Crew 269 Journalist Report
Date: 29 Nov 2022
Author: Alli Taylor, Executive Officer
After a quick hot breakfast of oatmeal and rehydrated fruit, Crew 269 gathered on the first floor of the habitat to complete EVA training with MDRS Director Dr. Shannon Rupert and Assistant Director Sergii Iakymov. The crew was shown how to don and doff the spacesuits, make adjustments for comfort, and correctly position headsets and radio equipment. Dr. Rupert also provided an in-depth review of the EVA Planning Map for the local terrain surrounding MDRS, pointing out known paths for rover traverses, and exploration quadrants.
Later that day, with comms equipment securely in place and microphones positioned snugly inside their helmets, the first three crew members entered the airlock to begin a 5-minute depressurization period before opening the airlock to the Martian terrain. The crew tested their ability to ingress and egress the rovers, increased confidence in using the comms system (the radio settings and the push to talk button are blocked from view by the helmet), and briefly explored and captured photographs of the Marble Ritual area before making their way via rovers back to the habitat. With wind whipping sharply through the dune-like hills, the second three crew members later arrived at the Marble Ritual area. The crew deployed a remote control mini all-terrain vehicle, dubbed “Goose”, in the vicinity of Marble Ritual, to capture initial imagery for use in building a 3D model of the terrain as part of one of the primary research objectives. The crew adjusted the configuration of Goose for different measurements, worked together to activate the sensors at the correct timing, and collected data along a small portion of Cow Dung Road while controlling it from about 80-100 ft distance. The team drove Goose back to the crew rovers they had ridden to Marble Ritual, collecting data the entire way. After wrapping up the Sol’s EVAs, the crew came together for an Italian dinner with delicious homemade sourdough and prepared for their next Sol on Mars.