Crew 274 Journalist Report 1-31-2023
Author: Tony DiBernardo, Crew Journalist
Title: Dandelion Day
Crew 274 woke up this morning at 7:30am to the song “Hall of Fame” by The Script and a recorded message from Dr. Albin, emphasizing that our efforts represent a small but important step in bringing humanity to the red planet, Mars. The team made pancakes, listened to their new collaborative playlist, and started on their Emotional Recognition Test and Psychological Surveys.
Today, we were able to begin Nick “X-Man” Pender’s research while out on on EVA. His experiment includes incrementally longer EVAs over the course of the mission, eventually placing caches a 2-hour hike from the hab to test their ability to withstand in a simulated Martian environment and to support the crew on a 3-hour EVA. Today’s EVAs involved 2 teams of analog astronauts, led by Pender and Bill “Titan” O’Hara, hiking 30 minutes from the hab and back. Tony “Iron Man” DiBernardo joined both EVAs, collecting footage of his crewmates traversing the simulated martian landscape. The goal for today’s EVAs was to establish a 30-minute baseline traveling speed and distance while in an EVA spacesuit. We discovered that the pace of travel is 2.3 mph with an attainable distance of 1 mile in 30 minutes. Future EVAs for the supply cache experiment will utilize this information to place a cache 2 hiking hours from the habitat. The two EVAs started and ended on time with breathtaking views, fascinating rock formations, and a continuous process to settle into our EVa suits.
After the crew woke up, Tyler “Houston” Hines recorded overnight temperature data and observational documentation which showed promise for the remainder of the study. Overall, the sets of microgreens seem to have maintained their moisture and temperature throughout the second sol. Then, Tyler took a progress report of the space-exposed LDEF tomato seeds and assisted Commander Sarah “Ceres” Guthrie in planting dandelion seeds in lunar and martian regolith. The dandelion study is for a 2nd grader at Millersville Elementary School in Maryland. She is an aspiring astronaut and was curious if dandelions could be grown on Mars. ARG-1M graciously offered to facilitate this study, and both Lunar and Martian regolith were donated to the study.
Crew Astronomers Salina “Nova” Pena and Noah “Phoenix” Loy worked from the Musk Solar Observatory today to do a test run on the equipment before collecting data for their research. They observed a few Sun spots on the surface of the Sun and set up the MDRS Robotic Observatory through Skynet to observe High Amplitude Delta Scuti (HADS) Variable Star V0799 AUR.
As midday approached, the toilet started giving off a foul smell and Mission Support was contacted, as the crew suspected the toilet had an issue. Mission Support came to the hab and assessed the situation, informing the crew engineers Lex “Kepler” Lojek and Bill “Titan” O’Hara that Mission Support had to empty the toilet. During mission training prior to ingress, there was a miscommunication regarding when the toilet requires emptying into the septic system, so Mission Support clarified the instructions.
We ended the day getting an earlier start on our end-of-day reports than we did yesterday, hoping to have more time to relax, reset, and recover from the two EVAs. Tomorrow we look forward to a cold morning, more EVAs, and loading the images of the HADS Variable Star that were taken overnight.