Journalist Report – May 4th

Crew 265 Journalist Report, May 4, 2022

Sol: 10

Summary Title: The End is Nigh…

Author: Sarah Treadwell, Crew Journalist

Sol 10. Two EVAs today, with myself and Executive Officer Dave in the morning and Engineer Sergii and Mapping Texas Twins Benny and Isai in the afternoon. We all sense the end of the mission drawing close, with one final EVA set for tomorrow. Overall, our mission seems to have been a success, but I will certainly let our crew commander do a final briefing on that.

This morning Dave and I attempted to summit nearby Phobos Peak. Unfortunately, there was no easy way to ascend as the ground was far too loose. After we went as high as we could go, we took some time to just sit and really soak in the environment around us. Those who know me well know that I can cry at a drop of a dime; however, today felt quite different. There was more of a sense of reverence that I carried with me, rather than overwhelming emotion.

The other EVA crew did some comms checking in a different direction from the station than we have normally been wandering. The radios seemed to perform well. They returned for us to all enjoy an early dinner and we parted ways into our sequestered quiet spaces to do homework and reports.

Generally, I think we all are just tired and ready to return to our normal lives… and even more importantly, return to non-dehydrated food. Personally, I am extremely excited about this and have been fantasizing about what to eat when we are done.

Something I want to coyly touch on that I will talk about more once I get home is one of my biggest mental challenges I have had while here. I think everyone can understand how not being able to call or video chat with our loved ones can be a challenge. While here I missed my daughter losing her first tooth, my boyfriend’s birthday, and my son getting to experience very sweet firsts at his preschool. While not ideal, these are all things that any astronaut or explorer has to accept they may miss when taking on a mission.

Something I did not anticipate though was receiving really, really big news and dealing with that in this environment where I couldn’t use my usual coping techniques to deal with my myriad of emotions. Normally I go for walks, drive to loud music, call my closest loved ones, and go to a restaurant to check out for an evening in a situation like this. None of those were options here.

This is something I will need time to reflect on because this is an important part of what we do here and what I also came to do, which is to look at the psychological and sociological effects of our time here.

But I will process that later… because all I can think about right now is having a burger and Coke. And so to end this, a quote for my son, whom we nickname Moo:

“Fix your little problem and light this candle” – Alan Shepherd

Sol Summary May 3rd

Crew 265 Sol Summary

03-05-2022

Sol: 9

Summary Title: Descent into Candor Chasma

Author’s Name: Marc Levesque, Crew Commander

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary:

The crew completed another successful communications project test during an EVA deep in Candor Chasma. Commander Levesque with crew members Blanco and Licea conducted several communications checks with the Hab on a project VHF radio, while having no contact on an MDRS UHF radio channel. Walking down the sinuous canyon, they were awed by the sculptured walls shaped long ago by running water, similar to what scientists believed occurred on Mars eons ago. Along with Lith Canyon, Candor Chasma provides a great Mars analog setting for MDRS crews. Back at the Hab, video editing continued for the social media project.

Look Ahead Plan: One EVA is planned for tomorrow and continued activity on mission projects.

Anomalies in work: None

Crew Physical Status: Good

EVA: None

Reports to be filed:

Sol Summary

Operations Report

HSO Report

Crew Journalist

EVA Request

EVA Report

Pictures and Picture of the Day

Support Requested: None

Crew 265 Journalist Report May 3rd

Crew 265 Journalist Report, May 3, 2022

Sol: 09

Summary Title: Where the winds may blow…

Author: Sarah Treadwell, Crew Journalist

It is Sol 9 and our time here is rapidly coming to an end. We have two and a half Sol’s left and I think I can officially say that the crew is running a bit low on energy. We have done a lot of EVA’s and the terrain, in combination with today’s windy and cool weather, has seemed to really have an effect. I think it can be compared to somewhat of a “senior slide” feeling and I expect everyone to head to bed early today.

I want to solidly brag here and say that if we could add “excellent at making meals from dehydrated food” on our CV’s and that it would carry some merit, most of us here should do so. Lunch was prepared by Engineer Sergii of a hearty soup, while multi-tasking as Capcom, and I prepared dinner of Shepherd’s pie. Executive Officer Dave was also station bound, taking a relax day as well as doing his best to stay warm in his multitude of layers.

Our fearless Commander Marc and mapping tech Texas Twins Benny and Isai ventured out on another EVA and had the fortune of visiting some stunning areas with spectacular sedimentary rock formations. As a geography and paleontology fan, I am very jealous of these time capsules they got to observe. Rocks truly are the keepers of great secrets.

The hab is quite chilly today as I type and the wind rattles the frames of the structure once again. Mission fatigue is obviously setting in. Today we discussed over dinner what our mentality would have to be if we were on a longer mission. Would our personalities start to clash? Would we need more projects? Would there be enough space for us to find escape from each other? Obviously these are all hypotheticals.

Truly, the mental game may be one of the biggest challenges to this entire experience. You have to find purpose, first and foremost. I suppose this really applies to life in general. I have also learned you must find your own temporary internal systems of support, as you cannot just quickly make a video chat to see a familiar loving face for encouragement. This probably doesn’t affect others as it does as much to me, which is another thing I’m going to spend some time post mission reflecting on.

However, I truly hope that when I walk away from this research station, I have learned just a little more about myself. They say with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes experience. Experiences like these aren’t something that many have an opportunity to participate in and there is much to be gleaned from it. I have been honored to have gotten to know my crewmates over this past week and a half. I hope they too have gained something from this adventure and themselves.

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

― Carl Sagan, Contact

Crew 265 Sol Summary April 30th

Crew 265 Sol Summary Report 30-04-2022

Sol: 6

Summary Title: Overlook of Phobos

Author’s Name: Marc Levesque, Crew Commander

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary:

The primary activity of Crew 265 was an EVA to the Moon Overlook area as a representative journey to Phobos. Crew members Laude, Treadwell, and Licea traveled on rovers to this area and well to the north conducting communication checks with the test repeater along the way and recording road conditions. While there were some gaps in communications with the Hab, the team was able to call in once they reached Muddy Creek, 6.2 km from the repeater on North Ridge. Of note is that at no time along their route once they left Cow Dung Rod were they able to reach the Hab using a MDRS radio channel, proving the effectiveness of the test repeater for long distance EVAs.

Look Ahead Plan: No EVA is planned for tomorrow. The crew has been hard at it, so they have earned a well-deserved day of rest.

Anomalies in work: None

Crew Physical Status: Good.

EVA: EVA# 6 was accomplished.

Reports to be filed:

Sol Summary

Operations Report

HSO Report

Crew Journalist

EVA Report

Pictures and Picture of the Day

Support Requested: None

Crew 265 Journalist Report April 30th

Crew 265 Journalist Report

April 30, 2022

Sol: 06

Summary Title: To the Moon and Back

Author: Sarah Treadwell, Crew Journalist

Today is Sol 6 and we are halfway through our mission now. As the radio tests continue to prove successful, many of us continue on our personal projects and goals for our time spent here. Today’s EVA was to achieve one such goal. Executive Officer Dave has long wanted to explore the nearby moon of Phobos to take samples. Myself and Isai joined him on this expedition to fulfill a dream he had carefully planned for.

Our skill sets as a team were ideal for this mission. Having Isai along brought the knowledge base for successful mapping of uncharted terrain, as he is finishing up a mechanical engineering degree. Dave also has an engineering background, but his energy and focus is largely now on space exploration, hence his desire for this mission. He also brings experience to ensure this is executed safely, having served on four prior missions. I was asked to join along as a professional communicator and as a fellow space enthusiast to document this exciting first.

We set off on our adventure, armed with maps and GPS units to also continue to test the radio systems. Phobos is the closest known satellite to any planet in our solar system, 6,000km (3,700 miles) so the journey was fast, relatively speaking in space travel. We arrived at the moon overlook viewpoint to take our first steps. There, ceremoniously, the first step imprint in the regolith was captured for documentation purposes. The views were dramatic, with rolling peaks and a pale, gray regolith. Then it was decided to take some samples.

Using an extended pole with a scoop at the end akin to the methods used by Apollo 11, Executive Officer Dave collected some samples of the lunar regolith, carefully placing it inside a bag to be sealed for further analysis. After finishing collecting samples, we explored around for quite some time. Phobos orbits Mars every 7 hours and 39 minutes, so we only had a limited amount of time before we needed to depart. Similarly in the spirit of the Apollo astronauts, there were some personal moments had in honor of loved ones that will remain private. It should be clarified that nothing was left behind, preserving the stunning beauty of Mars’ nearby neighbor.

It will be interesting to see what our samples tell us about Phobos and its formation. Perhaps this moon will be helpful in some way for further expansion around the planet Mars. Or maybe it will serve as a useful fueling station for further exploration of our solar system. Whatever secrets it may hold, we were honored to get to explore its surface and hope our work will continue with future crews.

As we headed back towards our station on Mars, I was reflective on the surreal landscape that surrounded me. I have had the pleasure of getting to see many amazing places back on our home Earth, from the highest mountain on the planet, Everest, to diving under the ocean with coral reefs and sharks. Yet, no matter where I go, I am always struck by the beauty that surrounds me, recognizing that every place has its own unique story. This place, with its layers of sediment that serve as secret holders of time, is no different.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives”. – Albert Einstein

Crew 265 Operations Report April 30th

Crew 265 Operations Report
30 APR 2022
SOL: 6
Name of person filing report: Dave Laude/Sergii Iakymov

Non-nominal systems: Furnace. Room#2 door knob. Percy left rear tail light non-functional, but break lights working.

Notes on non-nominal systems: Furnace is functional and we remain cautious over limiting to early morning only. Infrequently used now. Door knob feels like it’s about to fail.

ROVERS

Spirit rover used: Yes

Hours: 176.3

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 61

Currently charging: No

Opportunity rover used: No

Hours: 97.0

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: Yes

Hours: 187.3

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 59

Currently charging: No

Perseverance rover used: No

Hours: 238.0

Beginning charge: 100

Ending charge: 100

Currently charging: Yes

General notes and comments:

Summary of Hab operations:

WATER USE:
Water (static tank): Not full. ~342 gallons.
Water (loft tank): 35 gallons
Water Meter: 158190.9 units

Static to Loft Pump used – No
Static tank pipe heater (on or off): Off
Static tank heater (On or off): Off
Toilet tank emptied: No

Summary of internet: Nominal

Summary of suits and radios: Batteries charging. Suit 10 and 7 batteries have been tested. 10 needs further testing as it seems weak.

Summary of GreenHab operations: NA

WATER USE: N/A

Heater: N/A

Supplemental light: N/A

Harvest: None

Summary of ScienceDome operations: Not used.

Dual split: Heat or AC, On or Off

Summary of RAM operations: None

Summary of any observatory issues: NA

Summary of health and safety issues: Per HSO report all crew members are feeling good and can participate in EVA.

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support:

Crew 265 EVA Report April 30th

Crew 265 EVA Report 30-04-2022

EVA # 6

Author: Laude

Purpose of EVA: To conduct more distant communications project testing, examine possibility of rover travel to the north of Moon Overlook, map areas of interest and to simulate a first Phobos manned mission from Mars and perhaps from anywhere. The crew will collect limited regolith samples and small rocks, plenty of photos and explore on foot in nearby areas that warrant closer examination. Also, we will look south from Moon Overlook to view the condition of Copernicus Highway for a possible future rover EVA.

Start time: 12:30

End time: 16:25

Narrative: We got off on time and traveled to Moon Overlook stopping along the way for radio checks. At the overlook we looked south to see the condition of Copernicus Highway leading south for another day EVA down that road. Conditions looked good for rover travel. We took photos at the overlook of the marvelous moon like terrain below us and to the north and then we descended down into it by rover. After a few hundred meters we stopped to collect a regolith sample with a scoop from Phobos, set some footprints and get photos. As we continued by rover the scenery quickly shifted to more Mars like as Phobos is tiny in size. Red canyon walls with stratigraphic layers enveloped us, opening up and closing in as we proceeded. At one open area we came across remnants of a fence that we passed through and soon the path became sandy and the rovers squirmed about from time to time. Shortly after coming across Muddy Creek the path narrowed and the sand loosened around our wheels. We might soon need 4WD to proceed if not for the decision to stop for a better look and turn around. The two rovers did need 4WD briefly to turn about. On the way out Laude decided to stop where there was a shallow slope up to a higher point (8M) to better view the area on foot. When looking down during ascent he noticed sea shells by the thousands (crew named it the Sea of Shells 4255097 N 516370 E)! Dense collections of them on the hill side. After calling the crew to see them he walked higher and noticed many other nearby hills covered with them! This area may warrant closer examination during a future EVA. After this unexpected find the crew returned back to MDRS.

Destination: Moon Overlook then north to the end of the drivable Copernicus highway.

Coordinates (use UTM NAD27 CONUS): 4254360 N, 516052 E (Moon Overlook) 4257885 N, 518294 E (End of passible road on rover near Muddy Creek. Dirt road turned sandy and narrow there.)

Participants: EVA Commander Laude, Jounalist Treadwell and Mapping /Radio Tech Licea

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: North on Cow Dung Road 0110 then Brahe Hwy1572/1575 then Copernicus Hwy 1574/0157.

Mode of travel: Spirit and Curiosity and on foot