EVA Report – January 2nd

Crew 186 EVA Report 02JAN2018

Author: Cesare Guariniello

Purpose of EVA: Complete EVA #1 that was cut short: spectral sampling of clays and searching for hematite spherules in Greenstone region.

Destination: Greenstone region east of Greenstone Rd

UDM27 Coordinates:
520050E
4248300N

Participants: Kshitij, Cesare, Mark, Sam

Narrative: This EVA was the first one for the three crew members who had not participated into the EVA yesterday. Since the first EVA had been cut short, the crew geologist joined this EVA to complete the tasks planned for the previous day. The planned sites were the region East of Greenstone Rd, and on the way back the region between Zubrin’s Head and Robert’s Rock Garden, both for collecting more clays and looking for hematite “blueberries”. The crew felt unusual levels of heat, due to a clear bright Sun, which also made it challenging to drive heading South, and possibly prevented the crew from identifying the access to Greenstone Road. Feeling that they might have overshot the intended destination, the crew parked the rovers and found out that they had reached White Rock Canyon, slightly South of Greenstone Road. The incredible sight and the discovery of a stream of frozen water at the bottom of the canyon prompted the EVA crew to take a few photos to document the area, before heading back to the rovers and finally reaching the intended destination, at the beginning of Greenstone Road. While the crew had no luck with the search for hematite blueberries, Cesare analyzed and collected more clay sample, with the support of Kshitij, Mark, and Sam. In the meanwhile, Kshitij also grabbed videos of the crew activity, while Sam took breathtaking photos of the location and of the crew.

After spending one hour and fifteen minutes at the first location, the crew headed back Northwest to stop at a second location, to the West of Cow Dung Road, where one more hour was spent in field activities. Cesare found a couple of promising rounded pebbles which appear to have a spectrum that at least partially resembles hematite.

Having lost communication with the habitat after crossing the first ridge, the crew observed line-of-sight rules for safety, and -among the research work- took time to think of their expedition and their goals. We were all amazed at the extreme resemblance of the location to plains on Mars, in colors, aspect, and mineralogy. Watching the landscape from the top of a ridge while wearing a space suit is an amazing experience!

When the EVA crew members came back, they were welcomed by the rest of the crew with well deserved water, before a very useful debriefing that will help in future EVAs. The crew performed very well with the 25-50-25 rule, actually spending only thirty minutes on the drive out and back, and two hours and fifteen minutes in the field!

Cesare Guariniello, PhD

Geology Report – January 2nd

Crew 186 Geology Report 02JAN2018

The plan of today’s EVA included the two locations that were not visited yesterday: the area East of Greenstone Rd and the area between Robert’s Rock Garden and Zubrin’s Head, both in the Morrison formation. During the drive outbound, the crew geologist gave a short introduction to the other EVA members, who had not participated in the first EVA.
The crew spent a long time in the field, and the geologist was able to select, analyze, and collect various samples of clays in different strata of the Morrison formation. The search for hematite spherules was only partially successful, with two potential candidates found in the second site. The geologist also recorded temperature of the samples, for later analysis of thermal inertia of the material. The problem with the portable spectrometer is currently being addressed by personnel at Purdue.

😊

Cesare Guariniello, PhD

Journalist Report – January 2nd

Crew 186 Journalist Report 2Jan2018

[Sol 2]

The weather is exceptional today. Only faint tendrils of moisture drift lazily across the boundless sky, and we were able to run the habitat for most of the day on solar power alone. The downside to all this, however, could be attested to by the members of the crew who endured the oppressively hot radiance on our second EVA.

Guided by the crew’s geologist, Cesare, the team drove far to the south in search of clay and hematite samples. At one of the sites the crew was able to ascend a nearby butte and was treated to a spectacular panorama of the endless Martian desert. They returned with an overwhelming number of photos and much exhaustion. Our Green hab scientist, Mark Gee, had an especially tiring day, as he spent much of the morning preparing an experiment growing microgreens in conditions of minimal input and testing the effects of the habitat biome on plant growth.

Following a brief rest, the crew returned to preparing experiments and performing maintenance duties on the habitat. These duties included an engineering EVA to move equipment and check the battery status the rovers.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

Journalist Report – January 1st

[Sol 1] [New Year, New Planet]

The first sunrise of 2018 broke the horizon at approximately 7:40 am this morning and lit the sky with a fiery glow not unlike the sea of ochre shades below. The crew roused with little hesitation and started the day with a yoga session led by our executive officer, Kshitij Mall. By 9 am the team had donned our EVA suits and capitalized on the morning light to conduct photo shoot. It was also our last chance to enjoy the outdoors while still being able to take our helmets off.

With the crew portraits obtained, the crew returned inside the habitat to indulge in a delicious New Year breakfast of fruit crêpes, cooked for the team by yours truly. At noon, the airlocks were shut from both sides and the simulation began.

But our crew isn’t one to vegetate inside the habitat (as cozy as it can be). Almost as soon as the simulation had begun, our ardent commander, Max Fagin, had 4 of us suiting up for our first EVA. The purpose was to analyze rock samples a short distance south of the hab and the EVA also served as an important test of our spectrometer and radio navigation equipment. Upon our return, the crew engineer, Melanie Grande, used some surplus time to replace the window on the outer door of the southern airlock.

Though the EVA was short, it has given the team much to think about. We have since been discussing various logistical items and how to iron out minor bugs in our EVA equipment.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

P.S. Daily photos attached. Picture of the day: 01Jan2018 Happy New Year.jpg

Operations Report – January 1st

Crew 186 Operations Report 01JAN2018

SOL: 01

Name of person filing report: M. Grande

Non-nominal systems: None

Notes on non-nominal systems: Generator system limping along with a now-nominal routine.

Generator (hours run): 25h 30min

Solar— SOC

@ 9:50am : 61%

@ 5:10pm : 100%

Diesel: 70%

Propane: 40%

Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 0 Gallons

Water (trailer): 10 Gallons

Water (static): Gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used: No

Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used: Yes

Water Meter: 128894.7 Gallons

Toilet tank emptied: Yes

ATVs Used: 350.1, 350.2

Oil Added? Yes

ATV Fuel Used: 0.1 Gallons

# Hours the ATVs were used today: 01:00 hours

Notes on ATVs: ATVs were nominal. They all need an oil change, especially the Yamaha 300, because the oil during my check was quite dirty and black. All got some oil added to them except the 300.

Today I went on an Engineering round to do a quick inspection of the ATVs: checked the oil and fuel levels, attempted to check tire pressure, and did a visual tire inspection. All results were nominal and nothing unexpected; however, I considered the quick inspection my due diligence as an Engineer on their first day! It was kind of entertaining for me anyway. Oil levels were about half-way so I added some from our stores (plenty of bottles of oil in the EVA storage room). I wanted to check the tire pressures, but unfortunately the little pen gauge is inoperational and the air compressor has a gauge without enough detail for me to get an accurate reading. All the tires seem in great condition though, and I looked for possible damage to the tire walls from going over a bad bump or something out here, too. Lookin’ good!

Deimos rover used: No

Hours: 96.4

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.

Hours: 4.9

Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Spirit rover used: Yes

Hours: 6.8

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: No

Hours: 4.3

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No

Curiosity rover used: No

Hours: 4.6

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

HabCar used and why, where? No

General notes and comments:

Sol 0 and as the Crew Engineer, I went around the hab for my checks while also looking things over to create a To Do list for my couple weeks here. Toilet got emptied (such fun), ATVs got a quick
inspection, and the front window replacement and back-up generator relocation was fit into the end of our EVA. I got confirmation from Shannon that we could try hooking up power to the RAM using the little back-up generator, so two crew were very helpful in wheeling it through the sand over there. We’ll just wait on the 30A cable to be delivered in a resupply mission soon, along with tools for the RAM! Yay! Finally, I also gave a little engineering brief to the crew–what to expect while they’re here with things like doors that don’t work properly and staying away from the power system and helping me record rover runtime hours.

A notable thing did happen today in that the generator failed sometime this morning. I’m not entirely sure what time, because the clock is not correct on it. Unfortunately, this means that I lost the runtime hours, too, so I can’t be sure how long it has been on. Fortunately, the Solar SOC showed 61% at that time, which is above our limit for concern. We are guessing that the battery died and that’s all. Because yesterday was cloudy and today might have been too, I left the generator on all day today but replaced the old battery with a new one. I switched the batteries again this evening, so now the new one is charging.

Summary of internet: All nominal

Summary of suits and radios: All nominal

Summary of Hab operations: All nominal

Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal

Summary of ScienceDome operations: All nominal

Summary of RAM operations: Not Operational

Summary of health and safety issues: Crew is Healthy

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: ATVs need an oil change soon, please. Also for my reports, I requested a switch to my gmail because I believe this email server is adding additional spaces to my reports for some reason. Sorry about that!

Happy 1st of the year!

Melanie Grande, Crew 186 Engineer

Greenhab Report – January 1st

GreenHab Report

Mark Gee

01Jan2018

Environmental control: Heating with shade cloth on

Working Hour: 05:50 PM
Inside temp at working hour: 17 C
Outside temp during working hours: 6 C
Inside temperature high: 28 C
Inside temperature low: 15 C
Inside humidity: 42 %RH

Inside humidity high: 48 %RH
Inside humidity low: 25 %RH

Hours of supplemental light:

17:00 to 24:00

Changes to crops: Below is a formatted inventory of all of the crops, quantity, growth stage, actions taken, and notes. The table is also attached incase it is not visible here.

Name

Quantity

Growth Stage

Action

Notes

Dill Weed

2ft row, ~40 plants

Seedling, 3 true leaves

Rosemary

2ft row, ~20 plants

Seedling, 1 true leaf

Parsley

2ft row, ~50 plants

Seedling, cotyledon

Cilantro

2ft row, ~40 plants

Seedling, 1 true leaf

Oregano

2ft row, ~100 plants

Seedling, cotyledon

Sage

2ft row, ~10 plants

Seedling, 1 true leaf

Basil

2ft row, ~40 plants

Seedling, 1 true leaf

Thyme

2ft row, ~30 plants

Seedling, 1 true leaf

Chives

2ft row, ~20 plants

Seedling, 1 leaf

Spinach, Bloomsdale

2 seedling trays, 10 plants

Seedling, cotyledons

Need transplanting

Kale, Blue Curled Scotch

1 seedling tray, 2 pots, ~50 plants

Seedling, cotyledons

Need thinning

Cabbage, Golden Acre

1 seedling tray, ~20 plants

Seedlings, cotyledons

Need thinning

Moringa Olifera

14 plots

No plants

These are trees. Should they be grown in the small Greenhab?

Paperwhites

3 pots, seven plants

Various, sprouted to flowering

Moved flowering plants to the habitat to improve morale

Beans, Pole

27 plants

3ft vines, producing flowers and pods

Harvest in 1 week

Melon

8 plants

2ft vines, no flowers

Peppers

9 pots, 23 plants

8 inches, vegetative

Tomatoes

24 pots, 54 plants

6in-48in tall, some flowering

Need transplanting

Daily water usage for crops: 8 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 05:50

Research observations: None

Changes to research plants: None.

Aquaponics: Not Functional

Narrative:

The crew entered simulation at noon. We will have to adjust to the isolation from society, cramped quarters, and space supplies. I’m hoping to make this transition easier with the produce from the Green Hab. Several of the crops are nearing harvest and I hope to cook a meal with fresh food later in the rotation to boost crew morale. For dinner, I brought some of the blooming paperwhites to the table.

I cleaned the greenhouse and packed the aquaponics equipment to make room for the microgreen experiment and have been sterilizing the soil, growing surfaces, and water.

Support/supplies needed: 3 agar plates to check seed sterilization procedures

Sol Summary – January 1st

Crew 186 Sol 1 Summary Report 01012018

Sol 1

Summary Title: New Year New Planet

Author’s name: Max Fagin

Mission Status: All nominal

Sol Activity Summary: After staying up until midnight last night to bid farewell to 2017, we awoke at 7:30AM to the music of the Launch Theme from Apollo 13. Kshitij led us in a Yoga routine that will become a daily occurrence for the rest of the mission. We had planned to finish our official crew portraits the previous evening, but sunset intervened, so we quickly donned the EVA suits this morning and stepped outside to capture our official crew portraits. On display were the flags of Purdue (our Alma Mater), our home countries, and the Tricolor-RGB of our new home planet.

Breakfast was crepes smothered with Nutella and maple syrup, prepared by Justin and Mark. Over breakfast, we established the rules of our simulation, and what was expected of each of us to maintain its fidelity. With 15 minutes left until noon (when we would officially enter simulation), we all took the time to pay one last visit to the outside. At noon, we officially entered our simulation and began preparation for our first EVA: A geological sampling mission to the Greenstone Rd. area. Entering simulation late meant we had to return to the hab after only collecting one of the targeted 3 samples, but we will return tomorrow to complete it. Lunch was leftovers from last night’s new year’s feast (it was good enough to enjoy twice), followed by a dinner and witnessing a marvelous supermoon rise. Lunar astronomy on the supermoon is planned for tonight, as the weather looks clear.

We are not the only ones who are feeling the Martian vibe. Even the habitat seems to be feeling it. For example, the generator’s 60Hz AC power seems to be running at ~61.6 Hz for some unknown reason. This is a harmless anomaly, but it means any appliance that gets its clock cycle from the AC power line will run 2.8% fast, accumulating an extra ~38 minutes per day. In other words, due to a technical error, our clocks are actually keeping within 0.2% of Martian time, and only the battery power analog clock on the wall is keeping Earth time… We have no intention of fixing this.

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow’s EVA will target the two sample sites we were not able to visit today. Will also experiment with the use of the Hanksville repeater (aka, communications satellite) and our ham radio to avoid comm dropouts between EVA team and MDRS. Thank you comm for the warning this morning about the solar storm! We will deploy our own telescope tonight and plan for some solar astronomy tomorrow morning.

Anomalies in work: EVA Airlock window was installed at the end of the EVA, but is currently secured with zip ties. Looking for a better way.

Weather: Temperature: 6C, Mostly clear, Winds calm, Humidity 39%, Barometer 30.27 inHg

Crew Physical Status: Healthy

EVA: Greenstone Rd, 1.0 hrs, geological sampling for spectral analysis

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Journalist Report, Greenhab Report, EVA Report, Science Report (Geology)

Support Requested:

1) We installed a new EVA airlock window at the end of today’s EVA. Are there any old photos of the EVA airlock window we can use for reference to see how it is supposed to be secured? It is currently zip tied in place, which is adequate, but not pretty.

2) Can Mission Support please change the email of Crew Engineer Melanie Grande to melgrande2@gmail.com we think this will solve some formatting anomalies with the operation report.

EVA Report – January 1st

Author: Max Fagin

Purpose of EVA: Spectral sampling of sandstone clay, mudstone clay and Hematite in Goldstone region.

Destination: Between URC South and Kissing Camel Ridge, 200-300m west of Cow Dung Rd.

UDM27 Coordinates:

518100E

424850N

Participants: Max, Melanie, Cesare, Justin

Narrative: We have heard reports of hematite blueberry formations near the Goldstone Road area, and wanted to take samples with Cesare’s handheld spectrometer. Three sample sites were planned along the way to sample sandstone clays and mudstone clays. A late start meant we had to turn back after only one sample site, and limit the EVA to 1.0 hr instead of 3.5 hrs, but we made productive use of the time. While Cesare was taking spectra of rock and clay samples, Justin broke out his directional radio beacon to experiment with locating the hab. Our sample site was in a radio shadow of the the hab, so Melanie climbed a nearby hill to relay instructions between us and the Hab. This problem won’t go away on Mars (where the radio horizon is 50% closer than Earth’s), and we’ve brought equipment to mitigate it. Our crew includes three licensed ham radio operators, and tomorrow, we will use the Hanksville radio repeater (aka, “communication satellite”).

After returning, we checked two items off our engineering EVA checklist: Moving the small generator to the RAM in preparation for powering it up tomorrow, and installing a new window in the Hab airlock.

Our goal for EVA’s on this mission is to hold to a 25-50-25 rule. I.e. No more than 25% of the time from egress to ingress be spent traveling to and from to the destination, and at least 50% of the time spent on site. Today, we only spent 25 minutes on site (plus 7 minutes at the hab working on engineering tasks), which didn’t meet our goal. But we will track our performance on each future EVA to hold ourselves to improvement. Field science means field science. Not
driving-to-the-field science.

Science Report – January 1st

Science: Geology.

The goal of the geologic project of Crew 186 is testing the use of remote sensing to identify suitable minerals for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and to analyze their physical properties for collection and use. Thus, several geology EVAs are scheduled, focusing on materials that are found on locations of geological interest on Mars.
The plan of today’s EVA included three locations, all within the Saltwash and Brushy Basin members of the Morrison formation, South and Southwest of the habitat: the area between URC South Site and Kissing Camel Ridge, the area between Robert’s Rock Garden and Zubrin’s Head, and the area East of Greenstone Rd. The crew geologist gave a short brief to the rest of the crew (a more in depth introduction to the geology of the area is scheduled for tomorrow), and instructed them on the type of samples to be collected during the EVA: different types of clays in the first two locations, and hematite inclusions (spherules, or “blueberries”) in the third one.

Due to delays in the first phases of simulation, the EVA started later than planned, and was consequently cut short. The EVA crew members reached only the first location, and upon directions by the geologist found appropriate samples. The samples were photographed and analyzed with the TREK portable spectrometer. Temperature of the samples was not recorded, due to the reduced duration of the EVA. The samples collected today were a chlorite sandstone, illite/hematite soil, a montmorillonite mudstone, and a clays conglomerate. Once back from the EVA, we reviewed the spectra of the samples, comparing them visually with the USGS library spectra; however, it was not possible to download the data from the portable spectrometer to a laptop, due to a software error which has not been yet been solved. We will work on the connection problem tomorrow, or failing that, all the analysis can be performed after we return to Earth.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
Cesare

Crew 186 Mission Plan

Crew 186 Mission Plan, 12/01/2017

Boilers2Mars

Crew

Commander: Max Fagin (USA)

Executive Officer: Kshitij Mall (India)

Crew Engineer: Melanie Grande (USA)

Crew Geologist: Cesare Guariniello (Italy)

Journalist: Justin Mansell (Canada)

GreenHab Officer: Mark Gee (USA)

Health and Safety Officer: Samuel Albert (USA)

Boilers2Mars is a crew composed of all students an alumni from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. With backgrounds in aerospace engineering, life sciences, planetary science and agricultural engineering, several research projects are scheduled, the contents and goals of which are as follows. Further information on each research project can be found in the Preliminary Research Information forms.

Topic: Spectroscopic / Thermal Analysis to Identify Physical Properties of Materials for Advanced ISRU and in-situ testing of tools for collection

Discipline: Geology

Researcher: Cesare Guariniello

Research Question: Can the use of remote sensing performed by astronauts in various locations to support advanced In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)? Can these properties be used to determine the best collection tools (rock hammer, trowel, spoons) to be used for each type of material? This project has the goal of identifying the richest source areas, and give information about the best techniques to collect and process the material.

Experimental Procedure: The Geology research project for crew 186 will test the use of remote sensing to support In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). The research has the goal to demonstrate the use of remote sensing not only for mineralogy, but to infer some of the physical properties of the materials, and to guide the process of selection of appropriate excavation tools and techniques. The crew will perform the following steps:

  • Use a VNIR portable spectrometer to study the mineralogy and identify useful materials for ISRU. The spectrometer has a range of 350-2500 um, resolution 1 um, and has been provided by courtesy of Dr. Briony Horgan’s remote sensing laboratory at Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Visit locations with abundance of ISRU materials which are found on Mars: clays (illite, chlorite, kaolinite), salts (gypsum, sulfates), hematite
  • Collect measurements of air and rock temperature and rock albedo and use them to infer thermal inertia (this can be done as post-processing. The reason to use such a complex process is because a thermal camera did not arrive in time). Thermal inertia can be used to give a first-order estimate of the particle size and cohesiveness of the material
  • Some of the locations will be visited twice, to test the efficacy of simple collection tools, i.e. a rock hammer, a trowel, and a spoon, and confirm the results given by remote sensing analysis about the abundance and physical properties of the material

Topic: Implementing ISS Microbial Monitoring Protocol at MDRS Using qPCR Technology

Discipline: Life Sciences

Researcher: Sam Albert

Research Question: Will the bacterial environment on the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)

significantly differ from the results obtained on the International Space Station (ISS)? How has the quasi-isolated environment of the MDRS affected microbial growth?

Experimental Procedure: Each Sol, samples will be collected from a variety of locations within the MDRS Hab. The experiment will focus on surface samples, but samples will also be collected from potable water and plants growing in the GreenHab when possible. Every sample will be analyzed for the presence of a variety of pathogens and other bacteria, and the data recorded for post-mission analysis. The data will be compared directly to data from ISS and Mir studies whenever possible, as well as to a control study performed at Purdue in unconfined public spaces (such as the aerospace computer lab, which likely has its own special pathogens). As much as possible, the protocol currently

in use on the ISS for real-time microbial detection will be imitated in order to align results. In particular, see the study by Ichijo et. al cited below.

Topic: EVA Navigation in Low Visibility Conditions Using Radio Direction Finding

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Justin Mansel

Research Question: Is radio direction finding an effective means of low visibility navigation during EVAs on Mars? What are the challenges of this type of navigation and what improvements may make it better suited to a Mars mission?

Experiment Procedure: During each EVA, the crew will obscure the upper half of their visibility to limit their field of view to only their immediate area. One person on each EVA will have an unobstructed field of view and ensure the safety of their crewmates (e.g. preventing them from wandering off a cliff). The experiment subject rides in a rover with their eyes closed. After being transported 2-3 km away from the habitat in a direction they have not been told, the crew member then uses the yagi antenna to establish a bearing on a radio beacon in the hab and being to walk back. Their GPS track will be monitored, but they will not have access to it during the experiment. Over the course of 3-5 EVAs of increasing complexity will be performed to assess the effectiveness of the navigation technique.

Topic: Conditioning of a Martian Crew Using Yoga and Meditation

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Kshitij Mall

Research Question: Yoga comprises of many postures or “asanas” that have positive effects on cardiovascular, digestive, neurological systems and so on. Yoga includes breathing exercises, small body exercises and asanas that improve physiology of the crew. Meditation, on the other hand, builds focus and helps reduce stress. The idea is to use Yoga asanas and meditation during the proposed crewed mission and study their impact on the crew’s stress levels. The crew stress would be measured through subjective questionnaire at the start of the mission and at the end of the mission.

Experiment Procedure: The procedure is as follows.

  1. The crew submits two subjective surveys on Perspective Stress Analysis and Self Analysis Survey based on previous month’s experiences related to stress.
  2. The crew then performs Yoga and meditation for 30 minutes each SOL.
  3. The crew fills out the Perspective Stress Analysis and Self Analysis surveys again.
  4. The overall impact of Yoga and meditation of a Martian Crew for a 15-day analog mission is then evaluated.

Topic: Growth of Microgreens in Conditions of Simulated Martian Habitat

Discipline: Agriculture

Researcher: Mark Gee

Research Question: How well do radish microgreens grow in different growth substrates? How well will microgreens grow when removed from the context of their native microbiome? If the microgreens are colonized by microbes from the astronauts, will there be an additional effect on plant growth?

Experimental Procedure: Radish microgreens will be grown in five treatments: Potting soil, arcilite, no soil, no soil with soil bacteria innocculum, no soil with astronaut innocculum.

Topic: Application of VR for On-Site Crew Training and its Implications for Crew Autonomy

Discipline: Human Factors

Researcher: Melanie Grande

Research Question: My research will provide VR training opportunities during the MDRS mission simulation to compare to in-person pre-mission training. It will analyze the efficiency of the crew in performing the operations, including those for maintenance, repair, or emergency procedures. The research will especially explore the impact of VR training opportunities for autonomous schedules compared with detailed daily astronaut schedules.

Experiment Procedure: Two training modules have been developed for Crew 186, including an EVA module, “EVA-01, Geology in the Field”, and a maintenance module, “MNT-01, ATV Maintenance: Brakes System”. The EVA-01 module developed is named “Geology in the Field,” and its purpose is to teach the crew some geology basics and how to use and care for a portable mass spectrometer. The MNT-01 module developed is named “ATV Maintenance: Brakes,” and its purpose is to familiarize the crew with the brake system and standard maintenance checks for the brake system.

Prior to the mission, three participants (half the members of the crew) were selected for pre-mission training. These participants were scheduled to receive a PowerPoint version of the training modules during a designated time together, and each was allowed to ask questions, converse, and take notes based on personal preference. The other half of the crew, a further three participants, will receive in-the-field VR training immediately prior to completing a task. This crew will be allowed to choose a time at their discretion (though on a designated day), but they will do the training individually without the ability to discuss with the investigator (myself) or other participants. Each participant will be scheduled for a maintenance EVA and a geology EVA, in order to complete the tasks described by each module. During their participation in sim, their performance, familiarity, comfort, etc. will be analyzed. Surveys will be used for further data, self-reported, following the tasks’ completion. This data will hopefully answer the questions regarding the efficacy of VR training in the field and the potential of crew autonomy.