Journalist Report – May 1st

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 1 May 2018/ Mars Sol 9

Author: Doug Campbell

Crew 193 has rounded the halfway point and can see the finish line of their mission on Mars!

The last two days have included four EVAs to different location of the MDRS campus. Unfortunately, inclement weather has forced the shortening of most recent EVAs. Good judgement by each team has seen them stay out of harm’s way in case of flash flooding caused by a hard downpour in the desert.

Despite the shortened length of the EVAs, each team has explored vast distances and taken incredible photography of the varied landscape surrounding their home base. Mountains have been climbed, valleys have been explored, rocks have been kicked and dunes have been slid down.

Inside the hab, the work continues. Many research projects are wrapping up as the mission nears its end. The water-less dishwasher is showing early promise when compared to standard dish washing methods that consume large amounts of water. The green hab is still living up to its name despite the hot weather and the astronomer is having success finding different elements of the sun to photograph.

As a team, Crew 193 is continuing to grow and learn how to work together to achieve their mission goals. The team remains well fed and in good spirits. They have no doubt that this will be both a successful mission and a valuable learning experience!

Journalist Report – April 29th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 29APR2018 / Mars Sol 7

Author: Eric Shear

This weekend, we took a much-needed rest day on Sol 6. That doesn’t mean we lounged around all day – we made outreach videos with a combination of spoken and signed language.

Today (Sol 7) began the first of our switched EVAs. Team Canada had previously done morning EVAs, and is now doing EVAs in the afternoon, and vice versa for the Americans.

On Sol 6, our geologist/astronomer finally caught a prominence on the Sun, much to the excitement of the astronomers at Mission Support. Then he did it again on Sol 7, getting three solar features despite heavy cloud cover. We are glad to see him sharpen his already considerable telescope and image processing skills.

The morning of Sol 7, Team America went on EVA to Zubrin’s Head, White Rock Canyon, and Kissing Camel. Team Canada explored Toothy Ridge and Copernicus Highway. During one of these EVAs, a crewmember injured her knee by falling down a hill.

The afternoon was spent recuperating, working on projects and furthering our research. A quiet evening of eating good food and low-key recreation is anticipated. Our XO is anxious for a rematch in cards…

Journalist Report – April 27th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 27APR2018 / Mars Sol 5
Author: Doug Campbell

It’s been a tale of two Sols over the last 48 hours for MDRS Crew 193. Sol 4 was packed with two extensive exploration EVAs, a delicious meal and a hard fought battle at the card table.

On Sol 4, Team Canada (EVA Team 1) left the vast expanses of the Martian desert to explore the moon. The soft, powdery, grey dirt enabled the team to travel vast distances and climb tall mountains with the ease of Alan Shepard hitting a golf ball in 1/6 gravity. They walked over 9 kilometres (5.5 miles for our imperial friends) and documented the unique landscape with their strong photographic skills. EVA Team 2 explored deep into Candor Chasma and marveled at the beauty of the valley. Unfortunately, due to a framing error, the breathtaking pictures that were anticipated did not turn out.

In the evening, the crew astronomer/geologist introduced his colleagues to a card game called “Shanghai”. The rest of the crew is figuring out the rules as they play, but they are beginning to wonder if the astronomer is trying to hustle them for extra dessert rations!

Sol 5 was supposed to be a relaxing day for crew bonding and skill building. However, things to not always go as planned! The day began with training on emergency triage procedures. This would enable the crew to care for their colleagues should an accident occur on an EVA. The newly learned techniques were then practiced during an EVA outside of the hab.

Two teams practiced triaging patients and moving unconscious astronauts into safer positions when they are trapped in an EVA vehicle. Unexpectedly, these skills were put into immediate real usage as one crew member reported they were feeling dizzy during the EVA. The other crew members responded immediately and brought the crew member safely inside the hab for treatment. We are happy to report the crew member is doing well and that the training their teammates received this morning enabled them to act quickly and decisively to avoid further issues.

The afternoon was spent recuperating, working on projects and furthering our research. It was not exactly the day the crew had planned; however, it showed the strength and adaptability of the crew to deal with issues as they arise.

A quiet evening of eating good food and watching a movie is anticipated. Perhaps the cards will also be broken out again…

Journalist Report April 25th

Journalist Report – Earth-Date 25APR2018 / Sol 3
Author: Shawna Pandya

Never a dull moment on Mars! Over the past 24 hours, this intrepid and resilient crew has bonded over learning the basics of American Sign Language (fun fact: you can actually count to 999 on one hand) and sharing stories of diving with sharks, meetings astronauts, driving in Europe, chasing typhoons in Guam and scaling peaks in the Rockies (told you we weren’t dull!).

Our day today started with a rude wake-up at 0300 local time as the Commander and HSO went to investigate a persistent banging in the rear airlock (and the HSO learned a valuable life-lesson about
double-checking the security of the bolt on the outer airlock door in future instances).

The day continued with a set of adventures, as EVA Team 1 (Team Canada!) overshot their intended scouting site, landing in Lith Canyon instead of the Moon – luckily some good scientific data was still accrued, and the Team will attempt to shoot for the Moon again tomorrow. EVA Team 2 furthered their progress with the MDRS sign project in the RAM during their mid-day EVA, but responsibly chose to cut their EVA short some time later, realizing the real risk of heat stroke from working in the hot RAM at mid-Sol.

Science, GreenHab and Hab operations continued on as usual, and Gold Crew will cap the Sol off with an evening of R&R that includes a movie, some more team-bonding through shared adventures and ASL lessons, and a delicious Martian spread of spaghetti alfredo, spaghetti with Martian tomato sauce, and some good ol’ fashioned Hab-made cornbread.

Gold Crew 193 looks forward to greeting Sol 4 with enthusiasm, and facing any challenges the Martian winds bring the same way we always have – as a team, and with enthusiasm!

Journalist Report – April 19th

Crew 192 Journalist Report 19 Apr 2018

Author: Victoria Varone

Today was a great example of teamwork by the crew, some of whom started the day with a WONDERFUL long hike on Hab Ridge Road, taking in some of the best views we’ve seen so far of the entire Martian desert.

There was also a combined effort of cleaning, organizing, and finishing up some tasks for the incoming crew, which is made up of our own fellow Citizen Scientist-Astronaut Candidates and friends.

We ended our day with a continued combined effort of cooking, attempting to make pizza and mozzarella sticks with the dehydrated “space food” supplies we had on hand. Believe it or not, it actually turned out delicious, and with everyone contributing to the effort, we both cooked and had everything cleaned in record time.

We’re capping off the night with a viewing of Thor: Ragnarok, and will continue prepping for our incoming crew tomorrow.

Victoria Varone

Journalist Report – April 17th

Crew 192 Journalist Report 17Apr2018

Author: Richard Blakeman

This outstanding crew of scientists has amazed me with their ability to constantly come up with new science experiments and projects in the wake of our original projects being lost.

Even when the weather is prohibitive for EVAs, they come up with ideas, experiments, educational discussions, and training sessions that we can perform in the confines of the hab, things like knot-tying lessons and other survival skills, tips on the use of social media in science outreach, insight into the psychology of astronaut group dynamics and crew selection, and more.

Very proud to be part of such a bright, dynamic and creative minds and I’m excited to continue working with them in the future.

Journalist Report – April 14th

Tomorrow we burn the dead horse…

In Navy tradition when a sailor was hired for a cruise the captain would pay him half of his wages upfront and tell him to go mind his p’s and q’s…. minding his p’s and q’s meant that he should pay his bar tab for his pints and his quarts.

As today is the start of our approximate midway point…tomorrow we are working for ” pay ” as opposed to worling for free…;*) We celebrate with festivities. In old days they would burn a wooden horse as a gesture of half way complete.

Today we had a great breakfast followed by exploration EVAs which further the science we continue to work. (Studies about weight loss, fogging and muscle loss)

The afternoon EVA had a 3 person party come across a cow in the road. The commander…in the face of a forced vegetarian life style… was caught salivating over the meat…but alas the cow moved on along with his hopes of a T-bone steak.

We had a terrific meal of spaghetti and each shared a tequila story…you all know you have one…;*).

The crew never went through the forming or storming stages since we are well versed and acquainted….we jumped right into norming and quicky progressed into PERFORMING. This well oiled machine is going to take a half day safety stand down and eat Chocolate and banana pancakes…then do a little medical training and then wrap up with a short ATV tow exercise. Shouls be back in the house at 3 pm and do a MOVIE night….Doc is going to try to pop dehydrated corn for popcorn….;*)

Warm Regards,

Joseph Dituri, PhD(c)
CDR, U.S. Navy Diving Officer (ret)

Director – IBUM

Journalist Report – April 13th

Crew 192 Journalist Report 13Apr2018

Author: Victoria Varone

Today was another mostly indoors day for the crew, as we ride out what is hopefully the end of a ~3-day streak of strong wind storms. We’ve been keeping busy with repairs around the hab, games and movies, and plans for EVAs.

The great thing about this group of scientists is that we can always find another thing to do, another problem to solve. And we’ve been making excellent use of our time so far. But we’re all excited to get back out and explore the Martian terrain as soon as we can.

Tonight, and hopefully for the rest of our mission, we’ll also head outside to do some stargazing, as the cloudless Martian skies present an amazing and inspiring view, and always refresh and renew the aspirations of space dreamers.

Per aspera ad astra
Through hardships to the stars


Journalist Report – 12 April 2018

Author: Victoria Varone

Today was one of those days that highlights just how passionate, adaptable, and hard-working space dreamers really are.

In the face of weather that disrupted our EVA plans, the whole crew stepped up to the plate, offering up an unbelievable variety of skills and ideas to make repairs and adjustments with a limited supply of tools and hardware. They pooled their backgrounds, areas of expertise, physical capabilities, and improvisation skills to come up with a solution to the problem at hand.

Nothing brings out the strength of such dreamers more than a problem that needs to be solved, be it an Earthly issue or a Mars mission. I’m incredibly proud of this crew today and never except anything less than amazing when we’re together.

In honor of Yuri’s Night: “When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it!”

Journalist Report – April 11th

Journalist Report – 11Apr2018

Author: Victoria Varone

Today was a quieter day for Blue Crew 192. We were a little tired from all the action of the last couple of days, so a short morning EVA was followed up by lunch and then a viewing of "The Martian," a movie that the whole crew enjoys that is surprisingly similar to our situation here at the hab.

Especially now since a crazy wind storm has been raging for the last couple of hours. A couple of the crew went out on an engineering EVA to check all around the hab site and secure anything that might blow away. They found a partially broken wooden railing that had broken off and become a stake, so that and the remaining shards were recovered and brought inside.

We’re planning an Italian-style meal tonight, pasta with garlic, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes from our own GreenHab. If the wind calms down and the skies are clear enough, we might cap the night off with some stargazing.

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