EVA # 6
Author: Izabela Shopova (Narrative), Elizabeth Balga (Hotwash Notes)
Purpose of EVA: Rover work (per Dr. Rupert). Engineering sample (rock) collection.
Start time: 9:30 AM
End time: 11:00 AM
The EVA started on time and as planned the crew was driving 3 rovers – ‘Opportunity’, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Curiosity’ – to test them after their servicing.
Weather was clear and sunny, and the rovers performed well. Crew noted the position where radio connection with the Hub was lost and switched to channel 2. Reaching the established goal of the expedition – the intersection of Cow Dung Road and Brahe Rd – the crew stopped, noted the battery performance, took photos and explored the area for 15 minutes.
On the return back to the Hub the crew stopped after crossing a river bed to explore and take photos of local vegetation for the crew biologist. Soon after continuing with the return drive ‘Opportunity’ lost power and stopped. Red light came up on the dashboard indicating overheating.
Bottom line up front — In the future, the team should better utilize available time on EVA in the event of an anomaly. Crew was prioritizing safety and sim, but should also prioritize mission critical equipment based on available time.
EVA team initiated return from Brahe intersection around 10:02 AM
Oppy’s battery was around ~75% upon initiating return, best battery performance of the 3 rovers
EVA team stopped at mud flat on the return trip. Departed mud flat around 10:12 AM
En route back to habitat, Oppy broke down around ~10:15 AM
Oppy was located at the rear of convoy and broke down on a slope (slightly downward)
Driver noted that the red light on the dashboard was illuminated. May have turned on earlier but difficult to see with spacesuit, glare, and steering wheel
Driver waited with rover for ~10 minutes TOTAL while crewmates returned to spot & pursued troubleshooting
Tried to start rover again two times (about 5 mins between each attempt), no joy
There were no communications with the hab or outpost at the location of rover breakdown. The
Team wanted to re-established comms in case of additional instructions from HABCOM or Outpost, but did not want to split up and strand a crew member per protocol.
Ultimately team had additional time (20 mins) to spare before EVA end, so could have spent another 10 minutes waiting before abandoning
Note: Times validated during hotwash with HABCOM and photos
Additionally, had tow rope but no training/protocol for towing
Also concern with towing for risk to remaining rovers since breakdown occurred in gulley
Crew left tow rope with abandoned rover to assist with recovery
Crew brought keys back to station per protocol
Crew abandoned the rover and initiated return around 10:25 AM
Crew entered the airlock around ~10:35 AM
Destination: Intersection of Cow Dung Rd and Brahe Hwy.
Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 518000, 4255000
Participants: CDR, COMM, ENGR
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map:
North on Cow Dung Rd (0110) towards Brahe Hwy on Rover
Mode of travel: Rover, Walking (Oppy, Curi, Spirit)
EVA # 6