Science Report – April 27th

Science Report for 27 April 2018
Crew 193 – PHEnOM Gold Crew
Submitted by XO/Science Officer Doug Campbell

1. Emergency EVAC EVA: No locations were scouted during the EVA today. Emergency triage procedures were practiced so that a crew member might be safely transported to an evacuation location in the event of an incident.

2. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: Our CGA continued his task of monitoring the sun for sunspot activity. He found a solar flare in the direction of our planet and immediately alerted mission control to the danger.

3. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: Hand signal communication was used during the emergency EVA practice today. Further practice is needed to achieve a smooth process.

4. GPS Route Measurements: No measurements today, as the EVA was at the hab location.

5. Waterless dish cleaning: Samples were taken from a dirty dish and a dirty dish that had been put under the UV light. There are minimal signs of bacterial growth from the first set of samples. It may take a couple more days to see signs of growth. Both sets of samples are now in the incubator in the hab.

6. The MAG (Maximum Absorbency Garment) utilization study: No progress today. Possible that the continuation of this study from Crew 192 will be scrapped.

7. Spacesuit Helmet Fogging: Neither crew experienced fogging of the masks today. Both crews used a defogging spray and non-scratch cloth on the masks prior to their EVAs today.

8. Crew Comfort, Health and Safety on EVA: Measurements of the crew’s weight, blood pressure, SpO2 and pulse were taken before and after the EVA. Analysis will be done as the mission continues.

Science Report – 26 April 2018

1. Emergency EVAC EVA: No locations were scouted during either EVA today. Planning for an EVA dedicated to emergency procedures is in the works.

2. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: Our CGA continued his task of monitoring the sun for sunspot activity. The sunspots are getting smaller – they were not visible with the eye but could still be seen with the Skyris camera.

3. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: Beartooth devices still not working. Hand signal communication was used instead.

4. GPS Route Measurements: GPS was taken on EVA 8 this morning which proved very helpful in re-locating the rover after exiting the moon valley area. A picture was taken of the GPS device when EVA 8 parked for exploration and the crew the followed the GPS back to that set of coordinates.

5. Waterless dish cleaning: No samples were taken today. No growth seen on samples from previous day. Previous day samples were put into the incubator in the science hab today to speed bacterial growth.

6. The MAG (Maximum Absorbency Garment) utilization study: No progress today. Possible that the continuation of this study from Crew 192 will be scrapped.

7. Spacesuit Helmet Fogging: Neither crew experienced fogging of the masks today. Both crews used a defogging spray and non-scratch cloth on the masks prior to their EVAs today. One crew member thought their mask had fogged, but it turned out to just be dirt.

8. Crew Comfort, Health and Safety on EVA: Measurements of the crew’s weight, blood pressure, SpO2 and pulse were taken before and after the EVA. Maximum heart rate was tracked by a mobile monitor during the EVA when the astronaut felt that they were working very hard (normally climbing a large hill). Gold 01 is able to track his heart rate over the entire course of the EVA thanks to mobile technology. Results can be exported and used in this study. Analysis will be done as the mission continues.

Science Report April 25th

Hello Mission Support,

Here is the Science Report for 25 April 2018
Crew 193 – PHEnOM Gold Crew
Submitted by CGA Eric Shear

1. Emergency EVAC EVA: EVA 6 did not find any suitable locations for evacuation in Lith Canyon. The distance is very far from the hab, difficult to reach and quite exposed to the environment. Although it is beautiful! EVA 7 was to walk south alongside the Hab Ridge Road on foot, but was cut short due to warm conditions. Further investigation of possible locations will be done on future EVAs.

2. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: The sunspot from the previous observation has split into three smaller ones, and one prominence was seen. For photos, please refer to the astronomy report.

3. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: After troubleshooting, one Beartooth device continues to not work today. We are awaiting tech support from the manufacturer. In the meantime, we continue to use the note app on our phones to communicate with our deaf crew member.

4. GPS Route Measurements: A GPS tracking route was successfully taken on EVA 7 with the Garmin GPSmap 60Cx. On this EVA, we walked 641 meters (roundtrip).

5. Waterless dish cleaning: Baseline testing was completed this afternoon. 2 swabs were taken from dirty dishes in the sink and two swabs were taken from dishes in the cupboard. The swabs were rubbed on a water/agor mix in petri dishes and will be watched over the next few days for bacteria growth.

Science Report – April 24th

Here is the Science Report for 24 April 2018

Crew 193 – PHEnOM Gold Crew

Submitted by XO/Science Officer Doug Campbell

1. Emergency EVAC EVA: Both EVAs today had objectives of identifying more sites which would be possible shelters during an emergency evacuation. EVA 4 was able to identify a cave on the south side of west kissing camels ridge which would be an excellent shelter for all possible issues. EVA 5 located the shelter site that was proposed on EVA 1 on the north ridge. EVA 5 also located another possible evacuation site in the Tank Wash area. Further investigation of possible locations will be done on future EVAs.

2. Sunspot and Solar Flare Monitoring: Please refer to the astronomy report.

3. Shortwave Texting on EVA’s: Beartooth devices did not work today. Will need to troubleshoot the devices this evening. Hand sign language was used instead to communicate with Eric as backup means of communication was left on an ATV.

4. GPS Route Measurements: GPS was taken on EVA 5 which has just returned to the hab. Data will be analyzed for a more fulsome report tomorrow.

5. Waterless dish cleaning: No progress today. Initial testing of dirty dish bacteria growth will commence tomorrow with a plan to do testing on every second day due to the amount of supplies brought by gold XO for the research.

6. The MAG (Maximum Absorbency Garment) utilization study: No progress today

7. Spacesuit Helmet Fogging: Neither crew experienced fogging of the masks today. Both crews used a defogging spray and non-scratch cloth on the masks prior to their EVAs today.

8. Crew Comfort, Health and Safety on EVA: Measurements of the crew’s weight, blood pressure, SpO2 and pulse were taken before and after the EVA. Maximum heart rate was tracked by a mobile monitor during the EVA when the astronaut felt that they were working very hard (normally climbing a large hill). Gold 01 is able to track his heart rate over the entire course of the EVA thanks to mobile technology. Results can be exported and used in this study. Analysis will be done as the mission continues.

Science Report – April 20th

MDRS Crew 192 Final Science Report (We science the sh*t out of this!)
Richard Blakeman, Executive Officer
April 20, 2018 (Sol 12)

MDRS Crew 192 Mission Science report summary:
This report describes the outcomes of the science and research projects conducted during the MDRS Blue Crew 192 mission. It should be noted that on some of the research studies, the primary data collected requires additional time for analysis and conclusions.

Spacesuit visor fogging study
This research was conducted using a double-blind study to test off the shelf cleaning products (Joy dishwashing liquid and Johnson’s Baby shampoo) and their effectiveness against spacesuit visor fogging. Both one-piece and two-piece (separate helmet) spacesuit configurations were tested along with random controls to identify variables and collect data. The data will require analysis before any final conclusions can be made; however, preliminary data suggests that exertion levels contribute to fogging phenomenon. Additionally, baby shampoo appears to have slightly superior results in fog reduction. There were occasional reports of minor irritation but it appears to be not significant.

Hand exercises using hand relief, well-being balls
This research was conducted as single blind study to test the use of well-being ball for had exercise before EVA determining the dexterity and comfort of hands. After few measurements, discontinued the study as the exercises were creating discomfort for the crew

Crew wellness observations This is survey-based study using the Wellbeing questionnaire before, during and the end of the study to measure the happiness scale of the crew

Crew weight measurements and analysis (EVA) Daily weight measurements were taken along with the pre and post EVA analysis. Preliminary results indicated the weight loss after EVA is proportional with duration of EVA and physical exertion

Crew muscle measurements Daily crew skeletal measurements including deltoid and calf muscles were taken. Preliminary analysis show reduction in deltoid muscle in majority of the crew.

MAG (Maximum Absorbency Garment) utilization (MAG, i.e. Depend-type undergarments) were worn by crewmembers on all EVAs. This provided additional crew comfort, health, welfare, and safety protection on increasingly longer and complex EVAs. NASA and the military use the MAG protocol for missions involving extended operations involving pressure suits, EVA space suit, and undersea hard suits where waste collection issues can significantly impact crew heath and mission success.

Ultrasonic rodent repulsion experiment Three off the shelf plug-in ultrasonic rodent repulsion emitters were placed in the lower habitat, crew quarters deck, and the upper level deck. There was only one intrusion of a rodent during the mission located on the crew living deck near the refrigerator. A trap was baited with a small piece of bread coated with peanut butter and the intruding rodent was captured unharmed. On a subsequent EVA the rodent was released on Galileo Road (Route 1104). An additional rodent intruder was discovered during the night in the south-side, upper level, interface between the wall and the habitat roof structure. The intruder rodent was caught in a glue trap and did not survive. The initial conclusion is that the ultrasonic rodent repulsion emitters are ineffective. Physical traps need to be continuously deployed to capture intruder rodents and additional repulsion technologies tested.

Astronomy discussions and visual observations Conducted night time observational astronomy lectures describing various constellations and planets. The crew was able to observe several satellites and wonder at the incredible view of the heavens above. Additionally, conducted daytime solar observations using the MDRS solar telescope array. However, computer interface issues and some clouds affected viewing. Some imagery was obtained using the optical sun lens and a smart phone.

Geology observations conducted during EVAs Each EVA offered a rich and immersive experience into the local geology. Close physical inspection of structures as well as photographic and video imagery was taken for later discussion and analysis.

EVA touch screen glove testing The crew brought several types of touch pad sensitive gloves to use during EVAs. These proved to be an invaluable tool for the crews as it allowed direct interface with multiple electronic recording devices. Recommend that these be used by future crew to assist with video and photographic imagery.

Water contamination prevention and mitigation procedures
All of the habitat water storage tanks were meticulously cleaned and sanitized over the course of many days to remove any contamination and tank residue; additionally, multiple fresh water transport and loading runs to and from Hanksville was accomplished by the crew. The water transfer pump was also meticulously clean to prevent future contamination. The main water filter was also replaced by the crew.

Yuri’s night distilled spirits experiment The distillation of a celebratory spirit was both a crew morale booster and a fascinating chemistry experiment. The process took several days to complete and the resulting product was equally distributed to each crewmember in a celebratory toast to the accomplishments of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for becoming the first human in space April 12, 1961.

Still and video imagery Still and video imagery has been collected by all crewmembers throughout the mission in order learn and better appreciate the challenges and requirements necessary to be an effective Martian crew.

Spacesuit hydration prototype system operational testing and evaluation An experimental prototype EVA hydration system was constructed and operationally tested on multiple EVAs both mounted and dismounted. This system has shown promising results as it can be utilized while operating a rover, ATV, as well as dismounted EVAs. Astronaut hydration, particularly during heavy exertion, is an important physiological need and critical to crew safety.

Warm Regards from Florida,

Joseph Dituri, PhD (c), CDR, US Navy Saturation Diving Officer (ret)

Science Report – April 11th

MDRS Crew 192 Science Report (We are going to science the sh*t out of this!)

April 11, 2018 (SOL 3)

Richard Blakeman, Executive Officer

This crew has performed magnificently despite the challenges of having all the original science and engineering projects removed from the mission. The crew has pooled their individual and collective talents and shown incredible resourcefulness, creativity, imagination, and teamwork to develop multiple real-world science and engineering research and experiments.

The current list of projects that are being conducted include:

Spacesuit visor fogging study: Using off the shelf cleaning products which are used to develop mitigation strategies to solve the visor fogging issues. These are guaranteed to not scratch, damage or otherwise alter the visibility of the suits.

Hand exercises using hand relief, well-being balls: To measure comfort and hand dexterity during EVA

Crew wellness observations: Questionnaire designed to measure crew well-being during the duration of the mission

Crew weight measurements and analysis (EVA*): Pre and post weight for all personnel designed to measure body fluid loss during EVA

Crew muscle measurements: Physical measurements using tape measure to indicator of skeletal muscle glycogen reserve during mission

Ultrasonic rodent repulsion experiment: Using off the shelf, plug-in ultrasonic transmitter to observe if they deter rodent intrusions.

We noted a squeak at ~0830 today and have no confirmation but suspect there is a mouse about the house. We have also cleaned again and moved stove and frig to more thoroughly clean. What a mess behind both. Manual trap has been set IVO the squeak.

Astronomy discussions and visual observations since the main telescope is non-functional

Geology observations conducted during EVAs

EVA touch screen glove testing: We purchased several different kinds of touch pad sensitive gloves and anecdotally determining which ones are better for use with phone screen cameras.

Water contamination prevention and mitigation procedures

We have rolled the water tank from the trailer into the RAM and are going to do recurring EVAs to clean and sanitize the water tank for use with future crews to ease the requirement to make multiple trips into town for water saving fuel, vehicle wear and tear as well as cost of fuel for the society.

In honor of the achievements of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, we have used a ration of our potatoes along with banana chips, apple slices and water. We heated this and combined it with yeast from the cupboard. The crew anticipates the ability to brew and enjoy a beverage made from distilled dehydrated potatoes on Yuri’s night (12 April).

The crew continues to take both still and video imagery for later analysis.

Science Report – February 16th

[English]

Hello there!

My name is Atila Meszaros and I have the honor of being the first intern of The Mars Society. I have been on MDRS for more than a month. During the first weeks (during the rotation of the Purdue crew), I researched all the literature and information necessary to start working on the Aquaponics project.

What is Aquaponics? It is a system that behaves like a small ecosystem: it combines fish, plants, and bacteria to generate processes of greater efficiency. The fish excrete ammonia, which if its accumulated becomes toxic, water with ammonia goes through biofilters, which contain nitrogen-fixing bacterias. These little ones, are responsible for the conversion of ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates, which, not only are not toxic but serve as nutrients for plants. In this way, the plants filter the water, which returns to the fish, practically new. The objective of this research is to verify if an aquaponics in a Martian Analogous Habitat is really advantageous, comparing to the common gardening methods.

I was one of the crew members of the fantastic Latin American crew 187. During my rotation, I was able to assemble almost all the equipment, while, at the same time, working with my project related to the resistance of Peruvian seeds to Martian analog soil. The seeds that I am using are quinoa and kiwicha. Both are fruits with high nutritional content, and knowing that both are powerful candidates for future Martian missions, is the goal of the project.

The crew of Supaero will be arriving tomorrow, and hopefully, the agronomic part (without fish) of the aquaponics will be working. To compensate for the lack of fish (and its residue: ammonia), external nutrients will be added. The aquaponics project is a long-term one, and to achieve all the goals, I will make a protocol guide which will serve the future Green Hab Officers so that they can be guided during the course of the project. I know it will be in very good hands.

On the other hand, the hunting of halophiles has just begun. Halophiles are beings that, not only support the high amounts of salts but, are in their optimal state. To find them, we are looking for gypsum in different areas where their presence has been previously registered. We have already defined the points of interest and I have already been trained for the hunt.

Also, I consider myself Shannon’s assistant and I try to support in everything that is necessary. One of my personal goals is to learn as much as I can from her. She is a fantastic person and above all, an incredible teacher.

In the course of these weeks, the number of science reports will increase, so check it out!

At the end of the internship, I will make a final report with all the projects we have done and the progress of all the investigations.

It is an honor to be able to give my small grain of sand to this great project that is Mars.

Ad Astra!

Atila Meszaros

[Español]

¡Hola a todos!

Mi nombre es Atila Meszaros y tengo el honor de ser el primer interno de The Mars Society. Me encuentro en el MDRS desde hace más de un mes. Durante las primeras semanas (durante la rotación de la tripulación de Purdue), investigué toda la literatura e información necesaria para empezar a trabajar en el proyecto del Aquaponics.

¿Qué es el Aquaponics? Es un sistema que se comporta como un pequeño ecosistema: combina peces, plantas y bacterias para generar procesos de mayor eficiencia. Los peces excretan amoniaco, el cual al acumularse llega a ser tóxico, el agua con amoniaco pasa a través de biofiltros, los cuales contienen bacterias fijadoras de nitrógeno. Estas pequeñas son las encargadas de convertir el amoniaco en nitritos y posteriormente en nitratos, los cuales, no solo no son tóxicos, sino sirven como nutrientes para las plantas. De esta manera, las plantas filtran el agua, la cual regresa hacia los peces, prácticamente nueva. El objetivo de la investigación es comprobar si es realmente ventajoso un aquaponics en un Habitat Análogo Marciano, respecto a los métodos de jardinería comunes.

Fui uno de los tripulantes de la fantástica tripulación latinoamericana 187. Durante mi rotación, pude ensamblar casi todo el equipo, mientras trabajaba a la par en mi proyecto relacionado con la resistencia de semillas peruanas a suelo análogo marciano. Las semillas que estoy usando son de quinoa y kiwicha. Ambas son de los frutos con mayor contenido nutricional, y saber que ambas son potentes candidatas para futuras misiones marcianas, es el objetivo del proyecto.

La tripulación de Supaero estará llegando el día de mañana, y con suerte la parte agropónica (sin peces) del aquaponics estará funcionando. Para compensar la falta de peces (y su residuo: amoniaco), se añadirá nutrientes externos. El proyecto del aquaponics, es uno a largo plazo, y para conseguir todos los objetivos voy a realizar una guía protocolo la cual servirá a los futuros Green Hab Officers para que puedan guiarse durante el transcurso de la investigación. Sé que estará en muy buenas manos.

Por otro lado, la caza de los halófilos recién ha empezado. Los halófilos son seres que, no solo soportan las altas cantidades de sales, sino que, en ella, se encuentran en su estado óptimo. Para encontrarlos, estamos buscando en yeso en distintas áreas donde ya se ha registrado anteriormente su presencia. Ya hemos definido los puntos de interés y ya he sido entrenado para la cacería.

También, me considero el ayudante de Shannon y apoyo en todo lo que sea necesario. Uno de mis objetivos personales del internado es aprender todo lo que pueda de ella. Es una fantástica persona y sobre todo, una increíble maestra.

En el transcurso de estas semanas, los reportes de ciencias van a aumentar, por todo el trabajo que estaremos haciendo. ¡Échele un ojo!

Al finalizar el internado, realizaré un reporte final con todos los proyectos que hemos realizado y los avances de todas las investigaciones.

Es un honor poder dar mi pequeño grano de arena a este gran proyecto que es Marte.

Ad Astra!

Science Report – February 10th

Update information:

The crew who vomited yesterday recovered well.

The crew performed regular work completely.

The crew had enough sleep and rest in the last night.

The crew had breakfast and lunch today as normal. Currently, the crew has an appetite.

There are no adverse symptoms relating to the allergy observed for the crew.

Status:
Recovered

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Tatsunari Tomiyama, AHFP

Science Report – February 2nd

Astronomy Report

Name: Julia De Marines

Crew: 188

Date: 02/02/2018

Sky conditions: Hazy

Wind conditions: low to none

Observation start time 4:30 pm

Observation end time: 5:00 pm

Summary: The last two days have been fairly cloudy and I decided to wait until a sunny day to begin solar observing. This morning was very clear and sunny but I was out on an EVA until 13:00 hours. After lunch and some down time I went out to use the Helioscope. By the time I familiarized myself with the equipment and procedures and programing the teslecope, the sun was starting to get low on the horizon. Also, I goofed and put in Daylight Savings Time instead of Standard Time, so I had to redo the programming of the telescope to be positioned correctly. I have a similar control to my personal telescope so it wasn’t a big deal; however, it just ate away at precious time. By the time I had the sun in the eyepiece, it was quite challenging to be able to see the Sun as the eyepiece was too high. I wasn’t sure if there was a way to rotate the direction of the eyepiece to yield a more favorable angle. I didn’t see an obvious way but perhaps I missed something. Stepping on the small chair in the dome is not a safe idea either. I was able to snap a few shots of the sun though the H-Alpha filter through my phone but it is probably not in focus and the sun was dipping below the lip of the dome retractable door.

Objects viewed: Sun

Problems encountered: Eyepiece too high to easily view the sun. Programmed the scope incorrectly at first, observed too late in the day.

Further questions: I was hoping to get some advice or suggestions on an astrophotography artist project I had in mind. I was inspired by watching the sun setting over the nearby hills and I was wondering if there would be a way to capture my crew eclipsing the sun as it is setting over the hill? It isn’t feasible with the Helioscope because the lip of the dome door is too high and I think the magnification is too high. Also, I think the Hab will eclipse the dome before the Sun sets judging by the shadow of the hab as I was leaving the dome. With the equipment we have available, can you think of a way to do this? We were able to accomplish this at Sommers Bosch observatory in Boulder but it’s been too long for me to recall details of how they did this. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for a safe way to accomplish this! Thank you!

[end]