Sol Summary Report – January 30th


Crew 274 Sol Summary Report 01-31-2023

Sol: 1

Summary Title: Training Day – Extra-vehicular activities (EVA)and Martian Land Rovers

Author’s name: Sarah E. Guthrie “Ceres”, Commander

Mission Status: Possible weather impact for two requested EVAs on 1-31-2023, standing by for MCC approval.

Sol Activity Summary: Crew completed required EVA and rover training at Marble Ritual. EVA 1 departed habitat at 10:25am which was 25 minutes past the requested deployment time. Complications with EVA suits caused delays (see Anomalies in work and Operations Report). EVA 1 consisted of crew members: CDR – Guthrie (EVA 1 Lead), O’Hara, Pender (HSO) and DiBernardo on rovers Spirit and Perseverance. EVA 1 returned to habitat at 10:59am to meet the approved EVA request. EVA 2 deployed on time at 1:00pm with crew members Lojek (EVA 2 Lead), Loy, Pena and Hines on rovers Curiosity and Opportunity. EVA 2 returned to habitat at 1:55pm. The Solar Observatory was unveiled and inspected per MDRS Staff guidance and will be activated tomorrow. Crew experienced a small kitchen fire when the stovetop knob ceased to operate properly, MDRS Support guidance advised using pliers to turn the burner off. There was no damage to personnel or habitat. Additionally, Engineer Lojek evaluated the 500 gal water reservoir, it is estimated the crew has used approximately 45 gals of water in 24 hours. The crew is discussing water conservation efforts to extend the life of the reservoir to EOM.

Look Ahead Plan: Rain received this afternoon may impact EVA 3 and 4 requests due to muddy conditions. Should this occur, Crew 274 will shift mission schedule to habitat maintenance (cleaning), individual research projects, and mission planning for Sol 3 EVA requests.

Anomalies in work: EVA Suit #1 fan is inop. Engineer Lojek and Hab Specialist are investigating the issue. Oven light inop (noted in Operations Report).

Weather: Sunny, highs -0.5C, low -7C

Crew Physical Status: Optimal

EVA: EVA 1 and EVA 2 completed for training at Marble Ritual.

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Green Hab Report, Journalist Report, and Astronomer Report.

Support Requested: Food inventory complete, separate request to follow.

Science Report – January 29th



Crew 274 – ARG-1M

Crew Commander: Sarah E. Guthrie (USA)

Crew Engineer: Alexis J. Lojek (USA)

Crew Astronomer: Salina Pena (USA)

Health and Safety Officer: Nicholas Pender (USA)

Crew Journalist: Anthony DiBernardo (USA)

Green Hab Officer: Tyler Hines (USA)

Heliophysics: Noah Loy (USA)

Habitat Structure Specialist: Bill O’Hara

MDRS Crew 274 is a pioneering academic analog research group from the American Public University System (APUS) under the designation ARG-1M. The APUS Analog Research Group (AARG) leads space study undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in multidisciplinary scientific research investigations analogous to the space environment. This crew aims to examine extra-vehicular (EVA) activity logistics, EVA contingency protocols and methodologies via rescue devices, mindfulness and focused breathing, solar and variable star studies, and terrestrial spaceflight habitat efficiency.

Science Report – January 29th



Sarah E. Guthrie: Commander (Baltimore, MD, USA)

Sarah E. Guthrie is a Space Studies (astronomy) graduate student in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with American Military University. She is a three-time analog astronaut and the first female commander for the APUS Analog Research Group. In addition to her academic studies, she is also a 20-year active-duty veteran in the United States Air Force. Her unique deployment experience with multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan provided her an opportunity to bring combat rescue techniques to needed lunar surface operations. Additionally, she is a co-investigator on various projects that focus on adaptive mobility load distribution systems for extra-vehicular activities, astronaut resource impact, and behavioral health studies for long-term space flight. She is also a research advisor for Space4All on analog research projects at terrestrial habitats. Her call sign is Ceres.

Alexis “Lex” Lojek: Crew Engineer (Oahu, HI, USA)

Lex is a second-year Master’s thesis student within the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at American Military University. His research is in the realm of Spaceflight Human Factors and is focused on measurement of stress using physiological factors, specifically heartrate variability, through the use of a Garmin VivoSmart 4 device, and a potential mitigation for stress – focused breathing. He graduated with a degree in Applied Science and Technology from Thomas Edison State University in 2020. He is Active Duty in the United States Navy and has been for over 17 years. During his time as a US Navy Sailor, he has deployed four times; three as an Aviation Electronics Technician for the F/A-18F Super Hornet onboard three aircraft carriers, and once to Djibouti City, Djibouti as a Cryptologic Technician. He has hopes to pursue a commission into the US Space Force as a Space Operations officer after completion of his graduate school degree in June. His crew call sign is Kepler.

Nicholas Pender: Health and Safety Officer (Brownsville, TX, USA)

Nicholas Pender is a second-year master’s thesis student in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at American Military University. He also has a Bachelors of Science in Supply Chain, Logistics, and Transportation Management at Bellevue University. His research is focused on the application of supply caches to extend extravehicular activities (EVAs) on Mars and leveraging supply cache technology as a basis for future EVA policy. Nicholas is a Logistics Planner in the U.S. Air Force and an Education with Industry Fellow at Space Exploration Technologies, Corp (SpaceX). His call sign is X-Man.

Noah Loy: Heliophysics (Denver, CO, USA)

Noah Loy is a Space Studies and Civil Engineering undergrad at the American Military University and the University of Colorado, respectively. Noah is researching heliophysics phenomena to analyze space weather and its implications for orbital assets. Noah is a space engineer and intelligence analyst for the United States Space Force, where he is also collaborating with multiple DoD Space Test Programs researching space vehicle development and orbital Starlink internet reliability. His crew call sign is Phoenix.

Tony DiBernardo: Media & Communications (Mission Viejo, CA, USA)

Tony DiBernardo is a Space Studies grad student at the American Public University. Currently, he focuses his education and outreach to educating the general public about space on platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and Podcast form. In this mission, Tony will take high fidelity footage of the Mars analog environment for use in experiment spotlights, documentary, daily vlogs, and educational resources for social media. His crew call sign is Ironman.

Salina Peña: Crew Astronomer (Pier Pont, South Dakota, USA)

Salina Peña is a master’s student at American Public University. Her interest is in the field of astronomy. She is currently working on her thesis in the area of Variable Stars. As a student, she participates in the APUS Supernovae group as a team lead and processing images. Salina holds another master’s degree focusing on education with a certification in STEM. Currently, she is a middle school science educator. After completing the Space Studies Master’s program at APUS, she will continue her education, looking for a Ph.D. program at a university in astronomy or astrophysics. Her crew call sign is Nova.

Tyler Hines: GreenHab Officer (Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA)

Tyler Hines is an undergraduate student at American Public University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Space Studies concentrating in Aerospace Science and a minor in Business Administration. As an active extracurricular student, he currently serves both as the university’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) President and Chief of Staff for the Analog Astronaut Research Group (AARG). In his spare time, he volunteers as a docent for the American Space Museum in Florida and as a member of NASA’s Solar System Ambassador Program, where he conducts outreach presentations to the general public on the story of the nation’s space program. During the mission, his research focus will be to conduct germination studies on long-duration space-exposed seeds in simulated Martian regolith samples. His
crew call sign is “Houston”.

William O’Hara: Habitat Structure Specialist (Loveland, CO, USA)

Bill worked at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas for 20 years. During that time he held a variety of positions including astronaut instructor, MCC flight controller for NASA’s International Space Station program, Orion Life Support System Lead, and advanced life support systems development project engineer. He relocated to Denver Colorado in 2018 to develop orbital and lunar habitats and landers for Sierra Space. Currently, Bill is the Lunar Habitat Formulation lead for Blue Origin’s Advanced Development Group. He specializes in the design and development of deep space and planetary surface habitats as well as robotic landing spacecraft. Bill is a part-time instructor for the American Public University System’s Space Sciences department and supports the APU Analog Research Group as a faculty advisor. Bill is also a part-time PhD student at the University of North Dakota where he is researching the development of a habitat architecture that could enable humans to live on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. A veteran of NASA’s human test subject program, he flew on nine flights aboard the KC135 Vomit Comet. He has been a crewmember on three analog missions. In 2014 he was a member of the third crew to live in NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) habitat. In 2018 he was a member of an expedition to the Haughton Mars Project Research Station (HMPRS) located on Devon Island in the high Canadian Arctic. In 2021 he served as a crewmember to the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) as well as the University of North Dakota’s Inflatable Lunar-Mars Analog Habitat (ILMAH). His crew call sign is Titan.

Sol Summary Report – January 29th


Crew 274 Sol Summary Report 01-29-2023

Sol: 0

Summary Title: ARG-1M successful landing at Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)

Author’s name: Sarah E. Guthrie (“Ceres”), Commander

Mission Status: Possible weather impact for requested EVAs, standing by for MCC approval.

Sol Activity Summary: ARG-1M arrived at MDRS 11:48am and downloaded equipment. At 3:00pm, ARG-1M received habitat (including RAM, Science Dome and Greenhouse), rover, communications, extra-vehicular activity, and safety training. Training was completed at 6:40pm.

Look Ahead Plan: Current projected weather conditions may impact Sol 1 EVA training. Two EVAs are required to complete the training, however possible snow may eliminate second (mid-day) EVA requests. Should this occur, ARG-1M will shift mission schedule to habitat maintenance (cleaning), individual research projects, and mission planning for Sol 2 EVA requests.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Sunny, highs 6.1C, low -22.2C; partially cloudy, winds 3 mph (windy)

Crew Physical Status: Optimal

EVA: None

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations, HSO, Mission Plan, Crew Bios, Crew Pictures, and Crew Mission Patch.

Support Requested: None

Journalist Report – January 13th



Crew 272 Journalist Report 1-13-2023

Sol: 12

Author: Kenny Pritchard, Crew Journalist

Title: Lakshya (“Aim”)

For our final crew breakfast on Mars, despite rumors of lasagna, Adriana whipped up some biscuits and rehydrated butter. Our EVA this morning was planned for an early 9:00 a.m. departure, so we had little time to dilly dally – we ran an oxymoronically compacted stretching session, and four of us suited up for the EVA with biscuits still in our mouths.

The mission today was a real search and rescue to find and retrieve the Boiler Transmission Station (BTS) which had been deployed to a ledge near the Hab (we deemed it Boiler Ledge) on a previous EVA. After a few powerful dust and wind storms, the crew was concerned that it may have been blown far away from its last known location and lost to the sands of Mars. Mason, Arly, Megan, and I took the rovers to a good stopping point, walked up a familiar hill, and began scouting toward the expected location with the drone. This cycle of walking and scouting repeated a few times until we got close enough to where the drone camera could almost make out our target and we could walk over to Boiler Ledge. Lo and behold, the BTS sat serenely waiting our arrival, if a little waterlogged, and missing its original housing box. We collected the treasured transmitter and took some good drone videos and pictures hoisting our Purdue “Boiler Up” flag near the edge of Boiler Ledge. Having made excellent time to the Ledge and finding the objective easily, we made it back to the Hab before noon, where the rest of the crew sat working on the final tasks of our rotation: finishing up research, cleaning up, packing, and a writing a whole slew of end-of-mission reports.

With our time at MDRS coming to an end, it’s a good time to reflect on the progress we made. Although our crew had been meeting and planning for months leading up to our rotation, we had only just seen the tip of the iceberg of each other’s personalities and life stories (and flaws) (just kidding). Living together in an enclosed space on an inhospitable planet for two weeks was a quick fix! We’ve voiced our pet peeves, become adept with our equipment, endured exhausting EVAs, overcome unexpected challenges, been sim-resurrected from several sim-deaths, formed alliances and fought wars over board games, and we can proudly say that every crew member has achieved at least the minimum objectives of their research. The difference between our first steps and what we’re capable of accomplishing now is night and sol.

One common theme of each sol has been abundant references to the 2004 Bollywood movie Lakshya, shared with us by our fearless commander Kshitij. In this film, the main character asks himself “Main Aisa Kyun Hoon” – “Why am I like this?” and struggles to find his aim in life. I’d compare our first meetings and our final sols here with the beginning and end of the film, our crew taking a dynamic arc from inexperience and lack of direction to a resolute sense of purpose and efficiency, thanks largely to Kshitij’s wisdom and leadership (and humor). It’s been a good run here on Mars, but today we end our simulation to prepare for the long ride back to Earth! On behalf of the entire crew, thank you sincerely to all the loved ones who followed our journey and kept in touch along the way. Your support means… the world!

Signing off from Mars,

Adriana “Rocky” Brown, Arly “Maple” Black, Kenny “Hemingway” Pritchard, Dr. Kshitij “Chai” Mall, Madelyn “Sprout” Whitaker, Mason “Scout” Kuhn, and Megan “Xerox” Rush

Operations Report – January 13th



Crew 272 Operations Report 13-1-2023

SOL: 12

Name of person filing report: Mason Kuhn

Non-nominal systems: Oven light

Notes on non-nominal systems: No additional issues


Spirit rover used: Yes

Hours: 207.3

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 73%

Currently charging: Yes

Opportunity rover used: Yes

Hours: 112.0

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 78%

Currently charging: Yes

Curiosity rover used: No

Hours: 219.3

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 100%

Currently charging: Yes

Perseverance rover used: No

Hours: 253.9

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 100%

Currently charging: Yes

General notes on rovers: Spirit and Opportunity were used on the EVA. They performed nominally. The chargers were draped over the front bumper upon return to the Hab. Perseverance is still at the outpost temporarily.

Summary of Hab operations: Post-sim cleanings to be conducted in the afternoon (upper deck, RAM, Sci Dome, GreenHab), and cleanings of the lower deck will be completed this afternoon with touch-up cleanings taking place in the morning of Sol 13.

WATER USE: 11.8 gallons (by 2:30pm and before cleanings that use water)

Water (static tank): 142.8 gallons

Static tank pipe heater (on or off): On

Static tank heater (On or off): On

Toilet tank emptied: No

Summary of internet: Nominal

Summary of suits and radios: Suits 1, 5, 9, and 10 were used on the EVA. All suits performed nominally, and all are cleaned & currently charging. All radios have been charged to full, and they have been removed from the charging docks. The EVA crew had no communication issues.

Summary of GreenHab operations: Monitored and watered GreenHab crops, with a bit of extra watering due to higher temperatures. Fertilized in the afternoon. Harvested beans, chives, thyme, and dill. Planted cilantro and radishes. Cleared out dead leaves and overgrowth, distributed organic matter around GreenHab to recycle nutrients, and swept and cleaned the floor & cabinets.

WATER USE: 9 gallons

Heater: On

Supplemental light: 4 hours

Harvest: 15g beans, 3g chives, 15g thyme, 30g dill

Summary of Science Dome operations: Crew items were removed from the Science Dome, and cleanings according to the checklist to be completed shortly

Dual split: On (from approximately 8:00 pm to 8:00 am)

Summary of RAM operations: All tools from the RAM that were in the lower deck have been returned to the RAM after final measurements were made, cleanings were conducted.

Summary of any observatory issues: N/A

Summary of health and safety issues: N/A

Questions, concerns, and requests to Mission Support: N/A

GreenHab Report – January 13th



Crew 272 GreenHab Report 13-01-2023

GreenHab Officer: Madelyn Whitaker

Environmental control: heater

Average temperatures: 78 F

Hours of supplemental light: 4 hours

Daily water usage for crops: 9

Daily water usage for research and/or other purposes: 0

Water in Blue Tank : 212 gallons

Time(s) of watering for crops: 1000, 1400

Changes to crops: Planted cilantro and radish. Harvested chives, dill, thyme, beans.

Narrative: Monitored and watered GreenHab crops, temperatures were very warm so I watered a bit extra. Fertilized in the afternoon. Harvested beans, chives, thyme, dill. Planted cilantro and radishes. Cleared out some dead leaves and overgrowth, distributed organic matter around GreenHab to recycle nutrients. Swept and cleaned floor and cabinets.

Harvest: (include which crop and mass in grams): Harvested 15g beans, 3g chives, 15g thyme, 30g dill

Support/supplies needed: N/A

EVA Report – January 13th



Crew 272 EVA Report 13-01-2023

EVA # 10

Author: Arly Black

Purpose of EVA: Simple simulation of search and rescue of an incapacitated astronaut. In this case, the astronaut was the Boiler Transmission Station (BTS) located at N519600, E4251500.

Start time: 9:00 AM

End time: 10:50 AM

Narrative: Today’s EVA started off a lot earlier than the rest of them have this mission. This was the last EVA of our rotation (noooo!) and we were eager to get started and save our lost astronaut/Kshitij’s baby (and also to get back early to write our many final mission reports). After wiping the sleep from our eyes, a quick stretch, and a rushed breakfast, the EVA crew jumped into our suits, which by now we need no assistance to put on. Five minutes of space jokes (Why aren’t astronauts hungry when they get to space? Because they had a big launch!) made the airlock prebreathing pass by quickly. It was a chilly morning and when we got to our rovers, there was frost on our seats. Some of us wish we had noticed that before sitting down… Arly and Mason led the way to our destination in Spirit (and with spirit!) with Kenny and Megan following in Opportunity. We drove to the Gateway to Candor and parked, using the mound on the right side of the road to help us navigate on-foot to our destination, based on experience from the last EVA to the self-named Boiler Ledge. When we reached the top of the hill, Mason flew our search and rescue drone to see if our lost astronaut BTS (transmitter + box, not the K-Pop band) was still there. He was unable to see anything and lost connection at some point, so we continued walking towards the ledge. At a closer point about 300 ft from the ledge, Mason again attempted to spot the astronaut with the drone. He was unable to see it on the live feed but was later able to view it clearly during post-processing. Hopefully, in a real-life situation, the astronaut doesn’t mind waiting a few extra hours for rescue… Meanwhile, the other three EVA members walked towards the ledge and found the transmitter lying exactly where we expected it to be, which was surprising given the high winds and rain from a Martian storm we experienced a few days ago. Unfortunately, we found the box halfway down the cliff facing Compass Rock. While we could have scrambled down the cliff to rescue it, the crew made an executive decision to put our safety first and to leave it behind. Sometimes we astronauts must follow the pirate’s code. After all, dead men tell no tales. With that, we gathered up the transmitter booty, took some epic pictures and drone videos, left the box to its fate in Davy Jones’ locker, and sailed back to the Hab.

As a fun addition to our mission, Space Kidz India sent us some great questions from K-12 students about life on Mars and we had a great time answering a few of them while on this EVA. We discussed topics including the Martian atmosphere and why spacesuits are necessary, as well as what a Mars analog mission is and why it is important (and fun!).

And with that, we concluded another successful EVA and ended Crew 272’s final in-sim expedition. Ever. New friends, incredible views, and an experience we’ll never forget. Thank you MDRS.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be” – Douglas Adams.

Destination: Ledge overlooking Compass Rock (named Boiler Ledge by Crew 272)

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): N519600, E4251500

Participants: Megan Rush (HSO), Mason Kuhn (Crew Engineer), Arly Black (XO/Crew Scientist), Kenny Pritchard (Crew Journalist)

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Drove north along Cow Dung Road until Gateway to Candor and parked the rovers. From Gateway to Candor, walked on foot to N519600, E4251500 and retrieved the transmitter. Returned on foot to the parked rovers and drove back to the Hab along Cow Dung Road.

Mode of travel: Walking and driving

Sol Summary Report – January 13th



Crew 272 Sol Summary Report 13-01-2023

Sol: 12

Summary Title: Rescuing the BTS: The Grand Finale

Author’s name: Kshitij Mall

Mission Status: All nominal

Sol Activity Summary: The grand finale of our Martian crew ensued with a brief morning warm up exercise session, yoga, and meditation led by me. The latter were needed to get the crew calm, composed, and focused as a lot of tasks were on our plate. But before anything else, there was something else that was on our morning breakfast plate: the biscuits purely prepared from Martian resources and hot coffee to wake up the crew and partially fill their veins with the necessary caffeine to keep the crew running. The breakfast for the sol was prepared by Crew Geologist Adriana and supported by Crew Journalist Kenneth. The humongous mission of this sol was to retrieve my electrical baby named the Boiler Transmission Station (BTS) and we named this mission Dynamite. The dynamic EVA crew for the Dynamite mission comprised Crew Engineer (and Pilot-in-Command) Mason, XO Arly, Kenneth, and HSO Megan. Kenneth was a last-minute entry as I had to delegate some other important tasks to myself at the Hab. A huge shoutout to the Purdue Mission Control back at Earth (especially Rachana and Alex) for providing us with the METAR data just in time to help Mason with decision making regarding the drone flight.

Upon leaving the front airlock of the Hab Sweet Hab, the EVA crew was in mission mode to find the BTS. Within 10 minutes they parked their Martian horses, Spirit and Oppie, next to the Gateway to Candor, and then started the transmitter hunt. Mason then launched his flying baby, Garud the drone, and started looking for the BTS. He used visual clues to locate the Boiler Ledge at first because that’s where we last saw BTS. The whole EVA crew slowly started marching up the hill next to the Galileo Road and toward the Boiler Ledge. Garud the drone had brief connectivity issues as encountered previously possibly due to terrain issues. The EVA crew spotted some aliens from a high point but ignored them as the aliens were departing Mars. Mason couldn’t see clearly on the live feed from Garud but thought of checking the video generated post-processing. The last-minute entry to the EVA crew, Kenneth spotted the transmitter eventually in association with Garud and proved to be the hero that I expected him to be while swapping spots with him for this mission. He performed well in the Geologist versus Non-Geologist experiments too as per Adriana and has seen BTS from a close proximity. The EVA crew then also found the BTS box halfway down the cliff, north of the Campus rock, which was expected due to strong winds 2 sols back. Since it was not safe to rescue the box, the crew settled for taking back just the transmitter. After the successful retrieval of the BTS (sans the box) and completion of Mission Dynamite, the crew took some drone media footage to celebrate the successful search and rescue operation. The EVA crew also took group pictures including some with the Purdue flag, which were apt for a place like the Boiler Ledge. Arly and Kenneth also recorded some videos for our Outreach activity with Space Kidz India, which we will be sending back in once we are out of sim and back to Earth. These questions were relayed to Space Kidz India team by several school students hailing from different parts of India. Our plan is to answer remaining outreach questions at the Hab and surrounding units. Even though I couldn’t go to rescue my electrical baby, I’m glad my fellow Martian crew mates rescued it and brought it back to the Hab. BTS was reunited with his sibling transmitter at the Hab, and it was an electrically emotional moment.

As per traditions, the crew completed all the cognitive performance tests and daily questionnaires requested by Arly and Andres. At the Greenhab, Madelyn watered the plants and will fertilize the soil in the afternoon after which she plans to clean this unit. The Science Dome will be deprived of the Martian rocks we collected so far as those rocks are being packed by Adriana in a big box to be taken back to Purdue for further analysis. We plan to clean the Hab and surrounding units and then to pack our Earthly and Martian belongings with a Divide and Conquer policy aimed at dividing the cleanup work among the 7 of us. Of course, we stay united while we do all these cleanup activities. The final mopping and vacuuming of the lower deck will be carried out tomorrow morning to keep the Hab cleanest possible when we depart for our journey back to the Earth. As I submit this final sol summary report for our rotation, we are already out of sim and ready to launch to our other sweet home (a Hab away from Hab). We will surely miss the Martian times but will be ready to savor back the Earthly flavors before we return back to Mars. We thank the Mission support team for an outstanding support to keep us safe, sound, and healthy during the rotation with replenishments and shipments via interplanetary cargo ships.

Look Ahead Plan: Sending the final research and daily (sol-ly) reports, packing our stuff, cleaning the Hab and surrounding units, and then relaxing a bit at MDRS

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Overcast with Calm Winds

Crew Physical Status: Good

EVA: One

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, EVA Report, Greenhab Report, Mission Summary

Support Requested: None