Journalist Report – February 12th

Crew 205 Crew Journalist Report 12-FEB-2019

Sol 2

Author: Maria Grulich

Title: EVAs EVAs…

Second day on Mars we woke up with the smell of scrambled eggs and spam and self-made brownies that we prepared last night.

As a lesson learned we started to prepare earlier today for the morning EVA to collect rock samples.

The EVA 1 crew: Nathan, Daniel, Natalia and Maria left the hab at 0930AM. First, EVA1 crew took some pictures with signs for outreach before heading to the White Moon area using the rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

The road was windy, and every corner revealed a new area of Mars. Opportunity rover was doing great whereas the Spirit rover concerned EVA1 crew more, as the State of Charge seems to be dropping fast. Therefore, EVA1 had to stop earlier than planned to start walking by foot and leave the rovers behind.

Finding the White Moon seems to be more challenging than earlier EVAs as the road was not properly marked and the helmets of the space suits kept fogging and limiting visibility. EVA1 lost communication with the hab because they were out of reach of the communication system, which added more challenges.

During this walk the blazing Sun revealed shimmers and flashes of light from the crews´ visors that were actually shiny rocks (believed to be quartz containing crystals) underneath their feet. They stopped to retrieve these jewels in the desert as their first sample of the day.

EVA1 crew kept on walking, stopping from time to time to figure out where they actually were until they arrived at their desired location: White Moon. The white soil of the hill they stopped on let us guess why they called it the Moon. Small stains of red underneath the chalk-white hill intrigued the crew, and a short hit with the hammer revealed a bright red soil underneath. Described as a geological “red velvet cake”, it was great for their samples.

The curiosity kept running through EVA1 crew veins and let them keep moving anuntil they found crevice. Everyone of that EVA got so excited as this indicated that there had been water running through this land a long time ago. Two crew members climbed down into the crevice to take samples of the different sediments.

While EVA1 were busy in the White Moon, the rest of the crew were busy working in the hab. The crew astronomer was busy working on photometry and setting up new observation for tonight. Work in the GreenHab was also ongoing by watering the plants and making sure everything is in place.

Pumped up with excitement of their discoveries, the crew went back towards the hab where the support crew welcomed them with a hot chicken soup.

Just one hour later after EVA1 crew arrived EVA2 crew was about to get ready. During the preparation it was clear that not all space suits are working properly, and we are unclear on how long they have to be charged before being used again.

As there were not enough spare suits that not had been used before, or where the fans are running properly, the commander came to the decision that the EVA2 has to be scrubbed. It was a tough call but Safety first.

After that first difficult decision the team meeting was all about how to improve the EVA preparation to achieve two EVAs a day that would accommodate all our science objectives. During the analysis of the first rock samples in the science dome it was observed that the state of charge of the solar panels dropped significantly and that was a wakeup call for everyone:

Mars is not easy it is hard.

We have to keep more focus on the maintenance of the habitat while being focused on our personal goals. Still the crew found time for their first yoga sessions and preparing for the Martian Spanish night with tapas and Spanish jamón.

Tomorrow we will be planning for two EVAs again and making sure to keep checking and preparing accordingly.

Ad Astra!

Journalist Report – November 25th

Crew 205 Crew Journalist Report 12-FEB-2019

Sol 2

Author: Maria Grulich

Title: EVAs EVAs…

Second day on Mars we woke up with the smell of scrambled eggs and spam and self-made brownies that we prepared last night.

As a lesson learned we started to prepare earlier today for the morning EVA to collect rock samples.

The EVA 1 crew: Nathan, Daniel, Natalia and Maria left the hab at 0930AM. First, EVA1 crew took some pictures with signs for outreach before heading to the White Moon area using the rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

The road was windy, and every corner revealed a new area of Mars. Opportunity rover was doing great whereas the Spirit rover concerned EVA1 crew more, as the State of Charge seems to be dropping fast. Therefore, EVA1 had to stop earlier than planned to start walking by foot and leave the rovers behind.

Finding the White Moon seems to be more challenging than earlier EVAs as the road was not properly marked and the helmets of the space suits kept fogging and limiting visibility. EVA1 lost communication with the hab because they were out of reach of the communication system, which added more challenges.

During this walk the blazing Sun revealed shimmers and flashes of light from the crews´ visors that were actually shiny rocks (believed to be quartz containing crystals) underneath their feet. They stopped to retrieve these jewels in the desert as their first sample of the day.

EVA1 crew kept on walking, stopping from time to time to figure out where they actually were until they arrived at their desired location: White Moon. The white soil of the hill they stopped on let us guess why they called it the Moon. Small stains of red underneath the chalk-white hill intrigued the crew, and a short hit with the hammer revealed a bright red soil underneath. Described as a geological “red velvet cake”, it was great for their samples.

The curiosity kept running through EVA1 crew veins and let them keep moving anuntil they found crevice. Everyone of that EVA got so excited as this indicated that there had been water running through this land a long time ago. Two crew members climbed down into the crevice to take samples of the different sediments.

While EVA1 were busy in the White Moon, the rest of the crew were busy working in the hab. The crew astronomer was busy working on photometry and setting up new observation for tonight. Work in the GreenHab was also ongoing by watering the plants and making sure everything is in place.

Pumped up with excitement of their discoveries, the crew went back towards the hab where the support crew welcomed them with a hot chicken soup.

Just one hour later after EVA1 crew arrived EVA2 crew was about to get ready. During the preparation it was clear that not all space suits are working properly, and we are unclear on how long they have to be charged before being used again.

As there were not enough spare suits that not had been used before, or where the fans are running properly, the commander came to the decision that the EVA2 has to be scrubbed. It was a tough call but Safety first.

After that first difficult decision the team meeting was all about how to improve the EVA preparation to achieve two EVAs a day that would accommodate all our science objectives. During the analysis of the first rock samples in the science dome it was observed that the state of charge of the solar panels dropped significantly and that was a wakeup call for everyone:

Mars is not easy it is hard.

We have to keep more focus on the maintenance of the habitat while being focused on our personal goals. Still the crew found time for their first yoga sessions and preparing for the Martian Spanish night with tapas and Spanish jamón.

Tomorrow we will be planning for two EVAs again and making sure to keep checking and preparing accordingly.

Ad Astra!

Journalist Report – February 11th

Crew 205 Crew Journalist Report 11-FEB-2019 Sol 1

Author: Maria Grulich

Title: One small step…

Today we woke up on Mars! The weather looks great, the Red Planet is really showing us its best side. We are just not sure what the white crystal soil is outside…

The morning was preparing for our first crew EVA: Daniel (HSO), Dave (XO), Hannah (COMMS) and Nathan (GHO) are ready to step on Mars to explore the wonders of the Red Planet. Due to the unexpected white crystal soil, crew 205 was instructed to a different location closer located to the hab, near the rock formation known as the “Kissing Camel”. Maria (Media) was in the role of Hab Control as EVA support.

The EVA started with getting into the rovers which seems to be challenging to get used to, due to the size of the space suit (described as “a mid-western barn” by our XO). Once at the location, the new habitants of Mars collected their first samples. These samples will be used later for growing plants in the base’s GreenHab. Communication between Hab and EVA1 crew was difficult due to issues with microphones and distortion.

The second EVA at 1500 with Natalia (Commander), Ghanim (Astro), Veronica (Engineer) and Maria (Media) was supported by Daniel and Hannah as Hab Control. The sun was shining and walking on the red planet was a lot harder than expected. The EVA2 crew members collected another sample.

Earlier than expected the crew experienced rising temperatures in their suits and increasing fog affecting the view. The EVA2 crew therefore decided to return early to avoid overheating. Walking on Mars seems to be easier than it actually is.

The support crew was ready to welcome them with water to cool everyone down.

The lesson for the following days is to reduce the number of layers EVA crews wear, as due to the additional weight of the space suits the body temperature is raised naturally and less warm clothing is needed.

The day was closed with our first dinner on Mars serving mashed potatoes, spam and the first harvested carrots of the Green Hab!

We are very excited for the days to come and hope that we keep the spirit up!

Ad Astra!

Journalist Report – February 9th

Crew 205 Crew Journalist Report 10-FEB-2019 Sol 0

Author: Maria Grulich

Title: Landing on Mars and Handover of Command

3…2…1 Mars is calling, and we must go! The Eagle has landed! After spending several months preparing for this mission, 8 crew members from the USA, Spain, Germany, UK and Kuwait arrived at the lab.

The first day was focusing on exchanging information and get hands on learning how to run the MDRS. Everyone was talking about how to cook on Mars, maintaining the water, and living in the isolation of Mars. The night provided us with a gorgeous view of the stars. Thousands of stars above us like we have never seen before, it is breath taking!

Today the crew woke up after a night inside the Hab, which hosted 12 Martians. Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and coffee put energy inside every crew member.

Early in the morning the two crews gathered outside to take pictures and watch the handover of command. Avishek, the commander from crew 204, shook Natalia´s hand with a smile to pass her the responsibility of commanding the International Emerging Space Leaders Crew 205. Two exciting weeks with a lot of experiments, EVAs and studies to understand leadership in such a diverse crew are ahead of us.

But SAFETY first! So we held a briefing with Attila at 1100. At 1500 the first group of four gathered to get familiar with the rovers and the second crew followed in the afternoon.

Tonight, Crew 205 will hold its first team meeting to go over our research goals, tomorrow´s EVAs, and the standard ISS voice protocol.

Tomorrow we will enter the sim and we can’t wait!

Ad Astra!

Journalist Report – February 8th

Crew 204 Crew Journalist Report 08-FEB-2019

Author: Sonal Baberwal

Title: When we left Earth!

Good Morning Earthlings! The final morning on this soil. Yes, we are returning back to the Earth. Probably the re-entry module has been aligned on the launchpad. But we will miss this place a lot. A completely new world! This isolation acted as a detox from the regular world. It was necessary to have self-analysis. A lot of things have been learnt from this mission.

Another morning starts where the crew had been involved in cleaning the Hab. we had the final two general purpose EVAs. the morning EVA was performed by the Commander and myself followed by the GreenHab Officer and the Crew Engineer.

The day passed by really quickly with no awareness of time! I would like to share a short poem I wrote for MDRS experience, pardon me if not up to date!

“The plants, the lab,
The rovers, the Hab.
The love, the care,
The friendship we share.
The food to cook,
The windows we look.
The signing in and signing off,
The mission support and Cap Com.
The EVAs we risked,
Yes, everything will be missed!”
~ Sonal Baberwal.

Congratulations to the Crew and the mission support for this successful mission. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live for the last time from the upper deck of the Habitat and signing off on the final day! I wish very good luck and best wishes to Crew 205. Stay connected to hear new stories from Crew 205!

Journalist Report- February 7th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 07-FEB-2019

Author: Sonal Baberwal (HSO & Crew Journalist)

Good Morning from Mars!

The morning seems early today. This was the day we all have been eagerly waiting for! A lot of hope and enthusiasm had been preserved for this day. Today the crew woke up pretty early than the regular schedule as the day had something special. We all started preparing for the EVA.

This has been really exciting because our rover is ready and scheduled to be operated from Earth (India). We got ready and suited up in the Spacesuit with heartbeats that could be heard loud. Will this attempt be a successful one? Is that a dream coming true that a rover will be operated from a remote location from Earth on MDRS terrains? Yes, it is possible! Salute to our technology and emerging IoT trend!

The rover had been operated for 51 seconds from Earth by Mr. Harish Ajankar from Sipna College of Engineering and Technology, India in front of the Professors of the University. The biggest challenge was to find a flexible time for the EVA that supports different time zones. Thanks to mission support for their cooperation and support to make this happen into reality.

It was a pretty good experience to observe the rover crawling on the MDRS terrains which have been operated from India. I believe this legacy will turn into an inspirational and motivational example for the young generation and someday participate in this simulation.

The day has been followed by daily activities. The evenings have been really good as we have been enjoying games and movies together living the final days of simulation to the fullest!

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about our last days of the simulation.

Journalist Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 05-FEB-2019

Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author: Sonal Baberwal

Good Morning from Mars! Hello Earthlings. So how does our day starts? The very first thing we do is go to the window and observe the beauty of this place. Seems like the mountains have covered themselves by a red blanket.

This complete isolation is helping ourself to learn more about self. To make us aware of our weaknesses and overcome them with lot of courage. I have been learning many soft skills from the crew. When you observe someone for a lot of time, you eventually start becoming like them. I couldn’t stop sanitizing my hands before everything because of cleanliness habits of Space Bot. I couldn’t work hard all day and wait for the evening for mind refreshing games and movies that had been eventually taking place because of Cosmos. Nothing ever taught me to be such a brave heart and good sense of humor like the Commander of the crew. I am thankful to Mars Desert Research Station for this opportunity to get oneself analyzed.

Today had been really an interesting day. Space Bot had successfully assembled and tested the rover inside the RAMM and further did a demonstration to test remotely which was operated by Harish Ajankar of Sipna College of Engineering and Technology, India.

Commander Avishek Ghosh had interesting results in his composition of soils that he had been analyzing along with continuing his research in 3D printing.

Our GreenHab officer Cosmos had been welcoming the new sprouts that have spread their leaves in this soil. He had been engaged in taking care of the GreenHab with regular activities.

Followed by the delicious lunch cooked by the Commander, Rice and Lentils are just the Martian thing. Myself and Space Bot performed a short walking EVA around the Hab. Our main objective was to capture images via rover and operate it outdoor. This was a total new experience where we walked in strong winds and felt like a plastic bag drifting throughout the wind wanted to start again (Katty Perry, Fireworks). We had been on the top of the mountain where it was beautiful to observe our Hab from the top waving to the commander. It had been difficult to believe that we climbed the top of the mountain and observing the new perspective of nature. I wish I had words to describe about the view.

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise with a hope in better weather conditions to support the EVA. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about the application of our results.

Journalist Report – February 5th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 05-FEB-2019

Title: The Friendship Algorithm

Author: Sonal Baberwal

Good Morning from Mars! Hello Earthlings. So how does our day starts? The very first thing we do is go to the window and observe the beauty of this place. Seems like the mountains have covered themselves by a red blanket.

This complete isolation is helping ourself to learn more about self. To make us aware of our weaknesses and overcome them with lot of courage. I have been learning many soft skills from the crew. When you observe someone for a lot of time, you eventually start becoming like them. I couldn’t stop sanitizing my hands before everything because of cleanliness habits of Space Bot. I couldn’t work hard all day and wait for the evening for mind refreshing games and movies that had been eventually taking place because of Cosmos. Nothing ever taught me to be such a brave heart and good sense of humor like the Commander of the crew. I am thankful to Mars Desert Research Station for this opportunity to get oneself analyzed.

Today had been really an interesting day. Space Bot had successfully assembled and tested the rover inside the RAMM and further did a demonstration to test remotely which was operated by Harish Ajankar of Sipna College of Engineering and Technology, India.

Commander Avishek Ghosh had interesting results in his composition of soils that he had been analyzing along with continuing his research in 3D printing.

Our GreenHab officer Cosmos had been welcoming the new sprouts that have spread their leaves in this soil. He had been engaged in taking care of the GreenHab with regular activities.

Followed by the delicious lunch cooked by the Commander, Rice and Lentils are just the Martian thing. Myself and Space Bot performed a short walking EVA around the Hab. Our main objective was to capture images via rover and operate it outdoor. This was a total new experience where we walked in strong winds and felt like a plastic bag drifting throughout the wind wanted to start again (Katty Perry, Fireworks). We had been on the top of the mountain where it was beautiful to observe our Hab from the top waving to the commander. It had been difficult to believe that we climbed the top of the mountain and observing the new perspective of nature. I wish I had words to describe about the view.

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise with a hope in better weather conditions to support the EVA. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about the application of our results.

Journalist Report – February 6th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 06-FEB-2019

Title: Eat to live or live to eat?

Author: Sonal Baberwal (HSO and Crew Journalist)

Good Morning Earthlings! Have you ever lived on a salad for a month and missed all exotic food? This is exactly opposite to what we are feeling! We miss fresh salad! I wish salad could be available on Mars! But it will surely as soon as our plants grow older! Meanwhile, let’s experiment with different powders and make good food!

Another day starts with a lot of discussions on the table served with hot chocolate and experimental brunch! The day further continued with a regular routine and research everyone have been doing and short EVA performed by Commander and GreenHab Officer. Dear weather, please get well soon! Because we really miss long EVAs with rover!

It was really a great experience to 3D print the bricks with the Martian clay and help Commander, Avishek Ghosh. Who knows maybe Commander is planning to make a mini Habitat? And then he might use magnifying energy just like superheroes and magicians and make it large! I never know what exactly goes in his mind! Let me share with you, my area of interest lies in Human-Machine Interaction and Brain Waves. I wish I can make a mind-reading technology pretty soon and read what exactly goes into his mind.

Our GreenHab officer Cosmos Patil has been involved in taking care of the plants as we have been facing lack of sunlight and cold weather. I believe after returning back home definitely he is going to miss the GreenHab and would be making a kitchen garden as he has started making plants as his friends! After lunch, he goes to the GreenHab to have a walk and music with his friends!

You will find our Crew Engineer Space Bot taking readings for his reports, filling up the water tank and similar things! Sometimes it becomes difficult to know exactly where he belongs to! Sometimes you will find him sitting up the deck to fill the water and sometimes setting temperature of the Upper deck. Sometimes in the Engineering Lab and sometimes smiling and talking with the rover!

You might be thinking what exactly I do? Well let me tell you, whether it might be the crew using sanitizer on their hand after using the toilet or washing their hand with water and handwash, I observe all of them minutely and share their deep secrets with all of you every day! I help the crew whenever and wherever they need assistance. Sometimes you will find me plugging earphones and listening to music, sometimes observing this world from the little window and sometimes putting loud Bollywood music and dancing by myself!

This is Sonal Baberwal, Health and Safety Officer and Crew Journalist reporting live from the Upper deck of the habitat just before the communication with the mission support. Stay tuned for the next sunrise and our bunch of stories!

Journalist Report – February 4th

Crew 204 Journalist Report 04 FEB 2019.

Title: Are We Alone?

Author: Sonal Baberwal.

Good morning from Mars. Last night has been a noisy night as we could sense the winds trying to say us something by knocking the doors throughout the night! The feel of isolation was at its best as all we could hear was the noise of the wind which leaves us with a question, are we alone out here in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps nature won’t ever leave you alone. Another day started with looking out from the window and observing the beautiful view of the clouds and the mountains.

The day continues with yummy brunch cooked by Kunal Naik and Avishek Ghosh. We were actually discussing how much we are missing the EVAs due to unsupported weather conditions. The day had been engaged in working on the usual routines where our GreenHab officer had been working on regular care of the GreenHab.

Kunal Naik and Avishek Ghosh had been working on their projects related to the rover and the 3D printing. The day had been an ordinary day just like the others, but the best part of this ordinary day was the extra-ordinary outputs everyone had received.

Very firstly, heartiest congratulations to our baby plant from the sprouts that have grown one day old and he is observing Mars with us! All the fruitful efforts and care of our GreenHab Officer Patil (Cosmos) have turned to be worthy. The new soil compositions prepared by our commander looks promising with some reasonable or unexpected results.

The rover is finally assembled where it can crawl on the Martian terrains and capture its unforgettable moments. The commander has prepared the clay mixture which is ready to be molded into pots from this soil.

The day had been really interesting in terms of the activities we have been performing. Looking forward to a new sunrise with a hope in better weather conditions to support the EVA. This is Sonal Baberwal, HSO and Crew Journalist reporting live from the upper deck of the Habitat! Stay connected to know more about the application of our results.