end of the Nerio I mission, all crew members would have communicated with two loved ones using both software tools.

The main objective of this research project is to compare both software tools and provide feedback to Braided Communications Ltd. once the Nerio I mission has finished. This feedback will be crucial for Braided to help develop the Braided communication tool for future space missions.

Visual odometry to determine the position of a robot in other planets

In areas like Mars, where there is no GPS system, or any satellite network developed yet, it is difficult to know specific coordinates or to drive a drone or robot to a specific location. Lazarus is a hardware that enables autonomous drone flights or robot trips in environments with no satellite network. The hardware has been developed by Dronomy, a spin-off company based in Madrid, Spain, and founded by Adrian Carrio.

Before coming to the MDRS, Lazarus was installed in a robot. During the first week, the robot has been tested in four different areas – starting from the Hab’s tunnels and continuing in Zubrin’s Head, Kissing Camel and the MDRS Ridge. The crew has recorded several experiments where Lazarus completed a distance of 10 m following a straight line. Then, Lazarus completed a closed square-shaped circuit of 10 m x 10 m.

The results will help Dronomy prove Lazarus’ visual odometry in a Mars landscape. The data will also help understand the drift that the robot may have. This will help develop Lazarus’ for future space missions.

Gender and Crew Domination in MDRS isolation research

The psychological impact that astronauts undergo during space missions is a great concern for researchers. The fact that WoMars is an all-female crew, opens a very interesting line of investigation, as it rules out the gender influence and crew domination in mixed groups. This gives the perfect scenario to understand how women interact and collaborate without the presence of men.

WoMars is working in collaboration with Dr. Inga Popovaite, sociology researcher at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. During the first week, all crew members have been writing a diary every night before going to sleep where they explained the most positive and negative experiences during the day. Writing down in these stressful situations is helping the crew to focus, calm down and maintain a healthier environment.

After the Nerio I mission, the diaries will be analyzed and the crew will be interviewed by Dr. Popovaite. The results of this research will help understand the management of emotions in small groups under an isolated confined environment.

Applications and Benefits of Augmented Reality (AR) for Training and Maintenance of a Human Settlement on Mars

The aim of this project is to identify areas where AR could be beneficial, including routinary tasks, maintenance and repair activities. For that, WoMars will record every task performed during the Nerio I mission, and will classify the tasks according to their repetitiveness and degree of difficulty. Then, WoMars will assess the possible benefits of AR as reduction in time or difficulty.

During the first week, the crew did a literature review of previous work on AR applications in space settlements as background for the study. Moreover, the crew started listing possible applications identified in their daily activities and classifying them.

Next week, the crew will continue identifying potential tasks that could be assisted with AR and the possible benefits.

After the Nerio I mission, WoMars plans to design the structure of an AR tool that could address some of the identified applications at MDRS. Ultimately, WoMars plans to develop a prototype to test its benefits in future missions.

EVA Report – November 5th

EVA # 9
Author: Cristina Vazquez Reynel, Crew Exec Officer and HSO
Purpose of EVA: Test Dronomy robot, experiment 3
Start time: 10am
End time: 12pm
Narrative: The crew took the robot Lazarus for a third trial behind MDRS station where the orography is very different from the previous test. The crew did 3 trials in a straight line and 3 trials in a square ending at the starting position. Cristina’s EVA suit ventilation stopped working and the crew had to come back to the station to change it.
Destination: Around MDRS station
Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 4251000-218000
Participants: Cristina Vazquez and Marta Ferran
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: N/A
Mode of travel: Walking

Commander Report – November 5th

Operations Report
SOL: 6
Name of person filing report: Laurène Delsupexhe
Non-nominal systems: EVA suits – fan not working properly
Notes on non-nominal systems: EVA suits – fan not working properly / Very low airflow
Spirit rover used: No
Hours: (before EVA)
Beginning charge: (Before EVA)
Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before recharging)
Currently charging:
Opportunity rover used: No
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Curiosity rover used: No
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
Perseverance rover used: No
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging:
General notes and comments: N/A
Summary of Hab operations:
Water (static tank): 312.1 gallons
Water (loft tank): N/A
Water Meter: N/A
Static to Loft Pump used – no
Static tank pipe heater (on or off): On
Static tank heater (On or off): On
Toilet tank emptied: no
Summary of internet: Nothing to report
Summary of suits and radios: EVA suits -> Fans very low
Summary of GreenHab operations:
WATER USE: 7.2 gallons
Heater: Off
Supplemental light: Off
Harvest: No
Summary of Science Dome operations:
Dual split: Heat or AC, Off
Summary of RAM operations: Welder
Summary of any observatory issues: N/A
Summary of health and safety issues: Two crew members have repetitive nose bleeding
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: N/A

Commander Report – November 25th

GreenHub Report
GreenHub Officer: Paula Peixoto Moledo
Environmental control: 18% Humidity
Average temperatures: 27ºC/36ºC /25ºC
Hours of supplemental light: N/A
Daily water usage for crops: 27,5L ≈ 7,2 Gallons
Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes: None
Water in Blue Tank 72 gallons (it was wrong yesterday)
Time(s) of watering for crops: 9:30am – 8 pm
Changes to crops: None
Narrative: I watered the plants 2 times today as everyday since the beginning of the mission. Today I am going to harvest Microgreens to have a nice dinner with them!
Harvest: Microgreens
Support/supplies needed: None

Commander Report – November 5th

Commander Report
Sol: 6
Summary Title: Everything’s gonna be alright
Author’s name: Marta Ferran-Marqués, Commander and Crew Scientist
Mission Status: Nominal
Commander Report: Our crew woke up this morning at 8.30 am, one hour later than usual, as it is Saturday. For breakfast the crew had some handmade chocolate chip cookies and coffee. Later in the morning, Cristina and Marta went for an EVA around the MDRS Ridge. The purpose of the EVA was to continue the experiments with Lazarus, the visual odometry robot designed by Dronomy – a spin-off from Madrid, Spain. The crew compiled valuable data, making it a successful EVA. The views from the top of the Ridge were spectacular!

While Cristina and Marta were outside, Laurene had her Braided Communication session with her loved one and then helped Paula cleaning the Hab – good job girls! The Hab smells really good now!

In the afternoon, the crew repaired some connections from Lazarus’ robot in the RAM and then they went to the Science Dom to inspect some of the rocks picked at The Overlook during yesterday’s EVA. The crew will prepare a Mars’ map indicating the salinity of the soil in all the areas explored until now. The map will help understand the probability of growing plants in specific areas.

After a busy and stressful day writing all the reports, the crew relaxed and had dinner together – pizza night!

Sol Summary – November 5th

Sol Summary Report
Sol: 6
Summary Title: Stendhal Syndrome views on Mars!
Author’s name: Paula Peixoto Moledo, Crew Biologist and Crew Journalist
Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Summary: Our crew woke up this morning at 8.30 am. We had some good coffee and some cookies prepared by the crew yesterday! Later in the morning Cristina and Marta went in their first on-foot EVA! They explore the surroundings of the station, a beautiful spot! And they also performed two different experiments with Lazarus, the robot by Dronomy. Both experiments were successful, and the EVA Crew took some amazing pics! Meanwhile, Laurene and Paula cleaned a little bit of the Hab.

Early in the afternoon, the crew fixed some issues with Lazarus in the RAM. Afterward, they went to the Science Building to explore some samples that the crew took from the 2 last EVAs. They came up with an idea to explore the soil around the station.

Later, the crew had a lot of reports to fill so they put themselves hands-on to finish by 7 pm!
Then Paula went to the Green Hab to maintain the plants and to harvest the crew’s first plants! Microgreens!

After a nice day in Mars, the crew cooked together a special dinner – PIZZA with our newly harvested microgreens!

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow Paula and Laurene are planning to explore the spot that Cristina and Marta explored today (Should be amazing). And the Crew is going to have a peaceful day – It is also Sunday on Mars!

Anomalies at work: Some of the fans from the EVA suits are not working properly (Very low airflow).
Weather: Sunny, 13 °C
Crew Physical Status: Good
EVA: 1
Reports to be filed:
· Sol Summary Report from 5Nov2022
· Commander Report
· GreenHab Report
· Operations Report
· EVAs Reports
· HSO Report
· EVA Request
· Weekly Research Report

Support Requested: Thank you Mission Support !

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