EVA Report – April 17th

Author: Julio A. Hernandez

Purpose of EVA: A training EVA to improve crew mapping abilities

Start time: 09:00

End time: 11:30

Narrative: The EVA this morning started exactly at the beginning of the approved EVA window. The crew took enhanced measures during the EVA debriefing to ensure that the EVA participants were well prepared for the mission. In short, the route was mapped and landmarks were identified to aid in navigation. The health and safety checks were conducted without any issue to note; the participants were engaged and eager for their EVAs. Crew Botanist Hernandez and Crew Engineer Hariharan were the driver and navigator in the Perseverance Rover, respectively. As per Outpost’s recommendation, ATV #2 was taken for the EVA by XO Hume. The starting charge of the Rover was 100% with 202.1 hours. The ATV started up after some difficulty due to a cold engine.

We proceeded toward our destination, Robert’s Rock Garden, following the Cow Dung Road, as shown on the map and per the pre-EVA briefing. The EVA team checked COMMs with HABCOM until they were out of range. The EVA team stopped on the north side of Robert’s Rock Garden and took a photo of Kissing Camel to the East. Phobos Peak was included in the photo.

After visiting Robert’s Rock Garden, the EVA team departed to Zubrin’s Head. Identifying Zubrin’s Head proved to be challenging. Using both the map, approximated GPS coordinates, and location of the Sun, the EVA team identified a feature that they believed to be Zubrin’s Head. As a precaution to ensure the identified geological feature was indeed Zubrin’s Head, the EVA team proceeded up and down Cow Dung Road to raise their confidence in their feature identification (the feature looks like a person wearing a hat?). The EVA team proceeded to take photos of themselves next to the structure.

The EVA team then proceeded to hike in a southwest direction to explore the area. Using a local small hill, the EVA team took photos of the Barrainca Butte. After this little excursion, the EVA team returned to their vehicles to relocate themselves to the south side of Robert’s Rock Garden to collect soil samples at four different locations before returning to HAB grounds. The EVA team was granted permission to re-enter the HAB ground by HABCOM. The vehicles were parked. The Rover was parked and 86% with 202.7 hours. The EVA team was granted permission to re-enter the HAB and the airlock was sealed and re-pressurized.

Destination: Robert’s Rock Garden, Robert’s Head, Barrainca Butte

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): Moving through 12 s 518250 utm 4249250 (Robert’s Rock Garden), parking at 12 s 519500 utm 4248100 (Robert’s Head), hiking to near 519000 4247000 (Barrainca Butte)

Participants: Shayna Hume, Shravan Hariharan, Julio Hernandez

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: South Cow Dung Road

Mode of travel: Vehicles and Walking

EVA # 7

Author: Health and Safety Officer Alex Coultrup

Purpose of EVA: Training and confirmation of orienteering skills and ability to navigate to specified destinations using analog maps.

Start time: 1230 MDT

End time: 1520 MDT

Narrative: The EVA this afternoon started right at the beginning of the approved EVA window. HSO performed our required health and safety checks (blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature checks) and carefully implemented our planetary protection measures as per XO Hume’s research protocol. After we suited up and completed our 5-minute decompression in the airlock, we loaded our supplies into the Perseverance rover. Commander Dickstein and Crew Scientist Ettlin drove the Rover and HSO Coultrup took the ATV Serial Number 2. Starting charge on the Rover was 89% with 202.8 hours and the ATV started up quickly with little choke needed.

We traveled from the Hab to Entrance Road, and pulled over to consult our map. By using the map to estimate the distance, and by estimating the speed of the rover, we were able to estimate the total expected time to travel between this location and our first destination. We resumed traveling north on Cow Dung Road for the duration we calculated, and arrived at Streambed Connector as anticipated. We parked the rovers safely on the side of the road. Using the same calculation techniques as before, we estimated the duration of our walk to Destination 1. Using the analog map, we walked to Destination 1, took a photo, and enjoyed the view of the beautiful rock strata to our north upon arrival. As always, we carried the EVA med kit with us for this walk. We returned back to the vehicles using the same route, and proceeded north on Cow Dung Road toward Destination 2.

While traveling toward Destination 2, we pulled over at Galileo Road to consult our map and ensure accurate navigation. After performing our time/distance calculations, we continued North along Cow Dung Road, and were able to visually determine when we passed Cowboy Corner. We continued slightly further down Cow Dung Road, safely parked the rovers, and walked a few hundred meters toward the reservoir area, where we captured a photo of our arrival. We returned back to the vehicles using the same route, and consulted our map to perform the same navigation process we had been employing so far. We determined the distance, speed, and rate of travel, and proceeded north on Cow Dung Road toward Destination 3.

As we approached toward Destination 3, we pulled at the end of our approximated travel duration, but by consulting the analog map and visual landmarks, we were able to determine that we were not yet at the desired location. We re-started our vehicles and proceeded 30 seconds further north, and reached the intersection of Tank Wash Road and Cow Dung Road. We took a photo facing west, and returned to our vehicles.

From Destination 3, we began travelling south on Cow Dung Road until we reached the Streambed Connector. At the Streambed Connector area, we pulled over once again and spent some time collecting soil samples for our scientific research. When we had completed gathering the samples, we returned to the vehicles and proceeded south on Cow Dung Road to Entrance Road, and back to the Hab. Upon returning, the Rover displayed 203.2 hours and 86% charge.

Destination 1: Beautiful strata north of canyon at end of Streambed Connector

Coordinates of Destination 1: 12 S 0519556, UTM 4250370

Destination 2: Reservoir Dam/waterhole

Coordinates of Destination 2: 12 S 0518579, UTM 4252676

Destination 3: Intersection of Tank Wash Road and Cow Dung Road

Coordinates of Destination 3: 12 S 0518522, UTM 4253399

Participants: Crew Scientist Olivia Ettlin, Commander Dylan Dickstein, and Health and Safety Officer Alex Coultrup

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Hab to Entrance Rd, then North on Cow Dung road to Streambed Connector. Cow Dung Road to Galileo Road. Cow Dung Road to Cowboy Corner. Cow Dung Road to Tank Wash Road intersection. On return route took Cow Dung Rd South to Streambed Connector. Cow Dung Road to Entrance Rd, then back to the Hab.

Mode of travel: 2 team members in Perseverance Rover, 1 team member following close behind on ATV serial #2. All three members of the team walked to each destination from the locations where we parked the rovers safely on the side of the road.

Operations Report – April 17th

[category operations-report]

Crew 245 Operations Report 17-04-2021

SOL: 7

Name of person filing report: Shravan Hariharan

Non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Notes on non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Generator: Working nominally

Hours run: 7

From what time last night: 10:00 pm, SOC 57%

To what time this morning: 5:00 am, SOC 100%

List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: N/A

Solar— SOC 45% at 7:40 pm (Before generator is run at night),

Diesel Reading – 50%

Station Propane Reading – 73%

Water (loft tank): 15 gallons

Water Meter: 150460.4 units

Water (static tank): 340 gallons

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water in GreenHab: 0 gallons

Water in ScienceDome: 0 gallons

Toilet tank emptied: No

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: Yes

Spirit rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: yes, in town

Opportunity rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: no, in town

Curiosity rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: yes, in town

Perseverance rover used: Yes

Hours: 203.3

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 86%

Currently charging: Yes

Notes on rovers: Nothing to report

ATV’s Used: 350.2

Reason for use: EVA

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 1 gallon (estimated)

# Hours the ATVs were used today: 6 (but 1.5 hours of active transit)

Notes on ATVs: Mission Director will monitor and refuel ATVs for duration of mission

HabCar used and why, where?: No

CrewCar used and why, where?: No

General notes and comments: Nothing to report

Summary of internet: Internet is working nominally. Crew did not consume allotted bandwidth last night so there was an additional bandwidth bonus available today.

Summary of suits and radios: All radios nominal, all suits currently charging. Suits 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 11 all used for EVA today. Suit 7 battery would not charge after EVA, and Suit 9 battery was not producing sufficient power output even when fully charged, so both were replaced.

Summary of Hab operations: Nothing to report besides nominal crew activities.

Summary of GreenHab operations: Being used to host Crew Botanist botany experiment. Crew Botanist briefly checked plant growth and health in GreenHab today.

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Nothing to report

Summary of RAM operations: Nothing to report

Summary of any observatory issues: Nothing to report

Summary of health and safety issues: Nothing to report

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: Nothing to report.

Sol Summary – April 17th

Crew 245 Sol Summary Report 17-04-2021

Sol: 7

Summary Title: Twin EVA’s

Author’s name: Shayna Hume

Mission Status: Executive Officer

Sol Activity Summary:

· 07:30-08:30: Misc. breakfast with music while getting ready for EVA’s.

· 08:30-09:00: EVA Checklist.

· 09:00: Finish 5 minutes in airlock and EVA Crew #2 began EVA.

· 09:05-11:30: EVA went as planned.

· 11:30-12:00: Crew debrief.

· 12:30-12:35: Finish 5 minutes in airlock and EVA Crew #1 began EVA.

· 12:35-15:30: EVA went as planned.

· 15:30-17:30: Small science study checks and report writing.

· 17:30-18:30: Making lentil curry for dinner!

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow no EVA’s, but instead a focus on science and life in the hab!

Anomalies in work: None.

Weather: Nominal.

Crew Physical Status: No issues.

EVA: EVA #6-7. Reports incoming.

Reports to be filed: Operations Report, EVA Report

Support Requested: n/a

Shayna Hume, Executive Officer
Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"To Mars and Beyond – For All!
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EVA Report – April 20th

Crew 245 EVA Report 20-04-2021

EVA #9

Author: Crew Engineer Shravan Hariharan

Purpose of EVA: Conduct soil sampling for astrobiology and geology studies (site was used in prior astrobiology studies that we are conducting follow-ups to), as well as emergency shelter identification and planetary protection experiments. We want to return to an original location for repeat sampling.

Start time: 1210 MDT

End time: 1530 MDT

Narrative: The EVA this afternoon began slightly after the start of the approved EVA window, as the team implemented a higher level of instrument sterilization and general cleanliness as per the XO’s planetary protection protocols. After spending five minutes in the airlock, the EVA team proceeded to their vehicles; the Executive Officer drove the Perseverance rover with the Commander navigating, and the Crew Engineer followed closely behind in ATV 1. Starting charge on the rover was 100% with 203.5 hours, and the ATV required some choke before starting.

The EVA team proceeded north on Cow Dung Road for approximately 20 minutes, until Quarry Road was reached. Communications contact with the Hab was lost approximately 2 km North of the Hab, as was expected based on experience from past EVAs. The EVA team parked vehicles by the edge of the Special Region, and proceeded on foot into Lith Canyon. The team’s first goal was to evaluate an emergency shelter identified on EVA #3, by first identifying the emergency shelter using relative location descriptions (i.e nearby landmarks and the general appearance of the shelter), and then classifying the shelter based on its utility to future crews in emergency situations. The team successfully identified and evaluated the shelter, although it was observed that the relative directions were somewhat unclear and should be modified to include precise cardinal directions of nearby landmarks. The EVA team then collected three soil samples from the streambed leading into the canyon, and marked the locations of each sample. Prior to proceeding into the canyon, the EVA team identified a second emergency shelter, and evaluated this shelter using the same qualitative criteria.

The EVA team then proceeded to enter Lith Canyon in order to scout for additional soil sampling sites. Upon exploration of the canyon floor, the ground was found to be too rocky and hard for subsurface soil sampling, so the team took several pictures of/in the site prior to returning to the vehicles. The EVA team then returned to the vehicles, and proceeded to drive back to the Hab. The vehicles were parked at the Hab, with the Perseverance rover at 241.1 hours and 84% charge. The team entered the airlock after permission was granted from Hab, and after five minutes of pressurization, the Hab was entered and EVA suits were doffed.

Destination: Lith Canyon

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 12 S 0518243, UTM 4256030

Participants: Commander Dylan Dickstein, Executive Officer Shayna Hume, Crew Engineer Shravan Hariharan

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map:

· Departure Route: Hab à Road Entrance à Cow Dung Road à Quarry Road à Lith Canyon

· Return Route: Gateway to Lith à Quarry Road à Cow Dung Road à Road Entrance à Hab

Mode of travel: 1 Rover, 1 ATV


Shravan Hariharan, Crew Engineer
Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"
To Mars and Beyond – For All!

Operations Report – April 20th

Crew 245 Operations Report 20-04-2021

SOL: 10

Name of person filing report: Shravan Hariharan

Non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Notes on non-nominal systems: Nothing to report

Generator: Working nominally

Hours run: 7.5

From what time last night: 9:00 pm, SOC 63%

To what time this morning: 4:30 am, SOC 100%

List any additional daytime hours when the generator was run: N/A

Solar— SOC 73% at 6:58 pm (Before generator is run at night)

Notes on power system: For the last several sols, the freezers in the Science Dome have been running in order to preserve science samples. Due to this, the station power consumption has been significantly higher than it previously was, resulting in the generator being turned on earlier (as early as 7:00 pm on colder days, and 9:00 pm on warmer days) once the SOC reaches below 70%.

Diesel Reading – 50%

Station Propane Reading – 70%

Water (loft tank): 40 gallons

Water Meter: 150619.5 units

Water (static tank): 175 gallons – estimated from checking remaining static tank volume, confirmation from Outpost would be appreciated!

Static to Loft Pump used – yes

Water in GreenHab: 0 gallons

Water in ScienceDome: 0 gallons

Toilet tank emptied: Yes

Sojourner rover used: ASSIGNED TO DIRECTOR

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: Yes

Spirit rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: yes, in town

Opportunity rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: no, in town

Curiosity rover used: no

Hours: N/A

Beginning charge: N/A

Ending charge: N/A

Currently charging: yes, in town

Perseverance rover used: No

Hours: 204.1

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 84%

Currently charging: Yes

Notes on rovers: Nothing to report

ATV’s Used: 350.1

Reason for use: EVA

Oil Added? No

ATV Fuel Used: 1 gallon (estimated)

# Hours the ATVs were used today: 4 (but 1 hour of active transit)

Notes on ATVs: Mission Director will monitor and refuel ATVs for duration of mission.

HabCar used and why, where?: Nothing to report

CrewCar used and why, where?: Nothing to report

General notes and comments: Nothing to report

Summary of internet: Internet is working nominally. Crew is rationing internet usage during the day to ensure that there is sufficient bandwidth for Mission Support Comms window.

Summary of suits and radios: All radios nominal, all suits currently charging. Suits 3, 6, and 7 used on EVA today and all functioned nominally.

Summary of Hab operations: Nothing to report besides nominal crew activities.

Summary of GreenHab operations: Being used to host Crew Botanist botany experiment. Crew Botanist briefly checked plant growth and health in GreenHab today.

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Used by Crew Scientist and HSO to monitor HSO botany experiment, and used by Crew Scientist and XO to conduct soil sample processing.

Summary of RAM operations: Nothing to report

Summary of any observatory issues: Nothing to report

Summary of health and safety issues: Nothing to report

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: To Outpost – can our estimate of our remaining water be checked? We opened up the static tank to check the volume, but prior to planning out our remaining water usage, a second pair of eyes would be greatly appreciated!

-Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"To Mars and Beyond – For All!

Sol Summary – April 20th

Crew 245 Sol Summary Report 20-04-2021

Sol: 10

Summary Title: Back to the (Martian) Grind

Author’s name: Shayna Hume

Mission Status: Executive Officer

Sol Activity Summary:

· 08:30-09:30: Misc. breakfast and briefing

· 09:30-11:30: Science & study work in different areas.

· 11:30-11:50: Mini-lunch.

· 11:50-12:15: Preparing for EVA

· 12:15-15:45: Team out on EVA! Misc. work in Hab.

· 15:45-18:00: Separate work.

· 18:00-19:00: Dinner!

Look Ahead Plan: Tomorrow we have an EVA back to just south of Robert’s Rock Garden for Crew #1.

Anomalies in work: None.

Weather: Nominal.

Crew Physical Status: No issues.

EVA: EVA #9 report coming in.

Reports to be filed: Operations Report, EVA Request, EVA Report

Support Requested: n/a

Shayna Hume, Executive Officer
Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"To Mars and Beyond – For All!

Commander Report – April 20th

“Any feelings of claustrophobia when dealing with tight living quarters/space suits/small habitat?”

Not for me! We have several buildings we have access to. The main one, the Hab, is a two-floor, ~30-foot diameter cylinder. The bottom floor includes the bathroom, washroom, airlocks, spacesuit room, and a common space. The top floor is half our bunks (“staterooms” that are long thing rooms with a bunk bed), and the kitchen. I think the staterooms are the most confined space. You have a narrow hall to go down, and then either have a top or bottom bunk setup (the room interlock so neighboring rooms have either top or bottom). The top bunk is fairly close to the ceiling. I think it would feel constraining if I were claustrophobic but I fit nicely and my only concern is hitting my head if I sit up too fast in the morning!

The other three buildings are the Science Dome, RAM, and GreenHab. The GreenHab is beautiful and warm, and feels incredibly comfortable. It’s a tight space however, and we try not to stay in it if not for a reason. Plus, it gets sweaty.

The RAM is the smallest building and is for engineering and mechanical work and storage. Definitely don’t stay in there long.

Finally, I absolutely adore the ScienceDome. The view of the planet around us is incredible, as there’s a wide window, and it’s spacious and hemispherical, so it feels a bit like a planetarium – which I love!

In reality, 90% of my day not on EVA is spent at the kitchen table, which is the common space we work, eat, and hang out at. However, despite that, I don’t feel too claustrophobic about any of it.

Your mileage may vary though – this is a short-duration Mars trip, the reality may be more challenging.

“How do the space suits you’re using compare to what might actually be used on Mars?”

Although the spacesuits we are using wouldn’t protect us from the radiation or the atmosphere of Mars, they do contain an air filter system and a simulated "oxygen tank" which ups the fidelity for how they feel on EVA. They also include communications between us, so that we are fully on radio comms from the minute we put them on.

“Oddest habit you’ve picked up while on the mission?”

ACK! On the evening before we drove out to the station, we were reading the handbook and preparing for a training quiz. On the section preparing me for my daily reports and emails with CapComm, it noted that you need to “ACK” each email you get, including one immediately at 1900 MT when the Capcomm comes online. That… clearly is indicating you need to “acknowledge” the emails. However, our crew is more creative than that.

We now acknowledge all verbal and written communications with a loud ACK sound, preceded typically by a “Roger Roger.”

An example dialogue:

“Shayna, can you grab the dehydrated potatoes from the cabinet.”

“XO to Crew Botanist, Roger Roger, ACK.”

“Do days feel too planned out sometimes?”

You know, not particularly! I think it’s because although we start the day with a lot of planning and a whole google calendar, by noon, it’s all in constant flux. Whatever problems come up that day dictate how much the schedule changes, and so although we know what we are supposed to do, throughout the day we must adapt and figure out how to prioritize what we need to get done to make the day a success while also handling any spontaneous challenges.

“Do you wear diapers when doing EVAs?”

Nope! Apparently, some crews have brought them to use, though, to preserve the fidelity of the sim. We were informed that after their first time using them on EVA, they immediately stopped and chose to break sim instead for bathroom breaks.

“Is there a Roomba?”

No, clearly we would have one on real Mars, though.

“What are some of the issues you and the team are running into?”

Time and weather! It’s normal for crews to only finish 50% or so of the work they intended to while at the station. Our first week (this is being written on 4/18/21) we encountered significant winds for a few days, making a few EVA’s end early. Because of this, we didn’t have the samples to begin science right away. None of this is abnormal, however it is an indication of the kinds of problems we might face on Mars.

Those Martian dust storms, eh?

“Where does your waste go?”

We have a septic tank which contains liquid and solid waste until they are consumed by bacteria. It’s modeled after the plumbing system of a recreational vehicle (RV), where the waste is stored and then released to a larger septic system.

“Have you seen a monolith out there yet?”

Not yet, but I’m always on the lookout. Never know where those aliens will land, after all.

“Where does your water come from? Is it reusable?”

In this simulation, our water was not reused, however we hope on Mars that it would be! We are given a finite amount of water at the beginning of the simulation from the nearest locality and measure out what daily quantities we feel comfortable using while still retaining a safety buffer. We have found that this is a good practice for learning resource management and conservation and hope to transition to reuse in future analog missions. We take a shower about once a week each!

“What types of tasks fill up the majority of your work time?” and “What does a typical day look like?”

The majority of my time is filled with writing reports! As the Executive Officer, I’ve taken on the tasks of writing our daily Sol Summaries, Commanders’ Reports, and Photo uploads for the Mars Society. Documentation, documentation, documentation! The other tasks that take up my day are going on EVA, acting as Habcomm for other EVA crews, and working on soil sample analysis for my astrobiology study here.

However, the other roles have a variety of other tasks!

The Crew Botanist and Scientist spend a majority of their time monitoring their research in the GreenHab and in the Science Dome. In addition, our Crew Botanist has a talent for cooking, and tends to take lead on mealtimes, with the rest of us acting as sous chefs!

The Commander, in addition to working on larger-scale projects and leadership of the crew, also has a knack for filmography and has run the majority of our media efforts, including the mockumentary we will be putting out.

The Health and Safety Officer, in addition to her role tasks of taking care of crew members, running pre-EVA checks, and writing health reports as necessary, also is doing several experiments in botany and interviews her crew mates about their experiences as analog astronauts.

Last but far from least, the Crew Engineer has potentially the most variable job. He is the handyman extraordinaire of the crew, and not only runs his own experiments in dexterity while wearing spacesuit gloves, but handles the water, power, and septic systems, completing a daily operations report on the functioning of the whole station. His role is absolutely vital, and in my opinion, makes or breaks the success of a crew.

“How immersive have you found the experience to be?”

This experience is exactly as immersive as you make it. On Earth, there are ways to “break sim” whenever you want. You can take off your spacesuit and not, well, die. You can leave a window open. You can bring tons of food with you into sim that in reality you wouldn’t have on Mars. The sim is exactly what you put into it, and MDRS will support you in making it as real of an experience as you can have on Earth.

However, there is significant benefit to not breaking sim. To making sure no skin is exposed to the outside air while on EVA. To not loitering between buildings. To working with dehydrated food and not turning on your phone to google recipes.

Because, while the outside looks like Mars and the inside has the technology first crews on Mars might find themselves with, those are the daily struggles that really drive it home that this isn’t make-believe or pretending.

I am in the process of writing another essay about the immersivity of the analog astronaut experience, I would urge you to check back to read it. I have been personally surprised by how immersive I have found the simulation, even without the gravity change and with the occasional sighting of a bug or critter, and think that the more fidelity you give your own experience, the more you are likely to learn.

Shayna Hume, XO
Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"To Mars and Beyond – For All!