Operations Report – November 30th

SOL: 04

Name of person filing report: Munkh-Erdene "Muggi" Altankhuyag

Non-nominal systems: No non-operational system

Notes on non-nominal systems: Generator issue has been fixed and all systems back to plugged including supplemental light in the Hab.


Spirit rover used: not-used

Hours: (before EVA)

Beginning charge: (Before EVA)

Ending charge: (On return from EVA, before recharging)

Currently charging: unplugged

Opportunity rover used:


Beginning charge:

Ending charge:

Currently charging: unplugged

Curiosity rover used: the rover is used for EVA-04, and we

Hours: 259.3

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 33%

Currently charging: unplugged

Perseverance rover used: The rover is used for EVA-04

Hours: 278.4

Beginning charge: 100%

Ending charge: 29%

Currently charging: unplugged

General notes on rovers: The rovers have been taken to Brahe Hwy1572, Perseverance rover’s parking brake wasn’t operational.

Summary of Hab operations: added 110 gallons of water

WATER USE: 65.27 gallons

Water (static tank): 288.729 gallons

Static tank pipe heater (on or off): on

Static tank heater (On or off) on

Toilet tank emptied: yes

Summary of internet: Internet in the hab was disabled until 6:00 pm.

Summary of suits and radios: all radios are operational, and suits are operational but not charging, will be pulled in this night

Summary of GreenHab operations: Systems are operational.

WATER USE: 0.79 gallons

Heater: On

Supplemental light: will be operated from 10pm to 2 am

Harvest: 0.09lb

Summary of ScienceDome operations: The Dome systems are operational, EVA’s Cap Comm used the dome.

Dual split: Heat or AC, Off

Summary of RAM operations: RAM wasn’t used.

Summary of any observatory issues: nothing to report

Summary of health and safety issues: nothing to report

Questions, concerns and requests to Mission Support: nothing to report

Journalist Report – November 27th

Sol #1
Title: First Day at Mars Analog Center
Journalist’s name: Sunny
Crew name: Alpha
Crew number: 287

Today, history was made as the world’s first Mars Analog Center welcomed the Alpha Crew 287. Stepping into the simulated Martian landscape felt like a thrilling leap into the unknown.

Led by Captain Dono, with experts like Geologist Davaa, Engineer Muggi, Health and Safety Officer Dulu, and Psychologist Tunga, our team began training.

Training and induction were skillfully guided by Ben and impressed everyone. The Science Dome, packed with instruments, promises exciting discoveries in our simulated Martian world.

As we embark on this analog Martian adventure, the Alpha Crew 287 eagerly anticipates the mysteries and adventures that await in this groundbreaking simulation.

Sol Summary – December 1st

Sol: 5

Summary Title: The Case for Hybrid Mars

Author’s name: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: We decided last night during our daily meeting to stay flexible with the sim from now on until the end of our rotation. We will be performing hybrid EVAs with 2 of the members in suit, with the accompanying one without a suit. We realize this is not ideal for the purposes of MDRS operations, but our goal is to explore around as much as possible, and effectively operate the drone during the EVAs. Crew HSO also warned me that the physical toll of in-sim EVAs on two of our crew members is high, and I want them to experience the environment as much as possible during their time at MDRS.

The crew woke up today at 6 AM and made our first crew log. We discussed everything starting from how we received the invite to MDRS, how the preparation went, the support from our sponsors and collaborators, the trip to the US, and what we experienced and learned since coming to Mars. The breakfast early in the morning was simple quick oats at 6:30 AM and fried eggs around 8 AM. We have been using the food provided to us by the station here and there, mixing it with the freeze-dried food we brought.

The morning ritual has been set in stone for the crew. We exercised together, did breathing exercises afterwards, and meditated. This was the most active we have been in the morning since coming here, and the sleep quality of the crew is improving drastically. We have been measuring our sleep quality with the smart watch, and the deep sleep time reached over 6 hours the past two days.

The EVA preparation today commenced around 9:30 AM. As usual, we check our comms, suits, helmets, and tracker, and head out to the field. The drone operation today was experimental at best, and we plan to improve the maneuverings from here on out. We notified Ben that we were going with the hybrid EVA plan prior to heading out, and he was kind enough to be flexible with us. The crew headed out to Compass Rock and spent around 40 minutes out of contact, but apparently it is a known issue around that site. Crew geologist identified four different muddy soil types to test out making building blocks, but the site they reached on foot had abundant vegetation, so we’re postponing the gathering of soil samples for the next two days.

We had fried beef with lettuce for lunch after the EVA. Dinner was prepared by the crew psychologist, Tungaa, and she made a delicious fried beef with potatoes and carrots, with brown rice on the side. In the RAM, Muggi and Duluu made aeroponic planting equipment for the Greenhab and are planning to test it out tomorrow. We are now planning to play a team game to test out our crew psychology, and everyone is very much looking forward to it.

The crew has officially adapted to the environment, the station, and their new lifestyle, and are starting to have fun, listening to music and dancing during the day, exercising whenever time allows, and making full use of different parts of the station. The only inaccessible part of the station right now is the observatory, and I have inquired Peter whether it would be possible to grant me a late permission to use the telescope. I plan to take the test and send a proposal promptly tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve noticed today that the crew has gotten much more proficient at running things around here, preparing for the EVA with zero mistakes, directing the CapComm with professionalism, and preparing delicious meals for 6 within 20 minutes. The reports were cumbersome at the beginning, but we have gotten used to it.

Our two biggest areas of water usage were taking showers and washing dishes. We are now using buckets to take showers, with everybody taking one every 3-4 days, and are conserving and saving the water when washing dishes. We are saving the water even when washing hands. Hopefully this resolves our water consumption problem.

It has already been almost a week since arriving here, and we’ve noticed that adaptation has taken the majority of our time. Looking at the performance of the crew today, I’ve gained a bit of confidence that we may even be able to survive on actual Mars, provided that Mars Direct commences within our lifetime.

Look Ahead Plan: Crew psychologist, Tungaa, is also trained in microbiology. She and Davaa are planning to take several soil samples to start a few elementary microbiological experiments. Geologist Davaa is planning on testing out different materials to determine which is best for making building blocks. The EVAs for the next two days will be for taking soil samples. Greenhab officer Duluu will try out her new aeroponic equipment tomorrow. Muggi has already come up with a novel design for a Mars analog helmet and is now planning to design a general structure for a Mars analog station with the support of Davaa. Sunny has been actively engaging in public outreach; the interest and support back home amongst the MARS-V community has been incredible and uplifting. We are in the process of finalizing our plans and logistics for our trip back home. Hopefully we won’t be tired to our bones before the long journey back to Earth.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Sunny with a bit of cloud cover. Seems like it might rain tonight, but the weather station says otherwise.

Crew Physical Status: All healthy and happy.

EVA: Performed one successful EVA today to Compass Rock.

Reports to be filed: Sol summary, Journalist report, Operations report, Greenhab report, EVA report, EVA request, Photos.

Support Requested: We would like the crew car to be made available to us on Sol 11 which is December 7th for the purposes of out-of-sim exploration around the station.

Sol Summary – November 30th

Sol: 4

Summary Title: Habituation

Author’s name: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: We are quickly adapting to our life on Mars. The power situation has been sorted out: propane is resupplied, and the generator has been fixed. Water has been refilled. We had our second salad harvested from the Greenhab. Finally received our drone. Ben worked wonders on assisting us so far, with his delightful companion, Jewels. We are having rice soup with Mongolian beef for dinner and are getting ready to play a psychology game at the time of writing.

The crew woke up promptly at 8 AM, had breakfast and exercised together. We had a quick meeting to discuss our roles and our individual target results for the rotation and started to prepare for the EVA of the day. Led by Tungaa, the EVA crew of 3 headed for Gateway to Lith, but the rover batteries proved insufficient to reach there; this is considering the 55% protocol. This was our first long-distance EVA and the CapComm led by Sunny showed quite the professionalism, checking with us every 5 minutes. We are getting used to communicating effectively via the different channels. The foot exploration after parking the rovers proved to be physically demanding, but it is not a challenge we can’t face.

The afternoon was relaxed, and the crew managed to take a quick nap. During this time, I had a chat with the Netflix documentary producer – Lauren, their logistics person – Skoti, and the Mars Society’s Director of Public and Media Relations – Michael Stoltz. We are getting ready to receive them on the last day of our rotation.

We will be contacting the MARS-V team back in Mongolia later during the Comms window today, and the crew has taken care of the reports in advance to make time for that. We’ve also tested our drone inside, and all seems nominal.

It has already been 5 days since we came to Mars. It has become apparent to us that there lie innumerable base challenges in this alien place in terms of infrastructure, psychology, physiology, consumption, daily routine, and crew chemistry. We came prepared for all these challenges but facing them head-on is an incredible reality check. Onwards and upwards!

Look Ahead Plan: We will now start using the drone for EVAs and will commence geological and microbiological testing. We also plan to record a crew log early in the morning tomorrow. The MARS-V training program is also ready to be tested in a true sense starting tomorrow. Hopefully more positive updates to follow.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Bit chilly during the night, but nice and sunny during the day.

Crew Physical Status: All healthy and energetic.

EVA: Performed one successful long-distance EVA today.

Reports to be filed: Sol summary, Journalist report, Operations report, Greenhab report, EVA report, EVA request, Photos.

Support Requested: Fixing Perseverance’s parking brake.

Sol Summary – November 29th>

Sol: 3

Summary Title: Winding down.

Author’s name: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Mission Status: Sleep schedule is slowly settling in. Still waiting for our drone to arrive. Getting used to doing EVAs. Water and power consumption needs to be closely monitored.

Sol Activity Summary: Our power went off last night due to a generator issue and we are trying our best to conserve electricity. The crew was well prepared for such occasions, and we spent the evening playing cards after dinner. Fortunately, the HAB’s propane supply is still sufficient for our meals, and we turned on the space heater in the HAB’s first floor to stay warm throughout the night. We also faced connectivity issues due to the power failure and could not send in the Greenhab report and the daily photos to Mission Support. I have just sent them in. Water consumption is also becoming a problem now, and we only have 6 days’ worth of water according to our calculations. We are now carefully monitoring our water usage.

The sol started around 8:30 AM. We had a lentil soup with vegetables for breakfast and some coffee. The first EVA started a little after 10:00 AM with Muggi as the leader with Davaa and Dono accompanying him as the designated drivers. We reached a bit farther than Cowboy Corner and returned with 48% batteries on both rovers. The rest of the day has been relaxed, and the crew is finally able to rest after a long trip and a busy initiation of the mission. Mars is starting to challenge us in a variety of ways, but the crew came prepared to survive and adapt, and morale is high.

Look Ahead Plan: We are planning to take it easy for the next few days and get accustomed to the time zone. Tomorrow, we plan to head out to Gateway to Lith while carefully monitoring the battery power of the rovers, and with constant communication with CAPCOMM. The drone should arrive sometime in the afternoon tomorrow, and we will get a better view of the environment from up above.

Anomalies in work: Power failure. Low water level. Connectivity issue. I also burnt our dinner, wasting a perfectly good black bean burger patty. Apparently it is super important to pay close attention to cooking on Mars.

Weather: Sunny with a good amount of clouds.

Crew Physical Status: 3 of the crew members are showing fatigue from the long journey. Our sleep schedule is also yet to completely settle in.

EVA: Successfully performed 1 EVA today with Muggi as the leader of the expedition.

Reports to be filed: Sol summary, Journalist report, Operations report, Greenhab report, EVA report, EVA request, Photos.

Support Requested: It has become apparent to us that the water we have left is not sufficient for the rest of the mission. We are requesting a water refill during the weekend if possible.

Sol Summary – November 28th

Sol: 2

Summary Title: “Getting acquainted with Mars”

Author’s name: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Mission Status: Nominal

Sol Activity Summary:

Morning Routine:

· The crew woke up at 8:00 AM with Davaa and Sunny designated for today’s duties of cooking and cleaning. This follows yesterday’s responsibilities handled by Muggi and Duluu, while Dono and Tungaa will take over tomorrow.

· Breakfast featured a traditional Mongolian milk rice.

EVA #1:

· Preparation for the first EVA began at 9:30 AM for a 10:00 AM start, led by Dono.

· Muggi and Tungaa operated the rovers to Marble Ritual, where they added rocks to the three poles and went on to explore the surrounding area of foot.

· CAPCOMM was led by Davaan from the Science Dome, who noted the battery usage and distance travelled.

· The team returned promptly at 11:00 AM for a debriefing.


· Lunch consisted of fried meat with potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms, accompanied by a fresh salad from our greenhab’s harvest, which was thoroughly enjoyed.

Second EVA:

· The afternoon EVA was prepared for at 2:30 PM, with a start time of 3:00 PM.

· Led by crew geologist Davaa, joined by journalist Sunny and HSO Duluu. The activity was documented by the CAPCOMM led by Dono from the Science Dome, noting battery usage and distance covered.

We wore two of the analog suits brought from Mongolia, and they turned out to be quite comfortable. We still haven’t used the helmet. After that, all 6 crew members went out with suits to take a picture in front of the HAB, which was the first time we broke protocol. HSO Duluu is now in charge of the greenhab, and engineer Muggi oversees operation reports. Journalist Sunny oversees public outreach, geologist Davaa is currently in charge of media and content, psychologist Tungaa is keeping close tabs on the crew mindset. We lost our drone on the way to Mars and are expecting to have a new one delivered tomorrow. Davaa will then start mapping out the topography of the surrounding area. Dinner is being made at the time of writing, and we are all looking forward to a delicious meal made from freeze dried Mongolian recipe.

Look Ahead Plan: The next two days on Mars promises to be an exciting day for us since we have all gotten experience doing EVAs. We plan to go on reconnaissance EVAs twice a day for the next couple days and determine areas of geological interest. CAPCOMM will operate fully during these long-distance EVAs, and we plan to utilize COMMS fully and effectively. We plan to use the helmet we brought from Mongolia to see if the battery will hold for 4 hours. We also have 2 psychological games to play throughout the rotation to analyze individual and team mindset. Each member is in the process of proactively setting goals for themselves and coming up with action plans for the remainder of our time on Mars. We are still getting used to the station and the environment, but so far Mars is treating us quite well.

Anomalies in work: The distance travelled by the rovers came out to be inconsistent with the reality. Curiosity’s odometer reading went down, and Perseverance’s reading said it travelled for about 100m. These may need maintenance.

Weather: Sunny with minimal clouds. Not much wind. 6 degrees Celsius during the warmest part of the day. Perfect for wearing MARS-V analog suits.

Crew Physical Status: Nominal.

EVA: Two test EVAs performed successfully.

Reports to be filed: Sol summary, Journalist report, Greenhab report, Operations report, Photos.

Support Requested: None.

Sol Summary – November 27th

Sol: 1

Summary Title: “Alpha Mission Initiation”

Author’s name: Enkhtuvshin Doyodkhuu

Mission Status: All is nominal except the fact that we lost our drone on the way to the station. Currently looking into possibilities of retrieving the lost drone or having a new one sent to Hanksville.

Sol Activity Summary: The crew woke up around 8:30 am in the morning and did morning exercises. Made breakfast and started our training. Instructor Ben explained in detail the HAB operations starting with the second floor continuing onto the first floor. We then did a tour around the station. Ben took us to the RAM, Science Dome, Musk Observatory, and the greenhab. After that, we took a lunch break and made steak with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a cranberry sauce. We then continued onto Rover training. All 6 crew members along with Ben took 4 of the rovers and visited Marble Ritual. After that, we finished EVA and COMMS training. All in all, it was a very successful training day, and we are officially in sim. Looking forward to our time on Mars.

Look Ahead Plan: We plan to perform 2 test EVAs tomorrow. We will test out our analog suit in both EVAs. We might try timing how long it takes for 2 members to put on both suits using a buddy system. We also plan to make a Zoom call with the Netflix documentary crew in the evening.

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: Cold and humid in the morning,

Crew Physical Status: Crew commander has a bit of a runny nose. All nominal otherwise.

EVA: –

Reports to be filed: Sol summary, Journalist report, Greenhab report, Operations report, Photos.

Support Requested: None

EVA Report – November 29th

EVA #3

Author: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Purpose of EVA: Reconnaissance

Start time: 10:20AM

End time: 11:35AM

Narrative: We discussed amongst ourselves and decided to cancel the EVA to Robert’s Rock Garden and switched participants. Muggi was the EVA leader this time, with Davaa and Dono as the designated drivers. We were initially planning to reach Cowboy Corner, but we had more than 70% on both Spirit and Opportunity, so we tried going as far as we could until we hit 55%. The road was very smooth until we reached a decline, and the rovers were at 60%. CAPCOMM was directed by HSO Duluu this time, and she advised us to park the rovers and explore on foot. We took pictures and videos of the surrounding area and headed back to the HAB. At the end, both rovers were at 48%, so we are confident we can explore much farther next time.

Destination: Cowboy Corner

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 518300;4249250

Participants: Muggi, Davaa, Dono

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Marble Ritual -> Pooh’s Corner -> Cowboy Corner -> Bit farther along the road.

Mode of travel: Spirit and Opportunity.

EVA Report – November 28th

EVA #2

Author: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Purpose of EVA: Test

Start time: 03:15 PM

End time: 03:50 PM

Narrative: Crew geologist Davaa was the EVA leader. Accompanying him was Sunny and Duluu. CAPCOMM was led by Dono. All went smoothly.

Destination: Marble Ritual

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 518700;4251000

Participants: Davaa, Sunnny, Duluu

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Marble Ritual

Mode of travel: Driving. Curiosity and Perseverance were used.

EVA Report – November 28th

EVA #1

Author: Enkhtuvshin “Dono” Doyodkhuu

Purpose of EVA: Test

Start time: 10:00AM

End time: 11:00AM

Narrative: Crew commander Dono led the EVA team. Accompanying him was Tungaa and Muggi. CAPCOMM was led by Davaa. We went to Marble Ritual with Spirit and Opportunity and explored the surrounding area on foot for about 20 minutes. All went smoothly.

Destination: Marble Ritual

Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): 518700;4251000

Participants: Dono, Tungaa, Muggi

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Marble Ritual

Mode of travel: Driving. Spirit and Opportunity were used.