EVA Report – November 12th

EVA #5 Report Sol 9

We began our EVA at 10:40 AM today. We started a bit late because we needed more time to prepare Carmen’s flight suit and test our communication equipment before this EVA. Since we didn’t need to use the rovers today, Julio and Carmen tried the Exploration suits. They didn’t seem particularly more comfortable as compared to the normal Suits. We walked towards the North Ridge area, until I could find a slope on the western slope that was shallow enough for us to climb. Once we found a shallow enough slope, we took samples from different levels of the hill. We took four samples, three from light-dark purple layers of regolith and one from a rusty-colored layer. We took several photographs of the surrounding landscape as well as the sample sites for later reference.

No falls or accidents on this outing. Sample Acquisition was successful! We began recompression at 11:55 PM. Distance covered was about 1.2-1.5 km total. Sample collection and ground covered went much quicker than expected. It’s important to note how quickly the shoulders and upper back can fatigue, even though we were only out for over an hour.

Prepared by Brandon Ferguson

EVA Report November 10th

EVA Report Sol 7

The EVA started at 10:20 AM instead of 10:00 AM, since I wanted to make sure the crewmembers were properly briefed on radio Comms voice procedure. The red ATV had some trouble starting like yesterday, but once I got the engine running, it didn’t have any problem starting. We drove the rovers to our first location along Cow Dung Road where we took a couple of plant and regolith samples. Afterwards, we proceeded to Tank wash, where we found a large desert shrub that was holding onto a large mound of sand with its root system. EVA operations went smoothly and we obtained all the samples we set out for. Once we returned, we attempted refueling the ATV, but the nozzles on the empty gas containers weren’t compatible with the filled containers, so we couldn’t safely fill up the ATV. Will we have compatible gas nozzles when the ethanol-free gas comes in? Aside from that, we returned early and begun decompression by 12:15 PM.

For missions in hilly terrain, I have to brief the crew members on squatting while walking up or downhill.

EVA Report November 9th

EVA Report Sol 6

The EVA started at 10:50 AM today. Knowing that Brazilian TV was coming, I didn’t know for sure when they’d be here and ready to film us outside. They also needed to interview a few of the crewmembers on their projects before we could start. They wanted some footage of us on the Rover and ATVs, which we drove about 100 meters past the MDRS sign and back to the Hab area. I understand that I did not request the use of the rovers for today’s EVA, but I didn’t know they’d want footage of us on the rovers until this morning. Something to note was that the red ATV had some trouble starting compared to yesterday. I had to pump the throttle in order to get it going.

After parking the rovers, we collected our samples from Sample Location #1, the first location we sampled from on EVA #1. Once we got the sample, we walked into the small gully just north of the Hab. We took samples from 3 different locations along the hillside west of the hab. The “popcorn” like surface of the regolith can be rather unstable, as I found out the hard way (by falling). Nothing broke, I wasn’t injured, the helmet was intact, and the fan was still working, so luckily I survived! After photographing the area, we returned to the hab and recompressed by 12:45 PM.

In Hindsight, I’ll have to be more careful on even very shallow slopes, as it doesn’t take much too loose traction, even when wearing boots. To make sure no one else falls by making the same mistake, I’ll have to brief the crewmembers on how to lower their center of gravity (by squatting) when ascending or descending hills. I did not have time to brief the crew members on radio Comms voice procedures since we had the Brazilian TV crew here today. This will have to be done before tomorrow’s EVA.

EVA Report November 8th

We started EVA at 1:35 PM, instead of the planned 1:00 PM. The delay was due to an extended period for our ATV training to take place. The EVA crew included myself, Carmen, and Atila. Drove north and spotted vegetation growth along road and marked the location. We tried marking the location with a GPS, but we found it was impossible to read off the screen with the helmets on, since the screen was too scratched up. Instead, I determined the coordinates by closely examining the planning map after the EVA. We Took several pictures of the area along with the surrounding terrain

We continued north and passed Tank Wash due to navigational Error. We ended up taking the road all the way to the Quarry Site. We retraced our steps southward until we found the reservoir dam, which was the most distinguishable feature I could use to place our location.

-Stopped at coordinates:



We then slowly drove northward, until we found the correct wash

-Stopped at coordinates:



We made our way to a talus slope that contained broken down rock from the cliff above us. Upon digging through the cemented layers, we found three distinct layers within only 20 cm below the surface.

– Coordinates of Sample Location #3:



There was a white-colored layer in the first 7 cm, then a green layer below it that was 3-4 cm thick. Below that was a dark brown / black soil lightly peppered with white grains. We collected samples from each of these layers and photographed the area and our activities. We loaded up our samples and returned to the hab. Before we entered the airlock, Carmen checked the Diesel and Propane tank levels. We began recompression in the airlock by 3:45 PM.

For the next EVA, we need to improve our radio Comms. I’ll instruct the crew members on words and phrases to use on the radio, such as “affirmative”, “negative”, “over”, “loud and clear”, etc. Also going over the phonetic alphabet may come in handy. In order to reduce the chance of another navigational error, I’ll have to take very special notice of the surface features surrounding my intended destination before we depart. I’d also like to request obtaining another GPS device that we can read on the field so we can record our sample locations in the future.