Journalist Report – January 29th

Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It:

Author’s name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell


On 26 Jan. 2018, six graduates from the International Space University arrived in Colorado to meet as a Crew for the first time. A group of space experts from the fields of science, engineering, innovation, education, and arts we each embrace an interdisciplinary, international and intercultural framework perspective to space grand-challenges, and share a love for the red planet. The connection is instant and familiar. Together we have accepted a mission to the Mars Desert Research Station [MDRS] in Utah to participate in the Mars Society analog mission from 27 Jan – 11 Feb 2018 as ISU Crew 188. We commit to living together in analogue conditions, undertaking collaborative research in situ, and taking steps towards our loftiest dreams for life on Mars. In the blink of an eye, we arrived in Utah.

Members of the LatAM Crew 187 collecting water and disposing of water in the nearby town welcomed us. We convoyed to the MDRS site along an unpaved road between an ancient canyon of red and golden rock formations. In that moment, our excitement built: we had arrived on Mars, and our energies grow. We explore the main habitat, the greenhouse, the new science laboratory, an observatory, solar cells, the ATV engineering lab and the surrounding area.

After crew hand-overs, and site inductions, we followed the NASA Astronaut Class tradition of identifying call-names based on our first 24-hour crew interaction. It is my pleasure to introduce MDRS188:

Commander: Dr. Ryan Kubrick (CA/US) a.k.a. KOB1

Executive Officer: Renee Garifi (US) a.k.a. Llama Llama Ding Dong

Operations Manager: Zac Trolley (CA) a.k.a. BOLTZ

Green Habitat Officer/Astronomer: Dr. Julia De Marinas (US) a.k.a. Jules Verne

Occupational Health/Safety Officer: Tak a.k.a. Tom Cat

Artist-in-Residence: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (AU) a.k.a. SJ (or Bubbles)

Naturally, the crew had very little sleep with the excitement of all that lay ahead, but by Sol-1, the experience of the first EVA-simulations today’s cemented our resolve. Our mission to the “Marble Ritual” Site Waypoint 6 served two purposes: to test systems from communications to suits and transport integration, navigation, communication and familiarization of the terrain…and engage us in the humor of the Mars Society. EVA 1 Crew was awe-struck to discover signs of life on the red planet the moment that they left their RTVs: big cat (cougar?) tracks, shards of rock like spear tips, photographed and GPS located before the traverse to the installation of three musical instruments.

We peered into the dandelion-like metal stems, and found the precious marble eye, and tested our Final Frontier Designs EVA Spacesuit Gloves, and Artist Boogie Board Drawing System, Cameras, Maps and other attachments. While the EVA-2 problem-solved some interesting challenges with visibility and navigation, they succeeded in demonstrating a successful evacuation and coordinating the crew to meet the goals safely and professionally.

Knowingly entering the simulation, we play out the socially coded nature of our crew behaviours to support the design of collaborative research challenges which test the fidelity of our response to imagined Mars-like stressors. The red planet represents our passion and insatiable curiosity for space exploration and discovery. So too, the MDRS Simulation amplifies their collective fears and desires for liberation and exposure to out of this world experiences. There are obvious challenges and learning curves ahead, but we realize the scope of our mission and choose to accept it. Here, in this incredible landscape, and brought together through the limitations and requirements of essentially a Mars-life life, we have stepped into another world: not only in our imaginations but through the investment of our hearts, minds, and bodies. We will sleep well tonight.

Greenhab Report – January 29th

Prepared by: Julia DeMarines

Environmental control: Heating

Ambient with door opening: Shade cloth on

Working Hour: 19:00
Inside temp at working hour: 18° C
Outside temp during working hours: 1° C
Inside temperature high: 34 C
Inside temperature low: 16 C
Inside humidity: 23 %RH
Inside humidity high: 46 %RH
Inside humidity low: 15 %RH

Hours of supplemental light:
For the crops 05:00 to 11:59 PM

Changes to crops: moved some of the tomato plants and bean plants to the blue aquaponics container.

Daily water usage for crops: 8 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 19:00

Changes to research plants: Need more info about existing research plants.

Aquaponics: Crew 188 will not be attempting to assemble the aquaponics project.

Narrative: This is Julia’s first day as Green Hab officer. She watered the plants and removed some of them from the wooden platform and put them in the blue aquaponics container after recommendations from Shannon. She went through changes to the plants that Shannon would like to have done to the Green Hab and thought about a plan moving forward. Tomorrow she will begin implementing the plan and she looks forward to some redecorating.

The temperature sensor is still currently malfunctioning. The tens digit has missing sections. Julia would like to know if there is a certain time(s) that the temperature and humidity need to be measured daily and specific information on ongoing projects that Julia needs to maintain or monitor.

Sol Summary – January 29th

Sol 1

Summary Title: Kicking up Martian Dust
Author’s name: Ryan L. Kobrick, Ph.D., MDRS Crew 188 Commander

Mission Status: All nominal

Sol Activity Summary:

The mission kicked off 1:01:01 local time after a morning of spacesuit training and navigational discussions of the exploration zone. As the terrain changes, each subsequent crew on the "red planet" adjusts to imposed closures of some roads, while other pathways open for exploration. The crew snapped team photos with four nations and four flags, (Canada, USA, Australia, and Japan), and with the one uniting Mars Red-Green-Blue flag.

The crew planned and executed two EVAs geared towards a technical shakedown of equipment and MDRS traditions located at "Marble Ritual". Three crewmembers on each EVA drove surface vehicles to a predetermined destination to make sure the surface suits were adjusted, vehicles driven suited (the ATVs and Rovers), and then on-foot exploration. Additionally, cameras, GPS units, biomedical devices, tablets, and specialized gloves were all tested in Martian analog conditions.

The relived to be underway the crew also realizes that the clock is ticking on their mission and there is a lot of data to collect and share. Things are just getting ramped up!

Spacesuit Up!
Ryan L. Kobrick, Ph.D.
MDRS Crew 188 Commander

Look Ahead Plan:
In the morning three crew members will explore the main superhighways to the North of hab. This will help ground truth critical waypoints, calibrate GPS equipment, familiarize the crew with the regions, and ensure safe exploration of all future EVAs. Crewmembers will be working on calibrating the telescope and 360 camera for the upcoming astronomical mega event of the lunar eclipse of the January Blue Moon.

Anomalies in work:
MDRS Director is coordinating power system updates with contractors.
Robotic observatory currently not functional. MDRS Astronomy lead working problem.

A warm day on "Mars" with crewmembers comfortable on EVA.

Crew Physical Status:
The crew is learning how to combat dehydration in this new environment.

Two EVAs completed with three crew on each.

Reports to file:
1. Sol Summary
2. Operations Report
3. Journalist Report
4. HSO Checklist
5. EVA Request for Sol 2
6. Daily Photos
7. Mission Summary
8. EVA 001 and EVA 002 Report
9. Green Hab Report

Support Requested:

EVA Report – January 29th

EVA #2

EVA Date: 29 Jan 2018

Crew Executive Officer Reporting

Purpose of EVA: Spacesuit activity recognition and assessment of in-suit performance
Location of EVA: South of Marble Ritual (walking), Pooh’s corner (vehicle)
UDM27 Coordinates: 518800 E, 4250600 N

Number of EVA Crew: 3

Crew Members going on EVA:
Renee Garifi (Executive Officer), Julia De Marines (Crew Astronomer), Zac Trolley (Crew Engineer)

Rovers used:
– Opportunity
– Spirit

Rover time usage: 0.5 hours

Duration of EVA: 1.3 hours

EVA departure time: 15:10
EVA return time: 16:42

Time Checks:
Start Prep: 15:32
Airlock Start: 15:10
Roll out: 15:20
Check-In: 15:32
Comms on Overshoot: 15:40
Scrub due to helmet issue: 15:54
Renee in Airlock: 15:58
Zac and Jules return to get Rover: 15:59
Jules in Airlock: 16:15
Zac in Airlock 16:28
Equipment Cleaned and put away: 4:42

Summary: The Crew attempted to locate the Marble Ceremony landmark near the Pooh’s Corner rock area. They attempted to utilize one of the hab GPS units to identify the planned EVA coordinates. We took with us one hab GPS unit, as well as one of the small, laminated MDRS, printed maps to find our waypoints. Our objective was to perform a training EVA to familiarize our crew (in two team groups of three) with EVA operations first-hand from a participant perspective. All members brought cameras for photos and video footage to send to Mission Support. All three rovers used were fully functional and tested in the rough paths of the Martian Terrain on Cow Dung Road.

We experienced an off-nominal situation with one crewmember during this second EVA of the day. All three of the crew experienced a higher-than-normal amount of helmet fogging while walking. It was realized shortly after parking the rovers on cow dung road that we had overshot the EVA destination and were too far north. While walking back to the rovers, one crewmember experienced helmet fog to the point of having impaired visibility and was unable to drive their rover. After waiting a few minutes for the fogging to clear, the crewmember began to have sweat drip down into the eyes and collect in the glasses. They requested assistance from another crewmember to turn the rover around for them. In the process, the crewmember having the fogging issue experienced a total visual loss when their hat fell from their head and into the front of their helmet, completely blocking their view.

When this hat anomaly occurred, the crewmember made the call to be driven back to the hab to receive assistance with the helmet from the HabCom team. All three crewmembers returned on two rovers, dropping the impaired crewmember at the airlock and returning to retrieve the third rover.

The remaining two crewmembers received permission to resume the EVA and made it out to Pooh’s corner safely and completed the marble ceremony. Despite having to return one crewmember to the hab early, this EVA was highly successful for three reasons. First, it provided a non-life threatening emergency that required immediate assistance for the crew to respond to.

There is a long list of reasons why an EVA will terminate early, so we are fortunate that this instance was minor and could be resolved by removing the helmet back at the hab. Secondly, the crew of three proved they could work together in an off-nominal situation to problem solve and quickly make a decision that places the safety of the crew above the objective of the EVA. Lastly, it allowed us to demonstrate our contingency plan for returning to the hab if one of the rovers breaks down since one rover had to remain parked while all crew returned to the hab.

The crew engineer extended their EVA in order to service the ATVs and Rovers that we used during the day.

EVA Report – January 29th

EVA #1

EVA Date: 29Jan2018

Health & Safety Officer Report

Purpose of EVA: Development of Situational Awareness for Spacesuit Activity

Location of EVA: South of Marble Ritual (walking), Pooh’s corner (vehicle)

UDM27 Coordinates: 518800 E, 4250600 N

Number of EVA Crew: 3

Crew Members Going on EVA: Ryan Kobrick (Commander), Sarah Jane Pell (Residence-in-Artist), Tatsunari Tomiyama (Health & Safety Officer)

ATV used: 1,2,3

ATV usage: 5 minutes

EVA Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes

EVA Departure Time: 13:30

EVA Return Time: 14:32

Time Check:

13:01 Prep Start + Simulation Start
13:25 Airlock
13:30 EVA Start
13:35 ATV Leave
13:40 Parked
14:02 Arrived Ritual Marbles
14:18 Return to Hub
14:27 Arrived Parking Lot
14:32 Airlock

Summary: Crews attempted EVA to develop situational awareness for space suit performance. We used 3 ATVs to travel to the targeting location; Marble Rituals. When we arrived at the nearest place on Pooh’s corner, we parked ATV and started to walk. We found a fossil and recent animal footprint soon. Once arrived, we take photos and investigated the location. Then, we returned to the Hub. Overall, there was no significant issue to this EVA and we enjoyed the first simulation.

Operations Report – January 29th

Prepared by: Zac Trolley, Operations Manager

Non-nominal systems: All systems are operating in their handover condition
Notes on non-nominal systems: None.

Generator (hours run): 17.1h
Generator turned off: 10:23
Generator turned on: 17:38

SOC 7:37 93%
SOC 17:38 85%

Diesel: 83%
Propane: Information to be provided by the Director
Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 8 Gallons
Water (trailer): 0 Gallons
Water (static): 400 Gallons
Trailer to Static Pump used: No
Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used: Yes
Water Meter: @17:00 130497.5
Toilet tank emptied: No
ATVs Used: HONDA, 350(1), 350(2), 350(3)
All ATV’s used for a short EVA to the marbles. No fuel was added.
Oil Added: added to ATV #2
ATV Fuel Used: None
# Hours the ATVs were used today: 0.5
Notes on ATVs: None

Deimos rover used: Yes
Hours: 106.9h
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: no

Spirit rover used: Yes
Hours: 16.4h
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No

Opportunity rover used: Yes
Hours: 13.5h
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No

Curiosity rover used: Yes
Hours: 7.9h
Beginning charge: 100%
Ending charge: 100%
Currently charging: No

HabCar used and why, where? No
General notes and comments: None
Summary of internet: All nominal
Summary of suits and radios: We had an issue where one of the Radios got stuck on transmit on channel 12, causing a comms blackout. This happened with everyone in the Hab, getting ready for an EVA. The Radio was found and the problem was solved before the EVA or anyone left the Hab.
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of EVA operations: Had an issue with the facemasks fogging up. Several people had issues with visibility, one person needed to be driven back due to visibility. We will investigate an airflow solution to provide more anti fogging ability.
Summary of GreenHab operations: All nominal
Summary of Science Dome operations: All nominal.
Summary of RAM operations: Not Operational.
Summary of health and safety issues: All nominal

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: Quality data comes from the consistent method of collection of data. To that end, I have a few questions about the data being collected.

For the state of charge, what is that data being used for, and when should it be taken? Without the SOC being tied to the time of day and amount of sun, it doesn’t have much value. (unless I’m missing something)

The water number has a similar issue. Knowing what time of day it was taken, and taking it at the same time every day provides more useful data. I’ve been writing down the water flow several times a day to track our own use. What would you like the information to accomplish?

Last, the information on the rovers won’t be accurate, meaning if I plugged them in, the battery percentage won’t be accurate at the time of this report. Is that to keep an eye on the battery function? If so, I will only transmit information that is relevant to that investigation.

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