EVA Report – December 27th

EVA Report #04
Author: Eshaana Aurora
EVA Date: 27th December 2023
Start time: 1110
End time: 1317
Purpose of EVA:
Collection of Oyster Fossils to Sample Western Interior Seaway Shelf Deposits
The Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) commenced at 1110, led by Adriana (Crew Commander), with the participation of Eshaana (Crew Geologist), Gabriel (Health and Safety Officer) and Riya (Greenhab Officer). The initial airlock ejection attempt was unsuccessful as the crew had forgotten the medical kit and had to reenter the Hab. However, after obtaining the kit and a second depressurization attempt the crew began the 1.5 km walk at 1110. The crew embarked on their Martian exploration by heading north using walking path 1103. The crew’s primary objective was to search for and collect samples of oyster fossils within the Tununk shale layer of the Martian terrain while navigating in EVA suits. The layer of interest was located at an elevation of about 39.624 m and had a bluish-purple appearance and was located above the Dakota Sandstone layer.
Throughout the mission, they captured photos and delved into the local geology, leading to the discovery of two oyster swarm locations along Hab Ridge. The first location comprised a conglomerate and some extremely intricate calcite formations, making the sample collection relatively easy. The crew managed to collect about 16 rock samples from this location and headed forward discovering bentonite beds along the way. The second location was slightly elusive due to the presence of a variety of different layers and bentonite beds; therefore, after a quick reevaluation, the crew headed further up Hab Ridge in search of more Tununk shale. To the crew’s surprise an interesting dark gray sediment layer, which was underneath the white/purple layer contained the oyster fossils of interest. Here we collected about 21 samples and discovered yet another lighter gray layer beneath the powdery gray one which seemed to be extremely quartz rich and sandy. The Martian landscape, although rugged, revealed unique beauty and once the crew had climbed the 17.7% gradient slopes a picture was taken of the Commander in front of the stratified rock face. Additionally, throughout the EVA Riya conducted LiDAR scans of the landscape in an attempt to obtain a virtual 3-dimensional model of the rugged terrain.
Upon completing sample collection, the team began to head back to the Hab around 1253 hours, finally entering the airlock at 1317 hours concluding EVA #4. The crew encountered breathtaking views, diverse rock formations, and landscapes, contributing valuable insights into the geological aspects of Mars. Despite the slight dehumidification struggles endured by Riya who was using the lighter prototype EVA suit, she fearlessly powered through the entire journey and the EVA progressed seamlessly as the team executed planned steps, ensuring both exploration and safety were prioritized, thus resulting in a resounding success.
Destination: Hab Ridge
Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): N4250500, E517900
Participants: Adriana Brown (Commander), Eshaana Aurora (Crew Geologist), Riya Raj (Greenhab Officer), Gabe Skowronek (Health and Safety Officer)
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Walking north along footpath 1103, then heading west up to Hab Ridge
Mode of travel: Walking

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