by Liz Cole
The crew is establishing itself as being passionate about environmentally sustainable long term settlement on a resource – limited environment such as Mars. We reduced mission waste by coming up with a composting solution for the MASH that gets rid of the food waste from our crew, and finding intelligent ways to reuse all cardboard, plastic and glass packaging materials related to our mission for other uses to support the crew’s projects during the mission.
Crew Artist designed a labeling system for the HAB Upper and Lower decks, so that our crew and future crews can easily locate supplies, tools and safety materials. We are already enjoying a more efficient process of making dinner thanks to this.
Sergii arrives and the crew completes our training. After we learn the communications systems for EVAs, and how suit up, our sim officially begins.
The crew executed two successful EVAs to Marble Ritual. The first EVA was an exploration of capturing lidar scans, image and video while in our sim suits. The crew captured successful scans of rock formations with iphone 14 using the polycam pro. 360 degree video was done with an insta 360 1rs one-inch, regular video was shot on iphone 13 and iphone 14. Drone aerial photography and photography was successfully completed.
Crew XO observed the importance of taking a moment to sit and reconnoiter. What struck him most was the feelings he could remember from sci fi films of being alone on another planet and observing the terrain. He experienced the feeling of isolation, the sense that things are so different from his everyday life that he was indeed an alien on his own planet.
We noted challenges with headsets falling off, the suits making it harder to operate our equipment and adjust comms radios, and a lost tripod.
That loss of gear during the EVA 1 created a great opportunity for teamwork and coordination between the EVA 2 crew and mission support, as EVA 2 located the equipment through good communication between the two EVA crews. Members of both crews appreciated the excellent coordination and teamwork efforts that emerged in efforts to rescue the lost tripod, as well as the added focus of an accomplishable goal for the EVA. Crew Artist noted the challenges he experienced of trying to explain where to locate a lost object in an unfamiliar terrain, without having the specific words to describe the exact type of geologic features that could be used as landmarks.
Our crew Scientist established himself in the ScienceDome for his experiment involving CO2 fixation by purple bacteria for space food production. The bacteria arrived at MDRS tonight, appropriately just before dinner.
Reflecting on the day’s activities before dinner, the crew discussed how we can create new systems to be more efficient. Assessing what went well and what could have gone better with todays EVAs, we note that checklists posted by airlocks, the sim suit rooms, the comms area and on the rovers would be helpful for the crew to more effectively complete their missions.
We then planned EVAs for the next day, and continued work on our projects to be attempted and completed during the rest of the mission.