Astronomy Report – February 15th

Crew 175 Astronomy Report 15Feb2017

NAME:  Mouadh Bouayad   CREW: 175
DATE: 02/15/2017
SUMMARY: I replaced the battery, and only one of them lighted the LED. However, yesterday evening, there wasn’t enough charge to rotate the dome. We could hear a little noise while pushing the button, but nothing happened. We thus decided to leave it there, and to retry it today, and rotate the dome in order get more sunlight on the solar panel.
I returned to the observatory today at 4:15pm and TADAAAAH! It finally worked! I oriented the observatory north-west, for it to receive sunlight. I plan to make a long observation tonight! We could observe Mars and Venus if we go soon enough, and take some pictures of Orion nebulae. I hope we’ll be able to have great pictures!!

OBJECTS VIEWED: few stars naked eye.
PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED: The battery was still not working, but it works now.

Science Report – February 15th

Crew 175 Science Report 15Feb2017

Science report Sol 3

Experiment : AR Glasses
Person filling in the report : Louis Maller

Today I continued working on the AR glasses, the issue with the screencast was solved, and I continued exploring the functionalities of the glasses, and inspiring myself from the needs around the Hab (engineering check for example), I am imagining more potential uses for the glasses. The realization might be an issue, but hopes are good. It’s interesting work, but I wish I had been able to do it earlier, which wasn’t possible since the glasses were in France and I was in Russia.

Commander Report – February 15th

Dear Earth,

We did our first EVA today: Sol 3 is definitely a milestone in our
mission. With the eyes still full of stars after our night-sky
observation, we faced some unexpected issues keeping the earplugs in
place. Luckily, MacGyver is among us, so we ended up wearing bubble
wrap around the head. This very professional look was in perfect
harmony with our first words when stepping outside: one second before
the solemn “It’s a small step…” prepared by Simon, Mouâdh dropped a
quite down-to-earth “Where did they put that shovel again?”. End of
the dream.

The EVA was the occasion to start working on two of the most exciting
experiments we brought here. Indeed we deployed the atmospheric
balloon and we dug the hole to bury the seismometer.

Louis, Simon, Mouâdh and I came back to the airlock with some ideas
for Xavier, which is currently adapting diving protocols to EVAs. The
nice lunch prepared by Xavier, Louis and Victoria took the form of a
lively EVA debriefing, followed by the routine work on experiments and

Important advice for future Mars explorers: the sweet fragrance from
the bread machine is quite efficient to cover the smell of a 7-person
crew keeping away from the shower for four Sols…

Ad Astra!

Arthur Lillo
Commander of the pragmatic Crew 175

EVA Report – February 15th

Crew 175 EVA Report 15Feb2017

EVA Report
EVA#1, Sol 3

Crew members: Arthur Lillo (EVA leader), Mouâdh Bouayad, Simon Bouriat
and Louis Mangin (EVA buddies)
Habcom : Xavier Rixhon

Departure time:  9:08 AM
Return time: 12:00 PM

Location: South of the Hab (12N 518500, 4250000) and beyond Rock
Garden on Main Road (12N 519200, 4248200)

•       Around the Hab exploration
•       EVA training for newcomers
•       Seismology experiment: search for a good spot to install the
seismometer during a later EVA
•       Balloon experiment: first deployment


This EVA was our first occasion to feel the dry mud of Mars under our feet.
At first we did the engineering check and refilled the black water
tank. It took us about 30 minutes to complete the operations. Xavier
guided us well on the radio but we can surely improve our efficiency
during later EVAs.

After that we took the rovers Phobos and Deimos to go South on the
Main Road. We stopped when we reached the plain located just North of
Camel Ridge. There, we deployed the 5-meter-wide balloon: three of us
were needed to run in circle while the balloon was filled with air
(not an easy task with the bulky spacesuits). Then under the action of
the sun on the black plastic, the air inside could get warmer and take
the cardboard platform to the sky. A sport camera and a set of
atmospheric sensors recorded the ascension. In the beginning the wind
pushed the captive balloon behind a hill, with the 90-meter rope
almost horizontal. The wind finally stopped and we could anchor the
now vertical rope in the middle of the plain.

Meanwhile, we searched for a place where to bury the seismometer. We
dug a square hole in the clay of the delta, a later EVA will be needed
to install the equipment. 40 minutes before the end of EVA, we stored
the balloon and took the rovers for a ride on Main Road, South of
Camel Ridge, to explore and take some pictures. We came back to the
Hab exactly on time, and our fellow Hab-dwellers welcomed us with a
song on the walkie talkie during pressurization.

Crew Photos – February 14th

Xaviers briefing


Victoria’s room.


Valentines ham


Testing the backpacks




Lettuce before death


First bread


Louis programming the EMUI

Journalist Report – February 14th

Crew 175 Journalist report 02/14/17 – Sol 2: Valentine’s Sol.

Today was our first day lonely: even if yesterday was Sol 1, we saw Shannon and her dogs in the morning, breathed the fresh air, felt the sun… Today was our first day locked in. No EVA was planned for today because of our gloves missing (that arrived late this evening in the engineering airlock, brought by Santa Shannon, along with seeds and fertilizers for our brand new Vegidair, the autonomous vegetable garden), so that nobody left. But this time was precious: we now were able to launch our experiments for real, having lots of time, and being able to spend time together, to set the bases of our routine.

As meant to become usual, we started our day by a sport session, easier that yesterday, real business being planned for every other day. We started the morning by a series of tasks we never had time to do before: I checked with Xavier the life support system, helmets and walkie-talkie for future EVAs, Victoria while taking care of her plants in the greenhab, collected our first lettuce, grown by the previous crew, Simon and Arthur worked on the balloon acquisition system, while Louis and Mouâdh worked on the EMUI (Hud simulation by connected glasses).

For lunch, we enjoyed eating our first native Martian lettuce, along with what was supposed to be “premium ham”. As usual, both were very convincing, talking about taste, even if the contrast of charisma was shocking: one being overly attractive, because of its freshness, the other being stored in a can, just to look more like pet food. Anyway, to end up talking about food, we gave us our first shot in trying to bake bread. It just tried to run away from its bread machine, looking for freedom, after having tripled of volume, but did not manage to escape from us.

This afternoon, we had a briefing with Xavier, our crew engineer, about all the equipment we will use from tomorrow in EVA, and about all the check-ups to do while in it. We also had a brainstorming about the video blog, filmed some shots, worked on the preparation of our experiments for EVAs… To sum up, we now know what to do and are kept busy.

I am very excited about tomorrow, probably like at least the 3 colleagues that will follow me in the first EVA, which goal is to explore the surroundings to find the right place to bury our seismometer, operated by Mouâdh. But for now, I must leave you, to go enjoy our re-hydrated Valentine’s dinner…


Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175

Science Report – February 14th

Science report SOL 2

Experiment : Seismometer
Person filling in the report : Mouadh Bouayad

I alone have been to the Science Dome today, at 4 :30 pm. It was real quick, as the commander, Arthur, asked me to be back at 5 :00pm. I brought a box with me, in order to put the instruments in it, and see if we can move it, already settled, during an EVA. I figured out that the battery is too heavy to put it in the box. I think we will move it independently from the other instruments, and we will plug the wires to it afterwards, in situ. The other instruments fit well in the box.

In order to protect the battery, particularly from the rain, I plan to use an emergency blanket to wrap the battery. I’ll leave a hole for the power wire to go through. We also would like to put a sign on the measurements site, in order to warn tourists not to touch the instruments. This would very unlikely happen, but let us be wary.

Experiment : Optinvent connected glasses
Person filling in the report : Louis Maller

I have been working with Mouadh on the Optinvent connected glasses. We are working on connecting the glasses to the computer screen using the dedicated application (Vysor), with mitigated success. We also installed the Tasker app and took some pictures with the integrated camera. We are also trying to find a technical solution in order to have visibility outdoors (looking into a strong light the screen is barely visible).
We are hoping to solve all these basic issues by tomorrow in order to be able to start the more complex and interesting tasks.

Experiment : Balloon
Person filling in the report : Simon Bouria

Concrete work on the solar balloon started today. With another member of the crew this morning, I built the platform of the balloon (made of cardboard boxes). The balloon can handle a two kilograms weight and has to support one or two GoPro cameras and the Arduino system. During the afternoon, I made the Java code of the Arduino to get the temperature, the pressure and the time. A few tests proved that the system is now functional. The solar balloon can now be taken for an EVA. We still have to take pictures and videos of the balloon, build a radio relay and prepare how and when we will use the balloon according to the weather. We still don’t know how high the balloon will go and how we are going to tether it. A complete protocol remains to be done to have a really efficient EVA. We also wondered if the second balloon will be built during an EVA or in the science dome.

Commander Report – February 14th

Dear Earth,

Sol 2 was the opportunity to discover and test some of the features of
the MDRS: the talkie walkies, the spacesuits, the bread machine… Since
we had not planned any EVA for this morning, we had plenty of time to
sit together and brainstorm on the different aspects of our mission.
The physical training at 7 A.M. and the rehydrated food seem to be
accepted now (at least the crew has stopped complaining). Victoria
brought us a good surprise for lunch, in the form of our first martian
salad grown in the GreenHab: it was great to eat fresh food for the
first time since our arrival, and hopefully we had chemical
fertilizer, no need for Matt Damon’s method…

Our crew-engineer Xavier gave us a briefing about the spacesuits and
the EVA protocols. Normally the first EVA team should be ready at 9
A.M. tomorrow to search for a good spot for the seismometer, South of
the Hab. Moreover, the perfect weather conditions will allow us to
deploy the atmospheric balloon for the first time.

This afternoon we determined a way to do the best public outreach with
our DIY-film-shooting-and-cutting skills. I was glad to discover that
my fellow crewmembers have some sort of artistic sense, let’s see what
we can do with those rushes.

After his first night-sky observations yesterday, Mouâdh is now ready
to practice his astrophotography skills. Venus and the “other” Mars
should be visible tonight.

After this whole day inside the Hab, it is obvious that the whole crew
cannot wait to begin the EVAs! We will see if it was worth the trip,
stay tuned…

As Astra!
Arthur Lillo, Commander of the impatient Crew-175

Astronomy Report – February 14th


NAME:  Mouadh Bouayad           CREW: 175
DATE: 02/14/2017

SKY CONDITIONS: pretty clear, even with few clouds here and there.




SUMMARY: We managed to observe few objects in the sky. Unfortunately, I don’t know who’s the last one that used the observatory, but he or she forgot to turn of the switch back off, so the battery was drained of power. Therefore, we could open the observatory, but we couldn’t turn it right or left. We could however observe the moon, and Jupiter for few minutes. I hope that I will be able take some picture tomorrow.


PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED: One of the batteries was dead so we couldn’t observe what we wanted.

GreenHab Report – February 14th

Green Hab Report  – Sol 2
Report written by: Victoria DA-POIAN (Crew Biologist)

Date : 02/14/2017

Functionality: The heater in the green hab is working well. Today was a very sunny day again ! I checked the temperature in the GreenHab twice today. It was around 40 Celsius degrees around 10 :00 AM while the temperature outside was around 13 Celsius degrees. Quickly I switched on the cooler and the green hab temperature was brought down to around 35 Celsius degrees in only 20 minutes.

And this afternoon, around 3 :30 PM, the temperature inside was around 28 Celsius degrees so I kept the cooler on. The seedlings were watered twice today.

Status: The existing seedlings in the green hab are continuing to grow well. There are spinach, lettuce, radish, and beans growing well in the small pots.

One lettuce (in a big pot next the window) has been recolted for our lunch and our dinner because it had began to burn a little. So I planted a new lettuce in this pot. There were also 2 radishes which wanted to be recolted for our lunch, I planted 2 new in the pots.

We have also continued to « build» the Vegidair House (with cardboard boxes), in order to install it when we will have the seeds and the natural fertilizer Shannon will bring us. I measured the height of the corn plants (planted by the crew 173 I think).

Planned activity: I hope we will have all the material to begin the Vegidair experience tomorrow.