Journalist Report – December 13th

Crew 184 Journalist Report

Willie Schumann

13 December 2017

Title                            The Edge of Mars

Narrative                  Today for the first time, since our arrival, we could see a real dense set of clouds covering the Martian sky, which was really nice for a change. We jumped right into our space suits after breakfast and were poised to explore Matryoshka site six for more geological probes for earth. Yesterday our rover Deimos, named after our Martian Moon, was pretty worn out in the end of our EVA. So we decided to give him a little rest today and took its brothers Spirit and Opportunity out for a ride.

Both rovers are still very young and therefore un-experienced. We have to take them out from time to time for their batteries to grow stronger. Our exploration site today was the notorious Lith Canyon, which is very far north, basically at the edge of the Martian landscape that is still accessible for us considering our technical capacity. If we would go even further, we might not contain the power to come back in time to survive.

So it was a considerate risk to take the new rovers, but you have to stretch the range of the possible to progress. Space travel is not about always playing the save cards, it’s about to expand the borders of what mankind can achieve. And talking about the current limitations makes me refer to yesterdays evening. We opened a care package from earth with space food from Roskosmos, the Russian Space Agency. We got meat and cheese in tubes, which was quite alright, but there is definitely still room for culinary improvement. But as I am speaking Russian it was fun to get deep into the ingredients and share it with my fellow crewmembers.

We reached Lith Canyon pretty directly with no real detour. There are somewhat natural roads on Mars, shaped by wind and erosion. From experience we do not test our rovers to the extreme and keep them mainly on flat surfaces. That means, that we have to walk quite long distances through rough terrain. These longs walks on the other hand create other problems, but I will come to that in a little while.

The clouds over Lith canyon welcomed today’s EVA crew, consisting of First Officer Randazzo and Crew Engineer Hunt, in dramatic fashion and we found our designated sample sites very easily. The rocks, that were lined up on the walls of the Mountains looked like thin brittle plates, that were sprinkled over a desert. Almost like slate slabs made from very dense and compressed sand, very impressive.

But you have to remain very alert. When we walked closer to edge of the area we could look very deep into the maw of the canyon. You really have to watch your feet so you don’t accidently step on a sandy slab, which cracks and makes you slide. We always kept enough distance to the edge and backed one another up.

For Randazzo and Hunt it was actually the last EVA for a long time. They will be needed for other duties in the weeks to come. So there was a certain melancholy lingering in the air, complimented by the cover of clouds. We decided to shoot a remote control picture to commemorate the moment. And for the fact, that it was almost shot blindly from the ground it turned out brilliant.

So we finished our daily mission and headed back to the rovers. I was always a little bit behind, because the sun breaking through the net of clouds captivated me for additional shot. My sight was a bit blurred from my heavy breath, caused by the intensity of hiking up and down the canyon. I was lost for a brief moment, but reunited with the crew through radio communication.

But we all were disoriented and didn’t recall the position of our vehicles. Because of the rather long walk and the time we had spent in the canyon we couldn’t remember were we came from. So we chose the tallest crewmember around to go to a lookout to help us, who was obviously Crew Engineer Hunt. Did I mention, that we nicknamed him Big Foot? Now you know why!

Big Foot proved his value once again and got visual of our rovers. The sun was standing already low and we really had to hit the pedal to get to the hab before nightfall. Our young rovers contained their energy at a surprising high level. So it was quite a steep learning curve for the team and our vehicles, and the risk to take them out was proven justified. Another day on Mars has almost passed and we are all a bit wiser than before. Thank you for that dear red planet.

Personal Logbook             It was a great day on Mars with new visual impressions and experiences. The days now become shorter for us and the nights longer. As I am dependant on light I can not work us much as I want. I have to use my remaining time wisely to receive the results, that I want to achieve.

The group definitely grows closer together and knows one another inside out. I wonder how the dynamic of the entity that is crew 184 will develop in the future. For the time being we are happy for the time, that we can spend together.

Thank you very much for your help and attention.

Willie Schumann, Journalist, Crew 184

 

Commander Report – Nov 12th

4h – Awake.

4h50m – 7h10m – 140 minutes walking: 12 km or 7,5 miles. Was beautiful to see so many stars in the night. I really like deserts during the night. It is a gift woke up early and have an experience like this.

Today, when I woke up, was 0o or 32oC. Walking in 0 or -2oC is an expression of resilience. When you are focused, there is no pain. This is a characteristic that must be considered in the astronauts experience.

I’m very thankful about the opportunity to prepare myself for this mission and keep the exercises during the simulation in MDRS.

9h – Breakfast of tortillas and cheddar cheese with coffee and

10h10m – 12h – EVA – I considered that We walked from the EVA and returning doing a distance around 2,5 km.  Our crew, always When We are in the decomprehension  chamber, to start an Extravehicular Activities, part of the crew who stays in the Hab plays a music to present an idea of time. The music of decompression was Coming Home of Iron Maiden. Interesting have a music that talks about aerospace.

During the EVA, I used the exploration spacesuit prototype. This spacesuit presents a painful ergonomics. It is hard have movements to collect rocks and soil samples.

13h – I’m doing my commander report. I organized my room and helped in the lunch preparation.

14h – 15h – Lunch.

16h – 17h30m – I took a nap. I was tired about 16 km or 10 miles walking today.

17h30m – From Brazil, I received news about the transmission of the interview of TV Globo related to the research associating Mars, MDRS and Brazilian semiarid. Some images from the visit in MDRS:

http://g1.globo.com/fantastico/edicoes/2017/11/12.html?utm_source=email&utm_medium=share-bar-desktop&utm_campaign=share-bar&#!v/6283988

17h30m – During the afternoon, after the lunch, Atila, Brandon and Camila worked in their research. I took some photos about sent in Crew-photos e-mail.

19h – CapComm.

Operations Report – November 11th

Crew 182 Operations Report  11Nov2017

SOL: 8

Name of person filing report:  Carmen Atauconcha

Non-nominal systems:

WATER HEATER: It is not working.  In the morning, we had to take a shower with cold water. The water heater is not heating the water.  We opened the entire water pipe, but it still did not heat.

COMMUNICATION RADIOS: The constantly noise of one of the radios stops.
SECONDARY AIRLOCK: The door of the secondary airlock is gotten out-off-square.  I am saying that it is wonky since we arrived on Mars.
ATV’s: The blue ATV is not working. When we try to turn it on, it does not answer.

Generator—  It worked the whole night since 6pm of 10Nov2017 until 8:00 am of 11Nov2017.  Turn on at 5.15 pm 11Nov2017.  Operand.

Solar—

READING FROM 11 NOV 2017

 

TIME SOC READINGS
9:11 am 100%
10:20 am 100%
11:20 am 100%
12:20 am 100%
13:20 am 100%
14:20 pm 100%
15:50 pm 98%
16:20 pm 97%
16:45 pm 94%
17:04 pm 91%

 

Diesel – 55 %

Propane – 50 psi

Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV) – 1/4 gallons. In addition the tank of gasoline inside the ATV’s is filled.

Water (trailer) –  0 gallons

Water (static) – 258  gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used –   no

Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used –  yes

Water Meter:  36.6 gallons

Toilet tank emptied:  yes

ATV’s Used: No

Oil Checked:  No

Atv # Fuel Used Gals:  0  gallons

Tires Status: Perfect

# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 0 hours

Deimos used:  No

Hours: 0

Beginning charge:  –

Ending charge:  –

Currently charging: Yes

HabCar used? No

Notes and Comments:
Today we had an advance in the topic about recycling water. The number of gallons of water that we used today is less than the gallons of water used yesterday.  And, I know that tomorrow is going to be better.
Summary of  Hab operations:

We receive a new digester for the toilet.  And we wait that it removes the bad smell of the toilet. We will keep you post.

The area of the tools in the Hab was a mess. Today we clean and organize this place.  Also, in the afternoon, we flushed the toilet with the new digester.   From another hand, we are going to receive the communication radios on Monday.
Finally, today we received some food.  This is great for us. Thanks¡

Summary of GreenHab operations:

We turned on the heater at 18:12 pm with a temperature of 47 °F.  At the same time, we are cleaning this area to make it beautiful.

Summary of ScienceDome operations:

We received a new shop vac. It has been installed in the laboratory. Also, there were cables going through the laboratory that we order to keep the security in the laboratory.

Summary of health and safety issues:

The HOS officer needs two fire alarms and lamps for the science dome and for the greenhouse. In the morning we fixed the stair of the secondary airlock.  Now, that stair is more stable.

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:

We need you to repair the heater water, since it still does not work.

For the next week at the most on Monday, we are going to need water.

I have a doubt, which is the minimum limit for the propane tank and the diesel tank?

Where does the used water go?

When are we going to receive water?

Applications are now open for the 2018-2019 Field Season

Crew applications are now being accepted for the 2018-19 Mars Desert Research Station field season in southern Utah. Please note this is for the next field season which will start in Fall 2018.  The current field season is fully scheduled.

Please read carefully all information as there have been a few changes.

Apply Now

2017-2018 Field Season Schedule

Crew 182 (Team Peru V) – Nov 4-19
Crew 183 (MASER – Mexico) – Nov 18-Dec 3
Crew 184 (Mars Society 1) – Dec 2-17
Crew 185 (Mars Society 2) – Dec 16-31
Crew 186 (Boilers2 Mars – Purdue University) – Dec 30-Jan 14
Crew 187 (Team LATAM 2) – Jan 13-28
Crew 188 (ISU) – Jan 27 – Feb 11
IKEA Installation (non-crew special event) – Feb 10-18
Crew 189 (Supaero) – Feb 17-Mar 11
Crew 190 (UCL to Mars) – Mar 10-25
Crew 191 (Team Asia – Japanese & Indonesian) – Mar 24-Apr 8
Crew 192 (Project PHEnOME A) – Apr 7-22
Crew 193 (Project PHEnOME B) – Apr 21-May 5
Crew 194 & 195 (Wilderness Medical Society) – May 11-26
First Annual MDRS Curated Art Show – May 26-30