EVA # 5
Author: Clare Fletcher
Purpose of EVA: Go to notable peaks visible from the Hab for two purposes. Firstly, to investigate wayfinding methods on Mars by identifying notable features from the Hab, then seeing if we are able to identify them on a map, find them, and plot them, as well as photograph them from multiple angles for future Crews to wayfind. The dual purpose of this EVA is to look for evidence of life found in the form of endoliths, concretions, and possible gypsum or fossils (but not to remove them), to see if remote planning is adequate for geoconservation of important features.
Start time: 0950 (planned start 0930, but delays in suiting up)
End time: 1255 (planned 1300, rushed back to make it in time)
Narrative: EVA 5 was a dual-purpose EVA – wayfinding and looking for evidence of life to test how to balance exogeoconservation with the search for evidence of life on Mars. Our wayfinding was very successful! We had identified a notable peak from the Hab that we had dubbed ‘The Beehive’ and based on our bearing from the Hab to it, thought it was the peak immediately to the East of Phobos Peak on the MDRS map. We found our way to The Beehive easily, though found the terrain between Cow Dung Rd and The Beehive and Phobos Peak to be difficult to walk through as it was very soft and sandy or powdery in locations. We also noted coming back that there were notable landmarks we had passed on the way out that allowed us to find our way back more easily. We think we might name some of these features and provide GPS co-ordinates for future Crews to better understand how to get to Phobos Peak and The Beehive. On the other hand, our search for evidence of life struggled. While there was plenty of lichen around, identifying endoliths, gypsum, concretions, or fossils was very tricky. Some samples were taken, and upon further inspection we may have stumbled upon sampling the correct material, though not without first taking photos in-situ and a GPS co-ordinate. In future, it would be helpful to have teaching examples for all Crew members going on the EVA, so they are able to know what they are looking for to help on the EVA. However, all the EVA participants were actively looking for all these features and were additionally helpful, identifying material that did get sampled. All in all, a success and a good learning experience!
Destination: The hill to the East of Phobos Peak, and Phobos Peak. Parking rover at Pooh’s corner (518900, 4251200) and walking within 1km radius of the rover to 519600, 4250450.
Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 519600, 4250450 (rovers parked at 518900, 4251200)
Participants: Clare Fletcher, Scott Dorrington, Alex Tobal
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Exit Hab via main airlock, take driveway to Cow Dung Rd 0110. Take Cow Dung Rd 0110 to Pooh’s Corner. Walk from Pooh’s Corner to hill East of Phobos Peak and Phobos Peak.
Mode of travel: Driving and walking
EVA # 5