Author: Max Fagin
Purpose of EVA:
1. Visit the Beige Moon and White Moon areas, which remain unsampled by our previous EVA team during EVA#3
2. Test the Yagi-Uda antenna based navigation experiment by walking back to the hab
Destination: Yellow moon, white moon, beige moon, walk back
UDM27 Coordinates: 516500 E, 4254250 N
Participants: Max Fagin (Commander), Kshitij Mall (Executive Officer), Justin Mansell (Journalist)
Narrative: We exited the hab on schedule and departed north to the Moons region. We started at the western most site, and traveled east, stopping at each site to collect a sample of clay, salt, and a panoramic photo. Despite the cold, not being burdened by sensing equipment was a welcome relief, and we got really good at quickly dismounting, sampling, photographing and documenting a new site. Thanks Cesare for the great geology training! After sampling all three sites, we drove back along Cow Dung road until the GPS indicated we were within 2 km of the hab. We dismounted, set up the radio beacon, and Justin began navigating across the terrain back to the hab, with Kshitij and I following for safety. Inspecting the route on GPS after the fact revealed it was as near to a direct route as could be expected given patches of unnavigable terrain. A great success for the navigation system! All that remains it to duplicate the results with the astronaut’s view of the horizon restricted to remove the possibility of subconsciously navigating by distant terrain features or the sun. We will attempt to do this tomorrow, weather permitting.
After returning to the hab, Justin and Kshitij took three sorties out (one on Opportunity, two on Curiosity) to recover the ATVs that had been abandoned for the navigation experiment and bring them back to the hab.
Note: Another one of our radios gave a low battery signal ~20 minutes into the EVA. Since we were carrying two spare radios as per our decision from yesterday’s EVA, communications were instantly restored. I recommend listing it in the MDRS handbook that the EVA team must always carry at least one fully charged spare radio. It is such a small additional burden, and such a large increase in EVA safety.