Journalist Report – May 21st

MDRS Crew 195
May 21, 2018

It’s hard to settle into a routine when you’re mostly doing non-routine things. Lessons over breakfast, big pots of coffee, shared cleaning and cooking duties, yeah, mostly routine. Sleeping in a cupboard, clambering up and down a steep ladder with gnarly teeth, fitting your fishbowl helmet and ventilation backpack while your mate radio checks to Nav, then jiggling around for a few minutes in a rather snug airlock to prebreath prior to an EVA on Mars to check Comms relays? Decidedly not routine. Until now.

Lunch is followed by more aerospace medicine lessons to fuel our curiosity and prove there are no mundane career paths for this group! So three grown men CAN change out of flight suits into dry-suits in a landing capsule about as spacious as the back seat of a VW Beetle. The mind boggles.

Here’s hoping the heavens are clear for a glimpse of the ISS overhead tonight.

More role plays tomorrow. Whose turn to shine in the next total action patient drama? Break a leg! Oh wait, we’ve done that one.

[end]

Journalist Report – May 21st

MDRS Crew 195
May 21, 2018

It’s hard to settle into a routine when you’re mostly doing non-routine things. Lessons over breakfast, big pots of coffee, shared cleaning and cooking duties, yeah, mostly routine. Sleeping in a cupboard, clambering up and down a steep ladder with gnarly teeth, fitting your fishbowl helmet and ventilation backpack while your mate radio checks to Nav, then jiggling around for a few minutes in a rather snug airlock to prebreath prior to an EVA on Mars to check Comms relays? Decidedly not routine. Until now.

“Distance” team were given the task today of taking a quad and an electric buggy out to a few sites for a “can you hear me? check”. Not the technical term of course. But alas we were sabotaged with some coordinates cunningly chosen to delay our efforts and our return to the “Peak” team who played radio relay with Base. Time was running out to get back. Oh and just in case “Distance Nav” wasn’t already occupied enough, her Russian speaking prowess was called upon to translate and respond to a few relayed messages from Base. No sweat, all in a day’s work. Or two hour EVA.

“Peak” team, as the name suggests, had climbed to high ground, making for a cool photo op of “Peak Comms” as he perched on near the rocky outcrop, but also gave “Peak Nav” his chance to one-up the problem caused by “Geo’s” suit tear yesterday. He took a tumble and rather than a simple knee sprain, thought it might be a fun challenge to fracture his femur. And pelvis. And bust his suit. But wait! There’s still more! It’s on the side of a scree covered steep hill. I’ll take the steak knives,instead thanks.

“Medic” called ahead for an emergency repress, some splints and a bit of extra advice. Base came to the party with medical supplies, Ultrasound investigation, an instantaneous cure and chicken pot pie.

Lunch is followed by more aerospace medicine lessons to fuel our curiosity and prove there are no mundane career paths for this group! So three grown men CAN change out of flight suits into dry-suits in a landing capsule about as spacious as the back seat of a VW Beetle. The mind boggles.

Here’s hoping the heavens are clear for a glimpse of the ISS overhead tonight.

More role plays tomorrow. Whose turn to shine in the next total action patient drama? Break a leg! Oh wait, we’ve done that one.

Journalist Report – May 18th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 18May2018 / Sol 5

Author: Dean Aubin

Final in-sim day. Our morning began with learning about one of the most important potential obstacles in long distance human space travel: the human psyche. Our successful EVA today just showed how well we are all beginning to come together as a team. Finishing off the afternoon with details from our resident NASA flight surgeon, we covered astronaut selection and nutrition and the effects of space-associated neurooccular syndrome. Tonight we all sit down for a hot meal and review the amazing memories and bonds formed this week.

Journalist Report – May 16th

Crew 194 Journalist Report

Sol 3

Our day started at 7 o’ clock to another amazing view. Sean and Doug prepped our crew with a preflight summary before the launch of their custom-built, 1:3 scale, MDRS Nike Smoke rocket. With our launch site scouted yesterday, we were vertical and go for launch by 1031.

A spectacular launch produced a peak altitude of over 5000 feet and a gentle descent up onto the plateau west of our launch site. Drone footage pending.

Afternoon lectures from Dr. Rick Cole over winter and water survival and his experiences as a NASA flight surgeon were intriguing. We ended the day with a successful two-team EVA to recover the rocket from the western plateau.

Dean Aubin, Crew 194 Journalist

[end]

Journalist Report – May 15th

Crew 194 Report
Sol 2

Later than usual start to the morning as most of us surprisingly and coincidentally slept well past sunup. Yesterday evening the crew successfully responded to a simulated medical emergency. With the crew safe and all dangers tended to, we had more energy than usual as the day came to a close. After reviewing the dangers, symptoms, and treatment of radiation exposure to space travelers, we set outside for our EVA. Coincidentally, solar radiation had the landscape and the EVA much warmer than yesterday. Returning from a very successful EVA, we sat down and learned celestial navigation. Enjoying the throwbacks to math, geometry, and using pencil and paper again, we found it pleasantly challenging. Having to say farewell to our instructor Dana, a space nerd with a personality the size of Olympic Mons, we excitedly welcome a new instructor, Rick Cole.

Journalist Report – May 14th

Monday, May 14, 2018

Crew 194

Sol 1 Field Report

Morning lectures began early with details over space suits, hypoxia, toxicology. EVA immediately after with two teams successfully establishing comms relay further south of the Hab. Successful medical evac and treatment of injury due to fall. Afternoon consisted of rest, reading, Hab maintenance, and tidying. Crew all well.

Dean Aubin

Journalist Report May 2nd

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 02May2018 / Sol 10

Author: Eric Shear

This has been a day of cleaning and humor. In light of both EVAs being cancelled today due to extreme muddy conditions, we have made the best of a bad situation and channeled our energies into preparations for the school field trip tomorrow. We have cleaned the hab to the best of our ability, kept up with our experiments, and made plans for receiving the kids.

Our astronomer took advantage of a brief peek of the sun through the clouds to photograph one small prominence on the solar limb. The general conclusion he reached from these observations is that the sun is undergoing a quiescent period of activity, which is extremely fortunate for our mission.

We learned some more ASL from our deaf crew member. Some of us managed to guess the signs correctly before he taught them to us!

We are looking forward to the end of our rotation, and have begun our final reports in anticipation of that big day.

Journalist Report – May 1st

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 1 May 2018/ Mars Sol 9

Author: Doug Campbell

Crew 193 has rounded the halfway point and can see the finish line of their mission on Mars!

The last two days have included four EVAs to different location of the MDRS campus. Unfortunately, inclement weather has forced the shortening of most recent EVAs. Good judgement by each team has seen them stay out of harm’s way in case of flash flooding caused by a hard downpour in the desert.

Despite the shortened length of the EVAs, each team has explored vast distances and taken incredible photography of the varied landscape surrounding their home base. Mountains have been climbed, valleys have been explored, rocks have been kicked and dunes have been slid down.

Inside the hab, the work continues. Many research projects are wrapping up as the mission nears its end. The water-less dishwasher is showing early promise when compared to standard dish washing methods that consume large amounts of water. The green hab is still living up to its name despite the hot weather and the astronomer is having success finding different elements of the sun to photograph.

As a team, Crew 193 is continuing to grow and learn how to work together to achieve their mission goals. The team remains well fed and in good spirits. They have no doubt that this will be both a successful mission and a valuable learning experience!

Journalist Report – April 29th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 29APR2018 / Mars Sol 7

Author: Eric Shear

This weekend, we took a much-needed rest day on Sol 6. That doesn’t mean we lounged around all day – we made outreach videos with a combination of spoken and signed language.

Today (Sol 7) began the first of our switched EVAs. Team Canada had previously done morning EVAs, and is now doing EVAs in the afternoon, and vice versa for the Americans.

On Sol 6, our geologist/astronomer finally caught a prominence on the Sun, much to the excitement of the astronomers at Mission Support. Then he did it again on Sol 7, getting three solar features despite heavy cloud cover. We are glad to see him sharpen his already considerable telescope and image processing skills.

The morning of Sol 7, Team America went on EVA to Zubrin’s Head, White Rock Canyon, and Kissing Camel. Team Canada explored Toothy Ridge and Copernicus Highway. During one of these EVAs, a crewmember injured her knee by falling down a hill.

The afternoon was spent recuperating, working on projects and furthering our research. A quiet evening of eating good food and low-key recreation is anticipated. Our XO is anxious for a rematch in cards…

Journalist Report – April 27th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 27APR2018 / Mars Sol 5
Author: Doug Campbell

It’s been a tale of two Sols over the last 48 hours for MDRS Crew 193. Sol 4 was packed with two extensive exploration EVAs, a delicious meal and a hard fought battle at the card table.

On Sol 4, Team Canada (EVA Team 1) left the vast expanses of the Martian desert to explore the moon. The soft, powdery, grey dirt enabled the team to travel vast distances and climb tall mountains with the ease of Alan Shepard hitting a golf ball in 1/6 gravity. They walked over 9 kilometres (5.5 miles for our imperial friends) and documented the unique landscape with their strong photographic skills. EVA Team 2 explored deep into Candor Chasma and marveled at the beauty of the valley. Unfortunately, due to a framing error, the breathtaking pictures that were anticipated did not turn out.

In the evening, the crew astronomer/geologist introduced his colleagues to a card game called “Shanghai”. The rest of the crew is figuring out the rules as they play, but they are beginning to wonder if the astronomer is trying to hustle them for extra dessert rations!

Sol 5 was supposed to be a relaxing day for crew bonding and skill building. However, things to not always go as planned! The day began with training on emergency triage procedures. This would enable the crew to care for their colleagues should an accident occur on an EVA. The newly learned techniques were then practiced during an EVA outside of the hab.

Two teams practiced triaging patients and moving unconscious astronauts into safer positions when they are trapped in an EVA vehicle. Unexpectedly, these skills were put into immediate real usage as one crew member reported they were feeling dizzy during the EVA. The other crew members responded immediately and brought the crew member safely inside the hab for treatment. We are happy to report the crew member is doing well and that the training their teammates received this morning enabled them to act quickly and decisively to avoid further issues.

The afternoon was spent recuperating, working on projects and furthering our research. It was not exactly the day the crew had planned; however, it showed the strength and adaptability of the crew to deal with issues as they arise.

A quiet evening of eating good food and watching a movie is anticipated. Perhaps the cards will also be broken out again…