MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION

Daily Summary Report – December 27th

SOL 09

Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO

Summary Title: 70% of the way there

Mission Status: Ramping up for science

Sol Activity Summary: Lot of green hab work, staying inside

Look Ahead Plan: EVA to Candor Chasma, Commander’s data acquisition

Anomalies in work: Many martian visitors driving around

Weather: High 38F, low 11F, Humidity 30-62%, wind avg 3.5mph, gust

4.5mph, clear skies and sunny

Crew Physical Status: Fully functional

EVA: Postponed due to martian traffic

Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Journalist Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report

Support Requested
– None

Crew Photos – December 26th

Crew Biologist Sean turned 26 on Mars today and was treated to colorful decorations and a feast of desserts.

 

Terribly chasm-like.
Connor points majestically at the horizon.
Chief Scientist Connor prepares to place a time-lapse camera during an EVA
Beautiful scenery along this convenient Martian road. Mars would make an excellent rally stage.
The EVA heads for a nearby chasm.
The EVA crew pauses for a photo at the edge of the chasm.
Exploring the chasm on foot.
Beautiful scenery along this convenient Martian road. Mars would make an excellent rally stage.

Daily Summary Report – December 26th

SOL: 08
Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO
Summary Title: Boxing Day
Mission Status: Ready for a productive week
Sol Activity Summary: Cleaned up the hab and eva to Candor Chasma
Look Ahead Plan: Follow up EVA to Candor Chasma
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: High 39F, Low 20F, Humidity 22-53%, Wind avg 5-10mph, Gust 20mph
Crew Physical Status: Fully functional
EVA: Follow up to Candor Chasma
Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Journalist Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report
Support Requested
– None

Science Report – December 26th

Geology/Mars Climate Report: The camera that was on during the night to track stars ended up making a decent video and some stars were visible. I reprogrammed the camera and left it outside to take another exposure tonight. However, the camera will be pointed use above the horizon instead of straight up in the sky.

Another camera was repositioned to look due West toward the Lower Blue Hills and the sides of the cliffs.

 

Max/Min: Outdoor Temp – 20 F – 39 F

Outdoor Humidity – 22% – 53%

GreenHab Temp – 27 F – 93 F

GreenHAB Humidity – 18% – 32%

Barometer – 29.43 – 29.89 inHg

Wind – 5-10 mph, gust – 20 mph

Solar Rad. Max – 387.5 W/m^2

UV Index – 756 uW/cm^2

Recorded Precipitation today – 0.00 in

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Mars Self Sleep Study Report:

The new dynamic sleep schedule we set out to adhere to has broken down somewhat. I am now back to sleeping in one big chunk at night. Anselm has been taking a nap during  some of the days though.

Other sleep schedule ideas for Mars:

  1. Uberman Cycle = ~4 x 45 min naps at equal intervals throughout the day. Hardest for the body to adjust to initially. To slowly adopt this schedule you can gradually reduce your nightly chunk of sleep and replace part of that lost time with small naps. May only work for people that need 4 hours of regular sleep per night.
  1. Biphasic  Cycle = One chunk of sleep at night for ~4-5 hours followed by a nap during the day. This cycle has some research supporting its cognitive benefits.
  1. Daylight Cycle = This is a little different than the regular biphasic cycle but still involves two blocks. You are sleeping all at night when it is dark but your 8 hours total is broken up with a two hour awake/working period in the middle of the night.

Whatever gets the work done on Mars!!

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Philosophy of Colonizing Mars Report:

The initial steps of mankind on Mars will be for scientific and exploratory purposes but eventually businesses and politicians will be mounting their campaign on the Red Planet as colonization continues. For example, how will land be divided on Mars and what will the long-term governmental structure look like?

At first there will be only a handful of people on the surface and as a crew they will be subject to mission objectives and goals from NASA and Earth-based institutions. However, as more and more people migrate to a city on Mars there will be autonomous political institutions which can act by themselves. In the long term future of Mars colonization, will cities and civilization emerge just as it has done on Earth? These are the aspects of Mars colonization that need to start being addressed now as they will become more and more critical over time.

Submitted by Connor Lynch – Crew Geologist/Astrophysicist

Journalist Report – December 26th

Sol 08
Journalist report to be posted
Authored by Anselm Wiercioch

Hey gang!
Long time no see. Or, read.. or whatever.
Hope everyone planetside had happy holidays!

This was one of the quietest and strangest Christmases I’ve had (first
tin can holiday, woo), but was still very warm and wholesome. The crew
feels almost like family at this point. We had some fresh croissants
and played charades and trimmed the tiny Charlie Brown tree someone
brought. It was cute. We exchanged white elephant gifts – some books,
some legos, lots of fun stuff (I got a sweet Brown jersey). It was
fun.

Festivities aside, we also had our first martian dust storm! Right in
the middle of the night after things had settled down, the hab started
shaking violently. I know this is a thoroughly engineered structure,
but it’s also heavily mass optimized and no matter what the math says,
a thin sheet metal wall does not feel very strong when it’s standing
between your warm comfy Christmas night and a brutal frozen iron oxide
space storm. That’s a unique Mars experience for sure. After about 3
hours of struggling to fall asleep in a vibrating bunk, things got
really exciting. The hab includes a small hemispherical skylight dome
right in the center of the roof, and our tiny haboob blew it straight
off. We were all awake at that point luckily, but we’re sitting around
drinking tea and reading books, not planning what to do when your
house suddenly and loudly depressurizes and you get flash frozen.
Despite popular opinion, it kind of sucks.

Our training kicked in anyways and we were able to pull on our
emergency pressure suits before anyone was severely injured. We all
complained our fair share over the decade or so of building muscle
memory for things like this, but you’re sure happy when it comes to
task. A quick trip to the engineering bay yielded a solid replacement
(in my humble opinion, much more solid than what we started with) and
we were able to seal the hole without much trouble. It took about 10
minutes for the emergency system to repressurize, but the kitchen and
loft area were coated in a fluffy layer of red sand.

Somehow we all slept pretty well after that. Go figure. About 9 hours
later we woke and assessed the damage. (Yeah yeah, we missed morning
briefing. Priorities. Meh.) The hab as a whole seemed to survive
alright, as did the slightly buried but generally unbroken rovers. The
landing site is situated in between two small dunes against a hillside
to avoid things like this, and I think we avoided the brunt of the
storm. The interior was fluffy and red, but it gave us some nice
meditative cleaning work this morning.

After everything was basically back on track, if slightly behind
schedule, the day’s EVA crew suited up and headed out for Candor
Chasma. Some kind of massive geological rift NE of the hab. I stayed
home and started inventorying the engineering bay, but apparently it
was pretty spectacular. I’ll find out tomorrow on the follow-up crew.

Over all it was a pretty slow day. Lot of mindless work and gradual
mental debriefing. We’ve got a lot of work to do this week as our
primary mission winds down. Gonna get to sleep pretty early tonight.
And hey, my shower rotation is back up tomorrow. Little victories.

#RedChristmas

GreenHab Report – December 26th

GreenHab Report:

There is not much to report from the GreenHab today.  We have moved our experiments into the lower level of the Hab and will not be able to move them back into the GreenHab until the heater is functioning and we have control of the temperature.  Ideally, we would like to be able to maintain the temperature between 70 and 80 degrees F at all times.  In contrast, the low temperature last night was 26 F and peaked today at 93 F.  Obviously, these are not conditions that are suitable for plant growth.  The first step in once again regaining control of the temperature is to get the heater functioning again.

The germination front is going quite well!  We saw many more seedlings sprout and now have confirmation that all types of species that we planted at the beginning of our mission have germinated.  We are very excited to see the pinto bean, kidney bean, and popcorn grow up before the end of our mission.  Over the next few days, we will be working on transplanting the more mature seedlings and providing them nutrients through hydroponics and soil as well as beginning data collection on the lettuce experiments.

 

Thank you,

-Sean Gellenbeck

SEDS-MDRS Crew GreenHab Officer #2

SEDS-MDRS Crew HSO

Crew Photos – December 25th

Baking action shot! Shelf-stable ingredients make surprisingly good croissants.
Commander Gibson watches a pseudo-haboob out the window.
Connor can’t contain his excitement as he opens his gift.
King Anselm surveys his kingdom.
Sean takes his pick of presents in the crew’s gift swap.
The crew enjoys breakfast together before opening Christmas crackers.
A Very Martian Christmas!

Science Report – December 25th

Geology Report: Today we celebrated Christmas as a crew! On tomorrow’s EVA I plan to have the team check on the cameras because the strong winds we received last night may have blown them over. We had a few gusts over 30 mph. Today was again much sunnier and thus we saw increased solar radiation at ground level and much higher peak GreenHAB temps. My final two EVAs will be this week and I hope to gather some great data on them with the cameras before departing MDRS next Sunday. Hopefully we will see some wind-driven erosion in the time-lapse videos from the gales that occurred yesterday and today.

This week looks to contain many clear nights so I will use one of the time-lapse cameras set to night mode to record star movements in the sky.

Max/Min: Outdoor Temp – 33 F – 45 F
Outdoor Humidity – 25% – 96%
GreenHab Temp – 36 F – 87 F
GreenHAB Humidity – 18% – 69%
Barometer – 28.97 – 29.44 inHg
Wind – 10-15 mph, gust – 32 mph
Solar Rad. Max – 439.6 W/m^2
UV Index – 912 uW/cm^2
Recorded Precipitation today – 0.00 in

Submitted by Connor Lynch – Crew Geologist/Astrophysicist

Daily Summary Report – December 25th

Daily Summary Report

SOL: 07

Person filling out Report: Alison Gibson, Commander

Summary Title: A Windy Christmas

Mission Status: Ready for a productive week

Sol Activity Summary: We started the day with a Christmas breakfast feast, did our Yankee Swap, played games, and ended the afternoon with a movie.

Look Ahead Plan: EVA to Candor Chasma

Anomalies in work:  We had an intense wind storm last night and the cover blew off the hole in the top of the Hab. It was reinstalled as best as possible, but may need future improvements.

Weather: Partly cloudy, High 45F, Low 33F, wind gusts up to 33 mph

Crew Physical Status: Fully functional

EVA: Our EVA was postponed until tomorrow to avoid strong winds and celebrate the holiday

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Science Report

Support Requested: None

Science Report – December 24th

Geology Report: Today I rounded up the first time-lapse camera that I
put outside. It seemed to function well in the elements and caught
scenes of the HAB and sky. The sky was clearer and we were actually
able to see the Sun which warmed the outside air and GreenHAB.

Today I placed that camera in a location near the HAB looking East
toward the main road and along a hillside. If we get rain today we may
see some drainage patterns or erosion features. The second camera was
placed just north of the HAB and is looking due North toward the Lower
Blue Hills and Skyline Rim.

Overall I hope to evaluate the use of this time lapse photography in
this Mars-like terrain in order to evaluate how effective it would be
on Mars.

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Philosophy of Colonizing Mars Report: In our second installment of
this philosophy report, we want to discuss the effects of living and
working on Mars on future astronauts. The radius of Mars is on the
order of half that of Earth and the mass is about 1/10. Using Newtons
Law the gravitational force on the surface of the planet will only be
40% that of Earth (actually 38%). This will result in progressive bone
loss over time and vision problems among other things.

Future astronauts will have to build exercise time and activity into
their busy schedules in order to stay healthy. Research is already
being done by NASA and on the ISS to see the effects of low gravity on
the human body. Hopefully we can think of every possible human factor
before sending humans to Mars. Only then will we be fully prepared.