MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION

Crew Photos – January 25th

Hab January 25th 2017 Group photo with the film crew(Credit Niamh Shaw)
Outside HAB January25th 2017 Niamh on an EVA(Credit Niamh Shaw)
Hab January 25th 2017 personalised EVA suits(Credit Michaela Musilova)
Outside HAB January 24th 2017 Roy and Rick on EVA(Credit Niamh Shaw)
Science Dome January 25th 2017 Michaela studying endolith samples through the microscope(Credit Michaela Musilova)
Hab January 25th 2017 Idriss speaks-with-French FR2 journalists(Credit Niamh Shaw)
Northing 4248700 Easting 519500 January 25th 2017 Michaela geologising(Credit Michaela Musilova)
Main Airlock January 25th 2017 Idriss being filmed by Laurent from FR2(Credit Niamh Shaw)
Northing 4248700 Easting 519500 January 25th 2017 France 2 filming geology and astrobiology EVA(Credit Michaela Musilova)

 

 

EVA Report – January 25th

EVA report:
SOL: 10
Earth date: 25/01/2017
Person filling out the report: Michaela Musilova
Crew members involved in the EVA: Michaela Musilova, Roy Naor and Idriss Sisaid
EVA leader: Michaela Musilova
Begin: 01:30 pm
End: 04:10pm
Type of EVA: Walking + ATV + Deimos
Purpose: Exploration EVA of a canyon Shannon recommended in that area.
UTM Coordinates: Northing : 4248700 Easting :  519500 Zone : 12 S
Summary: Geological and biological exploration of canyon/region south of the “rock garden”, which being filmed by France 2 film crew. We went quite far into the canyon, but we had to turn back earlier because a storm was approaching. We were, however, able to collect a few interesting regolith samples for the 3D printing project.

Journalist Report – January 25th

Sol 10 Journal Report
by Niamh Shaw
Crew Journalist & Artist
We had aliens here today- from France, on Earth. Laurent and Jacques, two journalists from the French television station FR2. We got super self-aware once they arrived, all of us whispering together about what we should do, how to act naturally, what we should say. But of course Jacques and Lau-rent were lovely men, who were probably more out of their comfort zone than we were, driving all the way out to the middle of the desert to meet us. It all seemed to go very well, they filmed us at work in the GreenHAB and Science Dome and then in the communal area. I was editing for most of the morn-ing on my computer so was fortunate to be out of the way for most of their filming. But then they arrived in the communal area, and as Rick was making lunch there I was on my computer, both of us desperately trying not to be aware of a camera sticking in our faces. And trying to remain as natural and nonchalant as possible, realising everything I was saying seems staged, way too energetic and completely out of character.
This is kind of how it went down:
Scene 33a: INT. COMMUNAL AREA OF HAB. DAYTIME
NIAMH is working on her computer and RICK is making lunch. They are both hard at work. A film crew for a news channel are filming them from the top corner of the room. The crew seem bored.
NIAMH and RICK want to look good for the television and are eager to make a good impression.
NIAMH
Mmm, that smells lovely, Rick. What are you making?
RICK
How long does it take to boil rice? This is taking for ever
He tastes the rice and seems displeased
NIAMH
20 minutes for brown rice
RICK
This isn’t even brown rice!
NIAMH
(smiling)
Wow! Really? Thats odd.
They both laugh. Too much (it really wasn’t that funny)
NIAMH
(laughing)
It normally takes 20 minutes for brown rice anyway
Silence.
The crew whisper together.
Enter MICHAELA. She notices the film crew at the top of the stairs and doesn’t know whether she should enter the shot or not.  The crew notice MICHAELA and direct her to enter the shot.  MICHAELA enters the shot.
MICHAELA
(smiling)
That smells lovely. Hows it coming along?
RICK
Five minutes
MICHAELA
(enthusiastic)
Great!
They both smile. NIAMH smiles too. Too much.
Silence.
Scene 33b: INT. COMMUNAL AREA OF HAB. FIVE MINUTES LATER.
NIAMH is working on her computer and RICK is making lunch. They are both hard at word. MICHAELA is in her commander’s room. The crew are checking their phones.
More silence.
RICK
(smiling)
Lunch is ready. Will you let everyone know?
NIAMH
(enthusiastic)
Do you need a hand?
RICK
I’m good thanks.
MICHAELA emerges from her room.
MICHAELA
Lunch is ready?
IDRISS and ROY enter the shot. They notice the film crew at the top of the stairs and don’t know whether they should enter the shot or not.  The crew notice IDRISS and ROY and direct them to enter the shot. IDRISS and ROY want to look good for the television and are eager to make a good impres-sion.
IDRISS and ROY
(smiling)
That smells lovely. Hows it coming along?
RICK
Its ready
IDRISS and ROY
(enthusiastic)
Great!
RICK, MICHAELA, NIAMH, IDRISS and ROY smile at each other. Too much. Again.
Everyone sits down to eat. NIAMH, RICK, MICHAELA, IDRISS and ROY smile at the crew.  Too much.
Silence.
END SCENE.
But thats how it rolls round here. Ah the life of a simulated Astronaut on Mars. And we love it!
by Niamh Shaw
Crew Journalist & Artist.

Sol Summary – January 25th

MDRS Sol Summary Report for sol 10
By Michaela Musilova – Crew Commander
Summary Title
French alien invasion and many more laughs
Mission Status:
Even aliens and Martian sickness can’t get us down
Sol Activity Summary:
You know that you have acclimatised to Mars when any change to your daily habit seems to shake the whole crew up. And today we have quite a few “disturbances” to our lives, which the crew is still recovering from now around the dinner table. It all started with an alien invasion. We heard the airlock open downstairs and a few of us ran quickly to close the dreaded airlock – we do not want to lose all our breathable air after all! To our horror, we found a couple of French-speaking aliens in the airlock. Strangely enough, they call themselves the TV crew for the France 2. Luckily, Idriss and I speak French, so we tried to communicate with them peacefully to try to find out what they want. Long story short, they requested to observe our human habits all day today, in return for leaving us alone for the foreseeable future. Thus, not having been left with much of a choice, we accepted them in our Martian colony and had them follow us around all day. The observed and documented everything – from our 3D printing technologies, our plant growing methods, our food cooking and eating. They were particularly preoccupied by my astrobiological experiments, as they were worried I might have sampled some of their cousins endoliths. That is why they were even more keen to follow us on our EVA to make sure we didn’t collect any more of their relatives. They were quite distracted by our EVA suits, which they thought were quite peculiar and did not understand why we wore them in the Martian terrain. After they were reassured we were not doing anything harmful to their motherland, they left us in peace. By that point though, my whole crew was traumatised by the visit. Our little routines and happy snug crew life had been altered dramatically for a whole day. Some started making strange animal noises, others started accidentally putting food into their so-called cancer juice. Roy had comfort himself by doing laundry, while Rick continued to cook more and more food for the crew (some kind of nerve-calming method). To each its own I guess. Now I hear ear-numbing outbursts of laughter from my crew, who is playing a few Jewish memory games.  That should do the trick to put everyone back into their normal habits. Laughter has been our medicine here on Mars and it will be one of the things that I will miss the most upon my return to Earth in a few sols.
Look Ahead Plan:
Since the aliens restricted our plans for today, tomorrow we’re planning on doing a more extensive EVA. I have been doing a number of activities in the Science Dome, which I would like to focus on tomorrow, while also taking care of my students’ spinach growing experiment. Roy and Idriss have now built several Martian bricks and have started to construct the first great wall of Mars. I believe that will take up most of their day tomorrow
Anomalies in work:
The pump is still leaking significantly. At least Roy found a good use for the water caught in the pipe-leaking-bucket: he did his laundry today 
Weather:
The morning gave us hope that it will be a nice and clear day, but sadly during our EVA we saw a storm on the horizon and we had to return to the Hab.
Crew Physical Status:
Everyone is in great spirits. Some crewmembers have acquired strange Martian habits, which will be difficult to shake off upon their return to Earth, but all is well.
EVA:
We went on a geological/biological exploration EVA through a canyon south of the Hab (UTM Coordinates: Northing : 4248700 Easting :  519500 Zone : 12 S) with the aliens.
Reports to be filed:
Sol 10 summary
Eva report
Eva request
journalist’s report
Operations report
Support Requested:
Water resupply – both tanks on the water trailer have been emptied now into the static tank

Science Report – January 25th

Sol 10 Science Report – 3d printing project

25/01/17

3D Printing the groundbase for martian exploration
Crew Engineer

Needless to say that the first expedition to Mars will be difficult. It
will be even more difficult, not to say impossible, if nothing is prepared
in advance. The first crew won’t be able to book a hotel on Mars if that
hotel doesn’t even exist in the first place. They won’t be able to enjoy a
nice cup of tea and walk in T-shirt inside a habitat if that habitat hasn’t
been even built in the first place. My point here is that we need to
manufacture a few manned-infrastructures in advance and make sure these
maintain pressure conditions similar to those we can find on Earth while
providing reasonable thermal and radiation shielding.

Hopefully, with the 3d printing technologies currently available or in
development, the first habitats may be printed directly on Mars using
nothing else but INSITU resources and robots that would 3d-print and
assemble blocks together to design complex infrastructures.

The concept proposed and currently being studied at MDRS, is to manufacture
elementary blocks that can also contain water within their structure. The
water can be used not only for daily usage, but, can also provide extra
radiation shielding.

The first week at MDRS, we encountered several issues with the 3D printer
which didn’t allow us to print bricks but we managed to print 4 bricks over
the last days. Every brick takes 17h on average, and prints the outer shell
of the brick using PLA filament (plastic). For future studies, laser
sintering technology is suggested to simulate a real application on the
Martian soil. With the crew geologist Roy Naor, once the brick is printed,
we evaluate different types of soil that can be used within the brick to
strengthen it. Future tests are planned for the incoming days, and these
include, building a small infrastructure on an EVA, in order to prepare for
the next iteration of the concept.

The objective of this project is to give a first level of analysis so as to
lay down a first proof of concept.

Journalist Report – January 24th

Sol 9 Journal Report
by Niamh Shaw
Crew Journalist & Artist
 
 
Its great that we all share a common passion to inspire the next generation to dream big and believe that they can achieve anything if they are committed and hard-working. So its especially nice that we have been able to do so much outreach during our time at MDRS. In the past 2 days we have communicated with 2 schools- yesterday we spoke to the ‘Young Israeli Astronaut Academy’ cadets, and today with students who are attending the same school that Idriss went to. Even with his old English teacher, Mrs Magalie. They asked us all about our experience here, from the experiments we are doing to our daily lives at MDRS. At the end of the call, a shy student came on and wanted to tell Idriss that knowing that he was an inspiration for him since he went to his school. And if Idriss could do it then so could here.  It was a special moment and thankfully I had the voice recorder on to capture it.
 
Earlier today Michaela spoke with Slovakia’s biggest radio station, we chimed in a little bit too. Tomorrow a French news channel are coming to make a small documentary about our mission. We are receiving questions from our followers on social media, which we are answering every day and posting.  People have responded very positively and we can see that our mission is going to continue long after our time at MDRS.
 
This is why we do what we do. This is why we are all here at MDRS. If we fail at all our experiments and all my art is never realised, it no longer matters. Success is ours.
 
Warms the cockles of my heart.
 
Peace out, peeps!

Crew Photos – January 24th

Outside HAB January 24th 2017 Rick and Roy study the landscape out on EVA (Credit Niamh Shaw)

 

HAB January 24th 2017 Crew 173 speak with French students about their mission (Credit Niamh Shaw)

 

HAB January 24th 2017 Crew 173 team photo (Credit Niamh Shaw)

 

HAB January 24th 2017 Idriss sets up comms to chat with French students.

 

Main Airlock January 24th 2017 Michaela and Niamh finally manage a picture together before heading out on EVA.

 

Outside HAB January 24th 2017 MDRS from the plateau above (Credit Niamh Shaw).

 

Outside HAB January 24th 2017 Niamh Rick and Roy celebrate their EVA (Credit NIamh Shaw).

Sol Summary – January 24th

MDRS Sol 9 Summary
24/01/17
 
Summary Title: Boys and Girls Like to Kiss, the Fall of Idriss and Roy. 
By GreenHab Officer Rick “Tricky Dicky” Blake
 
Mission Status:
More and laughs, science and cultural exchanges
 
Sol Activity Summary:
This morning we had pancakes for brekky, followed by the taping of a birthday message for Roy’s mum. We also had a great chat to some French year 12 science students, who were keen as beans to learn about our mission here at the MDRS, as well as the future of the space industry. I learned the Hebrew alphabet (which feels like cracking secret codes), and continued my work in the GreenHab. The rest of the crew watched me learn Hebrew. 
In the afternoon, Roy, Niamh and I went out for an EVA. Roy’s plan was to collect some more geological samples, both to test for the presence of carbonates, and to gather some regolith for use with the 3D printed bricks Idriss is working on. I was after some regolith to test for suitability to potentially be used as a starting block for generating soil. Niamh came with us to capture some footage of an EVA, as well as to get some shots of the landscape. During the EVA, we saw the first episode of ‘Boys and Girls Like to Kiss’ Season 3, which was a real doosy. 
Tonight saw us sharing a Moroccan meal for Idriss’ culture night, as well as hearing about the history and state of Morocco, including Idriss’ Berber roots. 
 
Look Ahead Plan:
Tomorrow we have a film crew from France coming to see us. This will take up most of the day, but shouldn’t be too disruptive hopefully. We will be continuing with our scientific projects and we have an exploration EVA planned.
 
Anomalies in Work:
Saw an alien hovercraft during EVA.
 
Weather:
Today was sunny in the morning with clouds and wind increasing in the arvo. Rainwater from yesterday mostly gone now.
 
Crew Physical Status:
I lightly bumped my tooth on a coffee mug. The rest of the crew are nominal. Healthy and safe.

EVA Report – January 24th

EVA Report:
SOL: 9
Date: 24/01/2017
Person filling out the report: Roy Naor
Crew members involved in the EVA: Roy Naor, Richard Blake, Niamh Shaw.
EVA leader: Roy Naor
Begin: 2:00pm
End: 4:35 pm
Type of EVA: Walking + ATV 350, ATV 350, ATV 4X4
Purpose: : Collecting regolith and soil samples from various localities in MDRS vicinity to test 3D printing project and for pH and salinity as candidates suitable for crops.
UTM Coordinates: Northing : 4250100  Easting :  518000 Zone : 12 S
Summary: We climbed up the Kissing camel ridge and collected silicified conglomerate for further analysis. Later on we collected the common red regolith that accumulates as the Brushy Basin topsoil to use in our ISRU 3D printed blocks test. We ended up climbing to radio ridge for the Dakota sandstone regolith and sampled it to use in in the ISRU project. A second bag of regolith was also collected to be tested for pH and salinity. This is to determine whether the regolith could be a future candidate for GreenHab soil.

3D Printer Activity Timelapse Video