Science Report November 10th

Science Report
Camila Castillo
10 Novermber 2017

Mars is pretty nice this night. There’s no cold in our little and warm hab and the night doesn’t seem as cold as ever.

This Science Report should be short because the main reason I’m writing this is because of the ovens at the lab. I’m using a little one and I would like to know if there is a problem with that one. I tried to set up another temperature and it just keeps getting warmer inside and doesn’t really mantain the temperature I originally intended. There are other two ovens, but it seems that they are a lot warmer than I need. I just want to set them up at a temperature near 25 °C.

As for the experiments, they are going well. It seems that the PC plates were well made and we could manage to keep an sterilized condition for making them. I’m expecting a package of Nutrient broth and Nutrient agar and it should be arriving this evening or even tomorrow. It will help a lot for my microbiological experiments.

Today we collected some soil and plant samples on the EVA. Our crew geologist keeps working on their characterization and I could train a bit of my plant systematics. I’m not an expert botanist, but I suppose you need to know a little bit of everything when you’re a scientist on Mars! (I’m learning so much about soils, it’s just crazy). It would be interesting if we get to know the microorganisms that live with these plants. This would be possible with the help of the Nutrient agar (That’s the one we usually use at my lab for this kind of samples).

I have some pretty crazy results on my pilot on the effects of dishwater on my raddish seeds. The ones that are growing the most are the seeds with 10% water and 90% dishwater! It’s really bugging me. I’ll need to follow them to know if they have some kind of alteration during their growing.

Science Report November 9th

Mars has been also great today! We had some sunshine, but it wasn’t as warm as other days. In fact, I had problems finding some sunshine for my seeds. But alright, continuing with the Science report:

The autoclave is already set and working! We read carefully the manual to use this, because I’m particularlly fearful of that machine. But I noticed that it requires a great amount of destillated water for running. I would like to ask about this issue because I had to use a gallon and a half for one sterelization cycle. I’ll need to do another one in the next week, so I would like to know if it is possible to get more gallons of destillated water.

We also need to figure out the position of the machines at the lab. The autoclave requires a good table, so it occupies the only lab table at the lab. I will not be using the hood for my project, so I need to move it somewhere else. Right now, the lab is pretty messy.

As for the projects, there has been some soil sampling today during the EVAs. These samples have been collected for both typing and using during the germination experiments.

No photos are going to be attached to this report, because my main concern is with the destillated water.

Science Report November 6th

Mars is doing pretty fine right now. As the Crew Scientist, I’ll report the principal events of today’s experiments:

Yesterday, we started the germination tests for the raddish seeds. If everything goes ok, then the seeds will germinate in the next 3 or 4 days. This will be necessary for determinating if these seeds can grow.

We recollected soil samples in today’s EVA. It should be enough for one phase of the geology experiment and one phase of the two biology experiments.

The lab is ok, too. We started to relocate some stuff in there, also labeling it. We want to be able to find all the stuff whenever we need it.

We still can’t report any results, though, but hopefully we will have something for the first days of the next week.

As the Crew Journalist, it seems that I will not work that much today. However, I’ll be writing some stuff about todays events in both english and spanish, so please tell me if you would like some of this writings.

As I told the Crew, I love to write, so I don’t have any problems telling jokes via e-mail!

Hope everything is great on Earth!

Camila

Crew Scientist and Journalist

Science Report November 8th

Mars today has been really great, with bright sunshine and now a cozy hab to sleep in!

Things in the lab have been really great! The germination tests of the raddish seeds are going great. 3/5 in one plate and 3/5 in the second plate have presented a positive response, so the seeds are viable. Raddish seeds are also really fast at germinating, but this new brand we bought is particullarly fast. This will be great for the lab tests.

The new autoclave is now at the lab, and we have plenty of destillated water, so that will help a lot with the different biological experiments. The new microscope is also set up and ready to go! It also incorporates a new cam for our sights in it, so I would like to ask where should I install the drive to use the cam. I fear that this drive is just a one-time software, so if I install it in my computer, it would be the only time it could be installed. That happens quite a lot with other copyrighted softwares. I tried to install it in the hab laptop, but we couldn’t find the cable to connect it.

At today’s EVA, our crew as able to recollect more soil for their experiments. A crewmate is trying to tipify the soil, while other project involves the germination of different seeds in two types of soil.

There’s also this idea some of us had of using the soapy water for some seeds. I’m running a pilot test with raddish seeds. It would be interesting if we find a way of making that dirty soapy water from the dishes useful!

I’ll attach some photos of the experiments in the lab today. The first two ones are from my raddish experiments. The last ones are from the pilot experiment with the dirty water from the dishes.

We also tried to organize the lab better. There are now labels in each drawer and we are trying to set places for the equipment. There is a table for running microbiological experiments and another for geological ones. We are hoping to make the lab a great and ordered space for future crews!