Journalist Report – January 13th

[Sol 13] [The
Final Countdown]

The team awoke to the song: “The Pioneers of Mars” and to the exciting news of the safe arrival of crew 187 on this desert world. After one final pancake breakfast we threw ourselves into our cleaning duties, eager to make a fine impression as the previous team had with us. When our colleagues arrived in the early afternoon with their pressurized rover we had only just finished preparing the habitat for them. There was a short break to introduce ourselves, but the new team was excited to learn the ropes of maintaining the habitat. We organized ourselves into pairs and taught them the quirks of each of the hab’s systems.

With familiarization and photos out of the way, we plan to spend the evening socializing with the new crew over dinner and some card games. Overnight we will travel to the ascent vehicle and begin preparations for launch at dawn. As such, this will be my last update until we reach orbit.

It is said that the 4 stages of teamwork are forming, storming, norming, and performing. Over the past mission I have seen our team pass through each of these stages and though circumstances have been tough at times, I can say with confidence that we leave this world more capable, humorous, considerate, and farseeing than the people we came as. The soaring mesas, grand vistas, and infinite textures of this remote planet have changed us. But our greatest hope is that we have in turn changed it. To make what was a desolate, frozen expanse more livable, meaningful, and ultimately more human: this is the goal of humankind’s voyage to Mars, and the goal, perhaps, of our journey to the stars.

We wish Crew 187 all the best for their mission. For those on Earth, we would like to thank the legions of support personnel for making this grand adventure possible. With luck, we will be seeing you all soon!

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

P.S. Photos attached. Photo of the day: 13Jan2018 Crew186-187 hand off.jpg

Science Report – January 13th

Science Report (Microbiology)

13JAN2018

Author: Samuel Albert, Crew 186 Health & Safety Officer

Collaborators:

-Marshall Porterfield, Ph.D., Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States

-Sarah Wallace, Ph.D., NASA JSC, Houston, TX, United States

-Sarah Stahl, M.S., NASA JSC, Houston, TX, United States

As part of my role as Health & Safety Officer of MDRS Crew 186, I have been conducting research on the microbial environment in the habitat and greenhouse at MDRS. To do this, I am using the sample-to-sequence method developed by spaceflight microbiologists at NASA including Dr. Sarah Wallace and Sarah Stahl, M.S. This method uses a combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing technology. Specifically, I am using the miniPCR and minION devices, as were used in the Genes in Space-3 experiment on the International Space Station (ISS).

The testing at MDRS is meant to survey the microbial environment in the habitat as an analog for operational monitoring that would be necessary on a Mars base. The ability to perform real-time DNA sequencing will help diagnose infectious diseases and monitor crew health on long-duration space missions. Thus, conducting this research at MDRS increases the fidelity of simulation while collecting useful data on the microbial environment in the habitat.

Four runs were planned originally. The first run encountered errors and yielded poor results, only about 350 reads. The second run, which sampled from crops growing in the GreenHab, yielded much better results, over 600,000 reads. This run was in collaboration with the ongoing experiments by GreenHab Officer Mark Gee. The third run, which sampled from locations on the upper deck of the habitat, yielded strong results as well, about 26,000 reads. The fourth run, which sampled from the bathroom and shower area on the lower deck of the habitat, unfortunately yielded the worst results, with a paltry 34 reads. In the case of the first and fourth runs, any one of the many steps could have gone wrong to produce such a low read count, but the most likely reason is that the flow cells were damaged at some point. The fourth flow cell had over 1000 active pores when a quality control test was performed early in the mission, but less than 600 active pores immediately prior to sequencing.

Following the mission, all results will be analyzed to assess which microbes were found in the various sampling locations. Return samples are also being sent to the Dr. Wallace at Wyle Laboratories at NASA JSC for post-mission sequencing, which will help validate results for runs 2 and 3 and help provide results for runs 1 and 4. These results will be compared with data from similar studies on the ISS (i.e. Genes In Space-3) as well as with data from other analog stations.

Samuel Albert, Crew 186 Health & Safety Officer

Greenhab Report – January 12th

GreenHab Report

Mark Gee

12Jan2018

Environmental control:

Cooling with vent

Heating

Shade cloth on

Working Hour: 07:40PM
Inside temp at working hour: 19 C
Outside temp during working hours: 2 C
Inside temperature high: 31 C
Inside temperature low: 16 C
Inside humidity: 33 %RH

Inside humidity high: 49 %RH
Inside humidity low: 25 %RH

Hours of supplemental light:

For the crops 05:00 to 11:59 PM

Changes to crops: Harvested radish microgreens, lettuce, green beans, dill, and cilantro.

Daily water usage for crops: 22 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 03:30PM

Research observations: Harvested microgreen experiment and for each treatment measured mass harvested, volume harvested, and size of plants.

Changes to research plants: Microgreen experiment is complete.

Aquaponics: Not in use.

Narrative: Today was harvest day! For the crops we harvested 580g of radish microgreens, a bowl of lettuce leaves, a fistfull of greenbeans, a handful of dill, and a sprinkle of cilantro. The other crops are growing well and should produce a bountiful harvest for crews to follow.

The microgreen experiment was harvested and has concluded successfully. It is too early for results, but keep an eye out for the upcoming report.

I have been making an effort to characterize the Greenhab and will be synthesizing my observations into a cohesive document. As a sneak peak, the figure tracking the temperature and humidity in the habitat throughout the day will be included in the Mission Summary as an image. 

Journalist Report – January 12th

Sol 12 – Harvest

Today was our final EVA. A small team consisting of Melanie Grande (crew engineer), Sam Albert (health and safety officer), and myself, departed the habitat around 11 am and embarked on a long and bumpy drive out to Skyline Rim. We did not arrive until well past noon. What initially seemed like a row of jagged teeth along the western horizon soon grew into a towering mesa of red stone that commanded our admiration. It was a humbling vista.

Our purpose was to collect and analyze samples of shale on behalf of our geologist, Cesare Guariniello. To do so, Sam and Melanie ascended an escarpment to the layers of stone strata. Though their height was hardly even half that of the monolithic ridge, Sam reported that he was able to see all the way to the habitat. But given the long drive back, we couldn’t stay for long. By 2:30 pm we had returned to the habitat with only a short break along the way.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew has been busy measuring the yield of Mark’s microgreens experiment. Though most of the crop was reserved for his experiment, a portion was kept for tonight’s meal. The whole team gathered early this evening to partake in the harvest of fresh radish, lettuce, dill, cilantro, and green beans. It will be the first fresh food we’ve had since the mission began. For the graduate students on the team, the wait has been even longer!

The meal will be one to savor, for it will be our last dinner in this habitat. Mission control confirms that the refueling of our ascent vehicle using in-situ resources has completed and that the vehicle registers nominal on all system checkouts. Tomorrow at noon our crew will depart the habitat, travel to the ascent vehicle, and prepare for launch at dawn on Sunday morning. It will be the culmination of our grand adventure to the Red Planet. But until then, a frenzy of cleaning and preparation awaits!

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

P.S. Photos attached. Photo of the day: 515300_4251200 12Jan2018 Skyline Rim.jpg.
(Sorry for the huge photo, but it really is incredible. The credit goes to Melanie Grande for taking it!)

EVA Report – January 12th

Purpose of EVA: Collect and analyze samples of shale obtained from the region below Skyline Rim. Collect samples of fossilized shells that were discovered on a previous EVA near White Moon.

Destination: Skyline Rim

UDM27 Coordinates: 515300E, 4251200N

Destination: White Moon

UDM27 Coordinates: 517100E, 4254600N

Participants: Justin Mansell (Journalist), Melanie Grande (Engineer), Sam Albert (Health and Safety Officer)

Narrative: This was the final EVA of the mission and the members of the team were tasked with obtaining samples of shale from the base of Skyline Rim and analyzing them in the field with a spectrometer. Our secondary objective was to collect a handful of fossilized shells from a deposit near White Moon. This deposit was discovered on a previous EVA but no samples were taken. We departed the airlock at 11:07 am and drove north to White Moon. I led in the Deimos rover followed behind by Sam and Melanie in Spirit. We made a brief stop near Gray Moon to search for the fossil bed but were unsuccessful in locating it. We remounted the rovers after several minutes and continued to Skyline Rim by way of Copernicus Highway 1574 and Sagan Street 1103. We arrived on site at approximately 12:30 pm.

Sam was able to make contact with the habitat from atop a small hill using a ham radio while Melanie and I searched for shale near the end of Sagan Street. Once we had positively identified several samples of shale the team collected equipment from the rovers and proceeded to the base of the cliff. We also made a brief test of the navigation radio to verify the direction to the habitat.

Sam made his way up an escarpment to collect chips of shale directly from the cliff wall using a rock hammer. Melanie also climbed an escarpment to take complimentary spectra using the spectrometer. I remained at the base of the escarpments to monitor Sam and Melanie’s safety. The team then returned to the rovers and departed Skyline Rim at 1:15 pm.

We made a second stop at White Moon on the return journey and relocated the shell fossils found on a previous EVA. We filled a sample bag with a handful of shells and returned directly to the habitat. We arrived at the habitat at 2:23 pm. The total time on EVA was 3 hours and 21 minutes.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

Operations Report – January 12th

Crew 186 Operations Report 12JAN2018

SOL: 12

Name of person filing report: M. Grande

Non-nominal systems: None

Notes on non-nominal systems: None.

Generator (hours run): 12h

Generator switched batteries, 7:30am

Generator turned off, charging battery at 10:30am

Generator turned on at 5:20pm

Solar— SOC

@ 7:30am : 40%

@ 10:30am : 100%

@ 5:20pm : 64%

Diesel: 50%

Propane: 26%

Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 3.3 Gallons

Water (trailer): 10 Gallons

Water (static): 316 Gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used: No

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

Water Meter: 129380.8 Gallons

Toilet tank emptied: No

ATVs Used: None

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 00 Gallons

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

Notes on ATVs: None.

Deimos rover used: Yes

Hours: 101.0

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 84%

Currently charging: Yes

Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.

Hours: 5.5

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: Yes

Spirit rover used: Yes

Hours: 12.1

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 47%

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: No

Hours: 5.5

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No

Curiosity rover used: No

Hours: 3.1

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge:

Currently charging: No, but was charging this morning during EVA

HabCar used and why, where? No

General notes and comments: Very fun EVA today because we had a nice long ride out to Skyline Rim, and I was just completely awed by the views. Sam and I each climbed up parts of the escarpment (or the more bougie term: “colluvial fan”) at the bottom of the ridge, trying to touch the layers left by Jurassic forces millions of years before us. Looking up to see the scale of one man compared to that ridge was incredible. Deimos broke 100 hours today– congratulations to our old chap! Young Spirit hung in there and is now at 12h; we’re slowly increasing their battery life.

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:

So part of my experiment explored how to teach the crew to do routine maintenance tasks, such as for the ATV brakes system. This is quite important, due to the safety considerations. I am aware that the ATVs all recently got a complete overhaul, which makes me grateful and confident in them, but I have one question. The brake fluid level indicators are barely readable, through a foggy window, so it’s hard to tell if there’s fluid in there at all. My question is then: were the brake systems checked, during the ATV checkout? Brake fluid is easy to replace, if needed.

Also, thank you all for supporting us throughout our mission! You’ve [CapComms and Mission Support] done a fantastic job at answering our questions and helping us with our concerns (especially reading my long explanations about that darned power system), and I’m very grateful!

Regards,

Melanie Grande, Crew Engineer, Crew 186

Sol Summary – January 12th

Crew 186 Sol 12 Summary Report 12JAN2018

Sol 12

Summary Title: A Bountiful Harvest Before Entry Interface

Author’s name: Max Fagin

Mission Status: Nearly complete…

Sol Activity Summary: After an animated debate over dimensional analysis and its applicability to breakfast foods (TLDR, we found a way for ‘The Pancake’ to be used as a non-SI unit of time, of distance, and of mass and energy; Manuscripts to be submitted to both Nature and Science upon our return) we geared up for the final EVA of our mission to the base of Skyline Rim. Once the EVA team had departed, Mark and Max began to harvest the microgreens from GreenHab. The EVA team returned with spectra and samples of the shales found in the region, along with a handful of shell fossils they had picked up on the way back through the Moons region. On Mars, such a discovery would be the scientific finding of the century. But here in the Moons region, they are so common as for it to be almost impossible to avoid stepping on them.

Once the sun had set, the team rotated through GreenHab and the Science dome collecting, weighing and cataloging our bountiful harvest of radish microgreens, green beans, cilantro, dill and lettuce. Finally, for our last meal in sim before our return to Earth, we subjected the food to its most critical experiment of all: Ingestion.

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow is handoff day. Looking forward to meeting the members of Crew 187 who are now en route. Safe travels!

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: 11C, Wind calm, Fair, Humidity 40%

Crew Physical Status: Healthy

EVA: Geological sampling of shales in the colluvial fan at the base of Skyline Ridge

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Science Report (Geology), Journalist Report, GreenHab Report, EVA Report, Mission Summary

Support Requested: None

End of Mission Summary – Crew 186

End of Mission Summary
Crew 186 – Boilers2Mars

Commander/Astronomer:  Max Fagin
Executive Officer:  Kshitij Mall
Crew Engineer:   Melanie Grande
Crew Geologist:  Dr. Cesare Guariniello
Journalist:  Justin Mansell
GreenHab Officer:  Mark Gee
Health and Safety Officer:  Samuel Albert

Commander’s Statement

As Purdue students and alumni, Purdue’s heritage with human spaceflight is a heritage we all take very seriously, and that heritage was on full display for the duration of this mission. I am happy to say that every member of this crew has risen to the highest standards expected of would be space travelers, and I am proud of every member of this crew for doing their jobs with skill, effectiveness, professionalism, robustness, and the positive disposition that space travel demands of those who pursue it. I would be proud to call any of you my crewmates on a real mission to Mars.

When undertaking challenging journeys like this, I often find there are two types of travelers. First, there are the kind who are happiest when things are going right. The kind who love it when a plan works. The kind who revel in practicing, planning and simulating every facet of the journey beforehand just as much as they love the journey itself.

Second, there are the kind of travelers who enjoy a journey more when things are going poorly, because it allows for a chance to test their skills in the face of danger. They revel in being just beyond the margin and only barely in control, because the experience will leave them with a harrowing story to tell when they get home.

Personally, I’m in the first camp. I subscribe to the perspective that a stressful and harrowing adventure is a sign of poor planning. Things sometimes go wrong that are beyond our control. And during those times, true stories of courage and heroism often emerge, especially in space travel. But there is nothing to be celebrated in seeking such situations. Because of our desire for narrative satisfaction, it’s the near disasters that often become our most cherished stories, but those stories of right ought to be told just as much about the textbook missions, and the hard work that made them possible.

That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a crew during our time at MDRS, and why I will remember the time so fondly. Our mission was productive, exciting, and educational, but it was never stressful or harrowing. It has been a privilege to command such a talented and driven group of people.

Thank you to Ashwati Das and the Purdue Mars Society. Thank you to Professor Porterfield, Professor Mitchell, Professor Horgan, Professor Grant, Professor Whitfield and Professor Dumbacher, and thank you to Erin Easterling and Brian Huchel. Thank you to Mars Academy USA, Purdue Honors College, WIEP, ABE, SAO, and PESC. Thanks to the many Mars Society volunteers who have put in their time and hard work over the decades to make MDRS possible, and to those who specifically supported us on our mission: Veronica Brooks, Sylvain Burdot, Kevin Seidler, Kay Wolf, Jennifer Holt, Graeme Frear and Bernard Dubb. Thank you to Dr. Robert Zubrin and the Mars Society Leadership, and final thanks to Dr. Shannon Rupert for being our on-site support.

Boiler Up, Hammer Down!

-Max Fagin, 01/02/2018

 

Our Mission, By The Numbers

12 days in sim
125 person-hours of EVA total time
24 person-hours of EVA rover time
138 km traversed on EVA
515 gallons of water consumed (including GreenHab)
~1700 photos taken
86 geological spectra collected
580 grams of edible crops harvested from GreenHab
636,445 strands of DNA sequenced from microbes found in the hab

Summary of EVA Activities
Max Fagin, Commander

We conducted a total of 10 EVAs during our mission (11 were planned, but light snow on Sol 9 caused it to be delayed to Sol 10). Our EVAs lasted anywhere from 1-5 hours, traversing a distance of 138km total and reaching a maximum of 6.2 km from the hab. A map of every EVA we took is shown on the next page, overlayed on the MDRS regional map.

Something like the electric rovers of ATVs are an essential part of an effective Mars surface exploration campaign. However, they must be considered in the same class as the rockets and spacecraft that delivered the astronauts to Mars: As means, not ends. The best field science is still done when an astronaut is on foot and able to devote their complete attention to their surroundings. As such, a goal of this mission was to minimize the amount of “unproductive” time spent on EVAs. This includes time spent en route to targets, and loading/unloading equipment. An EVA debrief was regularly held 1 hour after the EVA had completed with the EVA director who had been the habcomm for the EVA, and a careful timeline was reconstructed from the gps logs carried by members of the EVA. This allowed us to build up an accurate picture of how our EVA time was spent.

A goal at the start of this mission was to spend at least 50% of each EVA on site. We were not able to accomplish this goal. A weighted average across all EVAs yielded only 42% time spent on site. Regardless, the system for reconstructing EVA timelines and locations proved very useful, as it allowed for quickly checking what had and had not worked on past when planning for future EVAs, as well as checking the location of geological samples.

Geology Summary
Dr. Cesare Guariniello, Crew Geologist

As will probably be the case in an actual Mars mission, a majority of our EVA activity was devoted to a geological survey of the region. Not only will such geological activates answer important questions about Mars’ past, but such geological knowledge will shape Mars’ potential as a future home. The need to reduce payload mass for future space exploration is imperative on long term colonial missions, and effective In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) provides just such a way to reduce the materials that must be brought from Earth. For effective ISRU, future Mars colonists must determine material presence, abundance, accessibility, usability, and the best ways to collect them. On this mission, remote sensing techniques) were applied to support of this goal.

Geologic EVAs were performed to the following regions:

  • URC North Site
  • East of Greenstone Road
  • The Moons (Morrison Formation and Dakota Sandstone)
  • “Boilermaker Canyon”, previously unexplored by MDRS crews (Entrada Sandstone and lower Morrison Formation)
  • Skyline Rim (Mancos Shale).

The crew collected a variety of samples in these location, and analyzed them with a “PANalytical QualitySpec TREK” portable spectrometer. The 86 Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectra that were collected gave information about the mineralogy of the samples, and will be used to assess water content in the various locations. Temperatures at different depths and in different conditions were also analyzed. These measurements will be used after the end of the mission to determine the correlation between thermal inertia and physical properties of the material, such as cohesiveness and bulk size. The EVAs brought the analog astronauts through diverse fields, ranging from plains covered in clays and characterized by salt deposits to deep canyons where million of years of strata are exposed. All the types of terrains are found on Mars, though the presence of large angular boulders is more prominent in most Martian landscapes. The results were extremely satisfactory, both in terms of Mars analog mineralogy and for what concerns collection of the samples with the various tools, and yielded useful outcomes for ISRU on Mars.

 

Radio Navigation
Justin Mansell, Journalist

GPS navigation will not be an option for early Mars explorer, and most navigation will need to take place with assets located at the habitat. One solution is to place a directional radio beacon at the hab, and just such a system was designed and successfully tested during our mission. Over four dedicated navigation EVAs, a simulated “lost astronaut” was able to determine their bearing to the habitat using a directional handheld antenna. By taking regular bearings while walking, the astronauts were able to navigate to within a few hundred meters of the habitat from several kilometers away, even when a visor was in place that limited their vision to only their immediate surroundings. The greatest challenge was the overwhelming signal strength at close ranges to the habitat, but this was mitigated by employing the insensitive axis of the antenna to find a bearing at right angles to the direction to the habitat. Future designs will include an attenuator to improve performance near the transmitting beacon and a timing circuit to establish both bearing and range.

 

Virtual Reality Training to Enable Crew Autonomy
Melanie Grande, Crew Engineer

Crew time will be as precious a resource as water and power on a mission to Mars, and virtual reality is a powerful teaching tool that offers the chance to reduce the amount of time a crew member must spend training for a complex task. For this mission, half the crew participated in a Pre-Mission Training Group (PMTG) and were conventionally trained on two tasks via PowerPoint training modules about three weeks before the mission. The crew learned how to use a portable spectrometer and how to perform maintenance checks on an ATV’s brake system. A Virtual Reality Training Group was given the freedom to use the VR version of the models at their own pace and at any time during their day. The VRTG could also take the training immediately before doing the EVA to complete the taught tasks. Mixed results were observed from the astronauts, but it was interesting to note that the VRTG spent much less time in training, which is positive in terms of maximizing astronaut work hours. However, some steps and details in each stage of the tasks were not given enough attention. Some of the VRTG also put off the training, since it wasn’t specifically scheduled. Participants from both groups did not specifically acknowledge the procedure and safety requirements if damage was found. Finally, the VR modules were limited in their interaction and level of detail, due to time and resource constraints. Future work would explore further the memorization of procedure and the interactivity of the VR applications. 

 

Survey of the MDRS Microbial Environment
Samuel Albert, Health and Safety Officer

Throughout the mission, surfaces in the habitat and GreenHab were swabbed in order to survey the microbial environment at MDRS. These swabs were then run through DNA extraction and amplification using portable PCR technology. Next, the amplified DNA was sequenced using the minion, a portable DNA sequencer that has previously been used to perform identical tests on the International Space Station. Although only 2 of the 4 sequencing runs yielded quality data, these results will be useful in analyzing the microbes present at MDRS. This research was completed in collaboration with NASA JSC, and the results will be part of a larger study on microbial environment in closed, isolated environments, including ongoing research on the International Space Station (Genes in Space-3).

 

Crew Relaxation with Guided Yoga
Kshitij Mall, Executive Officer

The human mind must remain well maintained on a Mars mission every bit as much as the electrical and mechanical systems of the spacecraft. To that end, the crew started each day by performing 21 different Yoga exercises focusing on breathing, posture, stretching, and meditation for 30 minutes to release stress. After 12 days, the average self reported stress of the crew reduced from 16.8 to 15.0 based on the Perceived Stress Scale Survey. Based on Self-Assessment survey, the crew’s average happiness, positivity, patience, self-confidence, and endurance increased throughout the mission while the fatigue remained stable. Later in the mission, some of the crew members tried a guided meditation VR app and suggested its use over conventional meditation method. The small number of subjects meant a control group could not be followed to isolate the effect of the morning exercises, but even if small, the exercise still promoted crew bonding by ensuring we all began our day at the same time, and with the same activity; the benefits of which cannot be quantified.

 

GreenHab Summary
Mark Gee, GreenHab Officer

The Greenhab has succeeded in its mission to provide food, house experiments, and bring stress relief to the crew. The harvest on the last sol of our rotation yielded a sampling of fresh microgreens, lettuce, green beans, dill, and cilantro, the first time this has been done this season. The previously planted tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and peppers are growing well along with the carrots, onions, arugula, radish, lettuce, and Swiss chard that were planted this rotation. Future crews should have a bountiful and tasty harvest. Two studies were successfully completed. One on how to produce microgreens using minimal resources, and the other on how plant growth is affected by the microbiome in an isolated Mars habitat. Time and humidity data were also successfully collected throughout the mission providing insight on the environment the GreenHab crops are exposed to. In addition to being productive, the GreenHab provided a convenient way to relax. Crew members were frequently found enjoying the heat, humidity, and beautiful scenery that the GreenHab provides.

Operations Report – January 11th

Crew 186 Operations Report 11JAN2018

SOL: 11

Name of person filing report: M. Grande

Non-nominal systems: None

Notes on non-nominal systems: None

Generator (hours run): 11.7h
Generator off, battery charging at 9:00am
Generator on at 6:40pm

Solar— SOC
@ 9:00am : 100%
@ 6:40pm : 56%

Diesel: 50%

Propane: 28%

Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 3.3 Gallons

Water (trailer): 10 Gallons

Water (static): 367 Gallons

Trailer to Static Pump used: No

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

Water Meter: 129380.8 Gallons

Toilet tank emptied: No

ATVs Used: None
Oil Added? No
ATV Fuel Used: 00 Gallons
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 00:00 hours
Notes on ATVs: Filled up the ATVs all the way, finally. Trying to track the fuel usage as well as the water usage for our sim, but it was difficult to see inside the fuel tank with the helmets. Now the fuel is right up to the neck of the tank, since we recently had the resupply, and we’re ready to roll for our long EVA tomorrow! One of them was making clanking sounds, and this will need to be inspected during our hand-off day.

Deimos rover used: No
Hours: 99.0
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes

Sojourner rover used: Assigned to director only.
Hours: Director discretional hours
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes

Spirit rover used: No
Hours: 10.5
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge:
Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: No
Hours: 5.5
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge:
Currently charging: No

Curiosity rover used: No
Hours: 3.1
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge:
Currently charging: No

HabCar used and why, where? No

General notes and comments: Today most of the crew didn’t go on EVA, so I used the time for my "Implications of VR for Crew Autonomy" experiment! I tested two crew members from my Pre-Mission Training Group and the Virtual Reality Training Group on tasks including ATV maintenance checks and geology sensing using a portable spectrometer. We used individual Engineering EVAs to make this happen. Lots of notes to write up tonight!

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: Based on the unknown clanking sounds coming from one of the 350 ATVs, we won’t use that one tomorrow on EVA. Also, to confirm what I remember from training, the Diesel gauge needle ranges from "12:00 to 6:00, counterclockwise," right? The needle has stayed just over 50% ("9:00") for the past few days, even though we ran the generator for three days straight.

Regards,
Melanie Grande, Crew Engineer, Crew 186

Journalist Report – January 9th

[Sol 9]

Another slow day at the hab. The crew awoke to frigid temperatures and a shroud of blowing Martian dust – our first sandstorm. Unwilling to test our luck in the tumultuous conditions, we immediately cancelled the planned EVA and have postponed it to tomorrow. Despite the storm, however, life at the habitat remains quite pleasant. The rarefied Martian wind is too tenuous to threaten our immediate safety and instead fosters a sense of coziness here. The crew enjoyed a television show after breakfast and has spent the day working, reading, and debating various topics. For those who participated in yesterday’s chilly EVA the downtime was certainly welcome.

By the late afternoon the dust had begun to clear and a robotic supply rover which landed earlier this week was able to complete its slow trek to the hab. After a quick excursion to obtain the supplies the crew delightfully unpacked a brand new bread maker and put it to use right away. At the time of writing the team is eagerly awaiting the results.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist

P.S. Photos attached. Photo of the day: 09Jan2018 Crew mental health questionable.jpg