Crew 272 Sol Summary Report 13-01-2023
Summary Title: Rescuing the BTS: The Grand Finale
Author’s name: Kshitij Mall
Mission Status: All nominal
Sol Activity Summary: The grand finale of our Martian crew ensued with a brief morning warm up exercise session, yoga, and meditation led by me. The latter were needed to get the crew calm, composed, and focused as a lot of tasks were on our plate. But before anything else, there was something else that was on our morning breakfast plate: the biscuits purely prepared from Martian resources and hot coffee to wake up the crew and partially fill their veins with the necessary caffeine to keep the crew running. The breakfast for the sol was prepared by Crew Geologist Adriana and supported by Crew Journalist Kenneth. The humongous mission of this sol was to retrieve my electrical baby named the Boiler Transmission Station (BTS) and we named this mission Dynamite. The dynamic EVA crew for the Dynamite mission comprised Crew Engineer (and Pilot-in-Command) Mason, XO Arly, Kenneth, and HSO Megan. Kenneth was a last-minute entry as I had to delegate some other important tasks to myself at the Hab. A huge shoutout to the Purdue Mission Control back at Earth (especially Rachana and Alex) for providing us with the METAR data just in time to help Mason with decision making regarding the drone flight.
Upon leaving the front airlock of the Hab Sweet Hab, the EVA crew was in mission mode to find the BTS. Within 10 minutes they parked their Martian horses, Spirit and Oppie, next to the Gateway to Candor, and then started the transmitter hunt. Mason then launched his flying baby, Garud the drone, and started looking for the BTS. He used visual clues to locate the Boiler Ledge at first because that’s where we last saw BTS. The whole EVA crew slowly started marching up the hill next to the Galileo Road and toward the Boiler Ledge. Garud the drone had brief connectivity issues as encountered previously possibly due to terrain issues. The EVA crew spotted some aliens from a high point but ignored them as the aliens were departing Mars. Mason couldn’t see clearly on the live feed from Garud but thought of checking the video generated post-processing. The last-minute entry to the EVA crew, Kenneth spotted the transmitter eventually in association with Garud and proved to be the hero that I expected him to be while swapping spots with him for this mission. He performed well in the Geologist versus Non-Geologist experiments too as per Adriana and has seen BTS from a close proximity. The EVA crew then also found the BTS box halfway down the cliff, north of the Campus rock, which was expected due to strong winds 2 sols back. Since it was not safe to rescue the box, the crew settled for taking back just the transmitter. After the successful retrieval of the BTS (sans the box) and completion of Mission Dynamite, the crew took some drone media footage to celebrate the successful search and rescue operation. The EVA crew also took group pictures including some with the Purdue flag, which were apt for a place like the Boiler Ledge. Arly and Kenneth also recorded some videos for our Outreach activity with Space Kidz India, which we will be sending back in once we are out of sim and back to Earth. These questions were relayed to Space Kidz India team by several school students hailing from different parts of India. Our plan is to answer remaining outreach questions at the Hab and surrounding units. Even though I couldn’t go to rescue my electrical baby, I’m glad my fellow Martian crew mates rescued it and brought it back to the Hab. BTS was reunited with his sibling transmitter at the Hab, and it was an electrically emotional moment.
As per traditions, the crew completed all the cognitive performance tests and daily questionnaires requested by Arly and Andres. At the Greenhab, Madelyn watered the plants and will fertilize the soil in the afternoon after which she plans to clean this unit. The Science Dome will be deprived of the Martian rocks we collected so far as those rocks are being packed by Adriana in a big box to be taken back to Purdue for further analysis. We plan to clean the Hab and surrounding units and then to pack our Earthly and Martian belongings with a Divide and Conquer policy aimed at dividing the cleanup work among the 7 of us. Of course, we stay united while we do all these cleanup activities. The final mopping and vacuuming of the lower deck will be carried out tomorrow morning to keep the Hab cleanest possible when we depart for our journey back to the Earth. As I submit this final sol summary report for our rotation, we are already out of sim and ready to launch to our other sweet home (a Hab away from Hab). We will surely miss the Martian times but will be ready to savor back the Earthly flavors before we return back to Mars. We thank the Mission support team for an outstanding support to keep us safe, sound, and healthy during the rotation with replenishments and shipments via interplanetary cargo ships.
Look Ahead Plan: Sending the final research and daily (sol-ly) reports, packing our stuff, cleaning the Hab and surrounding units, and then relaxing a bit at MDRS
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: Overcast with Calm Winds
Crew Physical Status: Good
Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, EVA Report, Greenhab Report, Mission Summary
Support Requested: None