Journalist Report – January 30th


Crew 274 Journalist Report 1-30-2023

Sol: 1

Author: Tony DiBernardo, Crew Journalist

Title: The Inner Light

After a successful arrival and ingress into MDRS yesterday, Crew 274 woke up in simulation this morning at 7:30am to the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and a recorded message from Dr. Kristen Miller, inspiring the team with advice and encouragement to embrace the experience. The “Wake Up Song” tradition, dating back to the Gemini program, will live on through the crew as each day they’ll hear a song and message sent to them from a family member or supporter of the program. Then, every morning, each crew member will complete an Emotional Recognition Test and a Psychological Survey that consists of 234 questions to track changes in each crew member over the course of the mission.

The crew consists of 8 members, all with their own experiments:

Commander Sarah “Ceres” Guthrie
Experiment: Evaluating Contingency EVAs and Rescue Techniques for Planetary Surface Missions

Crew Engineer Lex “Kepler” Lojek.
Experiment: Focused breathing and its effects on physiological indicators of stress and performance.

Crew Astronomer Salina “Nova” Pena
Experiment: Generating Multi-bandpass Lightcurve Data on HADS Variable Star v0799 AUR

Crew Astronomer Noah “Phoenix” Loy
Experiment: Analyze Solar Flare, CME, and Daily Space Weather Data

Health & Safety Officer Nick “X-Man” Pender
Experiment: Supply Cache Use for Extension of Human Exploration on Mars

GreenHab Officer Tyler “Houston” Hines
Experiment: Observing Growth Rates Of Space-Exposed Seeds In Martian Simulated Regolith Samples

Hab Specialist, Secondary Engineer Bill “Titan” O’Hara
Experiment: Habitat Design Case Study

Crew Journalist Tony “Iron Man” DiBernardo
Experiment: In-Hab and Extravehicular Media & Outreach

EVA Activity

On the first day of the mission, two training EVAs are required of the crew by MDRS Mission Support to walk through all EVA practices and procedures. Prior to the first EVA, Tony “Ironman” DiBernardo had an issue with the air supply connections being cross-threaded on his EVA suit. We moved to a different suit for the EVA and afterwards, Lex “Kepler” Lojek and Bill “Titan” O’Hara were able to troubleshoot and repair the suit. Both EVA crews used the rovers to drive out to Marble Ritual, a landmark nearby the habitat. The assignment was to perform an hour-long EVA and return safely. The crew members became familiar with the rovers, explored, collected rocks and petrified wood, and acclimated to the new simulated martian landscape.


Tyler “Houston” Hines, Greenhab Officer, began his two experiments in the science dome. His experiments involve growing seeds in a mixture of simulated Mars regolith, organic material and water infused with potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus. The seeds being tested are standard microgreens and seeds from NASA SEEDS experiment, which flew seeds to space aboard the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), launching in 1984 aboard Space Shuttle Challenger and returned in 1990 by Space Shuttle Columbia. Tyler was advised by HSO Nick “X-Man” Pender on the memory functionality of the Thermo-hygrometer and will continue to water and monitor growth throughout the remainder of the mission.


Crew astronomers Noah “Phoenix” Loy and Salina “Nova” Pena canceled all operations due to cloudy weather and non-optimal viewing conditions, but were able to take required pictures of the Musk Observatory, including the astronomy laptop boxes, the first aid kit and the solar telescope. They plan to continue heliophysics and High Amplitude Delta Scuty (HADS) observations tomorrow, weather permitting.

Hab Design

Bill “Titan” O’Hara started a draft of a habitat design case study report. This report will explore and analyze the effectiveness of the design of the MDRS habitat to inform the design of future habitats. Bill also worked with Salina to take a complete inventory on all food in the hab, identifying and planning our use of food for the remainder of the mission.


Lex “Kepler” Lojek took measurements of the water level to find that the crew used more water than was originally allocated per day to have the water supply last for the duration of the mission. Prior to entering simulation, he made a starting measurement of 491 gallons, which gives the crew approximately 35 gallons per day for drinking, showering, dishes, bathroom use, and all other water usage excluding watering plants in the GreenHab. Before 5pm on Day 1, Lex measured a total water tank volume of 445 gallons, coming out to 46 gallons used by the crew so far. Thoughts were thrown around by the crew on water conservation efforts, such as using cooking and dishwashing water for other uses, but the crew agreed to continue for 2 more days without extreme water rationing to create a more accurate estimate of projected daily use.

Health & Safety

Health & Safety Officer, Nick “X-Man” Pender, will be conducting an experiment to implement supply caches along EVA routes to set a baseline for safe travel distances by foot. Identifying these limits will ensure that no terrestrial astronaut will be without supplies should an emergency occur while on EVA. Today, Nick tested the operability of an in-suit hydration system and confirmed that the proposed hydration hose and GU Energy gel pack can indeed fit into EVA helmet. He plotted the route for tomorrow’s EVAs which will establish a 30-minute hiking distance baseline and he prepared the GPS equipment for crew use on all future EVAs. During dinner, Nick alerted Mission Control of a broken oven knob that wouldn’t allow us to turn the stove off on one burner. Ultimately, we pulled of the knob and forced the knob to the off position with pliers.

We ended the day cooking spaghetti with dehydrated bean-bolognese pasta and parmesan while watching Star Trek TNG S5E25: The Inner Light. Tomorrow, we look forward to clear skies and safe EVAs. Ad Martes!

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