Creative Report – January 31st

MDRS Crew 188 Creative Report 31/01/2018

Bending Horizons: Eclipsed by technology, Enchanted by nature.

Author’s name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell

This brief report is an acknowledgment to thank all of Crew 188, Mission Support, the Mars Society, Monash Immersive Visualisation Plaform, and project partners with their support for helping facilitate the live stream of the Super Blood Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse from the Mars Desert Research Station.

The Mars Society prepared a custom rtmp:// link for the live stream of the event, however the Solar storm reduced the data uplink from Mars to 1Mbps, when the lowest setting on the camera array was 4Mbps – however optimal was 50Mbps. I am very grateful for my crew and all those who tried to provide solutions to circumvent the limitations we had to work with.

The Insta360 Pro did however successfully capture the following data in 4K panorama video:

04:39:04 (MST) for 59:58.

An anomaly caused the system to go off-line, resuming at

05:42:37 (MST) for 22:03.

The data will need to be post-processed with custom-software, but I cannot wait to share it with you. It was an absolutely enchanting experience. Nature trumps all technology. We must remember that. Human-environmental interactions cannot never be replaced by our investment in human-digital interfaces…but that said, I’m sure the VR experience will share something of the majesty of this night.

Recorded stills and video will be available for collaborative purposes from mid-February from the artist, and Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform.

Please see attached a 4K pano photo of me in the Science Dome at 3:33am.

Journalist Report – January 31st

MDRS Crew 188 Journalist Report 31/01/2018

Human Factors: From Habitability to Humanity

SOL-3 Author’s name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell

Yesterday felt different. It began after the first six hours of uninterrupted sleep in nearly one Earth week. We convened at 8am for breakfast with a newfound clarity and resolve to self-organize, and prioritize the reasons that we came to MDRS. We structured the day to take steps towards realizing the potentials for our individual and collaborative research objectives. I couldn’t claim that we have found our groove, or fallen into a routine, but today there was a noticeable shift in momentum and perspective from the inner to the outer reaches of the MRSD experience, and back again.

In the morning, Dr. Ryan Kobrick, Tatsunari Tomiyama and Zac Trolley went on EVA-3 to survey the terrain: to geo-locate waypoints and calibrate the GPS with the existing Map coordinates, and scout for suitable research sites. Julia De Mariners and Dr. Sarah Jane Pell set to work on advancing Sci-Art collaboration for the Super Blue Moon Total Eclipse this evening, and Renee Garifi commanded the Hab Comms.

After lunch, the team gathered in the Habitat communal space for a Human Factors research activity designed by Crew HSO Tatsunari Tomiyama. The exercise included 6 open questions for the group relating our MDRS experience of: Communication, Water, Hygiene, WiFi, Crew Roles, and Research. After discussion we provided a subjective score between: 1 – 5 (negative – positive). Our responses were recorded in an open-format discussion and documented via video. The exercise was incredibly valuable and insightful; opening us up to a collective yet nuanced personal experience of the simulation thus far. Well, that is, the exercise helped facilitate learning and a bonding experience for the participants, but the principal investigator did not participate or share with us his responses to these topics. He felt that he must place himself at a distance from the group. It struck me as an odd tension: playing the role of the ‘official observer’ and the HSO role of the analogue ‘astronaut crew’. Nonetheless, the reality of this dual-responsibility resonates with the anticipated demands of future Mars crews. I think back to Tomiyama’s choice of animal totem for life on Mars: the domestic cat, he said, leading to his crew call sign Tom Cat. We see him at meals times but we don’t get to know him through this deliberate displacement. It will be interesting to see how he maps how this affects the crew dynamics, and when he chooses to step in, and step out, of collective activities. We meet again next week, and at the end of the simulation to discuss the shift in our experience of these themes.

At the conclusion of the HSO activity, the crew leaped into action to workshop on the engineering challenge of supporting the artist-in-residence and astronomer’s hope to live stream the Total Lunar Eclipse. Trolley, Kobrick, and De Marinares worked with Pell on finding a suitable location to track the event, a systems installation supporting the camera and the telescope array, creative configuration and Kobrick, Garifi and De Marinares commenced liaison with the MDRS Director, Mission Control, Astronomy and IT support for the infrastructural help needed to execute on the grand idea. Once things were underway, De Marinares began scoping out her own research projects, and how they might be achieved, and balanced with her Green House responsibilities. Engineer Trolley commenced a complete evaluation and status report of all vital systems to bring clarity to the web of interdependency and make-shift, and Commander Kobrick problem-solved from one system to another, while making sure he could map out pathways to support his own research, noting he still had boxes to unpack, necessary for concurrent research demands to be met.

As the sun set, our collective energies shifted to reflect on the big picture: as the reality of the domestic demands from the system maintenance, and interruptions sheds light on the limited time available to us, and challenges arising from prior misconceptions and expectations of autonomy and agency, we chose to focus on what we are here to achieve, and how we may best serve the MDRS community with our commitment and contribution.

It was the perfect evening for a Total Lunar Eclipse. The Crew went to sleep early while the Artist-in-Residence stayed up until 4:40am to attempt a live stream of the phenomena in 4K Panorama Video. As the red halo began a partial eclipse, the crew emerged with cameras, telescopes, slippers and scarves to brace the cold and look to the elliptical glow. At once incredibly beautiful, and infinitely intriguing still. We went to sleep pondering over the view from Mars… would we see an Eclipse of Phobos and what would it be like? I imagine that it would conjure universal feelings that we would share with our Earthly ancestors.

Astronomy Report – January 31st

Crew 188 Sol 3 Astronomy Report 31JAN2018

Julia DeMarines


Astronomy Report

Name: Julia DeMarines
Crew: 188
Date: January 31, 2016 (Sol 03)

Sky Conditions: Mildly cloudy
Wind Conditions: None
Observation Start Time: 05:00
Observation End Time: 06:30
Summary: Crew 188 enjoyed watching the Super Blue Blood Moon before it slipped over the horizon.
Objects Viewed: Moon

Equipment Used: Celestron Celestar 8
Problems Encountered: Did not attempt to track the moon so just manually fixed the drift of the moon.

Operations Report – January 31st

Operational Report
Crew 188: Zac Trolley

There is a request by the Hab Director for an electrician to investigate a malfunctioning power plug at her residence.
The generator shut it’s self off at 4am, the assumed fault was the 12 Volt Battery running low. Luckily the crew was up for the lunar eclipse, and were able to swap the batteries out. The second battery lasted less than 12 hours.
A repair crew came and replaces the alternator on the generator. The oil, fuel, and air filters were also changed. The battery is charging at 14V, so I have high confidence that the issue is solved.

Evac plan
• Generator (hours run): 6.1h
• Generator turned off: 10:33 @ SOC 100%
• Generator turned on: 14:00 @SOC 100%

Fuel Levels:
• Diesel: 79%
• Propane: 62%
• Ethanol Free Gasoline (5 Gallon containers for ATV): 8 Gallons

Water Levels:
• Water (trailer): 0 Gallons
• Water (static): 350 Gallons
• Trailer to Static Pump used: No
• Water (loft) – Static to Loft Pump used: Yes
• Meter @ 20:01 130581.4
• Water Used today: 30.5 Gal
• Toilet tank emptied: No

• ATVs were not used today.
• ATVs Used: None
• Oil Added: None
• ATV Fuel Used: None

The Hab Director mentioned that the Rovers required an extension cord that is shorter than 25 feet. We estimate the cords being used now are 50 foot cables. I was able to find a 25 foot extension cable, meaning we could charge one rover at time based on the above specifications. Can we have the appropriate extension cables sent to the Hab in order to charge the Rovers?

Deimos rover used: No
• Hours: 106.9h (Unknown, Director used Rover today, do not have updated numbers)

Spirit rover used: No
• Hours: 17.5h

Opportunity rover used: No
• Hours: 13.5h

Curiosity rover used: No
• Hours: 9.3h

HabCar: Not used

Summary of internet: We purchased the 75 Gig internet token for data in order to support the mission. It is unclear to the crew how the internet tokens operate, and we will monitor the system to ensure we are using is correctly.
Summary of suits and radios: All nominal
Summary of Hab operations: All nominal
Summary of EVA operations: We are still brainstorming ways to combat the helmet fog.
Summary of GreenHab operations: The temperature gauge display has some non-functional LCD areas, a new one has been ordered.
Summary of Science Dome operations: The science dome is awaiting a portable heater as per the Hab Director.
Summary of RAM operations: Not Operational.
Summary of health and safety issues: There was a report of a brief propane smell today, still awaiting the propane detector to rule out off gassing in the Hab.
Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: All nominal

Sol Summary – January 31st

Crew 188 Sol 3 Summary Report 31JAN2018

Sol 3

Summary Title: Winding down before ramping up
Author’s name: Ryan L. Kobrick, Ph.D., MDRS Crew 188 Commander Mission Status: All nominal

Sol Activity Summary:
Sol 2 merged into Sol 3 with the astronomical Super Blue Blood Moon event! The crew had varying levels of sleep hours leading into the early morning event. As you may have seen from earlier reports this was a very rare event, and the show met all expectations. All crew members were able to watch the Moon slowly disappear behind Earth’s shadow leaving a red glowing Moon. Looking at the red Moon created nice mental links to our Martian experience and submersion and let us ponder what it would be like to watch a dual-lunar event on Mars. Because of the rare event, today was dedicated to ramping up our science projects and resting for future EVAs. Personally I worked on my EVA metric study with the help of Tat to edit and name waypoints and record key data into a master spreadsheet. I also recorded a video podcast to post publicly (hopefully soon) interviewing Dr. Sarah Jane Pell. I am sure my students will find it very interesting and I’m expecting their follow up questions will be great! Renee and Zac started working on setting up the prototype of NASA Kennedy Space Center’s VEGGIE OASYS experiment in the Green Hab. It is great that the crew gets to work on an experiment that may one day be used on Mars, and super cool that it is already on the International Space Station. Thank you Dr. Luke Roberson for being the quarterback of this project at NASA KSC! Julia and Zac were also working in the Green Hab today, optimizing the layout and tending to the plants. Tat started a human factors analysis for the MDRS operational structure. This study could lead to consolidated task management and more efficient processes. The lighter day allowed the crew to sync files and prepare to share their experience. Several crewmembers sewed their mission patches onto their flight suits today, preparing to explore in style.

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

Look Ahead Plan:
In the morning three crew members will head East to Phobos peak to examine human performance and capture 360 footage in 8k. The afternoon EVA will scout more roads and re-visit a previous site. The crew will be fairly busy with these two EVAs, but other projects will continue to unfold.

Anomalies in work:
MDRS Director is coordinating power system updates with contractors. There was a site visit today.
Robotic observatory currently not functional. MDRS Astronomy lead working problem.

The weather was clear all day and provided great views out the surrounding terrain.

Crew Physical Status:
Hydration and altitude adjustment seems to be going well. Some minor skin dryness for some crewmembers. Everyone seems more rested after a more relaxed day on campus.

Two EVAs are being planned and requested for tomorrow.

Reports to file:
1. EVA #4 and #5 requests
2. Ops Report
3. Sol Summary
4. Journalist Report
5. Creative Report
6. Green Hab Report
7. Astronomy Report
8. Daily Photos

Support Requested:

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