Prepared by: Julia DeMarines
Environmental control: Heating
Ambient with door opening: Shade cloth on
Working hours in Green Hab: 13:00 – 15:00, 19:00 – 20:00
Outside temp at working hour: -1ºC
Inside temp at working hour: 15ºC,
Inside temp H: 31ºC,
Inside temp L: 15ºC,
Inside humidity: 47 %
Inside humidity H: 47%
Inside humidity L: 16%
Hours of supplemental light: 06:00 – 09:59
Changes to the crops: N/A
Daily water usage for crops: 2 gallons midday; 10 gallons evening
Time(s) of watering plants: 13:00 – 15:00 (2 gallons), 19:00 – 20:00 (10 gallons)
Changes to research plants: N/A
Narrative: Both Julia and Zac were on EVA’s today at separate times and both spent time watering the plants, staggered. Upon persistent trials and errors, we have both noticed that the wilted plants are most likely due to requiring a midday watering, being dry from having the door open, and being in the southwestern-most corner (and getting very hot).
We will keep monitoring and testing out better methods to keep the temperature not too hot and not too cold. Today was a very windy day.
Future needs and questions: We need tomato cages before repotting as to not disturb them any more than necessary.
Summary of NASA VEGGIE OASYS: Renee added water to the wicks and the reservoir and took photos of germinating seeds for the PI.
Simulation: Imitation of a situation or process for research and training
SOL-6 Author’s name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell
The theme of this report is Simulation. It is the second report in a short series responding to the MDRS “Safety, Simulation, and Science” priority of operations.
First and foremost, the MDRS analogue attempts to curate a research station model supporting the professional relationship and activities of early settlers.
The simulation, by its nature, combines real working facilities on Earth Mars-like terrain, with instruments and systems for the imitation of a Mars-like situation and various associated process for research and training. There are collective and individual jobs to get done in developing and maintaining the station. Crews define an assigned role and a job position for each member with a myriad of tasks to perform, and conditions to explore.
Ultimately, the MDRS simulation offers an experience for contributing to a body of situational or process-based knowledge unraveling the intricate inner working of establishing a human foothold on Mars.
The simulation evokes many responses. There are moments when we feel like visitors, tourists, customers, test-subjects, staff, scouts, students, researchers, settlers, crewmembers, trainees, simulants and occasionally, frontier explorers.
Today, two teams of three Analogue Astronauts simulated “spacewalks” or extravehicular activities [EVAs] across the MDRS Mars-analogue terrain. We designated EVA-7 as an opportunity to implement formal briefing procedures and techniques derived from related analogue EVA SIM procedures (underwater). [See MDRS Crew 188 EVA Coordinator Briefing and De-brief Protocols below. We welcome any suggestions or feedback, and include here for future crews to reference, noting donning and doffing checklists would also be helpful for MDRS EVA Operations].
The EVA-7 profile supported a three-hour spacewalk by three astronauts on the MDRS analogue site to troubleshoot a navigation issue, perform a bubble experiment along the ridge overlooking the habitat, and capture activities in 6K 360 3D Video in-situ. [See EVA reports]
The ways the simulation maintained “high-fidelity” included: instances of loss of direction or radio communication, high winds, unchartered pathways such as climbing up the cliff face, the variety of surface conditions over the 1000 feet elevation, the incredibly rich red and amber marmalade geology, the exertion activities themselves, team-work, sense of adventure and the shared mission.
Ways that the simulation was “broken” included: picking up commercial rubbish in the ravines, watching an SUV drive by along Cow Dung Road, encountering plant biodiversity on the open plains, noticing animal tracks along the ridges, looking out for rattlesnakes and cougars, and using a digital phone as an instrument for checking time.
But, these are the surface conditions: let’s dig a little deeper into the experience. It is not just space, rather the spatiality of the embodied experience, and how we react and feel that determines our relationship to the simulation.
We are “in simulation” when we feel that we need to be ultimately resourceful in charting our own experience. In other words, the conditions need to support our navigation through an experience, with autonomy and agency. Zak Trolley describes many instances where we must suspend our beliefs and open ourselves to the imagined, and this is made easier by proximity to the Mars-like landscape. For example, looking up through the red hills towards the ridge summit, it is easy to see yourself following the Curiosity Rover pathways.
However once reaching the road at the top of the ridge, you have to work so much harder to imagine belonging to an outpost on Mars. On an EVA, Dr. Ryan Kobrick reports the feeling of being constrained to the limitations and requirements of wearing the life-support systems, relying on navigational and time-stamped operations and waypoints, and undertaking pre-authorised research tasks also strengthens the social and collective simulation.
These types of elements draw us closer to the inner experience of the simulation: conscious of the shift in space and spatiality of your own body in time, and perspective. It is a delicate dance between suspending aspects of reality and illusionism, fact and fiction, the serious and the phantasmagorical.
As this the second most important aspect of the MDRS experience, we are embracing and discussing ways to support each other in the enhancement and fidelity of the simulation experience, through playing out the socially coded nature of our roles and curating the themes of our own perspectives.
We recommend that future crews consider an EVA to the top of the ridge to look back over the MDRS station. From that vantage, you can fully appreciate the isolation and beauty of the Mars-analogue site, you can film and be filmed, and the perspective helps frame where you are, and why you would come here.
MDRS Crew 188 EVA Coordinator Briefing Protocols
The EVA Coordinator for each EVA SIM is responsible for conducting a pre-EVA briefing in the presence of the entire EVA team (including Astronauts (EV.1. EV.2. EV.3…,) CapCom, Safety/Medical Officer, Astronaut Attendants and any Technical Specialists). Each team member has a responsibility to give their full attention during the briefing, as in the event of an incident any team member may be required to initiate and/or control emergency procedures.
The content of this briefing must include at least the following information, and must be modified to take account of any other details specific to the particular extra vehicular simulation operation being considered:
1. Identification of the EVA Coordinator (they would normally be the person giving the briefing) and EVA Commander/s for the EVA/s (may or may not be the EVA Coordinator);
2. Nomination of Roles Analogue Astronauts, Standby Astronauts and Astronaut Attendants for the EVA, where applicable
3. Details of life-support equipment to be used during the EVA/s, including any habitats, vehicles, or mobile SSBA (LP compressor or bottle bank), SCUBA, CLLSP pack, oxygen equipment, and First Aid/safety
4. List equipment and any other specific items needed; including vehicles, personal protective equipment, payload instrumentation, tools, guidance and navigation material, timepiece, safety or research equipment
5. Allocation and description of tasks of each EVA team member, outlining all procedures for the extravehicular activity simulation;
6. Full details of the EVA plan, specifically including mission objectives, location, duration, tasks, risk, hazards, mitigation strategies, EVA termination procedures, ‘in SIM’ emergency procedures, safety checks, and communication procedures;
7. Confirmation with Attendant/s and Standby Astronauts/s of their duties, including keeping visual contact with Analogue Astronaut/s or their communications and knowledge of protocols for recovery of injured Astronauts from the analogue environment, rescue procedures, and out of SIM emergency/evacuation procedures;
8. A briefing of each individual regarding their specific tasks, and for analogue astronauts, a check on their fitness to perform the EVA (i.e. asking about tiredness, or any colds, flu’s or injuries they may have, and overall willingness and wellbeing);
9. Details of expected ‘in SIM’ conditions, including weather and terrain conditions, visibility, temperature, range of radio communications, exposure/isolation etc. (NB. these must be confirmed once at the analogue site);
10. Recall signals and protocols;
11. EVA termination points e.g. low air/minimum air limits, technical equipment failure, change of conditions, time in SIM, loss of visibility, fatigue, cold, oxygen toxicity limits, etc.
12. Answers to any queries.
As well as the above, once at the analogue site, the EVA Coordinator must perform the following tasks:
1. Re-evaluate the site, conditions, team, tasks and consequent duration of the EVA;
2. Reconfirm all Analogue Astronaut’s and Standby Astronaut’s health, air supply, equipment etc.;
3. Ensure all required information is recorded on the ‘EVA Record’ Form (may be delegated to CapCom);
4. Conduct a final evaluation of all Analogue Astronaut’s equipment and dress.
MDRS Crew 188 EVA Coordinator De-Briefing Protocols
After every EVA, the EVA Coordinator must conduct a post-EVA debrief with all EVA personnel on the simulation including the following:
1. Checking the health of all simulation astronauts, and recording details of any issues or incidents encountered, including discussing whether risk assessment controls were effective;
2. Noting all tasks achieved and any irregularities described by the astronaut/s;
3. Recording equipment problems encountered, and ensuring the equipment is tagged OUT OF SERVICE;
4. Notifying each astronaut of their EVA details as recorded;
5. Notifying each astronaut of their repetitive group designator, and the time they left the air-lock and the EVA;
6. Detailing any post EVA restrictions to each astronaut, including altitude, heavy work, exercise or showering restrictions, and ensure the astronaut understand these.
As well, the EVA Coordinator should coordinate with the Safety/Medical Officer:
7. Check each astronaut’s health 1, 6, 24 & 48 hours after the EVA (where practicable);
8. Ensure they and the EVA Leader (if other than EVA Coordinator), sign the EVA Record Form/s for the day.
9. Prepare the EVA Report for Mission Control
Author’s name: Tatsunari Tomiyama AHFP, Health & Safety Officer
Number of EVA crew: 3
Participants: Sarah Jane Pell, Zac Trolley, and Tatsunari Tomiyama
EVA Commander: Sarah Jane Pell
Purpose of EVA: To get dirty and gather data for the dust study. (Primary Objective) To scout the rim for future EVA missions and observe the area from a high vantage point. (Secondary Objective)
Location of EVA: Hab Ridge, Skyline Rim
UDM27 Coordinates: 5175750E 54250500N
Rovers used: None
Duration: 2 hours 11minutes
EVA Departure Time: 13:30
EVA Return Time: 16:19
There were two objectives for this EVA. Primary objective was to collect data for dust study for NASA and secondary objective was to make more waypoints for future EVA studies. Both objectives were successfully completed.
We had difficulty to find 11:03 road on the way to get Skyline Rim. However, we climbed slopes to get the road while carefully monitoring each other. While climbing, residence-in-artist, Sarah Jane Pell, filmed our activity using bubble.
I am assuming this report will be in journalist report today. After arrived on the Hab Ridge Road, we walked to the South Hab viewpoint and found some animal footprints.
After HABCOM confirmed that we arrived at the objective points and took some photos, we returned to the Hab Ridge Road. We tried to search for the original pathway which is 11:03 and we could found the road.
Then we safely returned.
On the way back to the Hab, we collected some garbage on the past river prints and saw an unknown vehicle as mentioned in the report before.
Dust data collection was performed when we returned to the Hab.
Author’s name: Renee Garifi, Executive Officer
Number of EVA Crew: 3
Participants: Ryan Kobrick, Renee Garifi, Julia De Marines
EVA Commander: Renee Garifi
Location: Lith Canyon and Goblins
UDM27 Coordinates: 519500E, 4256500N
Rovers used: Deimos and Curiosity
Duration: 3 hours, 11 minutes
EVA Departure Time: 10:18
EVA Return Time: 13:29
We drove north on Cow Dung Road to Lith Canyon where we collected hilltop soil samples for the astrobiological micrometeorite investigation and hunted the lower areas for chlorophyll samples to collect. Along the way, we mapped our route using Garmin GPS waypoint drops for archive and analysis of sample collection spots. Both objectives were successfully completed. The final waypoint took the crew to the Goblins site to investigate the area for potential future sampling and video.
We left the airlock at 10:18 and departed for our driving route with Renee and Ryan riding in the Deimos rover and Julia following in Curiosity. At 10:33, we passed Cowboy’s Corner and reached the out-of-range point for the long-range radios. Once in the target area of Lith Canyon, we parked the rovers and proceeded by foot to the Goblins site.
We took photos and videos and collected some scientific samples of rock, soil and small green leaves and rocks for chlorophyll analysis. We also shot some photos and videos for our documentary and enjoyed the breathtaking view from the higher points.
We worked as a team to carefully navigate the rough terrain and slowed our pace when the team was showing signs of fatigue. We opted to skip the Marble Ceremony stop on the way back to the Hab in order to save time and departed Lith Canyon to return to the Hab.
We checked back in with HABCOM at 13:04 when we were back in radio range. We completed the EVA at 13:29.
EVA was a success.
Summary Title: A Blustery Day on Mars
Author’s name: Ryan L. Kobrick, Ph.D., MDRS Crew 188 Commander
Mission Status: Everything is fine, how are you?
Sol Activity Summary:
A two-EVA day today kept the crew busy all day. The morning EVA (Renee, Julia, and I) went North to discover the "Goblins" in Lith Canyon. The crew followed an ancient stream bed into the canyon, a familiar site for myself once we reached a few of the more memorable dips, with a grand opening from rolling red cliffs to an open field followed by a deep canyon drop area near what we hope to confirm was the correct location.
The afternoon EVA (Zac, Tat, and SJ) can be summarized by two words, windy bubbles. EVA double-oh-seven ventured by foot North and scrambled up the red cliffs near Sagan Road to reach the Hab Ridge Road. Performing a variety of bubbles experiments, the crew experience upper wind limits for their expedition. They walked south towards the Hab for a scenic view of our campus from above.
Meanwhile back in the Hab, I was in full science mode taking dust measurements in the airlock and uploading biometric data to Earth. The winds are expected to keep the Hab cool overnight leading into Super Science Sunday… I mean Super Bowl Sunday. The crew is planning to coordinate outreach activities to see if we can help raise awareness for human spaceflight and Mars-forward research.
Ryan L. Kobrick, Ph.D.
MDRS Crew 188 Commander
Look Ahead Plan:
EVA 8 is being planned to take the crew back up on the Hab Ridge for sample collection and scenic views. The ERAU spacesuit mobility study is being planned for video capture in the science dome. IN the afternoon we will have our next installment of the human factors study. During the day the team will be trying to post awesome social media content for #SuperScienceSunday.
Have a better hashtag?
Anomalies in work:
Robotic observatory currently not functional. MDRS Astronomy lead working problem.
A very windy day. Skies were mostly clear.
Crew Physical Status:
The crew is in the groove zone.
One is planned for tomorrow.
Reports to file:
1. EVA #8 request
2. EVA #6 and #7 Report
3. Ops Report
4. Sol Summary
5. Journalist Report
6. Green Hab Report
7. Daily Photos
Heater for science dome requested.
There are potentially two packages at Hollow Mountain that we would love to have picked up.
Water tank refills will be needed in the next few days.
Crew 188 Operational Report 02/02/2018
Non-Nominal Systems: Propane supply, Microwave, Rover Charging infrastructure, Greenhab temperature sensor, Suit 2, electrical systems.
Notes on non-nominal systems: See individual systems at the end of the report.
Generator (hours run): 13.5h
Solar: SOC 77%
Propane: 61 psi
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 8 Gallons
Water (trailer): 0 Gallons
Water (static): 250 Gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used: No
Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used: Yes
Toilet tank emptied: No
ATVs Used: None
Oil Added: None
ATV Fuel Used: None
# Hours the ATVs were Used today: 0
Notes on ATVs: none
Deimos rover used: No
Hours: Hours: 106.9h (Accurate as of two days ago, rover was not on campus during EVA to check hours.)
Beginning charge: N/A
Ending charge: N/A
Currently charging: No
Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR
Spirit rover used: Yes
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 91%
Currently charging: No
Opportunity rover used: no
Beginning charge: N/A
Ending charge: N/A
Currently charging: No
Curiosity rover used: Yes
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 86%
Currently charging: Yes
HabCar: Not used
General notes and comments: The Hab Director mentioned that the Rovers required an extension cord that is shorter than 25 feet. We estimate the cords being used now are 50 foot cables. I was able to find a 25 foot extension cable, meaning we could charge one rover at time based on the above specifications. Can we have the appropriate extension cables sent to the Hab in order to charge the Rovers?
Also, the configuration the rovers are in means that the rovers need to back out before they are used. Backing up in an EVA suit is hazardous since you can’t see behind you in a suit. Please advise if there is another configuration that allows charging with a 25 foot extension cable as well as the ability to drive forward during EVAs.
Summary of internet: Internet connectivity continues to be a problem even with the data purchased. Devices are having troubles connecting and this is limiting the crews ability to monitor the CapCom emails
Summary of suits and radios: There is a bent clasp on suit #1 on the helmet collar. It was probably bent during the EVA, the system is still functional.
Suit 2’s air supply is no longer functioning. The diagnostics we performed suggests that the switch isn’t operating properly. We are shelving the EVA suit.
Summary of Hab operations: Nominal
Summary of EVA operations: We are still brainstorming ways to combat the helmet fog. Without proper ventilation under the helmet ring, the facemasks rapidly fog up. It is becoming a safety issue on EVA. The other suit configuration seems to have better air flow.
Summary of GreenHab operations: The temperature gauge display has some non-functional LCD areas, a new one has been ordered.
Summary of Science Dome operations: The science dome is awaiting a portable heater as per the Hab Director.
Summary of RAM operations: Not Operational.
Summary of health and safety issues: The propane leak seems to be solved, there was no reports of smell today.
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: The two electrical generation systems are operating on different voltages. The generator is outputting 120V and the solar generator is outputting 140V.
MDRS Crew 188 Journalist Report 02FEB2018
Safety, Security, and Smelling Gas: Procedures on Mars
SOL-5 Author’s name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell
During site inductions, Dr. Rupert, Director of the Mars Desert Research Station, explained that “Safety, Simulation, and Science” are the order of priorities and operation during the MDRS Crew rotations. The theme for this report is Safety. Dedicated Simulation and Science reports will follow in the coming days.
BACKGROUND: The MDRS station was designed to mimic the systems integration of a future Martian outpost that supports an optimum crew of 3-7 people. The facilities include the basic infrastructure for self-sustaining living, and supporting typical planetary research-activities and science from astronomy to human health. In addition to the main habitat, there is a green house, a science dome, solar panel array, an engineering unit, parking space, incinerator, generator and two observatories. There are open-air wire tunnels between each module. Since arriving, we have been discovering, documenting and discussing the status of the station’s safety equipment as a matter of priority. SAFETY: As the Operations reports show, our Crew has been responding to a Propane leak recorded in the main habitat: the place where we eat, sleep, train, relax, prepare reports and prepare for EVA work. As an expert commercial diver with a vested interest in identifying combustible gas, I reported the leak to the Director during our first safety briefing. Subsequently the crew began reporting the same smell in large concentrations on the first and second floors with noticeable concentrations above the gas heater, the gas stove, and crew rooms without ventilation ports. Engineer Zac Trolley and the crew have worked methodically and professionally to report, identify, localize and mitigate exposure to the build-up on site to address this safety concern. We are grateful for the support of Commander Ryan Kobrick (Second Engineer), Executive Officer Renee Garifi, the Mission Support Team, MDRS Director, and our HSO. Remember, we travelled from sea level to high altitude from four corners of the globe: we arrived jet-lagged and fatigued, to a dry, cold desert environment, to adjust to new surroundings as a crew for the first time. Many of our symptoms – bar the undeniable and nauseating odor – could be attributed to any number of causes. Fortunately, the tank readings, the Director’s observation, the combustible gas monitoring sensor and the old-fashioned “bubbles” test, confirmed our suspicions. We are now reassured that steps are being taken to addressing the issue. What happens on MDRS is always an opportunity to learn lessons in real-life for application in space. While our Crew is only here for two weeks, and we have access to fresh air without breaking simulation, we are mindful of the risks and hazards for crews on long-duration spaceflight and those living in confined space closed-loop systems such as submarines or underground mining stations, where contamination is a higher risk to human life than fire. How we respond to risk defines us. We hope to provide the Mars Society with a list of recommendations and simple provisions that were not provided for our SIM, in the hope of supporting the safety and fidelity of future simulation crews.
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell
TED Fellow 2010, Australia Council Fellow 2016, Gifted Citizen 2016
The ‘Performing Astronautics: following the Body’s Natural Edge into the Abyss of Space’ project is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body http://www.artistastronaut.com
Artist, Occupational Diver, Keynote Speaker, Researcher, Simulation Astronaut http://www.sarahjanepell.com
Name: Julia De Marines
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!