Journalist Report – December 27th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 27DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 12] – Mars, the white planet

Mars is still a mystery for us in many ways. First probes, orbiters and landers were sent from earth to the red planet as early as the mid-60s. There are lots of things that we don’t know about our nearest planet. And there are lots of things that we’ve discovered over the past decades that we could’ve never imagined! Mars and the Earth are different in so many ways. But there are some similarities on both planets as well. For example… did you know that there is snow on Mars?

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

We are almost reaching the end of our adventure, and the red planet has one or two more surprises for us. Something that we haven’t talked about is the location of our mission. We know that the Earth and Mars are very different planets. However, there are a couple of things in which they can be very similar. For example, we can find big mountains on both of them. And, believe it or not, we can see snow on the north and south poles of both planets as well. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Well, that was a big surprise for us too! And that’s why we decided to land on the Martian South Pole, in a place known as “Schmidt Crater”. And today, during our morning activities on the HAB, we experienced something amazing and unexpected. Something that Mission Control informed us that only had a 10% chances of actually happening: snow!

It’s hard to imagine a white Martian landscape. We are used to think about Mars as the Red Planet. But let me ensure you, dear reader, that this place has more exciting surprises to offer. It all started just after having breakfast. We didn’t schedule any EVAs for today, and we planned to do some video recordings all around the HAB. On the middle of those activities, we realized that the temperature started to drop pretty quickly. This was not the first time it happened, so we really didn’t care about that. Then, the first weird thing happened; our crew engineer tried to pump some water from the external (static) to the internal (loft) one. And… it was not working. After some troubleshooting, we found out that the water pipes were frozen! To be honest, we got worried about that situation, because our internal water supply was running low at that time. And trust me on this one! Water is something you don’t want to have trouble with (especially when you have six human beings living under the same roof). Fortunately, the crew managed to work with the pipes defroster in order to get things running again. Thank you, engineering!

In the meantime, we started to work on the video shootings mentioned earlier. We suited up, prepared some interesting topics we wanted to cover, and walked through the connecting tunnels from the main HAB to the Musk Observatory. It was freezing in there! Colder than ever before. It got nearly impossible to keep recording. We were just about to pick our stuff and get back to the HAB… when we saw how those tiny and white snowflakes started to fall, little by little, all over the Martian landscape. That was unbelievable! And amazingly beautiful to see. Our beloved red panorama started to change just in front of our eyes. Mars decided to share with us an experience we never thought to have. It was a lovely reminder of home, indeed. A beautiful image that none of us will never forget.

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Walter A. Calles Glass, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Commander Report – December 27th

Sol 12


When I took this position I knew it was going to be an experience that would forge my character and allow me to improve my leadership.

I thought it would be difficult but it has been the opposite. My crew has been more than better. They are focused people and know what they are coming for to Mars. After all, they chose to come to Mars instead of having a nice Christmas dinner and New Year´s Eve at Earth. As I already described, the fear I had about my age and experience when it was about taking the place of Commander was only at the beginning. To be the leader, be the Commander, it´s about getting to know your colleagues, their vision, objectives and learning how to take advantage of their skills and knowledge to find a common good.

Before arriving to Mars, during our training in Earth, our psychologist asked me that in some dangerous situation, if I had to choose between saving the mission or the crew, what would I save? My instant response was the crew, but as I answered the next question, I kept thinking about whether the answer was correct or not.

On one hand, my response was completely biased because within Crew 201 are my best friends on Earth. But also Crew 201 means an end and mission with a greater objective than the people it integrates, and above all it means to represent humanity (and Mexico). Today I still have a conflict about what the correct answer is and I’m not sure if there is only one answer.

We are a few days away and the weather here on Mars has become complicated. We don´t have much chances to solve our problems within the projects since our supply rocket had exploded before leaving Earth. Sadly, another of our supply spaceships it´s lost somewhere in the space between Mars and Earth. We hope to find it back home.

With our time counted on Mars I just have to say that we will miss you little red planet.

Tania Robles


Crew 201 Astronomy Report 27Dec2018

[title Astronomy Report – December 27th]

[category astronomy-report]

Name: Federico Arturo Martinez Espinoza

Crew: Crew 201 MEx-1

Date: Dec 27 2018


Robotic Telescope Requested MDRS-WF

Objects Viewed: Messier 101

Problems Encountered: The filters used were RGB and H Alpha, the image taken with H alpha were not great and the final result after photoshop was not as expected, so I decided to remove the h alpha filter.

Greenhab Report – December 27th

Greenhab Officer:
Walter Calles

Environmental Control:

40% Shade Cloth on

Average Temperatures:
Low: 24°C
High: 33°C

Hours of Supplemental Light:

Daily Water Usage of Crops:
20.5 gallons

Water in Blue Tank (lbs):

Times of Watering for Crops:

Changes to crops:
Nothing significant

Re-planted half bed of Salad Savory Mix. Planted more cilantro and basil on blue flat. Planted more chives on the pot as well.
Added 2 new pots of onions and one new pot of spinach.
Re-arranged all the flats and pots on the greenhab for a better distribution.
Brought cucumbers to the front part of the greenhab and added some fertilizer. Hopefully, will see some progress in the next days.

Experiment Results:
Date: SOL7 (SOL12 overall)
Control Pot: 3 sprouts in good shape
Soil Sample Type 1
@10%: OK, 3 sprouts
@20%: OK, 3 sprouts
@30: OK, 2 sprouts
@40%: No progress
@50%: No progress

Soil Sample Type 2
@10%:OK, 2 sprouts
@20%:OK, 3 sprouts

Soil Sample Type 3
@10%:OK, 1 sprout
@20%:OK, 1 sprout


Support/Supplies Needed:
More sticky papers.

Operations Report – December 27th

SOL: 12

Name of person filing report: César Augusto Serrano Baza

Non-nominal systems: Generator Autostart

Notes on non-nominal systems: None
Generator (hours run): 16:55 yesterday until around 08:20. Today started at 17:11

Solar— SOC 78%
Diesel Reading – Around 74%
Propane Reading – 69%
Ethanol Free Gasoline – N/A gallons.

Water (Axillary tank) – 0 gallons
Water (static tank) – Medium to low level, around 100-gallons (See general notes and comments).
Axillary to Static tank transfer– no
Gallons transferred: 0
Water in GreenHab – Medium level (37%)
Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used – yes
Water Meter: 01395509

Toilet tank emptied: NO

Deimos rover used: no, still not functional
Hours: 0
Beginning charge: –
Ending charge: –
Currently charging: no

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR
Beginning charge:
Ending charge:
Currently charging X :

Spirit rover used: NO
Hours: 63
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: YES

Opportunity rover used: NO
Hours: 44.8
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: YES

Curiosity rover used: NO
Hours: 61.2
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: YES

Notes on rovers: Nothing to report.
# Hours the ATVs were Used today: Nothing to report.
Notes on ATVs : Nothing to report.

HabCar used and why, where? Not used.
CrewCar used and why, where? Not used.

General notes and comments: We had difficulties by pumping the water up from the static tank to the loft because the pipes were frozen. The director and us figured out that one end plug of the extention cord fo the pipe heater was not working. We changed the end plug and we were able to pump the water at 15:00 hrs.

Summary of internet: Nothing to report.

Summary of suits and radios: Nothing to report.

Summary of GreenHab operations: – Nothing to report.

Summary of ScienceDome operations: – Nothing to report.

Summary of RAM operations: Nothing to report.

Summary of any observatory issues: Musk Solar observatory – Nominal. RObotic Observatory – Nominal.

Summary of health and safety issues: Nothing to report.

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: Nothing to report.

Thank you!!!

Sol Summary – December 27th

Crew 201 Sol Summary Report 27-Dec-2018

Sol: 12

Summary Title: This is about to come to its end.

Author’s name: Carlos Mariscal, XO.

Mission Status: Experiments are having some slow progress. Unfortunately, out VSAT, which is necessary to do one of the experiments, will not make it to the MDRS on time, so that experiment will not be performed. Depending on the progress of another of the experiments, we could end simulation tomorrow during the day or evening.

Sol Activity Summary: We:

– Continued activities of the artificial vision experiment.

– Printed several pieces for the rover.

– Had a lot of work at the GreenHab; we planted some seeds and organized some stuff.

– Recorded videos for media.

– Had a great time with some pictures in the snow (before it got kind of bad).

Look Ahead Plan: We hope to have our last EVA tomorrow to test mechanical components of the rover. Besides that, we will finish some experiments and start with the cleaning of the station for the next crew.

Anomalies in work: The plumb and water tank deicing system didn’t work properly, so we could not use any water during the morning. Fortunately, the temperature raised enough to get water up just before the snow started.

Weather: Cold in the morning, then snow, snow, wind and snow.

Crew Physical Status: A crew member had headaches, nothing serious, an aspirin solved it.

EVA: No EVA today.

Reports to be file:

– Commander report

– Sol summary

– HSO report

– Operations report

– GreenHab report

– Astronomer report

– Journalist report

– EVA request

– Photos

Support Requested: No support requested.

Commander Report – December 26th

Commander Report


Tania Robles

It seems that lately, the energy in the Hab fluctuates a lot. If it wasn´t for Christmas and the special dinner we prepared, we would probably be in a more fatigued mental state.

The crew continues performing their tasks but the time is no longer feeling like the first days on Mars. We haven´t managed to wake up as early as before or maintain so much energy during the day. However, we maintain the spirit and daily routines to meet the objectives.

The day of departure to Earth is approaching and for now, the only thing we are focusing on is to finish our projects and to welcome the new earthlings on Mars.

Journalist Report – December 26th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 26DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 11] – Friendship across the stars.

As far as we are concerned, we are alone in the universe. Earth is the only planet where life of any kind exists. Our home is unique in any and all ways. In Earth, we look up to the stars and our neighboring planets wondering if other species exist and if they are anything like us if they love or have meaningful friendships. We humans, when we look up to the sky and search, as sent in the last message to Voyager 1, we offer our universe friendship across the stars. We shout to the universe YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

As crew members, we have been strengthening different skills that we already had. Learning what our strength and weaknesses are an important part of making a successful mission. As friends, we have had the chance to keep on learning more of each one of us and what makes us special. United crews make life easier on the desolated planet Mars. We are fortunate to be surrounded by friends in the most inhospitable location for humans in the universe and that is what makes our trip so special.

Today, we had the opportunity to record a few videos of the activities we perform on the hab. This we will send back to Earth for other explorers that are interested in joining us in our adventures on the red planet and hopefully interest the younger generations to study Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics which are key for the survival of Earth and humans across the universe. Every team member was able to support this opportunity and was happy to contribute with their experience that many at home will enjoy.

Oh, by the way, our in-hab chef was nice enough to make quesadillas to remember our planning nights back at home. We remember the first Mexican astronaut, Neri Vela, who pushed for having tortillas in space. I am sure that he would be proud to know that we are thinking of his near earth tortillas while having a delicious Mars made meal.

Having your ties to home is a good way to maintain the spirits up. New traditions at our new home make up for fantastic stories.

We are closing in on some of the experiments, the rover making with the 3D printer is at picking up speed and should be done in the next rotation. The tools for a special shipment have been completed and we are very eager to work with some of the last of our experiments before having to leave the base.

We are counting up our Martian sols. Rotations come quickly and our time together is coming up soon. Sharing meals, enjoying work and learning from Mars will help us to teach the future generation of Martians what to expect and how to deal with it as a team and as friends.

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

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