Crew 228 EVA #5 Report October 4th

EVA #5

Author: Jin Sia, Inga Popovaite

Purpose of EVA:

1.0) Scout and record candidate points of entry to the river delta
south of Robert’s Rock Garden for future EVAs to use (approx. 1.5 h.)
These points will only be explored near the bottom of the escarpment
so that their locations and the regolith structural properties can be
recorded; there will be no attempts to scale the full height of the
escarpment.

2.0) Validate viewshed calculation of MDRS GIS map in southern section
of Cow Dung Road for radio communications, especially in the vicinity
of Robert’s Rock Garden.
2.1) Investigate predicted reception corridor south of Robert’s Rock Garden.
2.2) If time remaining, conduct a similar investigation for the
northern section of Cow Dung Road, up to the intersection with Galileo
Road.

3.0) Film video footage for outreach.

4.0) Inga’s data collection for her dissertation on EVA crew
interaction between themselves and with HabComm.

Start time: 0900

End time: 1230

Narrative:

For the first part of the EVA, Inga and Jin drove to Robert’s Rock
Garden in Spirit and parked on the south side of the formation.

Inga then led the team to the entry of what is now known as Path 1, a
potential entry point to the delta that was previously found by Dave
and Inga on EVA #4. They tested the path and found that it was safely
scalable if done so slowly and with care. They found a summit to the
path, although they did not complete the ascent of the escarpment as
that was outside of the EVA plan. They discovered an alternate path
(which, similarly to Path 1, appears to have been carved by water
flow) that did not have the staircase-like structure of Path 1. This
has been named Path 2. The pair found that it was possible to descend
through Path 2 with slowness and care, especially by stepping over or
detouring around bramble-filled pits. However, it was found to require
detouring through relatively steep inclines.

Both conclude that it is possible to safely ascend the escarpment in
EVA suits, given optimal environmental conditions (good lighting, cool
air temperature), generous time constraints, good physical condition,
proper technique, and experienced hikers. It is a challenging hike
that should not be attempted in non-optimal conditions. Inga and Jin
also recommend using Path 1 over Path 2, as the main detour required
for Path 2 is difficult to negotiate. The GPS locations for the summit
to Path 1 and the entrance to Path 2 have been recorded for
revisiting.

After checking in with HabComm, Jin and Inga proceeded south to
investigate further alternate delta entry points. Visual surveys of
the area did not reveal any paths that were obviously easier than
Paths 1 or 2.

At that location, Inga interviewed Jin in the field about the work the
team was doing and the motivation for it. In addition to documenting
fieldwork, Inga aimed to figure out how to take video interviews
wearing EVA suits. She took additional radio with her and used a voice
recorder to record sound from it while she and Jin were communicating
via headsets. This audio will be overlayed with the video footage.

Following the interview, the team returned to the region immediately
south of Robert’s Rock Garden to check radio reception at multiple
points within it. Jin conducted a total of 14 comms checks with
HabComm every 50-100 m, then graded each check on a 4-level scale
based on the quality of the response. He found that the viewshed
calculation in ArcGIS was very conservative in this area, and that
communications were possible in a much larger region than predicted.
ArcGIS calculated that the reception corridor would fan out at an
angle of 13 degrees. However, the true extent of the fan where
communications are possible exceeds 90 degrees if one is reasonably
far away from the Kissing Camel Ridges. Perhaps this is caused by
reflection, refraction, and/or diffraction of radio waves on the
terrain. In the mean time, Inga shot several short videos for media
outreach purposes.

After characterizing the reception corridor south of Robert’s Rock
Garden, Inga and Jin drove north on Cow Dung Road, during which Jin
collected reception quality data approximately once per minute. He
collected 11 datapoints south of the Hab.

On passing the Hab, approximately 45 minutes were remaining in the
EVA, so the team decided to press on to characterize radio
communications in the northern section of Cow Dung Road. Jin collected
18 datapoints. Then, the team returned to the Hab on time.

Jin discovered that while there were no pockets of complete radio
blackout between the Kissing Camel Ridges and Galileo Road, there were
noticeable decreases in transmission quality in areas where the
viewshed calculation predicted there would be blackouts. The
transition to complete radio blackout north of Galileo road was found
to begin approximately where the viewshed calculation predicted it
would. The thickness of the boundary between reception and blackout is
between 300 and 600 m. Due to the subjective nature of evaluating
reception quality and the low resolution of the data, Jin could not
obtain high precision in his analysis.

Ironically, the team encountered problems not with radio reception,
but with their radio units in the field. Both Inga and Jin brought two
radios each for redundancy, but both of Inga’s radios failed in the
field, and Jin’s primary radio failed. Jin noticed that near failure,
the radio battery indicator drops substantially while transmitting.
Dave and Jin suspect that this due to the age of the batteries,
causing them to hold less charge and to have higher equivalent series
resistances. As a result, when the radio draws current while
transmitting, the battery’s internal voltage drop increases as
predicted by Ohm’s Law, causing the battery indicator to drop. Dave is
in the process of systematically testing the radio batteries while
transmitting.

Crew 228 has made a number of findings in this EVA. Firstly, it
successfully tested hiking trails that permit access to the dried-up
river delta, although these trails are challenging to negotiate and
should only be attempted by experienced EVA personnel. Secondly, it
found that viewshed calculation can be a helpful guide in finding
radio blackout regions, but its precision is low; it is on the order
of hundreds of metres.

Destinations:

1) Robert’s Rock Garden
2) Escarpment ~700 m southwest of Robert’s Rock Garden entering river delta
3) Search region south of Robert’s Rock Garden
4) Cow Dung Road at Galileo Road intersection

Destination coordinates:

DESTINATION TARGET COORDINATES (DD WGS84) TARGET COORDINATES (UTM NAD27)
— —

1 38.3932857°N -110.7903910°W
zone 12 4249269 N 518369 E
2 38.3880215°N -110.7955099°W
zone 12 4248684 N 517923 E
3 In same region as 2
4 38.4175715°N -110.7814639°W
zone 12 4251966 N 519142 E

Participants: Inga Popovaite, Jin Sia

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Cow Dung Road 0110

Mode of travel: Rover and foot

Crew 228 EVA#4 Report -October 2nd

Crew 228 EVA Report 02-Oct-2021

EVA # 4

Author: Inga Popovaite

Purpose of EVA: Exploratory EVA to underexplored region SW from Robert’s Rock Garden

Start time: 9.06

End time: 12.49

Narrative: Dave and Inga decided to start EVA 30 min earlier because of the sunny and warm (76F) day ahead. Exited the airlock and took Perseverance and Curiosity for a drive south to Robert’s Rock Garden. They planned to walk to a river-delta looking region that was, as per crew knowledge, underexplored. On the map it looked like a moderate hike of ~ 600 meters towards a dried river delta on the other side of a small ridge. The digital map on ArcGIS indicated passageways to the delta, thus the EVA crew were hopeful that they can get to the point of interest with the assistance of a gps unit and a less-detailed map.

The EVA crew lost radio connection with the Hab right around Robert’s Rock Garden and found themselves all alone in the eery red desert. They followed the plan and walked west along the Kissing Camels Ridge until they were forced to stop. Dried river beds that showed up in the map as passable routes were narrower than expected and not passable with EVA suits. The EVA crew tried to ascend the ridge but it became too steep and unsafe to continue. In the end the EVA crew were unable to reach their final destination. However, they took photos and recorded GPS coordinates of potential pathways for future crews to explore.

The EVA crew was more successful on the way back. They ventured to Dave’s supply ship and successfully retrieved a box of granola.

Another successful part of the journey was testing out improvised sun visors. They draped shirts over helmets and suits to block out the sun on the walk back. It was possible to block the sun out and still keep one’s field of vision.

Jin acted as primary HabComm during the EVA and was concerned about his lack of knowledge about the EVA team’s status during the blackout. Based on the events that transpired, he devised several operational and communications protocol recommendations to improve future EVAs. He interviewed the EVA team after their return about their observations near the river delta escarpment and determined the reason the planned path was so much more challenging than expected. The path up the escarpment consisted of a staircase-like structure with each ‘step’ being on the order of 1-2 metres tall. While the average slope was gentle, the staircase structure itself was dangerous to negotiate in EVA suits. Due to the small size of the steps, the digital elevation model did not have a sufficiently small pixel size to resolve them, making the path look deceptively flat. After investigating several alternate paths up the escarpment, we have concluded that it is probably unreasonably risky to scale it in EVA suits without specialized climbing equipment.

Destination: Parked at Robert’s Rock Garden, aimed for dried river delta in the SW of it, did not make it past the ridge

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS):

ROBERT’S ROCK GARDEN 38.39331 N -110.78966; W 4249269 N 518369 E

DELTA ENTRY 38.39281 N -110.79600 W 4249212 N 517815 E (did not reach this point)

Participants: Inga Popovaite, Dave Laude

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map:

Cow Dung Road; parking at Robert’s Rock Garden and walking west following the Kissing Camel Ridge West.

Mode of travel: Driving, walking

Inga Popovaitė,

Crew 228 EVA#1 Report – September 30th

Crew 228 EVA Report 30-09-2021
EVA # 1

Author: Lindsay Rutter

Purpose of EVA: We performed an initial checkout of EVA suits while walking around the campus, tested walking up the hill in front of HAB, then tested driving the Opportunity rover during this easy and nearby EVA, all while testing radio communications and HABCOM procedures. We also tested the collection of regolith for the DNA sequencing study.

Start time: 0930

End time: 1130

Narrative: EVA was successful. We timed a full walk-around of the campus as five minutes. We tested walking up the hill in front of the HAB. We decided to drive only one Rover (Opportunity) because Inga was unable to see the driving apparatus due to the lower edge of her space helmet becoming an obstacle. So, both EVA crew drove in Opportunity, with Lindsay serving as the driver. Radio communications were successful and we reached our destination of Marble Ritual, where we collected samples. After adjustments, Inga was able to view the driving apparatus, and she drove Opportunity back to the HAB.

Destination: Marble Ritual (~600M drive + ~100M walk) after a walk-about around the tunnel connected structures for some outside EVA suit testing before driving.

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 38.407 N 110.783 W

Participants: L. Rutter & I. Popovaite

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Cow Dung Rd 0110

Mode of travel: Rovers

EVA Report – May 6th

Crew 235 EVA Report 06-May-2021

EVA # 6, 7

Author: Jen Carver-Hunter

Purpose of EVA: Continuation of rock sample collection

EVA 6 Start time: 0800
EVA 6 End time: 0900
EVA 7 Start Time: 0930
EVA 7 End time: 1030

Narrative: One of our crew’s goals is to collect rock samples that replicate the rocks found on Mars. For today’s EVA, our targeted specimens were gypsum and sandstone. The first planned stop for the EVA was the overlook at Copernicus Hwy, and the second planned stop on return to the Hab was Cowboy Corner.

We also decided to use these EVAs as an opportunity for the new crew to conduct an EVA without an MDRS-experienced leader. For this reason, we included a map lesson refresher prior to the EVA to ensure that all crew members would be familiar with the geologic features.

The first EVA crew (EVA 6) left the Hab in vehicles at 0800 and followed Cow Dung Rd north to Brahe Hwy. They missed the turn to Brahe Hwy and found themselves at the quarry, where they turned around and made their way to Brahe Hwy.

Then they followed Brahe Hwy to Copernicus Hwy where they stopped for a chance for a 360-degree look at the formations in the area. Then they reboarded vehicles and returned east on Brahe Hwy toward Cow Dung Road until they spotted the glint of the sun shining off the gypsum on the ground.

They collected samples of gypsum near Beige Moon before continuing on to Cowboy Corner, where they decided to not stop for sandstone collection. They also needed to release a packrat near the reservoir. After releasing it, they returned to vehicles and came back to the Hab without incident.

The second EVA crew (EVA 7) left the Hab in vehicles at 0930 and also followed Cow Dung Road north to Brahe Hwy. They did not miss the turn, so they executed a perfect left turn toward Copernicus Hwy, and stopped at the intersection of the two roads to take in the sights at the overlook.

The crew then started up their vehicles (one rover and one ATV) to start their trip back to the Hab. They also stopped near Beige Moon to collect gypsum samples. They elected to also stop at Cowboy Corner to collect sandstone samples before returning to the Hab without incident.

Destination: The overlook at Copernicus Hwy/Brahe Hwy; Beige Moon, Cowboy Corner

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): Destination 1 – 516100, 4254400; Destination 2 – 516500, 4254400; Destination 3 – 518350, 4252700

EVA 4 Participants: Jeff, Randall, Thomas

EVA 5 Participants: Krysta, Jennifer, Allison

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Entrance Rd to Cow Dung Rd to Brahe Hwy

Mode of travel: Pathfinder Rover and 2 ATVs (only 1 ATV used on the second EVA)

EVA Report – May 5th

Crew 235 EVA Report 05 May 2021

EVA # 4, 5

Author: Jen Carver-Hunter

Purpose of EVA: Continuation of rock sample collection

EVA 4 Start time: 0900

EVA 4 End time: 1000

EVA 5 Start Time: 1200

EVA 5 End time: 1430

Narrative: One of our crew’s goals is to collect rock samples that replicate the rocks found on Mars. For today’s EVA, our targeted specimens were lava, basalt, and granite. In addition, we developed a scavenger hunt challenge for the two EVA crews to use as a competition that included specimens of gryphaea, purple lava, hematite, and sandstone blueberries.

The first planned stop for the EVA was the route to Barainca Butte, and the second planned stop on return to the Hab was east of Zubrin’s head.

The first EVA crew left the hab in vehicles at 0900 and followed Cow Dung Road south to Road 1101. After following Road 1101 west toward Barainca Butte, the crew stopped to collect rock samples, which included lava, granite, and basalt, and gryphaea. The Commander’s suit battery discharged so the EVA was aborted and the crew returned to the hab at 1000.

Because that crew’s EVA mission was not completed they requested that the second EVA crew collect extra samples to meet the day’s goals. They also requested that the second crew return some unwanted petrified wood samples to the west side of Kissing Camel Ridge, as was suggested by Dr. Rupert when she approved today’s EVA last night. Due to the dead battery in Spacesuit 7, the second EVA was only able to accommodate 3 crew members. Krysta volunteered to stay at the hab and requested that her crewmates bring samples back for her collection.

The second EVA crew left the hab in vehicles at 1200 and also followed Cow Dung Road south to Road 1101. They followed Road 1101 toward Barainca Butte and collected their samples along the road. After collecting on Road 1101, the EVA team turned around and turned north on Cow Dung Road until they reached “the Squirrel” landmark. They followed a wash to the west (they were east of Zubrin’s head) until they found the sandstone blueberry nursery.

At this point, they were able to complete the second objective of their mission. The final objective was to return the pieces of petrified wood they were done using to their collection site. Crew stopped south of Kissing Camels Ridge and walked west to return their samples before returning back to the Hab. The second EVA crew returned to the Hab with no difficulty and shared their collected samples with the first EVA crew.

Destination: Barainca Butte, east of Zubrin’s head, Kissing Camel Ridge

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): Destination 1 – 519700, 4247200; Destination 2 – 519750, 4248000; Destination 3 – 518250, 4249250

EVA 4 Participants: Jen, Krysta, Jennifer, Jeff

EVA 5 Participants: Atila, Randall, Thomas

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Entrance Road to Cow Dung Road to Road 1101

Mode of travel: Pathfinder Rover and 2 ATVs.

EVA Report – May 4th

Crew 235 EVA Report 04 May 2021

EVA # 2, EVA #3

Author: Jen Carver-Hunter

Purpose of EVA: Specimen collection

EVA 2 Start time: 10:00

EVA 2 End time: 12:00

EVA 3 Start Time: 12:00

EVA 3 End time: 1:30

Narrative: One of our crew’s goals is to collect rock samples that replicate the rocks found on Mars. For today’s EVA, our targeted specimen was petrified wood, which we are using as an analogous specimen for the hematite found on Mars. Because Kissing Camel Ridge has an excellent source of petrified wood, we chose that location for our EVA.

The crew left the hab in vehicles and followed the road south to Kissing Camel Ridge. Crew walked to the southwest side of Cow Dung Road and followed the wash to the west along the ridge. Crew continued along the wash to the source of the petrified wood specimens in the wash. The crew on EVA 2 found a location that they thought might be the source Dr Rupert mentioned. It looked like someone had piled up mounds of petrified wood.

Destination: Kissing Camel Ridge

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 518250, 4249250

EVA 2 Participants: Atila, Krysta, Jennifer, and Thomas

EVA 3 Participants: Jen, Allison, Jeff, and Randall

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Entrance Road to Cow Dung Road

Mode of travel: Pathfinder Rover and 2 ATVs

EVA Report #1 – May 3rd

Crew 235 EVA Report 03 May 2021

EVA # 1

Author: Jen Carver-Hunter

Purpose of EVA: Training

Start time: 12:00

End time: 1:30

Narrative: The EVA was designed for training a new crew. After suiting up for the EVA, crew members loaded onto Pathfinder rover and 2 ATVs to practice driving the vehicles while in spacesuits. The crew stopped at Pooh’s corner where they disembarked the vehicles and continued the EVA with a short walk east of the road. During this walk, crew members practiced walking, communicating with radios, and collecting specimens while in spacesuits. After a short walk, the EVA crew returned to vehicles and drove back to the Hab.

Destination: Pooh’s Corner

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 519000, 425100

Participants: Atila, Krysta, Allison, Jeff, Jen, Jennifer, Randall, and Thomas

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Entrance Road to Cow Dung Road

Mode of travel: Pathfinder Rover and 2 ATVs.

EVA Report Apr 23rd

Crew 245 EVA Report 23APR2021

EVA # 12

Author: Alex Coultrup, Health and Safety Officer

Purpose of EVA: Final survey for emergency shelters and soil samples

Start time: 1015 MDT

End time: 1215 MDT (planned 1300, actual 1200)

Narrative: The EVA this morning started 15 minutes after the scheduled EVA window opened, as the crew had carefully gathered and sterilized required scientific instruments to meet Planetary Protection Protocols. After suiting up, the crew waited 5 minutes before exiting the airlock. The EVA crew departed from the Hab/Hab Grounds by foot, heading northwest. We rapidly identified the ATV road (1103) and followed it north, then west as it curved just before North Ridge, keeping an eye out for potential emergency shelter locations along the way. We followed the trail of GPS points left by the previous day’s EVA crew and demonstrated a successful navigation of our instruments.

After a thirty-minute hike, we reached the top of the western ridge stopping occasionally to drop more points and practice orienting our position with respect to both the GPS device and the map. We took soil samples along the ridge, then admired the view of North Ridge, Schubert’s Pass, and the western buttes. After determining there were no valid candidates for emergency sheltering, the team headed back along the 1103 route pointed out by the outpost as advice. The team managed a very quick return by foot to the Hab and was in the airlock just before 1200.

Destination: Schubert’s Pass

Participants: Health and Safety Officer Coultrup, Crew Scientist Ettlin

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Walking up near a ridge slope by the Hab, taking 1103 walking back.

Mode of travel: Walking.

EVA Report – April 22nd

Crew 245 EVA Report 04-22-2021

EVA # 11

Author: Shayna Hume, Executive Officer

Purpose of EVA: Gathering soil samples on a ridge area.

Start time: 1000 MDT

End time: 1200 MDT (planned 1300, actual 1200)

Narrative: The EVA this morning started on schedule after the crew had carefully gathering and sterilizing required scientific instruments in order to meet the crew’s determined Planetary Protection Protocols. After suiting up, the crew waited 5 minutes before exiting. Today, the crew departed from the Hab and Hab Grounds by foot, heading northwest.

After a thirty-minute hike, we reached the top of the western ridge and began heading North towards Schubert’s Pass. After taking soil samples along the ridge, the team took a few minutes to admire the incredible view of North Ridge, Schubert’s Pass, and the western buttes.

After determining there were no valid candidates for emergency shelter, the team headed back along the 1103 route pointed out by the outpost as advice. The team managed a very quick return by foot to the Hab and was in the airlock just before 1200.

Destination: Schubert’s Pass

Participants: Executive Officer, Botanist, Engineer

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Walking up near a ridge slope by the Hab, taking 1103 walking back.

Mode of travel: Walking.
Shayna Hume, Executive Officer
Red Planet People – MDRS Crew 245 "Team Patamars"
To Mars and Beyond – For All!

EVA Report – Apr 21st

Crew 245 EVA Report 21APR2021

EVA # 10

Author: Crew Scientist Olivia Ettlin

Purpose of EVA: Gathering soil samples and scouting for emergency shelters.

Start time: 1015 MDT

End time: 1330 MDT

Narrative: The EVA this morning started slightly after the beginning of the approved EVA window, as the crew was carefully gathering and sterilizing required scientific instruments according to XO Hume’s Planetary Protection Protocols. After we suited up and completed our 5-minute decompression in the airlock, we loaded our supplies into the Perseverance rover. Commander Dickstein and Health and Safety Officer Coultrup drove the Rover and Crew Scientist Ettlin took the ATV Serial Number 2. Starting charge on the Rover was 100% with 204.1 hours and the ATV required some choke before starting.

We traveled from the Hab to Entrance Road and proceeded south on Cow Dung Road for approximately 10 minutes until we reached Zubrin’s Head. Upon arrival at Zubrin’s head, we parked our vehicles on the side of the road. Using the analog map, we confirmed that our travel calculations had been accurate. From there, we embarked southwest on foot to explore the immediate region and investigate points of interest, which were communicated to us by our crewmates after their EVA to this site. As always, we carried the EVA med kit with us.

When we had completed gathering the samples, we returned to our vehicles and proceeded north on Cow Dung Road to Robert’s Rock Garden, where we did a final visit to drop waypoints and collect rock samples. From there, we returned to our vehicles and proceeded to Entrance Road, where we paused for approximately 20 minutes to capture some memorable photos with the MDRS entrance sign and facility as a backdrop, as directed by Mars Society Media Director Michael Stoltz. Finally, we returned back to the Hab. Upon returning, the Rover displayed 204.6 hours and 100% charge.

Destination: Zubrin’s Head

Coordinates of Destination: 12S 519500 UTM 4248100

Participants: Crew Scientist Olivia Ettlin, Commander Dylan Dickstein, and Health and Safety Officer Alex Coultrup

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Hab to Entrance Rd, then South on Cow Dung road to Zubrin’s Head. Cow Dung Road to Entrance Rd, then back to the Hab.

Mode of travel: 2 team members in Perseverance Rover, 1 team member following close behind on ATV serial #2. All three members of the team walked the destination from the location where we parked the rovers safely on the side of the road.