Crew 286 EVA #4 report 16-NOV-2023
EVA # 4
Author: Roger Gilbertson
Purpose of EVA:
1) Engineering to wash exterior habitat windows. A special extra-long squeegee was prepared from available components, and loaded into the airlock in two parts. A bottle of special Mars window washing fluid was also prepared. Upon exiting, the crew assembled the pole.
2) We collected local soil samples in the vicinity of the habitat for use in 3D printer tests, and documented the collection areas using LIDAR imaging to create 3D models of the areas before and after sample removal.
3) A founding member of the Belgian Mars Society, Étienne Lefebvre, passed away recently. A photo of Étienne was taken out to the surface on a small stand, recorded for his family and colleagues, and a minute of silence was observed by the crew.
Start time for EVA: 2:01 pm
End time for EVA: 4:00 pm
Narrative: With eight people currently in the habitat, we were able to include Hugo, our filmmaker, on to the EVA crew, allowing for our first 4-person excursion. Preparations went smoothly and the four astronauts exited the airlock at the appointed time. All four astronauts and their equipment fit into the airlock, and they exited the airlock on time.
Phase 1 of the EVA involved the full team to wash the exteriors of the windows on habitat and science dome.
The first test wash was performed on the exterior of the airlock window. The squeegee’s sponge side was moistened from the fluid bottle, then raised up and moved over the window surface. Then the wiper blade side was used to remove the fluid. A cloth was used to wipe the edges. Then the smaller habitat windows on the lower floor were cleaned. In future, a smaller width squeegee would be helpful for these.
The upper floor windows proved more challenging. The highest ones were out of reach, even with the long pole. The round window above the airlock could be reached from the porch. As expected, the spacesuits made moving the squeegee over the high window difficult. One astronaut moved it, while the other observed from a bit further away, and provided feedback and directions. Our improved radio communications skills helped. In the end, the triple-pane windows contain a lot of dust on the inner surfaces, which is inaccessible, so they are less than 100 percent clean.
The squeegee team moved their attention to the science dome windows. Being at eye level allowed full and proper cleaning. The science dome windows now have excellent clarity.
We then proceeded to Phase 2. Lizzy and Groucho began LIDAR scanning and soil sampling in the habitat yard, and then along the stream bed to the east of the science dome. Gee and Hugo walked to the north of the observatory dome and conducted a memorial service for founding member of the Belgian Mars Society, Étienne Lefebvre, who passed away recently.
Destination: Habitat campus only
• Liz Cole
• Guillaume Gégo
• Scott Beibin
• Hugo Saugier
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: none
Mode of travel: walking
Vehicles you will be using: none