EVA Report – February 16th

EVA Report
EVA#2, Sol 4

Crew members: Louis Maller (EVA leader), Xavier Rixon, Victoria Da-Poian,and Louis Mangin (EVA buddies)
Habcom : Arthur Lillo

Departure time:  9:04 AM
Return time: 11:48 PM

Location: North of the Hab (12N 521000, 4251000) in Candor Chasma, and South (12N 519500 4248500)

– Around the Hab exploration
– EVA training for newcomers
– PR photos inside the picturesque Condor Chasma
– Training in basic non-vocal communication inspired from diving procedures
– Ergonomy test for the new generation ORA-2 Optinvent glasses (confort, screen visibility, autonomy)

For most of the team on EVA today, this one was a first EVA, meant to train them, get used to the spacesuit and different EVA gear.
We left almost on time, after an EVA prep a lot shorter thanks to the work of our engineer who gave a lot of thought into how to optimize the process.
The engineering check was also optimized and thus swiftly done, so we could leave on the EVA by 9:14
We used the rovers and were due north, found the road leading towards condor chasma without any problem, and as I remembered the spot quite well, parked not far from the entrance of the canyon. We started exploring the canyon at approximatively 9:40 We descended into it and explored for something like an hour, taking pictures and videos on the way. It is a really out-of-the world scenery, that I was glad to explore a second time. Some crewmembers experienced heavy fogging inside their helmets, which makes walking in this canyon where the footing is a bit tricky all the more challenging. After a while, I decided to turn back, thinking mistakenly that the road further south would be closer to the canyon and allow to take some shots of it from above.
Instead, we rapidly lost the road as it meanders in riverbeds, so we stopped, did a pause for some pictures over a quite beautiful landscape and then went back. We had some time left, so I decided to head for white rock Canyon on the South, from where I was certain that it would be possible to take some shots from the ridge. Unfortunately, I had misjudged the distances, which are greater south of the Hab, and we stopped not far from a ridge… which was two-meters deep. I then decided that the EVA had lasted enough, especially since the walk in the canyon had been tiring for everyone, even if the ride on the rovers had taken care of the fogging issue.
Therefore we were back at the Hab a bit earlier than expected (11:48) but had an interesting EVA, which, aside from the pictures, was the occasion to test basic functions of the glasses (displaying the time), and assessing how high the issue of screen visibility was (and the discomfort of not being able to use sunglasses).

Sol Summary – February 16th

SOL: 4

Person filling out Report: Louis MALLER, XO

Summary Title: Canyon Exploration and Birthday Party

Mission Status: Successful second EVA, aimed at exploration. All systems go, work on experiments ongoing

Sol Activity Summary: sport, science work on different experiments, EVA, birthday party

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow will be our third EVA, intended at deploying the seismometer and doing more work on the balloon.

Anomalies in work: /

Weather: very sunny, hot, ground dry

Crew Physical Status: Crew feeling well

EVA: EVA to explore the Candor Chasma successful, then failed to find the White Rock Canyon

Reports to be filed:
– Commander report
– Operations report
– Journalist report
– GreenHab Report
– Science report
– EVA request
– EVA report
– Astronomy Report

Commander Report – February 16th

Dear Earth,

The whole crew is now aware of what the exterior world looks like.
Indeed, Victoria, Xavier and Louis Mangin went out of the Hab with
Louis Maller leading the EVA#2. Reminiscence from Mission 164 was
useful to find the gorgeous canyon called Candor Chasma. This EVA was
dedicated to exploration, and the new electrical rovers Phobos and
Deimos are perfect for that purpose: less risk of losing one
crewmember than with the individual ATVs (helpful when you are in
charge of a non-expendable crew).

Sol 4 brought a festive atmosphere to the MDRS: 21 years ago, our
favorite journalist-photographer-cameraman-community manager Louis
Mangin was born far away from here, on a pale blue dot called Earth.
Thus, he will no longer be the only one in the crew being proposed a
glass of water in American restaurants. However, we had no alcoholic
beverage here to celebrate, only a powder supposed to give you orange
juice when rehydrated (I have my doubts about it). Anyway, Simon’s
baking skills saved the party when he took his delicious birthday cake
out of the bread machine. Louis’ gift was to learn how to play the
card game known as “Barbu” in France, which basically means “Bearded”.
Note for future Mars-Mission commanders: a card game involving the
whole crew is an excellent way to divert them from preparing a mutiny.

Otherwise, we spent a typical afternoon full of work: science, DIY,
reports writing, bread baking, dish washing, nap to recover from the
EVA… The crew keeps busy, making good use of all the facilities of the
MDRS. The only thing I can criticize about it: we spend less time
together since some of us work in the Science Dome or in the GreenHab,
while last year only the Hab was usable on Mission 164. Not
necessarily a bad thing though, sometimes having a break from the rest
of the group can be useful for the general mood (otherwise we could
turn mad quite quickly…)

Ad Astra!

Crew Photos – February 15th

Rover coming home
Filling up the balloon
Crew Walk
Balloon Floating
Victoria and her plants
Simon walking
Crew picture
Shot from balloon

Journalist Report – February 15th

Crew 175 Journalist Report 15Feb2017

Journalist report, 02/15/17 – Sol 3: First time outside.

Today was the day of our first EVA. I was going to go out with Arthur, our Commander, and today also EVA leader, Mouâdh and Simon. We had two goals: find a place to bury the seismometer and if possible dig in there, and try our first use of the balloon. The EVA was planned from 9:00 a.m. to noon. In order not to start late, we had a quick breakfast after the sport session, before suiting up.

Preparing for the EVA was more challenging than expected. Everything that seemed trivial before became a problem. For instance, the only fact that we had to block our earplugs to be sure that they would never fall from our ears during three hours was not that simple, and no earplug means no radio contact, that clearly doesn’t help on the outside. That is why we tried different styles of earplug fixation methods. Mouâdh went straight forward: a cap under the helmet. Arthur used his head lamp. Simon used his engineering skills, building a headband out of bubble wrap. Then, I went through the pragmatic way: tape. Anyway, this small crew, after having dressed up properly, went in the airlock a few three minutes late. Good for a first time.

Our first steps outside were pretty disturbing: the backpack is heavy, the gloves restrain us from any precise movement, and fog accumulates quickly on the glass of our helmets. We had to begin the EVA by different checks: water and fuel level, battery of the rovers, etc… And to refuel what needed to be. This whole time, we were guided on the radio by Xavier, our engineer, in charge of this overseeing this task. I also realised very quickly that having a reflex camera and a video camera around my neck would not help in moving outside. More than this, using the camera was very hard. I prepared before, configuring it to be usable without the visor, but the fact that it was attached to my neck, kept away from my eyes by the helmet and its fog made me shoot more than half of the photos blind, even if the result wasn’t that bad as I discovered afterwards.

After a quick rover trip, we reached a plain in which we deployed the balloon. It went almost surprisingly well for a first shot. The balloon after having been filled up, went up as high as the rope let him. We just did not anticipate the wind that was blowing 20 meters high, preventing our balloon from going straight up. The result was impressive and we had our first graph of pressure and temperature, along with a beautiful shot. We also found the right place for the seismometer, in a dry river bed, and started to dig the hole, in which we will deploy it.

At the same time, in the hab, Victoria managed to start growing the freshly received lettuce in the Vegidair. Louis take a first shot at cooking pancakes and the second at baking bread. We might live abroad, but already have to eat, and cooking will help in diversifying our meals.

Tomorrow will start by another EVA in which I will take part for the second time, with Louis as leader, Victoria and Xavier.


Shot from balloon
Crew picture
Simon walking
Victoria and her plants
Balloon Floating
Crew Walk
Filling up the balloon
Rover coming home


Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175

Sol Summary – February 15th

Crew 175 Sol Summary 15Feb2017

SOL: 3

Person filling out Report: Louis MALLER, XO

Summary Title: Pancakes and EVA!

Mission Status: Successful first EVA, all systems go, work on experiments ongoing

Sol Activity Summary: sport, science work on different experiments, EVA, making bread and pancakes

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow will be our second EVA, more for exploration and PR purposes

Anomalies in work: /

Weather: very sunny, hot, ground dry

Crew Physical Status: Crew feeling well

EVA: EVA to explore south of the Hab, successful deployment of the balloon, found a good spot for the seismometer experiment

Reports to be filed:
– Commander report
– Operations report
– Journalist report
– GreenHab Report
– Science report
– EVA request
– EVA report
– Astronomy Report

GreenHab Report – February 15th

Crew 175 GreenHab Report 15Feb2017

Green Hab Report  – Sol 3
Report written by: Victoria DA-POIAN (Crew Biologist)
Date : 02/15/2017

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 38 Celsius degrees around 10 :00 AM while the temperature in the tunnel was around 10.3 Celsius degrees. I switched on the cooler and the green hab temperature was brought down to around 28 Celsius degrees at 3 :30PM while it was 16 Celsius degrees in the tunnel. I kept the cooler on (at the medium step). I watered the seedlings twice today.

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

The lettuces are growing well too.

We have received the seeds and the natural fertilizer for the Vegidair, so I was able to install it this morning.
Planned activity: I decided to take the natural fertilizer and the seeds sent for the Vegidair and to plant it in plastic pots I have in the greenhab, and to compare the growth of each pots (in the Vegidair in the Hab) and in the greenhab.


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