Summary Title: EVA #15 Balloon Launch
Author’s name: Dr. Kristine Ferrone, Commander
Mission Status: Nominal
Crew 269 enjoyed another day of beautiful weather on Mars with sunny skies, very calm winds, and mild temperatures. The crew had a quick breakfast of cereal, dried fruit, and homemade sourdough bread, and HSO collected health and safety stats. The crew held a morning meeting to assess effects to the day’s EVA plan due to the melt from yesterday’s snow continuing to create muddy conditions around the Hab. After consult with Tier 1 mission support, the crew’s plan for a single afternoon EVA to launch the weather balloon payload was confirmed and the crew prepared for the experiment. CDR, XO, and Green Hab Officer embarked on EVA #15 and immediately began to set up and fill the weather balloon with helium in the area in front of the Hab. Once the balloon fill was complete, the crew walked the balloon around to the north side of the Hab just beyond the observatory to conduct the launch. A technical hiccup with the telemetry was successfully resolved, and the balloon launched at 1:45 PM. The crew immediately began receiving telemetry from the weather balloon and was in contact with the balloon over eastern Utah and western Colorado for several hours. During the EVA, Engineer received further instruction from the PI for the mirror experiment who wished to have one more microscope analysis before packing up the mirrors tomorrow for return to Aerospace. IVA crew requested and received permission from Tier 1 mission support to add an additional objective to EVA #15 to retrieve the mirror samples from their exposure location across Cow Dung Rd. from Marble Ritual and return them to the Hab for analysis. After the EVA, Engineer analyzed the mirror samples under the Aerospace microscope in the Science Dome and Green Hab Officer tended the plants in the Green Hab. For dinner, the crew enjoyed shepherd’s pie. The crew plans to break simulation tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM to complete a live STEM event, photography/videography session, and end of mission cleanup activities.