Crew 281 Journalist Report 26May2023
By: Rachel Jones
12th Sol, It’s Time for Crew 281 to Roll
My morning started very early. I wanted to see to the Sun rise on our last day of Mars. The Sun peaked the horizon at about 6:05 AM. As I reflected on this wonderful experience, I couldn’t be more grateful to have such amazing team mates.
Ana and Ritu were up early preparing for their longest EVA yet. Their explorative spirt and prospective on future scientific scanlines took them out to the Special Region (Burpee Quarry). First, Ritu conducted additional payload tests with the Medical Device Delivery Drone, “Peggy.”. Then, they traveled back to Marble Ritual to get additional aerial shots of the first scanline. Finally, they went out to the Special Region where dinosaur bones are being excavated. This EVA wrapped up all of Ana and Ritu’s scientific goals here at MDRS.
After MDRS, Ritu plans to publish her findings in a peer-reviewed journal. The data from her experience will be used for performing basic ratings and calculations for a larger drone system that will be capable of carrying a heavier load and of carrying out safe flights in high winds and lower air density.
Ana will further analyze her collected samples and the images that Ritu provided for further publication. Ultimately, Ana wants to publish a geotechnical zoning map for future MDRS crews.
KC was Hab Comm for the EVA. He then inventoried the entire kitchen. One of the things he wished he had was more preemptive information on kitchen supplies before he came to MDRS. He wants to give future crew better information. KC has been doing an amazing job as the Crew Engineer. Going above and beyond daily maintenance.
Megan made fudge brownies as a surprise for the EVA team while they were gone. Afterward, she spent almost six hours closing down the GreenHab for the season. For the finale, she brought in six kilograms of produce.
I, surprise, surprise, spent my day on the radio. I’ve learned a lot about HF operations. I made some mistakes. I learned how to jump into a pile-up (i.e. when multiple stations are trying to reach one station). It was really on this last day of operations that I got to experience some of the magic of amateur radio. Early in the morning, I got to hear operators from Australia and Japan. No, I didn’t get through those pile-ups, but it was amazing just to hear the other side of the world from a portable 20 Watt station in Utah.
As we close our journey here at MDRS, we think about the magic of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Each of us have a different dream we are pursuing. Ana, Ritu, and Megan want to be the first women on Mars. KC wants to farm on Mars. Ana wants to develop geotechnologies for building on Mars. I am passionate about space communications. Each of have our dreams to further human presence on Mars.
Thank you MDRS and thank you to all that have been following our journey. 73s.