Operations Report – May 19th

Crew 299 Operations Report 5-19-2024

SOL: 7

Name of person filing report: Rishabh Pandey (Engineer)

Non-Nominal Systems: Suit 9 (broken visor), Suit 11 (fan issue)

Notes on non-nominal systems: Issues with both suits were noted before our mission, both will not be used during our mission.

ROVERS
Rovers Used:
      Curiosity:
            Hours: 282.2
            Beginning charge: 100%
            Ending charge: 50%
            Currently charging: yes
      Opportunity:
            Hours: 189.8
            Beginning charge: 100%
            Ending charge: 53%
            Currently charging: yes
General notes on rovers: None

Summary of Hab operations:
      WATER USE: 50 Gallons
      Water (static tank): 192.3 (using effective value from spreadsheet)
      Static tank pipe heater: off
      Static tank heater: off
      Toilet tank emptied: no

Summary of internet usage: Catch up on Earthly news, email responses, code development, entertainment

Summary of suits and radios: Used Radios: 1,2,3,6, Suits: 6,7,8,10

Summary of GreenHab operations: NA, GreenHab out of operation

Summary of ScienceDome operations: More rock samples were made and analyzed. Radishes were watered and checked in on.

Summary of RAM operations: Multimeter and Measuring tape used
      
Summary of observatory issues: NA

Journalist Report – May 19th

Hello Mission Control,

Today we were able to do two EVAs, both with Spencer Joseph. The first one, me, Avery, and Rishabh took him to Camel Ridge. We collected some samples there and showed him how the drone works. We also got more footage for the map. Since we had the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, they had better batteries and we took him to Marble Ritual as well. Marble Ritual provides the "Martian" look and so we were able to get him some better footage for that.

Then, we took him to the RAM and Rishabh explained how the engineering software and drone works. He also gave insight into how this could be used to perform search and rescue missions. Next, we took him to the Science dome where myself, Noah, and Aravind explained our research. We did a live exfoliation and microscope test for him with the white mound sample. Noah and Aravind were also interviewed here. I took him to the greenhab to get some shots there and the next stop was the observatory. There, Avery and Kristina were interviewed and they showed him how to work the telescope. We got back to the hab and my interview was conducted.

After we had lunch with him, we took him on an EVA where he was suited up. Rishabh and I adjusted the suit for him and Noah, Aravind and Kristina took him around for a walking EVA. They tested out the Geiger counter. Now we are working on reports and resting up.

Have a great day!

Research Report – May 18th

[category science-report]

Title: Testing Approaches to the Analysis and Utilization of Martian Regolith

Members: Aravind Karthigeyan, Noah Mugan, Prakruti Raghunarayan

Current Progress:

At the moment, the three of us have been analyzing and retrieving a lot of samples. We are analyzing them by taking these bulk materials and grinding them into a fine powder like substance and exfoliating them. We then add this to PDMS and put it under a microscope to see if they separate into bulk material, bilayers, or monolayers. For certain substances, such as the fine Martian soil and White Mound samples, we noticed that there was thinning, which usually would indicate the presence of a bilayer. We are also currently intrigued by the igneous rock we found and were finally able to cut into. We will attempt to tell the age of the rock by looking at geological studies and hopefully be able to tell more about the history of the area and the activity that may have occurred there. Application wise, this technique would be useful to learn about activity and geology on Mars. Spectroscopy was how the composition of the Martian terrain was analyzed in the first place and now we can add a second element of geology.

Another way we have been analyzing the samples is through radiation analysis. Our second experiments involves how various forms of radiation such as gamma rays and beta rays can tell us important information about the components of the regolith and larger rocks. Though most of the rocks were indistinguishable from background radiation, the samples we found that did have elevated levels of radiation measured in counts per minute were samples next to the rover trails and certain petrified wood deposits, which we found at Zubrin’s Head (519250, 4248500). This makes it increasingly likely that deposits of radioactive material won’t be a major problem for human activity, but it also confirms that using simple tools such as a geiger counter, we can determine radiation levels fast and accurately.

Yet another form of geologic analysis utilizes live samples. Our third experiment involves growing 3 sets of radishes, one in potting soil and two in two separate replications of Martian regolith. Following the conclusion of our research here at MDRS, we will be able to conduct nutrient analysis to determine if there are any elemental deficiencies or excesses in the radishes grown in the “Martian” soil. With the potting soil radishes as our control group, this will allow us to determine how astronauts may need to supplement any crops grown on Mars.

Before traveling to MDRS, the radishes had been growing for almost three weeks and had two visible radish bulbs from the potting soil and one in the analog Martian soil. The samples were a little rattled on the plane ride, but there was nothing worse than a fallen leaf or two. Unfortunately, we suffered a setback upon placing the radishes in the grow tent when we arrived. For some unknown reason, the radishes halted growth and wilted when moved inside the grow tent, with many different samples exhibiting black spots on leaves. We believe this may be due to stale air inside the grow tent or the accumulation of dark gunk at the bottom of the tent. After moving the plants outside the tent and trimming the dead leaves, we observed many radishes grow healthy again and we are optimistically hoping for more bulbs to peak above the soil. The radishes are currently situated on a table in the science dome with a desk lamp placed directly above.

Astronomy: So far, we have imaged at the Musk Observatory twice. However, the data from the second imaging run was lost due to a hardware issue. The first imaging data has been processed and may be processed again towards the end of our mission once we gain more experience. We will continue imaging at the Musk Observatory for the duration of our mission, weather permitting. Our test images for the Robotic Observatory in New Mexico were delayed for a month due to unfavorable weather conditions. We received our test images when we were already on Mars, so we are still working on extracting their data via photometry. We aim to image our target star BD-07 3632 once a night for the rest of the mission, should conditions allow.

Engineering:

Members: Rishabh Pandey

Current Progress: I have conducted multiple drone flights to capture video footage of various target environments around the HAB. These environments include paths along Cow Dung Road and spots that are further from the roads for walking EVAs. The captured videos have been processed using photogrammetry software to generate 3D models. The software alongside some of my developed code stitches together multiple frames from the video to create accurate and detailed representations of the environment. The models have been verified for scale and accuracy against existing topological maps and self-measurements. The generated models are currently being processed to determine if they are viable for further development, that is, the models are being checked to remove any incorrect artifacts and inconsistencies. Work is currently being done to ensure features such as pathways, obstacles, and terrain variables are clearly identifiable in order to apply a pathfinding artificial intelligence model. Using algorithms such as Dijkstras the model has been shown to find possible paths in sandbox environments. Some potential complexities to future development would be the large volume of data that needs to be processed alongside the vast and sudden changes in terrain, with ground going from hard-packed soil to loose sand, which would lead to large variations within a pathfinding algorithm.

Journalist Report – May 22nd

Hello Mission Control,

Today we had a day where we mainly split into and worked amongst our subgroups. We planned EVAs and ate our meals (butter noodles we are kind of in the trenches as we speak) as a group. Luckily, Noah and Kristina are quite creative and we are having a taco night for dinner.

Other than that, me and Noah have started taking care of the disaster of a biohazard that was left in the science dome and we thought we deserved to feel clean after (we took showers!). We worked on the science dome samples and categorized them. After the success of the first overnight sample experiment, we decided to do some more.

Avery and Kristina processed some images in the observatory and have been occupied the entire day with it. Rishabh has also been working hard at finishing the last few steps with this map.

Proud of the efforts and progress made!

Best,
Pari & the Bevonauts

Operations Report – May 22nd

Crew 299 Operations Report 5-22-2024

SOL: 10

Name of person filing report: Rishabh Pandey (Engineer)

Non-Nominal Systems: Suit 9 (broken visor), Suit 11 (fan issue)

Notes on non-nominal systems: Issues with both suits were noted before our mission, both will not be used during our mission.

ROVERS
Rovers Used: None
General notes on rovers: None

Summary of Hab operations:
      WATER USE: 19 Gallons
      Water (static tank): 237.3 (using effective value from spreadsheet)
      Static tank pipe heater: off
      Static tank heater: off
      Toilet tank emptied: no

Summary of internet usage: Catch up on Earthly news, email responses, code development, entertainment

Summary of suits and radios: None used

Summary of GreenHab operations: NA, GreenHab out of operation

Summary of ScienceDome operations: More rock samples were made and analyzed. Radishes were watered and checked in on. Soil was further analyzed.

Summary of RAM operations: Measuring tape used.
      
Summary of observatory issues: NA

Sol Summary – May 22nd

Crew 299 Sol Summary 05-22-2024
Sol: 10
Summary Title: Nearing the End
Mission Status: Active
Sol Activity Summary:

Noah, Aravind, and I went to the science dome to start to clean it up and to prepare some soil samples for analysis. We brought bleach from the hab in order to take care of the bioreactor in the science dome. We poured the bleach in and are waiting to see any progress on this biohazard. We also finished analyzing the samples from PDMS and discussed ways we should classify them for future use. Noah also moved the radishes out of the tent back into the sunlight. We hope to see more growth. We prepared more jars of samples and did a makeshift experiment to see the contents and composition of the unsorted, fine, white mound, and etc.

Rishabh has checked the water, tarps, and all the inspections. He also is working to finish up his map and has been programming.

For Sol 10, Kristina and Avery started the day by operating the Musk Observatory. They took two sets of images and began processing them. Every solar image is currently at the Photoshop stage; since the presets from the Astronomy Laptop cannot be saved, manual edits need to be made instead. Kristina and Avery also familiarized themselves more with AstroImageJ and reached a stopping point, since no further progress can be made with a lack of images.

Best Regards,
Prakruti "Pari" Raghunarayan

EVA Report – May 21st

Crew 299 EVA 10 Report 5-21-2024

EVA #10

Author: Noah Mugan

Purpose of EVA: Travel to Marble Ritual and Pooh’s corner to pick up duplicates of previous samples.

Start Time: 10:00 AM

End Time: 10:55 AM

Narrative: EVA crew drove to Marble Ritual, where they collected several of the greenish-grey rocks from the ground. From there, they travelled to the white mound to the right of the road, just north of Pooh’s corner. They collected further samples there and tested the geiger counter to determine the level of radiation from the earth.

Destination: Marble Ritual and Pooh’s Corner

Coordinates:

4251000 5187500 (Marble Ritual), 519000, 4251250 (Pooh’s Corner)

EVA Participants: Noah (Biologist), Avery (XO and Astronomer), and Aravind (Chemist)

Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Cow Dung Road

Mode of travel: Driving and walking

Sol Summary – May 21st

Crew 299 Sol Summary 5-21-2024
Sol:9
Summary Title: All in a Day’s work
Mission Status: Active
Sol Activity Summary:

Aravind:
I went on an EVA to Marble Ritual and Pooh’s corner and went as far as possible with the battery as a limitation. This was in order to collect samples from previous EVAs in order to compare the structure of the samples. I helped Kristina and Avery out in the Musk Observatory taking pictures. Then I headed out to the science dome to classify all the remaining samples. I also helped prepare a few more samples that were gathered earlier today and another soil sample courtesy of Noah.

Avery:
For Sol 9, I went on and EVA with Noah and Aravind to collect more samples. I then worked with Kristina at the Musk Observatory (which was finally operating correctly!) and we were able to get two sets of solar imaging completed. Following this, we practiced using AstroImageJ and began processing the images we took today. We are still awaiting Robotic Observatory images.

Rishabh:
Rishabh worked on further developing his path finding algorithm to run on the created models of the surrounding area.

Pari:
I helped the crew set up for their EVA this morning. Then, I worked with Noah and Aravind in the science dome for the rest of the morning and afternoon. I also created a document and calculated the age of the igneous rock in the area to learn more about the area with the now dormant Henry Mountains. We can apply this technique to learn about radiation levels and ability to sustain life. I also set up an overnight experiment about the chemical composition of one type of soil.

Noah:
I noted changes with the radishes, processed the final geological samples we collected, and began to prepare for final analyses of our findings

Kristina:
Sol 9 I woke up at 8 am and did the coms for the EVA. Then I went to the solar observatory with Avery and took two more sets of data. We processed the images till dinner and then after as well.