Difference between revisions of "Crew 2 - Crew Reports"

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[[Category:MDRS Crew Reports]]
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===Daily Log — MDRS, Feb 21, 2002, Greg Delory===
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Today was the changeover period between the first and second crew rotations for MDRS. 2nd shift crew members Greg Delory, Jon Rask, Don Barker,  and
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Gilles Dawidowicz arrived sometime between 10-11 am, after some of us managed to "explore" a few other dirt roads near the MDRS region. A quick
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tour and update from Tony, the previous crew commander, was enough to show the new crew most of the essentials for daily operations. We exchanged
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stories and information with the old crew, who looked none the worse for wear, but nonetheless eager to return to civilization. The official crew
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changeover occurred at noon as Tony handed over MDRS to the new crew commander, Greg Delory, each shaking hands in front of the main airlock in a
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photo-opportunity.
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Tutorials by overlapping crewmember Andy De Witt continued throughout the rest of the day. Procedures for the generator, shower/bathroom, power and
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internet use, fresh water supply, and safety were all reviewed. Supplies and equipment brought by the new crew were stowed. A one hour practice on the
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ATVs was conducted to acclimate us all to their operation and safety aspects. Upon return, Andy and Greg went into Hanksville to clarify rules
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and procedures for ATV operations in the area with local authorities. The sixth and final 2nd crew rotation member, Fred Janson, arrived at 5pm along
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with a significant amount of new food supplies. An all-hands meeting was held, where science priorities, scheduling, and the next day's activities
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were discussed. We decided on a 3-person EVA, with ATV use,  to scout for sites relevant to both geomorphology and biology investigations, while
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allowing the new crew to practice EVA procedures. After the meeting, we decided to hold an official "entering sim" ceremony, as the entire crew
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gathered to  watch Greg close the main airlock and announce that the simulation had begun. 
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The evening concluded with a group photo, contact with mission support, and a delicious spaghetti dinner cooked by Andy. Excitement is high as all look
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forward to both fun and hard work. Tomorrow will be our first operational day on Mars.
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===Status Report — MDRS, Feb 22, 2002, Greg Delory===
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Today we got an early start with most of us waking up between 7 and 7:30 am. A wonderful scene greeted us at the viewports of the hab as we looked out on the desert in the morning sunrise. The sharp red tones combined with the sloping, rounded terrain reminded all of us that this was indeed our first morning on Mars. After each of us picked up a quick breakfast, we gathered for an all-hands meeting somewhat before 9 am to discuss the details for today's planned EVA. It had been decided the previous night to focus this EVA on site selections for testing Gilles' Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), which would also give this new EVA team some much needed experience with the local area and standard EVA procedures. Andy, Gilles, and Jon comprised our first EVA crew, and under Andy's instruction, all were suited up and ready to go by 10:30. Once outside a quick comm check and GPS position verification was conducted. It was quite a sight indeed, watching three figures in their suits depart the hab in a single file line of ATVs against the Martian landscape, each with large red numbers on their backpacks for easy identification.
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Greg assigned Don and Fred to perform habcom duties, monitoring the radios and recording position and status information during regularly scheduled hourly reports. The radio exchanges with the EVA crew were terse and professional, as they rapidly became engrossed in observations of the surrounding landscape. At least two sites were identified as possible testing areas for Gille's CRV. During the search for these sites, an interesting ground water spring was found on the side of a cliff, with some slow seepage. Such a feature might possibly be similar to larger gully outflow regions identified on Mars. This feature had gone unnoticed during previous EVAs through the area, but a short foot excursion by some curious EVA members revealed its presence; it is doubtful it would have been discovered by a rover or from the vantage point of an ATV. The EVA team returned an hour early, having had a successful day in this "shakedown" test for the new crew members. An excited, loud debrief followed in which the EVA team enthusiastically related their experiences. Gilles was beaming with anticipation for an upcoming test of the CRV on some of the slopes and cliffs they had seen, while Jon talked about what kind of life might be living in the cliff-side water source they had found.
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Less than exciting as the EVA but equally important was the continuing work necessary to maintain the hab infrastructure. Greg tried to get at least one more laptop functional on the network, and was partially successful. Don composed some signage, checklists, and log file templates to be used during EVA operations and as a guide to the evening reports. Fred reviewed previous biology reports and began to ascertain how best to carry on their work in our current crew rotation.
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Overall we had a very good first day on Mars, with a successful EVA and some immediate improvement in documentation and procedures. Tomorrow there will likely be a second shakedown EVA for the remaining crewmembers who didn't make it outside today. We can't wait!
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Donald Barker
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
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This EVA was planned to serve as a Generic ATV Area Survey of several local sites for the implicit purpose of finding locations for conducting future operations of the French Mars Society chapters Cliff Recognizance Vehicle and to locate good sites of microbial activity in extreme conditions.
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DATE (MM-DD-YY): 02-22-02
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
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Initially the EVA team headed to the top of HAB ridge. This afforded us a fantastic clear 360 degree panoramic view of the Henry Mountains, Skyline Rim, Factory Butte, and the red and white  hills of the Morrison Formation.
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A brief trip west across the Lower Blue Hills to the base of vertical cliffs of Skyline Rim allowed the new crew members to see the intensely bioturbated sandstones of the Ferron Sandstone.
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The EVA team identified 2 excellent locations to conduct experiments with the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle. One location is approximately 500 meters north-west of the HAB. A 45 degree slope in the red and white banded Morrison Formation will serve as a test for a non-vertical descent of the CRV. The second location is approximately 2 km south-east of the HAB. A small canyon in this location has 10 to 20 meter high cliffs that will test the vertical descent capabilities of the CRV.
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We also discovered numerous water seeps in the vertical cliffs in the canyon. These remarkable seeps seem to have microbial activity associated with them and may serve as excellent analogs for similar geological features on Mars. We are planning to revisit this site for detailed sampling and study.
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PRE EVA OPERATIONS
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EVA equipment setup and donning went nominally.  Both MC1 and MC2 were performing first time EVA.  EVA CDR had previous experience.  Suit donning took approximately 45 minutes.
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AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
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Crew entered airlock. One person had a loose water supply container.  Crew exited airlock and container was secured.  A 5 minute airlock depress was then performed nominally.
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HAB EVA MONITORING
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TEXT:
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EVA sortie initiated nominally.  Intermittent crew-to-crew communications was received.  EVA crew reported nominal operations and locations as planned.  CDR reported EVA goals accomplished and they were returning to the HAB before scheduled EVA termination.
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POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
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Inner airlock opened 13:44 following nominal 5 minute repress.  EVA crew entered suit storage room, suit room door was closed while EVA crew cleaned and vacuumed suits.
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EVA CREW
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COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
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EVA CDR:
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This was another excellent EVA. It was the first EVA for Jon and Gilles and for first time I was the ‘old hand’. I am now very comfortable being a geologist on ‘Mars’.  I just have to figure out how to use a hand lens and Brunton Compass while wearing thick gloves and a full visor. The geology is fantastic especially if you are interested in sedimentology and stratigraphy. The spectacular scenery can be enjoyed by everyone!
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EVA MDRS1:
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It was my first time on Mars. Very impressive !
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Landscapes are really nice. We found 2 places for testing soon the CRV and we have to find a secure pass for another third interesting place to make the test. Here, geologists and geographers can find easily their paradise and make studies during weeks and weeks. Between forms, formations, process, weathering… we will have a lot of work to understand how this landscape occurs and why it looks like it is now.
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Lessons : Ensure your hat is correctly fixed. Becaurefull with your glasses. Protect you photo camera.
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EVA MDRS2:
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Geology here is spectacular. Riding ATV’s over a ridge to see skyline rim far along the horizon for the first time was breathtaking. Hills, cliffs, bluffs, mesas, valleys, and plains colored red to grey both near and far form an incredible panorama. Varied formations, a sedimentologist’s dream indeed! Crossbedding, bioturbidation, and fossils (gryphaea, small plants, etc.) abound. Many areas without visible vegetation, but some survives in regions where water is more abundant. Large drought-resistant woody plants flourish in low-lying regions of valleys and canyons.
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We parked the ATVs and continued on foot during the last half of the EVA. Some large carnivore tracks were discovered, most likely dogs or possibly fox. We continued further down the valley and achieved our goal of locating sites of microbial activity in extreme environments and to find a readily accessible cliff to test the CRV.
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Fantastic layered cliffs show evidence of recent and current ground water seeps. Approximately 10 m below the cliff appeared to be an excellent site that might be considered as an analog for Martian ground water seeps. Samples were gathered in an area where white, powdery salt-like deposits were located. Clearly, some kind of biological activity was present underneath 2-3 cm salt-like layers. Access of the site was very limited. Discovery of this site was possible because of human explorers on foot.
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Lessons: Ensure water packs are very secure before going on EVA.
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Single file only during ATV use. Do not pass, drive slowly.
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Consider placement of mirror during ATV operation.
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Bring ample number of sample bags.
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When on foot, move slowly and relax.
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Repeater worked well, pressed buttons on EVA
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Legend: CDR - commander, MDRS# - crew id
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Donald C Barker  Created on  2/22/2002 1:28 PM
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MDRS Crew 2 Executive Officer (2nd Command)
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Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2
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Feb 22, 2002
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Document Prep Donald Barker (Executive Officer - 2nd CMD)
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Water Systems:
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A coordinated two crew member water tank refill was completed - an estimated 60 gallons were pumped into the HAB storage tank.
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The external Grey water tank was pumped out onto the adjacent leach field.
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All other water systems operating nominally.
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Power and Fuel:
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Generator still running continuously - no problems to report.
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Lamont delivered a single 55-gallon drum of gasoline.  Payment was placed on Commander Delory’s credit card and the receipt will be turned in later for processing.
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All crew have been trained on the non-simultaneous operation of cooking equipment with heating coils, microwave and the water heater.  Safety labels have been installed to assist in the continued operation of this equipment.
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EVA Equipment:
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Suit backpack-1 has hole in one of the white air hoses.   A temporary fix incorporating grey tape will work, but the hose will need to be replaced with the next crew.
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Suit backpack-1 power system is not working properly.  Currently the battery does not display the proper charging status when plugged in. - further diagnostics to come.  Assume replacement necessary.
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Safety:
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Fire safety conditions and procedures are being developed and assessed.
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Computers and Communications:
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More network routing in work - one more personnel computer up
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=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 23, 2002, Greg Delory ===
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Day 3 for the second crew of MDRS marked continued improvements in operational procedures and identification of science investigations. Crew members Fred Janson and Don Barker embarked on their first EVA since arrival, led by Jon Rask. Realtime checklists and operations logs were used with increasing efficiency to both guide and document our activities. Things are indeed beginning to fall into a "groove" as each of us settles into our
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tasks and we become more familiar with the systems and terrain.
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Given yesterday's unexpected discovery of water seepage in a narrow canyon roughly 4.5 km away from the hab, we decided to return to that site with a more focused EVA to collect samples and perform a more detailed characterization. Fred reviewed the observations from the previous EVA at this site and devised a sample kit for today's excursion, where water, soil,
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and rock samples would be stowed for later analysis. After spending over an hour collecting samples in the canyon, the EVA crew continued to explore, reaching a larger canyon about 3 km East of the hab. Here yet another promising site was found for an upcoming test of the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), a unique cliff-scaling rover brought from France by crew member Gilles Dawidowicz.
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Speaking of the CRV, a consensus decision was made that we would pursue a test of the vehicle as soon as possible. In preparation for this, upon
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returning to the hab the EVA crew practiced unstowing and mounting the CRV on the ATVs. Several practical lessons were learned about what was needed to perform a real transport of the CRV. Tomorrow, the current plan is to conduct the first operational test of the CRV just outside the hab in an area that can be easily accessed on foot. If successful, the CRV will be transported to more challenging terrain using the ATVs either during that same EVA or perhaps the day after.
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The post-eva activities today were particularly busy as everyone sat down to write reports of our activities. Jon Rask is cooking us something special tonight - marinated chicken. Hunger dictates that I sign off, eat a good meal, and prepare for tomorrow's adventures.
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Jon Rask, Don Barker, and Fred Janson
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
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This EVA was planned to return to the water seepage site, to gather more samples for biological analysis, to better characterize the area, to continue the search for similar seepage, and find other locations that may be suitable for the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV). 
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DATE:  02-23-02
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
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To begin, the EVA team headed out 2 km to the vertical cliff seep site discovered 02-22-02. Skies were overcast, and the temps were lower making for a cooler EVA. The team reached the end of the ATV trail and proceeded to the site on foot. A total of eight more samples were gathered at this site. Three water samples from pools 100m upstream from the seep site were gathered. Afterward, the CDR safely hiked to the top of the vertical cliff site that is near the seep thought to be a good location for vertical wall testing of the CRV. He determined that access is possible by foot.
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The EVA team left the site after 2.5 hours and headed northeast toward the rim of another very large, wide canyon. Incredible vertical cliffs with many layers form the walls with large talus features at the base of the canyon. This site also appeared to be a good area to test the CRV on high cliffs once its use is well understood since access to the cliff edge and talus is possible
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After the EVA team returned to the Hab, a test was performed to determine if the CRV could be loaded onto the ATV. The EVA team determined that the CRV could be fastened to the ATV for transport to remote sites.
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PRE EVA OPERATIONS
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EVA equipment setup and donning was nominal and lasted 45 minutes. Both MC1 and MC2 were performing first time EVA. EVA CDR had previous experience.
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AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
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Crew entered airlock, waited for 5 minute airlock depressurization, and moved to ATVs.
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HAB EVA MONITORING
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TEXT:
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EVA sortie initiated with some communication problems. CDR radio was locked and could not be switched to repeater channel for long distance communication. While in short range of the Hab, CDR communicated with Habcom. At great distance, communications with Habcom were peformed by both MC1 and MC2. EVA Team reported goals accomplished before returning to hab. Successful CRV ATV attachment completed.
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POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
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The EVA team entered the airlock. The CDR also brought with him the CRV, and the airlock was closed. EVA team entered the storage room leaving the CRV in the airlock.
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EVA CREW
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COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
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EVA CDR:
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The role of EVA CDR is an excellent exercise in crew leadership, safety, and operations. Being first in line during ATV sortie is energizing. Seeing something first is truly amazing, and being CDR for an EVA team makes one feel quite responsible and leaves you with a sense of what is necessary to perform an EVA in general. The seep site should now be well characterized, and we are awaiting the analysis of the biological samples. The canyon was spectacular, and I highly advise it be explored further to determine if the CRV can be used here. However, I recommend that the CRV only be used here if the EVA team is very experienced with its function, mobility, and limitations. This cliff is very high and is vertical.
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=== Geology Report — MDRS, Gilles Dawidowicz, Feb 23, 2002 ===
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SAND ANALYSIS - Gilles Dawidowicz (Association Planete Mars - French
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Chapter)
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Site #6 Alt. 4514 ft. Geog. Position E0520193 / N4249939. Sample Collected
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at 2h36 pm 02-23-2002.
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Granulometry (granulation size):
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0.5% have a diameter equal or sup. to 0,5mm
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10.6% have a diameter between 0,2 and 0,5mm
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25.4% have a diameter between 0,1 and 0,2mm
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63.5% have a diameter inf. to 0,1mm
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Morphoscopy:
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20% are non used (this means that they had not traveled a lot),
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20% are dulled and shiny (this means that they're used by water flood), 60% sont rounded and unpolished (this means that they had been carrying by the wind and shocked some between others, involving microscopics stars and fractures or cracks).
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That's to soon to give detailed report, but the weathering of this sample is not from an oceanic environment or a vanishing fluvial terrace. It could be an old eolian sand dune.
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Site n¡6 Alt. 1375m. Position Géog. E0520193 / N4249939. Collecté à 14h36 le
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23/02/2002.
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Granulométrie:
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0,5% ont un diamètre égal ou supérieur à 0,5mm
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10,6% ont un diamètre compris entre 0,2 et 0,5mm
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25,4% ont un diamètre compris entre 0,1 et 0,2mm
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63,5% ont un diamètre inférieur à 0,1mm
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Morphoscopie:20% sont non usés (ce qui signifie qu'ils n'ont subi qu'un court transport),
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20% sont émoussés et luisants (ce qui signifie qu'ils ont été usés par l'eau),
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60% sont ronds et mats (ce qui signifie qu'ils ont été transportés par le vent et heurtés les uns contre les autres, d'où de microscopiques étoilements et cassures).
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Il est trop tôt pour s'avancer, mais l'altération de cet échantillon de  sable ne provient pas d'un milieu marin, ni d'une terrasse fluviale en voie de disparition. Il s'agirait plutôt d'une ancienne dune de sable.
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=== Biology Report — MDRS, Feb 23, 2002, Fred Janson ===
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Seven samples were collected across a hydrated succession of growths of various color from beneath a south east-facing overhang covering a steep slope of MDRS-named Whiterock Canyon. The site is found at a moderate elevation of 4489 ft. The atmospheric pressure will be calculated and reported as a factor of the pressure found at the bottom of Hellas Basin for comparison sake. The site where the samples were collected had very little exposure to sunlight, a function of the overhanging rock. UV rays on Mars sterilize the first 8 meters of soil and so a UV minimized/sheltered site is certainly of interest when collecting samples. A local high and low of -6 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, was recorded at the HAB station. This range is conducive to the proliferation of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic organisms, comparable to life that may exist below the surface of Mars, average surface temperature of -60 degrees Celsius, warming with depth (isothermic amelioration). The surface of the rock beneath the overhang was coated with a salty precipitate which extended above and below where the samples were collected. Halophilic bacteria are important organisms to study as quite often they live in extreme alkyl environments, analogous to Mars surface chemistry (high metal oxide concentrations). Also, halophilic and alkaliphilic adaptive systems are known to be at least partially regulated by the same starvation sigma factor (KatF/rpoS gene in E.coli). The starvation sigma factor regulates a number of other adaptive systems of interest on Mars. Namely, high temperature (isothermic and gas vents habitats), hydrogen peroxide resistance (oxidizing agent) and osmotic stress environments. Underlying all of the samples was a gritty green clay. Samples were extracted from this underlying clay in search of anaerobic organisms, like those that would have to exist on Mars. A free chlorine test will be conducted on the specimens to determine if indeed they are halophic in nature. The pH of the soil will be examined to determine if the environment is alkyl in nature. Suspected bacterial cells will be gram stained and subjected to oxidase and fermentation assays to better their classification.      
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=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 22, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
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Water Systems:
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Gray water tank partially flushed today.
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Power and Fuel:
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Generator was fueled on the standard schedule (3 times each day, morning, 4pm, and prior to sleep period.)
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The generator oil was checked and changed. The oil looked very dirty, and the feeling here is that the current generator will be insufficient to last for the entire planned MDRS operational period. The unit was apparently not designed for continual use - we are aware that a replacement is planned, but we want to emphasize that this remains an issue. For now we are keeping a close eye on the oil consumption and quality.
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EVA Equipment:
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Two of the pack fuses remain blown, and no replacements have been found.
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Modifications were made to the water bladders, which had a tendency to fall out during some EVAs. Extra velcro and duct tape was added.
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A minor problem with one of the EVA radios was found - it was somehow ‘locked’ and did not allow the channel to be changed.
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In summary, we still have four operational packs, sufficient for the planned EVAs. If an additional pack is necessary we may consider bypassing the fuses, although we are still in the process of deciding whether or not that constitutes a risk to EVA crewmembers, since the batteries are within the air circulation compartment and batteries discharged at high rates can and do release toxic gases.
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Safety:
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No safety issues or violations occurred today.
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Computers and Communications:
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Mission Support email has made it clear, along with our own experience here, that the StarBand link is far, far below its potential. A suggestion has been made to move the antenna 5 degrees, at which point our internet account can be officially ‘activated,’ along with StarBand email.
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The main desktop computer used for operations is not fully stable - long pauses and some system freezes occur with regularity. For now, it is treated gently.
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General Maintenance:
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Crewmember Andy de Wet constructed a wooden box that can be used to transport items on the ATVs.
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=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Donald Barker (Acting Commander) ===
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Day 4:
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Today the heavy sleepers in the crew like the acting Commander (Donald Barker) woke up, quarter after 8, to the wonderful smell of a weekend morning breakfast.  Andy and Jon had prepared a pancake and scrambled egg breakfast for all to enjoy before an adventurous dayÕs work. It was highly appreciated.
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Following breakfast, Andy, Jon and Gilles started preparing for the days EVA.  This EVA tested the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle (CRV) in the field. Two exciting tests were performed.  One on hill with a long smooth slope and the other over a very high cliff (~50 feet), which had an overhang, near its base.  This made for a very interesting test.  The CRV was lowered down the face and retrieved by pulling it back up.  Brining it up proved to be more interesting and insightful than its descent.  Both EVA sessions were successful and a lot was learned about how EVA crews are able to interact with robotic equipment in the field.  Upon leaving from the first site, Andy made the geological and biological find of the day. While breaking apart promising samples, to his delight he discovered a fossilized stramolite which is a remnant of an ancient microbial mat.   It is believed that during actual Mars missions, such a find could be easily missed by a robotic only mission.  The ability to efficiently scan an area and pick out the best samples can only come from the trained eye of a human crewmember.
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Back at the HAB, Fred and Don acted as the HABs communications officers.  In addition, they continued their biological surveys and continued housekeeping chores.  Some body has to do themÉ Even on another planet.
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Tonight, after completing and sending a series of logs and reports to Mission Control, we will enjoy a French dinner prepared by our international crewmember Gilles.  This to be followed by a movie and popcorn.  A well deserved R&R session for this hardworking crew.
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Mars is a Blast,
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Acting MDRS Commander
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End Transmission
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Andy de Wet CMDR, Jon Rask, Gilles Davidowicz
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
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Today’s EVA is to test the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle provided by the French contingent.  The first phase is to occur in a local region (walking distance) to the East of the HAB module.  A stratified formation there will provide a good test bed for CRV operations.  The second portion of the day is available and reserved for a follow on EVA in which the CRV will be moved via ATV to one of the sites discovered by EVA-13 and confirmed by EVA-14 crews.
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DATE:  02-24-02
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<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
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The first test run of the CRV was completed on a 35 degree slope (Hab ridge) directly to the west of the Hab. CRV sustained minor damage and  was repaired upon return  to the Hab. The CRV was secured to MDRS2 ATV and the EVA crew headed out to the cliff near the seep site approximately 4 km from Hab. Upon arrival, the CRV was unloaded from ATV and then transported by crew to the top of cliff site. Second run of the CRV was completed on a vertical slope. During both runs, CRV captured video of entire run. After the CRV runs, the area was briefly scouted for interesting rocks and a fossilized stromatolite was found.
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PRE EVA OPERATIONS
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Pre Eva operations and set up went well.  We still need to practice having all equipment that is to be used on the EVA prepared and staged for the days operation.  This needs to be done before suit donning.  Suit donning started at 10:00 and was complete by 10:35.
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AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
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Nominal, we are getting used to conducting the airlock depress.  Other simulated operations might be considered for future simulations/crews to enhance simulation validity and repeatability.  Suggest reviewing Apollo and current Station EVA activities and procedures.  This could be a research tack for the Control Center.
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Crew exited the HAB nominally and retrieved the CRV equipment and proceeded to test area.
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HAB EVA MONITORING
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TEXT:
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EVA 15 proceeded to a local test area; one that suited the CRV demonstration requirements.  Due to the close proximity, EVA 15 and HAB were in continuous communication coverage (without using the repeater frequency). The HAB was able to monitor EVA activities as they occurred.
 +
 +
At 11:25, EVA-15 reported that the rover had a roll over and one of the lifter bars was reported as broken. Crew is working on assessing the continued operability of the CRV.
 +
 +
At 11:45 EVA crew returned to pack up the CRV on the ATVs and proceed to the designated site.
 +
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 +
EVA airlock hatch represses finished at 14:25.  Suits were vacuumed and crew reentered HAB.
 +
 +
EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 +
This was another successful EVA. The CRV tests were successful in that we discovered that the CRV will be useful in exploring inaccessible locations. Some modifications on the CRV will be required. Other processes such as securing and transporting the CRV on an ATV will need to be improved. The discovery of a cobble containing stromatolites in the  Salt Wash Mbr of the Morrison Formation was very exciting. What a wonderful discovery that would make on Mars!
 +
 +
Use of the CRV in steep and vertical areas raises safety issues for the EVA crew. The crew member that controls the descent of the CRV by feeding out the cable needs to be near the edge of the cliff and will need to be secured. Another crew member should be in a position to observe the descent of the vehicle in order to advise the CRV descent crew of any problems with the descent. Our tests today involved fairly low cliffs thus safety concerns were not as pressing. Later tests on higher cliffs will require more comprehensive safety measures.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 +
This EVA was programmed to test the CRV on 2 different sites. The first one was considered like a safe site, more to test us and our manipulations than to test the CRV it self. All was nominal. The second test site was more interesting : a nice cliff, 15 meters deep, explored during last EVAs. The descent was superb, really interesting to see how the rover was going-down. We should now test it on a big cliff, about 40 or 50 meters minimum. Another interesting point is to study the videos than the rover took of the layers of the cliff...
 +
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 +
This EVA was greatly anticipated and the sites found during EVA 13 and 14 for CRV testing produced great results. The process of scouting safe sites for future EVA exploration and characterization has worked well. I recommend continued EVA sorties to find new sites for future sampling (both biological and geological) and more test runs of the CRV along higher cliffs.
 +
 +
Although transport of the CRV on foot was somewhat tiring because of the uphill walk and intense sunlight, we were very excited and hopeful to see the rover slowly scouting hillsides and cliffs.
 +
 +
=== Geology Report- EVA 15 — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Andy de Wet CMDR, Jon Rask, Gilles Davidowicz ===
 +
The main purpose of this EVA was to test the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) operated by Gilles Davidowicz. The first test involved lowering the CRV down a slope of about 35 degrees within the Brushy Basin Member (Morrison Formation). The Brushy Basin Mbr includes colorful mudstones, siltstones and occasional sandstones and limestones. The soil developed on these rocks is very soft and difficult to negotiate especially in Mars suits. Humans exploring Mars will probably encounter similar terrain and could use rovers to explore these difficult but interesting areas.
 +
 +
The second test involved lowering the CRV down a vertical cliff in the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. We have identified numerous seeps in the cliffs of the Salt Wash Member. Seeps are interesting because they might harbor interesting biota. Similar features on Mars would be excellent locations to look for life but might be very difficult and dangerous to explore with humans. The CRV would be perfect to explore these locations on Mars.
 +
 +
After the second test was completed, the EVA crew explored the surrounding area. The Salt Wash Mbr contains spectacular cross-bedding and channel deposits. Large pebbles and cobbles abound (see image). These cobbles provide a sampling of the mountains to the west of this area during the Upper Jurassic. Basalt, greenstones, chert, diorite, and quartzites are the most common lithologies. All the pebbles are covered in desert varnish making identification difficult by just looking at them. While exploring this area one of the crew noticed a more unusual rock. On closer inspection, and after the pebble was broken open, it became evident that a fist sized sample of stromatolites had been found (see image).
 +
 +
Stromatolites are organic sedimentary structures produced by cyanobacteria. They have been found in rocks on Earth that are over 3.4 billion years old! Modern stromatolites are only found in a few places including the Bahamas and Shark Bay, Western Australia. Stromatolites were probably one of the most common life forms for most of the Earth’s history and they contributed to the buildup of oxygen in the atmosphere. Stromatolites paved the way for the evolution of oxygen breathing complex organisms such as humans.
 +
 +
Is it possible that stromatolites might also have evolved on Mars? Perhaps they thrived during the early evolution of the Mars only to die out as the planet became drier. Now the only evidence for this history will be found as fossils in the rock record. But how difficult will it be to find this evidence? We do not know the age of stromatolite sample we found, but it must be older than Upper Jurassic. In any case the key point here is that it takes a trained eye to detect the complex and subtle variations in the forms and textures in rocks that lead to this type of discovery. The EVA team spent another 30 minutes looking at the thousands of pebbles and cobbles littering the desert floor to find more samples of stromatolite. None were found! The discovery of just one fist sized pebble with stromatolites on Mars would be momentous. It seems inconceivable that a rover would be able to make such an important discovery. We are convinced that human exploration of Mars is essential to make these types of discoveries.
 +
 +
=== Biology Reports — MDRS, Feb 23-24, 2002, Frederic Jansen ===
 +
Biology Progress Report — 2/23/2
 +
 +
An overhanging slope beneath which some moisture was found spawning an observable proliferation of grass (dried, sun-bleached), and various colored growths. The slope faces exactly south east plus 2¡ south as measured digitally by the GPS. It rests some 4489 feet above sea level (GPS). A GPS reading was taken 25 feet from the sample collection site reading: N 4247434, E 0520587. The various coloured growths were found in the following descending order, green, red, black, black, and white. Notwithstanding, a superposition of growths was also observed. The green growth (highest moisture content) slumped onto the red growth, and the red slumped onto the black growth (damp and clumpy). However, white and black growths did not appear to grow over one another. Rather, an elevated crust (mostly white) was observed between the two growths. Samples of each growth and intermediate margin were collected for investigation.
 +
 +
The site where the samples were collected had very little exposure to sunlight, a function of the overhanging rock. UV rays on Mars sterilize the first 8 meters of soil and so a UV minimized/sheltered site is certainly of interest when collecting samples. A local high and low of -6 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, was recorded at the HAB station.
 +
 +
This range is conducive to the proliferation of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic organisms, comparable to life that may exist below the surface of Mars, average surface temperature of -60 degrees Celsius, warming with depth (isothermic pressure). The surface of the rock beneath the overhang was coated with a salty precipitate which extended above and below where the samples were collected. Halophilic bacteria are important organisms to study as quite often they live in extreme alkyl environments, analogous to Mars surface chemistry (high metal oxide concentrations). Also, halophilic and alkaliphilic adaptive systems are known to be at least partially regulated by the same starvation sigma factor (KatF/rpoS gene in E.coli). The starvation sigma factor regulates a number of other adaptive systems of interest to Mars. Namely, high temperature (isothermic and gas vents habitats), hydrogen peroxide resistance (oxidizing agent) and osmotic stress environments.
 +
 +
Biology Progress Report — 2/24/2
 +
 +
A sample of ice was collected from the same location as yesterday, MDRS-named Whiterock Canyon. The extremely low surface temperatures of Mars coupled with the weak atmospheric pressure, 6.6 to 12.4 millibars, limit the ability of water to remain in the liquid state (less than 1% of H20 in the atmosphere, majority resides in the polar ice caps, an upper value of 3.2-4.7 x 106 km3). Psychrophilic bacteria are able to live in these low temperatures, a function of membrane lipid reorganization, followed by protein substitution and chaperone differential folding, cytosol gel formation, reduction in cell size, increase cell adhesions, and the induction of various starvation genes by alternative sigma factor signaling.
 +
 +
Dilution of the samples from yesterday were performed in order to find a manageable number of cells to gram stain and then enumerate. The diluted samples were gram stained today. Wet samples were weighed and then desiccated to remove all fluids in order to generate a dry weight value. The gram stained cells will be enumerated tonight.
 +
 +
=== Biology Report of the Image bio_sample_inset.jpg — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Jon Rask ===
 +
Background: These images were gathered 2-22,23,24-02,. Note that the insets are higher magnifications of the same site. Also, see ruler in picture for size reference. As for the insets of microbes, we scraped a sample from the rock and prepared it as a slide.
 +
 +
These were taken from the samples gathered from EVA 13 and 14 at the Seep site.  While verification of species is uncertain, it is clear that life is present in these alkaline, salty conditions. Although these biospecimens will most likely not be found on Mars, we feel the site is a good analog for the seepage sites seen on Mars in some Mars Global Surveyor images. It is important to note that a wide variety of microbiology and multicellular biology are thriving in this extreme environment here on Earth.
 +
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 24, 2002, Donald Barker (Acting Commander) ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 +
Today we transferred approximately 30 gallons potable water from the external water tank to the internal tank. This was the first time this procedure was done by Don and Fred.  We probably did not add enough and will need to do it again tomorrow at it is currently at the 20 gallon mark. This following two showers today.
 +
 +
Grey water was also pumped for a while.
 +
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 +
We are down to our last 8 AA batteries, and will need some ASAP.  These are used in the radios and several photographic devices. We have plenty of AAA.
 +
 +
Note, the generator is still being fueled three times daily.  We currently have one 55 gallon drum full and one empty.
 +
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 +
We still have not heard back on the fuses.  We doubt that there are any locally.
 +
 +
Backpacks need to be vacuumed out bi-weekly.  The pack has to be completely opened to correctly do this.  It takes about 30 minutes per backpack.
 +
 +
Safety:
 +
 +
Still working on identifying medical equipment and easily identifying fire extinguishers and exits. This along with completing the installation of the rest of the smoke detectors is a high priority.
 +
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 +
We looked at the antenna today.  The instructions sent earlier were insufficient.  We have included photos (antenna1-5.jpg) of the antenna settings and request more info on how to align the dish.
 +
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 25, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
Today we woke up to the sound of howling winds - literally shaking the hab structure. A quick check of the weather monitor revealed wind speeds hovering around 20 and gusting up to 40 mph. Such winds would probably not
 +
 +
be a concern on Mars, where the low atmospheric pressure would make winds of
 +
 +
those speeds feel like a gentle breeze. Despite the fact that we are in a
 +
 +
"Mars sim," today was one of those days we had to remind ourselves that we
 +
 +
were in fact on Earth. And winds of those speeds are a problem, especially
 +
 +
when further tests of the CRV had been planned. We decided that if the winds
 +
 +
remained strong, today's EVA would not move forward.
 +
 +
Not wanting to miss any chance to sit down and eat a good meal, we waited out the winds while eating pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Almost as soon as we were finished the winds stabilized below 10 mph, and we proceeded with the EVA as planned. Gilles, Jon, and Andy suited up for the most extensive tests of the CRV yet. Along the way they found a few dinosaur fossils and some petrified wood, and with a rectangular metal plate with six large numbers
 +
 +
and a "1953" near the bottom - evidently left here by some alien species.
 +
 +
After a 5 hour EVA the crew returned exhausted after fetching the CRV from a particularly steep descent from which it proved difficult to recover.
 +
 +
While the EVA was in progress, the rest of us settled into what has now become all non-EVA personnel's primary duty: keeping the hab running. This
 +
 +
means refueling the generator, water tanks, dumping refuse, and any other
 +
 +
minor maintenance tasks that need tending. This in effect keeps the sim going, and enables the EVA folks to stay out there and do their job. Thus a rotation in EVA personnel tends to spread out the chores at the hab nicely.
 +
 +
On to another subject. I arrived at the hab with a minor sore throat which I had ignored. It quickly blossomed into one real head cold, and as of
 +
 +
February 23rd I relieved myself of command temporarily to fellow crew member
 +
 +
Don Barker. With lots of ISS operational experience under his belt at NASA,
 +
 +
I knew Don was the man to keep things running while I recovered. Some communications with the flight surgeon at Mission Support established that I was pretty sick but probably didn't need antibiotics. On the Doc's advice, theraflu and bed rest were enough to get me back in shape. I'm happy to report feeling much better today, and have resumed command of MDRS. So here's thanks to the fast response and expert advice from the folks at
 +
 +
Mission Support - the system worked!
 +
 +
If all goes well, I'll finally get my first EVA tomorrow, where we'll begin
 +
 +
to test an electromagnetic survey instrument for locating subsurface
 +
 +
structures - including those due to the presence of water. Keep checking in
 +
 +
to get the latest from the 2nd crew of MDRS.
 +
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 +
Gilles Dawidowicz, Jon Rask, Andy de Wet
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 +
Today's EVA takes the crew to another location that was observed during EVA 14.  Again, the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle will be tested, depending on local wind conditions, and used to record video of the cliff face strata. In addition, the crew geologist will observe the local stratigraphy and geomorphology.  The location for today's EVA is directly east of the HAB and was dubbed Chandor Chasma.
 +
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-16
 +
 +
DATE:  02-25-02
 +
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 +
ATV CRV EVA 2 EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 +
Don Barker;
 +
 +
Greg Delory CDR
 +
 +
MDRS1
 +
 +
MDRS2
 +
 +
MDRS3
 +
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 +
Rask/5
 +
 +
Dawidoicz/4
 +
 +
de Wet/3
 +
 +
N/A
 +
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 +
10:45
 +
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 +
15:50/16:00
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 +
EVA 16 was as physically challenging as it was operationally. The crew explored the area northwest of 'Candor Chasm' on foot and discovered many pieces of petrified wood and fossilized dinosaur bones. Afterward, the crew drove to the south side of the canyon where the CRV was tested on a 23 m vertical cliff 3 km due east of the Hab. Incredible images were captured of the operation and the canyon.
 +
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 +
EVA setup completed previous evening.  Two suits cleaned.  Nominal status and operations are becoming comfortably routine.
 +
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 +
Airlock depress went nominally as expected.  A normal 5 minute depress routine has been adopted.  The EVA crew departed the HAB and started the EVA after powering on the ATVs.
 +
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 +
TIME
 +
 +
10:56
 +
 +
11:39
 +
 +
1:24
 +
 +
2:58
 +
 +
4:00pm REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 +
N4250930
 +
 +
E0518168
 +
 +
@HAB
 +
 +
N4252052
 +
 +
E0519864
 +
 +
N4250544
 +
 +
E0521795
 +
 +
N4250651
 +
 +
E0521741
 +
 +
@HAB REPORTED STATUS
 +
 +
Go for EVA
 +
 +
Request directions to candor chasm
 +
 +
Commencing CRV test
 +
 +
Ready to return
 +
 +
End of EVA Auxiliary Information
 +
 +
TEXT:
 +
 +
Sporadic com monitoring with channel 2.00  (non repeater channel)  was capable for the duration of the EVA. This is probably due to the lower and less obstructed terrain to the east of the HAB.
 +
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 +
The EVA team entered the airlock and brought with them the samples and CRV. The airlock was closed. EVA team entered the storage room leaving the CRV in the airlock.
 +
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 +
This EVA was invigorating and exhausting. We began the EVA by driving the ATVs to a region to the northwest of Candor Chasm. Communication was established with the Hab and the crew explored the area on foot. Tree and dinosaur fossils were discovered. Later, the crew drove to the east rim of the canyon for another CRV test.
 +
 +
Access to the third CRV test site required a steep downhill hike to a safe location near the cliff edge. The crew carried the CRV to the test site and Gilles began the experiment by allowing the rover to slowly descend over the edge. Andy monitored us, imaged the process, and I helped Gilles. Unfortunately, the rover flipped over during the descent and we decided to pull the CRV back. This task turned out to be quite difficult. Apparently, the CRV became entangled and or stuck on the rocks below the cliff edge. After several careful attempts, the CRV was successfully retrieved. 
 +
 +
Clearly, the CRV is a useful tool for exploring remote locations not accessible by humans. However, the CRV should be modified to improve deployment and its ability to be retrieved since its stability is limited and cannot be steered.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 +
The second part of this EVA was very difficult. We operated the rover on a big deep cliff, with many sediments layers and with a debris apron in sand. It was a good site even if we could not for security reasons to stand up near the hole of the cliff. After the first going-down, the CRV spins. We picked up the rover and restarted the test. All was nominal but suddenly it spins once. We tried during 30 minutes to take it back safe, without any success. After a last try, Andy succeeded and the CRV was safe except the on-board video camera now seems unusable.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 +
This was my first EVA to the area directly east of the HAB. The stratigraphic sequence in this area dips gently towards the west, while the topography steps down towards Muddy Creek in the east. This combination exposes the lowest parts of the sequence. The spectacular 'Candor Chasma' cuts across this area exposing millions of years of geologic history.  Vertical cliffs of Summerville Formation are capped by the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. From a hill in the Salt Wash Member it was possible to look west towards the location of the MDRS Hab and see the complete sequence from the Mid Jurassic Summerville Formation up sequence to the Mid Cretaceous Emery Sandstone capping Factory Butte. Wow, almost as good as the Grand Canyon!
 +
 +
=== Geology Report — MDRS, Jon Rask CMDR, Andy de Wet, Gilles Davidowicz, Feb 25, 2002 ===
 +
In this spectacular view west from the south rim of 'Candor Chasma', the complete sequence from the Middle Jurassic Summerville Formation up to the Middle Cretaceous Emery Sandstone Member of the Mancos Shale can be observed. This sequence represents 10's of millions of years of geologic time and records numerous cycles of sea level rise and fall (transgressions and regressions).
 +
 +
The complete sequence from the oldest to the youngest units is:
 +
 +
Summerville Formation, Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation, Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation (upper part of the Jurassic), Dakota Sandstone (lowest part of the Cretaceous), Tunuck Shale Member, Ferron Sandstone Member, Blue Gate Shale Member, and finally the Emery Sandstone Member. The Tunuck, Ferron, Blue Gate and Emery are all part of the Mancos Shale Formation.
 +
 +
The Dakota Sandstone caps the rim above the HAB, the Ferron Sandstone caps Skyline Rim and the Emery Sandstone caps Factory Butte.
 +
 +
The MDRS HAB is visible in the middle distance against the colorful backdrop of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation.
 +
 +
=== Biology Report — MDRS, Feb 25, 2002, Fred Jansen ===
 +
The desiccation of the Whiterock Canyon samples support the idea that separate tributaries flow to the samples found within the shaded growth areas and not that a common tributary flows first from the exposed green growth and then down the same plane to the shaded growth samples, as previously expected.
 +
 +
The enumeration of cells for each sample was achieved by dilution but the equivalent number of cells per dry gram of soil will not be calculated until after the submission of this progress report. Preliminary data suggests that cell populations increase down the sample section away from the shaded areas towards exposed ground. As water content also decreases in this direction and salt crystallization was observed in the white growth section an interesting situation presents itself. Halophiles can adapt to salty environments as they have a number of ion pumps that maintain osmotic, membrane potential, and pH balance. Two of these, bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin pump out protons and pump in chloride ions. Pumping out protons will increase the pH of the soil. However, desert soils are often highly alkaline due to the presence of sodium carbonates. As we are currently waiting for specialized batteries to operate our pH meter, this part of the puzzle will, for the short term, remain a mystery.
 +
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 25, 2002, Greg Delory, Don Barker ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 +
We refilled the internal water supply with 47 gallons of water. The color of the water may be of some concern - it is very noticably red. For the moment, we are using it for cooking and cleaning, but drinking bottled water. 
 +
 +
Lamont also notified us that the owner of the water tanker out back has requested its return to support his livestock operations.  He plans to return here tomorrow (2/26) to retrieve the tank. We discussed a trade whereby we receive a number of 55 gallon drums that could be used to keep our water. If this new arrangement doesn't work out we may need to find a more permanent solution to our water supply.
 +
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 +
Last evening we found that we could not use the vacuum cleaner in the suit room and the water heater at the same time.  We tripped the generator and had to go out and restart it.
 +
 +
The generator was refueled as usual, and we appear to have plenty of gas, about ~1.5 drums.
 +
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 +
Two more suits were thoroughly cleaned (open up the back pack casing) last night.
 +
 +
Safety:
 +
 +
No safety issues or violations occurred today.
 +
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 +
The WinProxy software license expired yesterday, so that no internal networking is possible. Attempts to reinstall it failed. We can purchase it online for a permanent license, but wanted Mars Society authorization in order to get reimbursed.
 +
 +
The StarBand dish remains in its current, sub-optimal position pending more information regarding how to adjust it. The initial attempt was unsuccessful due to a high degree of ambiguity in the antenna settings and few or no visible markings.
 +
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 +
One of the 2-wheel drive, green ATVs may have an oil leak. Jon and Andy are going to investigate. The 4th ATV remains in Lamont's possession, which is also in need of repair (no front brakes.)
 +
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 26, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
Today I woke up with excitement. It was going to be my first EVA, after an abnormally long wait. The "pre-EVA" feeling reminded me of the state of mind
 +
 +
I used to have prior to a challenging SCUBA dive. I had the urge to get up
 +
 +
early, start checking gear, instruments, and lists, take a break, and then check everything again. I've found that in any environment in which you depend on equipment to sustain life, you must be comfortable with your gear. Your use of it must be easy, relaxed, yet confident. That was the feeling I
 +
 +
had today. I had been couped up in the hab long enough...it was time to go
 +
 +
out!
 +
 +
The EVA began with a familiarity run up to Skyline Rim. The views enroute were tremendous, combined with the rich colors of the strata. The helmet dome was remarkably clear. On the way we found what had to be millions of fossilized shells lying in the sand, while on the Rim cliffs themselves we found a large slab bearing trace fossils. Not being a geologist, I had
 +
 +
always naively imagined that fossils were something one had to dig for and
 +
 +
were acquired only after hours of work. I was almost incredulous. It was all
 +
 +
here, lying out, ready for us to read examine. After surveying the Rim base
 +
 +
I climbed up a small hill and took in the vista - plateaus, buttes, and
 +
 +
canyons were all within view, again accented by the incredible reds, whites,
 +
 +
browns of the strata.
 +
 +
After the "fun" part, it was time to get down to business. The technical and scientific task for the day was to test the EM16, a relatively easy to use electromagnetic (EM) subsurface sounder. The instrument in essence senses the electrical properties of the subsurface, using EM waves generated by VLF (very low frequency) radio towers. Distortions in the wave magnetic field sensed by the instrument can be caused by conducting bodies beneath the surface, such as iron ores or a water-bearing fault. The instrument also possesses two electrical probes, which when inserted into the ground sense the electric field from the VLF station. Comparing the electric field to the magnetic field then yields the "apparent resistivity," a measure of how resistant the subsurface is to electric currents. Low values of resistivity
 +
 +
may indicate subsurface resources, such as oil, natural gas, or water. This
 +
 +
type of EM sounding may be a crucial tool for the detailed exploration of
 +
 +
landing sites on Mars. More sophisticated versions of the EM16 can resolve
 +
 +
the depth and thickness of multiple aquifers up to kilometers below the
 +
 +
surface. Today we were conducting a local survey using the handheld EM16,
 +
 +
which senses to depths of ~30 feet. Initial tests indicated that the
 +
 +
instrument was functioning, and ready for use around the varied sites
 +
 +
surrounding the hab.
 +
 +
Returning to the hab a little tired but elated, it was time for the post-EVA snack. Sandwiches and Top Ramen never tasted so good. Later on, it's Andy's
 +
 +
turn to cook, and I encouraged him to drag out the frozen steaks we had been
 +
 +
saving.
 +
 +
I'll sleep well having had a good first EVA and a good meal.
 +
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 +
Greg DeLory, Jon Rask, Fred Jansen
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 +
The first part of this EVA will scout out a region near Skyline Rim. Following this, the EVA crew will return to the HAB and collect the Electromagnetic Sounding experiment equipment followed by a short drive to an area of level terrain for the first field test of this equipment.
 +
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-17
 +
 +
DATE:  02-26-02
 +
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 +
ATV EMS TEST EVA
 +
 +
EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 +
Barker
 +
 +
CDR
 +
 +
MDRS1
 +
 +
MDRS2
 +
 +
MDRS3
 +
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 +
Delory/2
 +
 +
Rask/5
 +
 +
Janson/4
 +
 +
N/A
 +
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 +
10:40
 +
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 +
14:40/14:45
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 +
3 km EVA ATV sortie to base of Skyline Rim to familiarize Greg and Fred with landforms west of the Hab. This was Greg's first EVA. Fred had problems staying warm and became cold while traveling to Skyline Rim. Rock samples, shell fossils and trace fossils were gathered. Shortly afterward, the crew returned to the Hab. After some brief discussion, we collectively decided that Fred should leave the crew, enter the airlock, repressurize, and seek warmth inside the Hab while Greg and I continued the second half of the EVA.
 +
 +
Greg and I continued the ATV EVA to find a suitable location to test the EM sounding equipment. A site was found, and three sounding points were chosen. The equipment worked well, and we returned to the Hab. Finally a brief pedestrian EVA north of the Hab concluded our day.
 +
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 +
The EMS equipment has been prepared and staged in the airlock for retrieval by the crew upon transiting to the test site.
 +
 +
This is Greg's first suited EVA and he is learning how to ingress and prep the suit.
 +
 +
All other EVA setup operations went nominal.
 +
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 +
Depress was nominal and crew conducted normal com check on both channels.
 +
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 +
TIME
 +
 +
10:50
 +
 +
11:41
 +
 +
13:01
 +
 +
14:00
 +
 +
REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 +
N4280968
 +
 +
E0518143
 +
 +
@HAB
 +
 +
N4251430
 +
 +
E0515314
 +
 +
N4249289
 +
 +
E0518463
 +
 +
Same
 +
 +
REPORTED STATUS
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Auxiliary Information
 +
 +
EVA START
 +
 +
EVA17 reported on ch2, but could not hear HABCOM on same.
 +
 +
Packing up EMS and returning to base.
 +
 +
TEXT:
 +
 +
At 12:30, the EVA team returned to base to gather the EMS gear and proceed to the test site for this equipment.
 +
 +
EVA-4 reporting very cold and plans on cutting short his EVA. EVA-2,4 are going on to do the first EMS test.
 +
 +
EVA-4 reported that vent cooling was too high for the ambient temperatures; to date, the cooling has been rather sparse given weather and crew aerobic activity (walking).
 +
 +
EVA17 called and reported arriving at the EMS test site.  There were some problems establishing a good two-way link.  Not sure why!
 +
 +
EVA17 returned to HAB vicinity and were requested to perform a local visual inspection of the base.
 +
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 +
EVA-4 entered the airlock at 12:40 and conducted a repress and the post EVA cleanup.
 +
 +
EVA17 completed operations and reentered the HAB. Repress and post EVA cleanup in progress.
 +
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 +
Today's EVA was extra special since this was Greg's first EVA, and I was again given the privilege of EVA commander. Fred and Greg had not been west of the Hab, so the ATV EVA started by traveling 3 km west to Skyline Rim with several stops along the way to enjoy the area geology and gryphaea fossils. Unfortunately, Fred became chilled while during the drive. We all quickly warmed up as we explored the area on foot. The view to the north and east was incredible with Skyline Rim towering behind us. Samples were gathered and we returned to the Hab. Fred became chilled again, and we decided he should go back into the Hab. Greg and I continued to a site 2 km south of the hab to a region of pediments to test the EM sounding equipment.
 +
 +
We chose pediments 2 km south of the Hab because of their flatness. These formations are very gently sloping, wide plains developed by running water. We are interested in these locations for this experiment because the EM sounding equipment can tell us something about the conductivity of the subsurface, which is directly related to the presence of lack of water in the subsurface.
 +
 +
Lessons learned: It is important to observe temperatures prior to beginning EVA so necessary preparations can be made to prevent overheating or becoming chilled. We're lucky to be in the second round of Hab rotations; later crews will have to deal with much higher temperatures.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 +
Well, as noted above this was my first EVA. I had no great difficulty with anything, and in fact found it easier and more enjoyable than I might have imagined. The Skyline Rim trip was a great way to get introduced to the area. Following this was my real objective - a test of the EM16 subsurface sounder. No ergonomic issues or problems were encountered in using this handheld survey instrument.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 +
Upon reaching the edge of the Skyline Rim we climbed up the debris slopes in search of biological phenomena. We collected what appeared to be fossilized wood, fossilized worms and other not yet identified forms of life. On an adjacent gray slope, a number of pronounced black features protruded from the slope. Further investigation determined that the features were entirely composed of black ash. The features were surrounded by white ash, ash that was discovered during the descent to be found within every footstep. Reevaluation of the gray slope indicated that the surficial layer was almost entirely composed of soot. To the depth of approximately one foot or a third of a meter. The ash was collected for further comparative analysis with the white powder collected at Whiterock Canyon. The cliff above the gray slope did display a dark black band of strata but the unstable nature of the slope and cliff did prevent further analysis. We returned after I was unable to adapt to the air conditioner climate provided to my suit by the air fan.
 +
 +
=== Geology Report — MDRS, Feb 26, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Background:
 +
 +
The EM16R is a subsurface electromagnetic (EM) sounder that uses very low frequency (VLF) waves generated by radio towers in either Oregon or Maine. The instrument has two modes; in the first mode, the magnetic wave tilt
 +
 +
angle is determined. This can be indicative of a subsurface discontinuity
 +
 +
due to ores or water, up to depths of ~30 feet. In the second mode,
 +
 +
electrodes are deployed into the ground which measure the electric field.
 +
 +
When compared to the magnetic field amplitude, this yields the "apparent
 +
 +
resistivity" of the material below the surface. This is in essence a
 +
 +
composite response resulting from a multitude of combinations of resistivity
 +
 +
structure beneath the ground. Low values of resistivity may indicate water,
 +
 +
ores, or damp soil. High values are characteristic of dry sand for example.
 +
 +
Initial Test Results:
 +
 +
During EVA 17 today the EM16 subsurface sounder was tested and used with the
 +
 +
suits for the first time. No major difficulties were encountered as far as
 +
 +
ergonomic issues were concerned - all switches, buttons, connectors, and dials were able to be manipulated through the gloves. The unit was brought
 +
 +
to some pediments about 2.5 km South, 0.5km East of the hab for testing. The Maine VLF station was acquired almost immediately to the East, and three readings were taken roughly 100 feet apart heading East. At all three sounding locations, no magnetic wave tilt was discernable, indicating a
 +
 +
highly uniform subsurface in this region. Measurements of apparent
 +
 +
subsurface resistivity varied between 10 and 40 ohm-meters, which is the
 +
 +
expected value for a composition ranging between clay and sedimentary rock.
 +
 +
Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2
 +
 +
Feb 26, 2002
 +
 +
Don Barker
 +
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 +
Lamont came and took the water tanker at 14:15. One of the EVA members spoke to him during sim, he claimed that he would return tomorrow with some 55-gallon drum replacements. We currently have just over 20 gallons of potable water left, and will need additional water by tomorrow at the latest.
 +
 +
During a shower, one of the crew members became over enthusiastic in the use of the flow valve, unscrewing the valve fitting itself. This resulted in a slow leak which began to trickle outside the hab. The problem was discovered quickly and rectified without too much water loss.
 +
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 +
Last night we had another circuit breaker disconnect and lost HAB power.  It appeared to happen when the microwave and the one light-colored lone-hotplate was turned up to hi.
 +
 +
All other generator operations continued as usual.
 +
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 +
Two packs remain unusable pending receipt of parts enroute.
 +
 +
There are currently only four GMRS radios and not many more microphone/earpiece assemblies.
 +
 +
Safety:
 +
 +
Fred experienced a severe chill today which compelled him to remove his airhoses during sim. Upon noticing this, the Commander terminated is EVA, bringing him back to the hab, and continued with the planned activities with remaining crewmember Jon Rask. Fred seems none the worse for wear at the moment.
 +
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 +
The StarBand system remains below optimal performance and the WinProxy service is still expired. We understand that authorization has been given to purchase a WinProxy license.
 +
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 +
All HAB trash was collected and put in the trash collection area.
 +
 +
One of the hotplates (the larger one in the dual plate unit) has ceased to function.
 +
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 27, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
We are now nearly one week into our stay at MDRS. So far, I'd say everything
 +
 +
is going fine. We have the usual bumps in the system, mostly due to
 +
 +
engineering issues, but those are a fact of life. The Mission Support Team has done a great job helping us through a few of these trials and none of us are the worse for wear.
 +
 +
We have a diverse team here that appears to be meshing well. Gilles is our singing Frenchman, tall, wiry, and a little wacky at times; he's brought enough camera gear to shoot this place for several major news networks combined. The tests of his CRV have marked our most exciting EVAs, no doubt.
 +
 +
His partner in crime is Fred, a French Canadian - and our resident biologist. This is a man who clearly knows how to take care of mind and body, always advising us about diet and vitamins. He looks like he could bench-press three of us. Don provides a counter weight to these two, coming from the professional, operations oriented culture in NASA space station planning. Thanks to Don, we had schedules sitting in front of us on our
 +
 +
first day, and we've used the same template ever since. He really has helped
 +
 +
us focus on a plan and keep on track. Jon is our energetic space station
 +
 +
engineer, originally from a farm in North Dakota. Probably our best EVA man,
 +
 +
you can tell he's been riding ATVs on open terrain since about age 3. His
 +
 +
unique combination of space studies coursework and practical farm-bred
 +
 +
sensibilities has made him indispensable for Hab maintenance. Andy is the
 +
 +
oldest and probably most experienced of all here at the Hab, a professor in
 +
 +
Geology at Franklin and Marshall college. He was our carry-over crew member
 +
 +
from the last rotation whose detailed knowledge of Hab operations was
 +
 +
frankly critical to our success here. I couldn't place his accent at first -
 +
 +
turns out he's from South Africa. We've all learned a little geology from
 +
 +
him, but much more about how to clean out the Incinolet. Last there's me -
 +
 +
an experimental space physicist who used to be more at home in the
 +
 +
ionosphere than the desert. This has changed recently, having chased dust
 +
 +
devils in Arizona last year, and now spending time at MDRS. Probably the
 +
 +
most enjoyable part for me - aside from the EVAs or course - is having the
 +
 +
experience of spending time with the variety of scientists and engineers we
 +
 +
have here. Any successful exploration of Mars will truly be a
 +
 +
multidisciplinary endeavor.
 +
 +
After a 4 hour EVA today, I was happy to return home - to the Hab. Andy is preparing his comprehensive report of the area from a geological
 +
 +
perspective, and I'm busy trying to figure out what my EM sub sounder is
 +
 +
really telling me. It sure beats working for a living!
 +
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 +
Greg DeLory, Gilles Dawidowicz, Fred Janson
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 +
This EVA is the second in a series designed to obtain Electromagnetic Soundings of local area subsurface structures and asses possible water content.  The first sight of attempted sounding will be above the water spring location of earlier EVAs (the water seepage site  N4247550, E0520397) Assuming nominal performance, EVA18 will proceed to scout for another location and try the experiment again.
 +
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-18
 +
 +
DATE:  02-27-02
 +
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 +
ATV EMS EVA EVA HAB COMM(s)
 +
 +
Barker CDR
 +
 +
MDRS1
 +
 +
MDRS2
 +
 +
MDRS3
 +
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 +
Delory/2
 +
 +
Dawidowicz/5
 +
 +
Janson/4
 +
 +
N/A
 +
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 +
10:50
 +
 +
EVA STOP TIME: Scheduled/Actual
 +
 +
14:30/15:15
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 +
The objectives of today's EVA was to explore several sites where the EM16 sounder could be tried. The first site chosen was an area where water seepage had been found on prior EVAs (location given during Comm Check 2 below). Secondary objectives included geology and sample collection by Fred and Gilles.
 +
 +
After spending some time at the water seepage area, we proceeded to White Rock Reservoir. A small dry pond bed was found and further EM16 soundings were performed.
 +
 +
The EVA concluded with an exploratory ATV drive up along the rim of Candor Chasma, in an attempt to scout out yet more sites where the CRV may be tested in the future, and also to ascertain if there were any safe routes down to the bottom of the canyon..
 +
 +
All in all this EVA was nominal with no major issues, except for the fact that Gilles' ATV quit for no apparent reason and then restarted without difficulty.
 +
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 +
Set and staging of EVA components and EMS hardware was nominal.
 +
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 +
The nominal 5 minute depress cycle was adhered to, all nominal.
 +
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 +
TIME
 +
 +
11:00
 +
 +
12:00
 +
 +
13:02
 +
 +
14:00
 +
 +
14:45 REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 +
N4250921 E0518166 @HAB
 +
 +
N4247550 E0520397
 +
 +
Local to last report
 +
 +
N4247384 E0520381
 +
 +
N4250208 E0523115 REPORTED STATUS
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal Auxiliary Information
 +
 +
Go for EVA Reported returning to HAB
 +
 +
TEXT:
 +
 +
- 13:05 EVA18 reports that they are trying to access the rim of the small canyon in order to perform a sounding test above the spring site.
 +
 +
- 14:00 EVA18 completed reservoir sounding and is moving to the canyon (Chandor).
 +
 +
- 14:45 EVA18 reported traversing a large portion of the canyon and now returning to HAB.  ETA is 20 minutes.
 +
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 +
EVA crew burst out of the EVA prep room and into the lower laboratory prior to cleaning off and removing suits. The EVA commander reminded them of the proper clean-up procedures and they returned to the prep room.
 +
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 +
See above. Other than that, it was fairly hot today, did lots of sweating. I brought up the rear on all ATV movements, and during the ride home my eyes became very irritated and watery due to dust. I was about to call a halt to the ATV motion for the crew when the condition improved and I was again able to see clearly. The EM16 results appear consistent, but perhaps too uniform. Contact with an Earthbound expert may help.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 +
This EVA was really interesting even if we have not discovered or explored new areas. First we went back to the first canyon (White Rock Canyon). Here, we found new samples of salt crystals, water and ice.. After this, we went to White Rock Reservoir, a large flat area with very nice active sand dunes. Greg tried his experiment. To finish our EVA, we decided to return to the front of the big canyon "Chandor Chasma" but not at the same place where we tested the CRV, during EVA 16. The south rim of "Candor Chasma" is very spectacular. Hundreds of superimposed layers are easy to observe. We have selected a new place for new CRV tests.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 +
We returned to White Rock Canyon in order to begin an assessment of remnant ice and water for life. The dried up river bed has since become a salt bed. My head piece started fogging up, a function of elevated body and air temperature. Six of our ten samples collected today melted and leaked. The collecting bags do not hold water or ice. The 15mL capped tubes are acceptable containers for water but not for ice as the diameter of the opening is no more than 2cm. Gilles ATV broke down on the road for no apparent reason but we managed to start it back up with him driving with the choke open to the maximum for the duration of the ride back to the HAB.
 +
 +
Gilles' EVA notes:
 +
 +
We started Greg, Fred and I the EVA 18 to the little canyon site called
 +
 +
White Rock Canyon, to run Greg's experiment in order
 +
 +
to find water. During the test, Fred and me done some geology and biology
 +
 +
research.
 +
 +
We found and collected stalagmites icy samples. Fred collected ice and water
 +
 +
to analyse them. I found evidences of water
 +
 +
evaporation and evidence of micro water floods on the slope of the canyon.
 +
 +
We found on the floor of the canyon, some very nice salt crystals anf
 +
 +
halophyt plants. We found recent ripplemarks too, probably
 +
 +
from the last rain.
 +
 +
We decided to go running the Greg's experiment in front White Rock Reservoir, a very flat area due to the presence of an ancient
 +
 +
lake. After that, we finished the EVA going in front our "Grand Canyon"
 +
 +
named "Candor Chasma". Here we found a spectacular panorama
 +
 +
with hundred superimposed layers. We found a secured cliff to run another
 +
 +
time and soon the CRV rover.
 +
 +
=== Geology Report — MDRS, Feb 27, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Today the EM16 sub sounder was brought to three different locations; two near the water seepage cliffs at what is now called "White Rock Canyon," (N4247550, E0520397) and a third at a dry reservoir bed called White Rock Reservoir (N4247384,E0520381). At White Rock canyon, a dry streambed at the
 +
 +
bottom of the canyon was chosen for a sounding. It was initially difficult
 +
 +
to localize the incoming VLF signal due to the canyon rims, but after some
 +
 +
effort it was located in its expected Easterly direction. No wave tilt was found. Apparent subsurface resistivity was 10 ohm-m.
 +
 +
Traversing to the top of the canyon rim, another test sounding was conducted on top of what felt like solid rock (as opposed to the softer, granular
 +
 +
material characteristic of much of the area.) No wave tilt, and subsurface
 +
 +
resistivity was 30 ohm-m. A higher value than the stream bed was expected,
 +
 +
but I was surprised that it wasn't greater than 30 ohm-cm if it really was
 +
 +
solid rock - indicating that it was probably the combination of clays and
 +
 +
sedimentary rocks we've seen elsewhere.
 +
 +
Driving farther Northeast, we found a dry lake bed where White Rock Reservoir should be. The surface had the appearance of dry cracked mud (sent
 +
 +
during a previous EVA, with the hammer for scale). Again no wave tilt was
 +
 +
found. Subsurface resistivity was less than 10 ohms. During this test, I noticed that it was difficult to hold the EM16 unit far enough from metallic structures on the suit. With effort, I held the unit at arm's length, and
 +
 +
was able to obtain much clearer wave tilt results. This may have been a
 +
 +
factor during previous wave tilt determinations. Scouting out around the
 +
 +
border of the dry mud flats, where sand and vegetation began, there was at
 +
 +
most 2-3 degrees of magnetic wave tilt, which may be indicative of a gently,
 +
 +
sloping boundary between the dried reservoir material and the surrounding
 +
 +
sand.
 +
 +
Two important issues arose today:
 +
 +
(1) There is an apparent interference between the suit and the sounder that may affect wave tilt soundings. The fidelity of tilt determinations seems to improve if the unit is held as far from the suit as possible. Either
 +
 +
metallic elements in the suit structure, or electromagnetic noise from the
 +
 +
fans may be factors.
 +
 +
(2) The values for subsurface resistivity appear to be very uniform over
 +
 +
much of the region, between 10-50 ohm-meters. This may be expected if the
 +
 +
area is indeed uniform in its subsurface morphology, but a consultation with
 +
 +
the unit's inventor (Dr. Alex Becker) may be called for to get some advice.
 +
 +
I plan on getting in contact with him as soon as a communication window
 +
 +
allows.
 +
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 27, 2002, Jon Rask, Donald Barker ===
 +
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Travel to Hanksville was required to receive two packages containing much needed filters, batteries, fuses and mineral testing supplies. 12 Gallons of fresh drinking water was also purchased. Yesterday, we analyzed a sample of the tap water in the hab and discovered a variety of impurities ranging from dust to bacteria. Thus, we felt that fresh drinking water was a priority since we were nearly out of water, and over the past 3-4 days the water quality inside the holding tank had deteriorated, and looked very rusty.
 +
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 +
Lamont brought a used (new for us) plastic water tank (~350 gallons) to the HAB today at 10:30.  The tank has a small but noticeable leak near the faucet connection and is believed due to positioning and unloading.  An interesting label on the tank details it as capable of being used for a variety of pesticides. Settled gravel and sand is on the bottom of the tank.  We do not know the previous use of this tank, and will only use the water for washing and consumption if boiled.  The internal water tank was drained, flushed, and then filled with 60-gallons of water. The water color was markedly clear, a much appreciated change from the last refill from the old tank with rust brown water.
 +
 +
The under-sink water filter was inspected and seems to be all in place except for a right angle double threaded plastic connector, which was broken during the original installation. Additionally, the installation instructions do not include the use/installation of the UV filter, which was also installed with this filter system.  It would be very nice to get this up and running.
 +
 +
Some gray water was pumped out of the holding tank.
 +
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 +
One 55-gallon gas can was filled and returned to the site around 13:00 by Lamont. No power outtages today. Generator operation normal.
 +
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 +
EVA battery packs: the new fuses that we just received were tested in two of the packs that were having charging problems.   Shortly after we started charging the packs with the new fuses,  they burned out. Clearly we have a deeper systemic issue here - either a malfunction in the batteries (drawing too much current during a recharge) or the charger itself. Using a multi-meter, we’re going to attempt to localize the problem. The additional fuses helped in that we at least know there is a deeper issue.
 +
 +
Oil was checked on all ATVs, and levels were normal. Both the green and tan ATV's oil is very black.
 +
 +
Safety:
 +
 +
No safety issues.
 +
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 +
Internet connection is still sporadic and slow. The crew is heavily using one USB floppy disc drive to exchange data between all the computers. We hope it will continue to function normally. Without it, we cannot share data between computers.  The network is again rising as a priority, and we hope to get it functioning soon.
 +
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 +
Incinolet was cleaned today, and ashes were hauled to trash pile. Organization and consolidation of hardware and appliance manuals and information is underway.
 +
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Feb 28, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
Imagine the first human crew is sent to Mars, and upon landing they discover that the communications link to Earth is far slower than predicted, and not sufficient to meet the needs of the mission. After attempting to diagnose
 +
 +
the problem within the habitat with no results, an emergency EVA is planned
 +
 +
to determine the status of the communications dish on the roof of the hab. Mission control sends images of what the proper antenna configuration and alignments should be, and it's the EVA crew's job to go outside and find out what's wrong, if anything. Upon exiting the hab and climbing on the roof, they find that the antenna polarization is slightly off nominal for optimal bandwidth. Using guidance from mission control, they adjust it manually, loosening fittings on the dish receiver assembly and restoring communications back to normal.
 +
 +
Such a scenario might make for a minor diversion in a science fiction movie about a mission to Mars. And yet, we faced the same situation here on analog Mars over the past week. Upon arrival it was clear that the satellite
 +
 +
internet link was far slower than expected. A little back and forth with
 +
 +
Mission Support established that the antenna probably needed a polarization adjustment. This meant going out on the roof, taking an image of the
 +
 +
antenna, sending it back to Mission Support, and receiving an image back
 +
 +
from them showing exactly how the antenna should be adjusted. The roof of
 +
 +
the hab is sloped and there's only a small opening at the top from which to
 +
 +
climb out, so this was definitely a procedure to be undertaken "out of sim,"
 +
 +
with no space suit. With the help of a crew member, and a solid rope around
 +
 +
my waist for safety, I scaled down the hab roof to examine the antenna. Sure
 +
 +
enough, the polarization was off, slightly. As per Mission Support
 +
 +
instructions, I rotated a fitting by 5 degrees around the "feed horn" area,
 +
 +
where the dish focuses all of the signal from the satellites. Upon returning
 +
 +
to the hab, internet communications were markedly faster. All in all, the
 +
 +
whole experience was remarkably like what a crew would go through during a
 +
 +
real mission given a similar anomaly. The whole idea behind MDRS is to
 +
 +
simulate these situations as much as possible, and it's remarkable how close
 +
 +
to reality the "sim" becomes as we try and run a remote place like MDRS.
 +
 +
Once again, the system worked. A satisfying experience indeed.
 +
 +
The antenna was my chore for the day, while three other members were engaged
 +
 +
in a long distance, 6.5 hour EVA in an attempt to reach the bottom of a
 +
 +
large canyon to the Northeast. They made it down, and I'm looking forward to
 +
 +
their EVA report. Tonight is crew member Andy De Wet's last night here, and
 +
 +
we're going to celebrate. It's been another good day at the hab.
 +
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 +
Andy De Wet, Jon Rask, Donald Barker
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 +
Exploration of the area to the north of the HAB was the main mission of this EVA. This area had been explored by some of the first crew rotation but had not been explored by the second crew rotation. Specifically we were interested in examining up close the Summerville Formation, finding good sites for further EM16 and CRV tests, and looking for fossils and limestone and ash layers in the Morrison formation. We headed north and reached the top of a side canyon to the main canyon of the Dirty Devil Creek. There was no way down to see the Summerville Formation so we doubled back and tried farther to the west. This road led to a rugged area in the Morrison Formation. Finally we tried another road that led up and over the Tunuck Shales, down through a canyon in the Morrison Formation, and finally to the shore of Muddy Creek (a tributary of Dirty Devil Creek). We returned to the HAB and completed a short EVA in the vicinity of the HAB. This was the longest EVA attempted at MDRS, a grueling 6.5 hours.
 +
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-19
 +
 +
DATE:  02-28-02
 +
 +
EVA SCENERIO EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 +
Delory CDR
 +
 +
MDRS1
 +
 +
MDRS2
 +
 +
MDRS3
 +
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 +
De Wet/2
 +
 +
Rask/5
 +
 +
Barker/4 EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 +
1025
 +
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 +
1630/1705
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 +
This was an excellent exploration EVA to the area north of the HAB. We discovered a spectacular side canyon to the Muddy Creek canyon. The canyon afforded an excellent view of the lower parts of the Morrison Formation overlying the Summerville Formation. Unfortunately there was no way down into the canyon to view the Summerville Formation in detail. While exploring in the Morrison Formation we found several large fossilized trees and some thin beds of limestone. After several dead ends we finally made our way down to the banks of the  Dirty Devil Creek. The way down led through a spectacular canyon in the Morrison Formation.
 +
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 +
Nominal.
 +
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 +
Began 1020; nominal.
 +
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 +
TIME
 +
 +
1030
 +
 +
1045
 +
 +
1111
 +
 +
1145
 +
 +
1209
 +
 +
1337
 +
 +
REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 +
0518173E
 +
 +
4250876N
 +
 +
0518173E
 +
 +
4250876N
 +
 +
0518036E
 +
 +
4253972N
 +
 +
0519369E
 +
 +
4256142N
 +
 +
0520736E
 +
 +
4256839N
 +
 +
0516325E
 +
 +
4254583N
 +
 +
REPORTED STATUS
 +
 +
Outside Hab
 +
 +
Fork in the road
 +
 +
2nd fork in road; proceeding north
 +
 +
Nominal
 +
 +
Nominal Auxiliary Information
 +
 +
TEXT:
 +
 +
10:30 Hab checkout, position, channel 201 test
 +
 +
10:45 Encountered fork in road
 +
 +
11:11 2nd fork, decided to continue heading north.
 +
 +
11:45 3rd fork, taking right.
 +
 +
12:09 At canyon rim; can't get down, doubling back.
 +
 +
13:37 Standard coordinate report and "moving on."
 +
 +
15:35 051606E 4254558N
 +
 +
17:05 End of EVA
 +
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 +
Nominal - crew stayed in the EVA prep room this time!
 +
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 +
This was my last EVA at MDRS. It was also the longest EVA attempted at MDRS (6.5 hours). I will miss the experience of simulating being a geologist on Mars. Thanks to the great crew members of rotations 1 and 2, the whole experience was interesting, educational, and fun. I am convinced we will be able to do rigorous geological field work on Mars, but it will be much more demanding physically and emotionally than working on Earth!
 +
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 +
As noted by the EVA commander, this was the longest EVA to date covering approximately 30 km, lasting 6.5 hours; an important exercise in long duration EVAs. It was also physically demanding, as we scouted many hills in rough terrain walking a great deal while looking for samples. The scenery was spectacular, with the highlight of the EVA being the discovery of  two 80 cm diameter fossilized trees 6 km from the Hab. I am becoming familiar with the area geology, and I have learned a great deal from Andy in the field. He has taught be how to identify a variety of minerals, crystals, and dinosaur bones! This EVA helped solidify my understanding of the local strata. Lower Cretaceous, Morrison, and Summerville formations are very easy to identify, and I can now spot faults and disconformities in the geologic record. I'm going to miss Andy. He has been a lot of fun and he is a pleasure to work with. Thanks, Andy!
 +
 +
Two locations along the trail required some skilled ATV maneuvers. They were easy for me since I have had a fair amount of ATV experience. One of the crew was driving fast at both sites. Lucky for him it wasn't too fast. I have noticed that one gets a false sense of protection while in the EVA suit - but its just bulk! This reinforces the importance of cautious ATV operation; slow driving, and leave a safe distance between all ATVs in motion. I cannot stress this enough. Better to drive slowly and arrive a little late than not at all. We know when we are supposed to be back every night from an EVA.
 +
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 +
The most relevant portion of this EVA as a Mars operations analogue was the physiological stress involved with a long duration expedition which incorporated both the use of ATVs and selected pedestrian sorties.  Assuming that the Martian terrain local to a human landing site is relatively navigable by rover like vehicles, the greatest portion of time used by crews will be in mounted exploration.  It allows crews to explore a greater area while minimizing physiological stress and consumable use.
 +
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 28, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 +
The water situation is under control. We're drinking bottled, using the main tank for everything else.
 +
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 +
The generator died tonight, apparently because of low oil. We checked the level less than 2 days ago, and it was sufficient. It appears to have used over a quart since then. We'll keep an eye on it.
 +
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 +
n/a
 +
 +
Safety:
 +
 +
No safety issues.
 +
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 +
Antenna adjusted, bandwidth appears much higher. We request clarification on how to get a starband email account, and to make sure that our connection is indeed "activated," since I think we're working under a tech support fix right now.
 +
 +
While the bandwidth is higher, the starband modem has crashed twice tonight.
 +
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 +
Final note: 45 MPH winds outside, we're going to have to inspect for damage tomorrow.
 +
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Mar 1, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
The first day of March on analogue Mars marked a changeover in one crew member here at MDRS. Andy De Wet left early this morning, and was replaced by John Putman, a Neuro-feedback specialist from Los Angeles. An examination of his gear made it obvious that more than a few of us would be his subjects over the next few days, in what may be the first biomedical experiments conducted at the hab. Most of us were more interested in the new supplies John brought; we were in need of a few food items, and everyone was pleased with the selection. We were all sorry to see Andy leave, but a fresh face can be a good thing when six people have been in close quarters for awhile.
 +
 +
After many days of successive EVAs, we took it easy this morning and decided that at least three of us would remain to work on hab cleaning and maintenance. Fred and Gilles were still itching to get outside, so we decided on a short, two person EVA to the southwest of the hab, at the base of the Skyline Rim. This area had not been explored yet during MDRS operations. While Fred and Gilles were having fun, the rest of us got down to business. More antenna adjustments were made, with little improvement. Jon reorganized the tool area downstairs, now it actually looks usable. Unused and spare items were moved outside into containers for longer term storage, resulting in much more room in the rear airlock in particular. The generator has been acting up, so checking the oil, sparkplugs, and air filter seemed wise. The network cables were re-routed for more efficient connections on the main desk in the living area. New water was pumped into the hab, and I'm happy to report we're maintaining a consistent
 +
 +
~5 gallons/day of water use per person. During these activities, two of us carried radios to continually monitor position and status reports from the EVA; can't let Hab maintenance get in the way of safety.
 +
 +
Today was colder than usual, with strong winds. Wind chill might have even been a concern. I'm looking forward to a warm sleep tonight, because tomorrow we have a long EVA planned; far up to the Northwest, again in an area unexplored during our stay here. I hope to find a variety of surfaces where I can test the EM sounder, while Jon and Gilles continue to hope for an easy way down to the floor of Candor Chasma. New crew member John is settling in, getting ready for his first dinner in the hab. Ah, I remember that feeling on the first day...
 +
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 +
Gilles Dawidowicz, Fred Jansen
 +
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 +
A short two-man Survey EVA was planned to scout out a new region to the southwest to the HAB base area.
 +
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-20
 +
 +
DATE:  03-01-02
 +
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 +
Survey ATV EVA
 +
 +
EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 +
Barker
 +
 +
CDR
 +
 +
MDRS1
 +
 +
MDRS2
 +
 +
MDRS3
 +
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 +
Dawidowicz/4
 +
 +
Janson/5
 +
 +
N/A
 +
 +
N/A
 +
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 +
11:30
  
[[Category:MDRS Crew Reports]]
+
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 
 +
14:30/15:25
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
Having followed Skyline Rim to the south and around a bend towards the west, Fred and I investigated areas conducive to the preservation of ice for further study. Unfortunately, no ice was found. Much of the landscape is either exposed or inaccessible. We did come across dried riverbeds and basins but again due to the exposure to the sun and the lack of relief surrounding these riverbeds no ice was found.
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
Nominal EVA sortie prep and suit ingress.  This task just gets easier with practice.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
Nominal ingress and 5 minute depressurization.  Again, repeated tasks become more efficient.  It is important, though, to not become complacent with sensitive tasks even though one has performed them many times.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 
 +
TIME
 +
 
 +
11:30
 +
 
 +
12:50
 +
 
 +
13:40
 +
 
 +
14:19
 +
 
 +
REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 
 +
HAB No GPS
 +
 
 +
E0515046 N4250746
 +
 
 +
No data
 +
 
 +
E058222 N4251570
 +
 
 +
REPORTED STATUS
 +
 
 +
EVA start
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
?
 +
 
 +
Auxiliary Information
 +
 
 +
Check only done on ch2 not on repeater ch.
 +
 
 +
Transiting area SW rel to HAB
 +
 
 +
Garbled and unreadable Comm
 +
 
 +
Received location but lost comm after
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
Interesting note for multilingual radio communications (goes for same language novice radio users as well) - there is a need to standardize certain communication phrases, directions, call signs, etc. that would be memorized and used by all participating EVA crews.  This would ensure efficient and effective communications of information.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
EVA20 returned to base and started repress at 14:30.  Nothing abnormal to report.
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
I was commander for this interesting EVA. Fred and I went via the Chluda Pass to the South West of the HAB, exploring the Skyline Rim to the Blue Valley. During our 3 hours EVA we met 3 live antelopes and we found a dead one. We observed nice debris slopes and some residual relief on it, resembling towers.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
We followed Skyline Rim in search of ice but headed towards the sun and open desert rather than away from the sun and so no ice was found. It might be better to follow Skyline Rim to the North and see if the canyons in the distance yield better protective conditions for ice. There is a minor problem with the design of the respiratory devices such that both of our packs blew silt into our helmets causing eye irritation and silt in our mouths and lungs.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
None
 +
 
 +
Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2
 +
 
 +
Mar 1, 2002
 +
 
 +
Jon Rask
 +
 
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 
 +
60 gallons of water were pumped from the external tank into the Hab's holding tank.
 +
 
 +
The under-sink water filter was inspected and seems to be all in place except for a right angle double threaded plastic connector, which was broken during the original installation. Additionally, the installation instructions do not include the use/installation of the UV filter, which was also installed with this filter system.  It would be very nice to get this up and running.
 +
 
 +
An attempt to pump gray water out of the holding tank.was made, but no water emerged. Apparently, the underground drain is working.
 +
 
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 
 +
The gauge on the propane tank (for the furnace) was checked.  The level is less than 3 percent full. We may need more propane very soon.
 +
 
 +
We are concerned about the Hab's power system; the generator failed again today. For unknown reasons, the generator died when very little power was being used. The gas line, oil, and air filter were all checked and found normal. The spark plug was removed, inspected, cleaned and reinstalled. There was some carbon residue on the plug, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary. The exhaust of the generator seems normal, as no distinguishable burning oil or gas smell is present. In the past, the generator would typically quit if too much electricity was used when any combinations of the microwave, hotplates, hot water heater, or wet/dry vacuum were used. This time, only lights and the water heater was on, which in the past has not caused a problem..
 +
 
 +
We continue to fill 2.5 gallon tanks with a hand pump from the 55 gallon drum. We add gas to the generator three times per day. We also have been checking the generator's oil daily.
 +
 
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 
 +
Four EVA packs continue to function normally.
 +
 
 +
Safety:
 +
 
 +
Three fire extinguishers were checked and found normal. One was mounted on the wall in the middle of the room on the lower floor for easy access in case of an emergency. The other two extinguishers are still located at the bottom and top of the stairwell.
 +
 
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 
 +
The Starband antenna on the roof was readjusted again to day in an attempt to optimize the bandwidth and antenna noise floor. According to Gary Snyder, this had little effect. Our current noise floor is slightly worse than prior to today’s adjustment, but the internet speeds are still in the 100 kbytes/sec range for downloads, and probably less for uploads. A network for 3 PC's has been implemented and can also function online. We can't seem to get the MAC online. Note that we are currently limited to a total of THREE users on the network, plus the starband computer, due to the WinProxy license - the $60 only includes three users, more can be added for more money.
 +
 
 +
General Maintenance & Waste Management:
 +
 
 +
25-30 mph sustained winds with 45 mph gusts during the night prompted us to scrutinize the Hab's exterior for damage early this morning. The Hab looked normal, but one of the four yellow straps securing the greenhouse had come loose. We reattached the strap and tightened it down this morning. The greenhouse is secure for now. However, the zipper door has ripped open. Gray tape has been used to temporarily fix the problem but a long term solution is needed soon.
 +
 
 +
The work bench area on the lower floor was cleaned. Tools were organized and made more accessible. Shelves where power tools and electrical supplies are stowed was also cleaned and re-organized. Tools were hung up above the work bench. It really looks good and makes one want to use it!
 +
 
 +
Many items cluttering the lower floor and rear airlock were hauled to sealed storage containers outside of the Hab. Insulating weather stripping was added to the outside rear airlock door to reduce heat loss and will also limit the amount of airflow into the Hab. 
 +
 
 +
A shelf was mounted above the Incinolet for storage of some bathroom supplies. The incinolet was also cleaned today, and ashes were hauled to trash pile. Organization and consolidation of hardware and appliance manuals and information continues.
 +
 
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Mar 2, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
It was shaping up to be another exciting day on analog Mars. There was an extended EVA planned to journey over 15 km Northwest to an unexplored area shown on the map as "Coal Mine Wash." I hadn't been outside in two days, so I was ready. My comrades Jon and Gilles suited up with me and we went through the usual pre-EVA airlock procedures; load gear into the airlock, enter, close the inner door, depressurize for 5 minutes, and egress. It looked like a sunny, clear day outside, if just a little cold. This was going to be good. We stepped down off the airlock steps and approached the ATVs in order to load them with our gear. Then we noticed that there were only 2 ATVs outside.
 +
 
 +
There was one ATV missing.
 +
 
 +
Gilles had put gas in all three less than 45 minutes ago, so whatever happened had occurred recently. Dumbfounded, we began short walk around the Hab, to make sure a crew member hadn't parked it nearby after some unauthorized horsing around outside. Failing to find it in the vicinity of the Hab, it began to sink in that someone must have taken it.
 +
 
 +
Well, so there we were. All dressed up for an EVA and at least one of us with no place to go. I considered stopping the EVA, getting everyone back into the Hab, and coming up with a plan of action. Taking a moment for some calm thought, I remembered the four overriding priorities that govern much of what we do here on analog Mars: "Safety, Simulation, Science, Comfort." A missing ATV may have been annoying, but we were all still safe, so priority number one was satisfied. Next on the list was the simulation - and it would go on! Since Gilles had been out on EVA the previous day as well, I ordered him back inside - disappointing, but the only option if the sim was to continue. Jon and I would carry on the planned EVA with just the two of us - the minimum number for an EVA, but certainly sufficient to get our objectives for this trip completed. Gilles went back through the airlock following the usual procedures, while I informed HabCom (it was Don Barker today) to send a few people into town out of sim to make a police report. That was all we could do - and there was no point in ruining a good EVA.
 +
 
 +
It was well worth it in the end - the long ride out to Coal Mine Wash was about 15 km, and provided varied and beautiful scenery along the way. Many of the paths were discontinuous, and we back tracked more than once in an attempt to get to our destination. The most memorable terrain was witnessed driving between small hills of Morrison formation, some with stark outcroppings of what looked like Sandstone above. Buried below the horizon and surrounded by rolling red hills on all sides, we really began to feel like we were exploring. We reached Coal Mine Wash - after some serious GPS work, where we performed another EM sounding and took some photos. The ride back was equally enjoyable, as we discovered a natural arch on the way back, along with some large white crystals (calcite maybe) that were at least several inches in diameter.
 +
 
 +
Returning to the Hab, we learned that several crew members had indeed filed a report with the local Sheriff - and that the ATV was found. It had been "borrowed" without our knowledge by someone we knew - well, at least it hadn't been "stolen." All in all it was another good exercise on analog Mars - one could imagine an ATV popping into gear accidentally and wandering away during the night in a real mission, and the crew being faced with the same decisions the next morning. I think we all acted appropriately, each doing his job - the EVA crew stayed on sim, and HabCom did all necessary activities to support us. And so we gather for another night of sloppy Joes being simmered by our new crew member John Putman, all awaiting whatever surprises tomorrow brings...
 +
 
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 
 +
Greg DeLory, Jon Rask, Gilles Dawidowicz
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 
 +
This EVA will attempt to reach an as yet unscouted area to the Northwest of the base..  References to the topologic maps of the area suggest a relatively flat and open expanse that will support the EM-Sounding experiment.
 +
 
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-21
 +
 
 +
DATE:  03-02-02
 +
 
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 
 +
EMS ATV EVA EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 
 +
Barker CDR
 +
 
 +
MDRS1
 +
 
 +
MDRS2
 +
 
 +
MDRS3
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 
 +
Delory/3
 +
 
 +
Rask/5
 +
 
 +
Dawidowicz/4 EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 
 +
10:30
 +
 
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 
 +
16:30/15:20
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
EVA-4 (Dawidowicz) had to be terminated early due to a missing ATV. EVAs 3,5 (Delory/Rask) continued with the EVA as planned.
 +
 
 +
During this EVA, we reached our goal at Coal Mine Wash, 9 km North, 5 km East of the Hab. The trails leading to this area were not obvious, and there were several occasions when we were forced to backtrack. A combination of trial and error and GPS use led us to our desired destination, eventually stopping at E0512895, N4259726.
 +
 
 +
On the way to/from Coal Mine Wash:
 +
 
 +
A broad, flat area of lower Cretaceous shale was traversed, just above the Dakota sandstone. An EM sounding in this area demonstrated that the regolith had a low resistivity of 10 ohm-m.
 +
 
 +
A collection of very large calcites were found (several inches in diameter).
 +
 
 +
A natural arch was found, eroding the brushy basin in a Morrison formation.
 +
 
 +
Several interesting examples of boundaries between the Morrison formation and Dakota Sandstone were witnessed along the way. In these cases the Dakota Sandstone was in the form of an overhang above the Morrison layer, with a very clear boundary visible.
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
Nominal EVA prep and suit ingress.  EMS equipment was staged in the airlock.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
One minute into the airlock depress, the crew discovered a map needed for the EVA was missing. EVA 21 repressurized, and retrieved the map. A nominal 5 minute depressurization followed. Upon exiting the vehicle, EVA crew reported one of the ATV missing. EVA-4 was ordered back to the Hab so that EVAs 3 & 5 could continue.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 
 +
TIME
 +
 
 +
10:47
 +
 
 +
12:15
 +
 
 +
13:22
 +
 
 +
14:15
 +
 
 +
15:18 REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 
 +
E0518179
 +
 
 +
N4250909
 +
 
 +
Alt - 4190ft
 +
 
 +
@ HAB
 +
 
 +
E0516689
 +
 
 +
N4257334
 +
 
 +
E0512895
 +
 
 +
N4259726
 +
 
 +
E0515421
 +
 
 +
N4257255
 +
 
 +
@Hab REPORTED STATUS
 +
 
 +
OFF NOMINAL
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal Auxiliary Information
 +
 
 +
One ATV is missing
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
- 12:15 EVA21 signed in and said that they were heading west towards Coal Mine Wash.
 +
 
 +
- 13:22 EVA21 arrived at the Wash.  Proceeding to setup EMS experiment and photograph the region.  Will then proceed back to base.
 +
 
 +
- 14:15 EVA21 came in broken but gave GPS position and reported they were going to proceed on for one more hour.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
EVA21 loaded and entered the airlock at 15:18 and began a nominal repress.
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
This was a long trek - about 30 km roundtrip. There were several broken trails and some backtracking, but the scenery along the way was well worth it. For a time we were immersed in some shallow sloping Morrison formation following a groove towards the wide open flats of the Coal Mine wash, which on the map looked like a unique feature in the area. Upon arrival, there was increased vegetation and tumbleweeds, and a dry, cracked, hard surface underfoot. The EM sounder showed that the regolith was more resistive compared to the other surfaces tested thus far, >50 ohm-m. I believe this is primarily due to a different composition.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
This EVA started out with a few problems. Initially, we forgot the map and had to repressurized and get it. In retrospect, we probably would not have reached our destination with out a map. Don't leave home without it! Then we discovered an ATV was missing! Imagine that! Commander Delory decided to continue with a 2 person EVA and gave me the privilege of trailblazing through uncharted territory.
 +
 
 +
This EVA took us the greatest distance away from the Hab to date. Conditions were dusty. Because the winds were very strong and the air was quite cool, our. hands and fingers were susceptible to the cold. Perspiration inside the gloves compounded the problem. This will be an important issue to consider for humans working on Mars.
 +
 
 +
The winding path through the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation to the Barsoom Outcrops was incredible. We stopped occasionally looking for crystals and bones and then drove up into the Cretaceous. We found calcite, quartz, and gypsum crystals, but no bones.
 +
 
 +
After we finally reached coal mine wash, I noticed the Henry Mountains peeking out over the top of Skyline Rim. It was then when I realized how far northwest of the Hab we really were. Greg took a couple readings with the EM sounder, and we headed home.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
None
 +
 
 +
=== Geology Report — MDRS, Mar 2, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Consultations with my Earthbound counterparts confirmed that I am probably using the EM16 sounder correctly. So the initial results appear to indicate that the subsurface in the areas probed to date is very uniform over scales relevant to the instrument. Subsurface impedance measurements of between 10 and 50 ohm-m are again consistent for material consisting of a mixture of clays and sedimentary rocks. When time allows, I plan to verify the subsurface composition in this area from another source in order to determine if the EM16 results are consistent - but perhaps not until after the sim.
 +
 
 +
Two more soundings were performed today; loosely packed shale gave the lowest resistivity to date, less than 10 ohm-m. The solid, cracked brush covered surface out at Coal Mine Wash gave the highest resistivity result yet, over 50 ohm-m. I believe the difference is mainly due to subsurface composition rather than varying moisture content.
 +
 
 +
To gauge the instrument's capabilities, the next step would be to find some buried metallic source - a pipe or power line - in order to at least verify that wave tiles and resistivity readings aren't being obscured by suit fan noise or other factors unique to the sim.
 +
 
 +
Jon Rask, EVA MDRS1
 +
 
 +
Travel to coal mine wash led us through the three dominant geological formations of the area. The trail through the Jurassic 'Barsoom Outcrops' was incredibly rocky and rough with rapidly changing topography.
 +
 
 +
In one location, we spotted an erosion feature on the side of a typical Brushy Basin Member exposure. Upon closer inspection, we discovered this was a small, newly forming structure resembling a natural arch. Images were taken from above (top_of_arch.jpg) and at the opening. In the same area, the distinction between Jurassic and Cretaceous was striking and very obvious (JKboundary.jpg).
 +
 
 +
Several steep washouts along a dry creekbed that empties into Muddy Creek were carefully crossed. EVA 21 had moved into new uncharted territory.
 +
 
 +
As we traveled further northwest of the Hab, Dakota sandstones capping the rough Morrison formations transformed into lower Cretaceous Tunuck shales. In many places, the ground was covered with gryphaea and was very similar the same formations directly west of the Hab. Crystals of Gypsum and Calcite glistened everywhere in bright sunlight and several samples were collected. One sample of a dull yellow soil was collected.
 +
 
 +
EM Sounding of the Coal Mine Wash revealed the highest resistivity yet, over 50 ohm-m.
 +
 
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Mar 3, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
After more than 10 days here at the Hab on "analog Mars," things are almost beginning to become routine. I hesitate to make that statement given the unique landscape surrounding us, and the regions we have yet to explore. At least in terms of keeping the Hab up and running, and activities necessary to support EVAs, there have been fewer bumps and disruptions. This is due in large part to the vigilance of the crew here, everyone being aware of the limitations of the power and water systems in particular. With everyone following the right procedures, things are starting to go smoothly. There are still of course surprises now and again. Yesterday's missing ATV was an example.
 +
 
 +
The stabilization of Hab operations has encouraged everyone here to begin thinking "outside of the box" in terms of what else we can accomplish on analog Mars. One issue that keeps cropping up, obvious to all of us as we look at the topo maps of the area, is the fact that no one has been on top of Factory Bench - a large flat area separated from the Hab by the steep Skyline Ridge, a seemingly impassible boundary. Yet some of the most interesting features in the area appear to be on top of the bench, one of them Factory Butte over 1400 feet high, as well as an extremely narrow canyon. And so the bug has infected all of us; we want to find a way to get on top of the bench. Some reconnaissance ATV EVAs are called for in order to scout out some possible routes, which may begin tomorrow. If there's a way up, we hope to find it.
 +
 
 +
Today I worked on getting an external microphone system up and running for the suit helmets. It may be hard to believe - but in the thin, rarified atmosphere on the surface of Mars, it's very possible to detect sounds. They would be fainter than similar sounds on Earth - by at least 20 dB or more - but still within the detection of relatively standard, off-the-shelf microphones and preamplifiers. Using some audio equipment and connectors, my colleague Don and I managed to mix in two microphone signals into the existing suit radio gear. With each microphone outside acting as an "ear," we hope to test this idea soon - tomorrow or the next day - and explore the utility of enhancing the acoustic sense for occupants of the suits, which generate their own internal fan noise and otherwise muffle sounds from the outside. This type of acoustic feedback may be a crucial addition for suits on Mars, where users will appreciate being able to hear the pounding of a hammer or listen to a piece of equipment that is not
 +
 
 +
functioning properly.
 +
 
 +
There will likely be some animated discussions tonight over dinner about how best to get to the top of Factory Bench, while maintaining sim. People have different opinions, and that's part of what makes this process an enjoyable one. Hopefully out of the multitude of suggestions a solution will shake out, or at least a plan. It should be entertaining at the least.
 +
 
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 
 +
Fred Janson, John Putnam
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 
 +
EVA22 will return to White Rock canyon and perform a biology wrap-up EVA of the site.  The major focus of today's EVA is to assess the insulation properties associated with the sample recovery area in this canyon. Additional samples will also be collected and returned as needed.
 +
 
 +
As internal HAB water supplies has dwindled through the day, the EVA crew will be requested to perform the exterior portion of the water supply refill.
 +
 
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-22
 +
 
 +
DATE:  03-03-02
 +
 
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 
 +
ATV EVA EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 
 +
Barker CDR
 +
 
 +
MDRS1
 +
 
 +
MDRS2
 +
 
 +
MDRS3
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 
 +
Janson/5
 +
 
 +
Putman/2
 +
 
 +
N/A
 +
 
 +
N/A
 +
 
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 
 +
11:50
 +
 
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 
 +
15:00/18:00
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
Ice samples collected in White Rock Canyon. Light intensity and light distribution experiments conducted.
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
Several small and intricate pieces of biological measuring equipment were assembled and staged to support EVA operations.  This is the First EVA of John Putman and he is going through his EVA suit up introduction and ATV operations review.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
Ingress and depress went well.  Still need to work on familiarity and final suit checks with all EVA equipment.  A work in progress!  Also, since AVT keys will probably be stored within the Suit Room from now on, EVA crews need to make sure that retrieving these keys is part of their EVA set up checklist and tasks.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 
 +
TIME
 +
 
 +
11:15
 +
 
 +
13:52
 +
 
 +
14:55
 +
 
 +
16:50 REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 
 +
E0518171
 +
 
 +
N4250913
 +
 
 +
@ HAB
 +
 
 +
E0520416
 +
 
 +
N4247540
 +
 
 +
E0520293
 +
 
 +
N4247573
 +
 
 +
E0520505
 +
 
 +
N4247426 REPORTED STATUS
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal Auxiliary Information
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
EVA22 was out of short range monitoring for most of the trip.  Several of the reporting sessions were weak and unreadable - possibly due to power or location in surrounding terrain.
 +
 
 +
14:55 - EVA22 reported that they were continuing north from last reported position.
 +
 
 +
17:30 - EVA22 returned to the base and initiated water resupply operations. All exterior operations from connecting the transfer hose to the water pump, inserting and monitoring the pump supply line and powering the pump to a few pump pressure malfunction evaluations and corrections.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
no report
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
Ten ice-bearing sites were sampled throughout White Rock Canyon for further investigation. Ten data points were obtained for each site. The most difficult aspect of the sampling was crushing the ice into small enough pieces to fit into a collection tube without contaminating the sample with nearby dirt. The Big Bear ATV has not been running well lately. Our gloves became drenched midway through the collections. John's pack was running double time and he felt that his head was inside a refrigerator. I have had a similar problem in the past. The air fan blows too fast, too hard. Triangulation was employed to determine the height of cliffs in close proximity to samples.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
The EVA itself ran fairly smoothly although I had nothing to compare it to as this was my first.. The suit was reasonably comfortable and accommodated movement rather well overall. The most cumbersome part of the suit was, of course, the gloves. Dexterity is not the first word that comes to mind when describing them.  This, however, has been a problem that has plagued the entire manned space program since the beginning. Part of the problem was likely my own inexperience. in using the suit. The airflow was very good over all although a bit strong. The only problem occurred after the sun began to set and the air temperature dropped, at which point I began to experience the "refrigerator head" syndrome.  Overall a very innovative piece of engineering.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
None
 +
 
 +
=== Biology Report — MDRS, Mar 3, 2002, Jon Rask ===
 +
The Lower Cretaceous shales are incredibly moon-like in their appearance and seem completely devoid of life. The objective of sample collection near Coal Mine Wash during EVA 21 was to determine if bacteria were present in such harsh conditions. The image soil_sample_process.jpg shows how the sample was processed.
 +
 
 +
A sample of pale yellow soil found in the gray Tunuck shale was collected on 3/02/02 during EVA 21. The site was selected because no observable biology was present anywhere within several hundred meters. The nearby soil was extremely dry, powder-like, and cracked.
 +
 
 +
The small amount of the soil was re-hydrated back at the Hab. 50 microliters of the soil water mixture was vortexed, and then placed in a centrifuge. 10 microliters of the liquid was heat fixed onto a slide, and then gram stained.
 +
 
 +
After analysis, it was clear that even in the incredibly dry, powdery soils north of the Hab near Coal Mine Wash, many tiny round gram negative coccoid bacteria were present.
 +
 
 +
Fred Janson
 +
 
 +
We returned to White Rock Canyon for the last time for a comprehensive characterization of life found exclusively in ice samples. Ten sites were sampled and the following data were collected at each site. The GPS location, sample and cliff elevation (GPS), horizontal distance of the sample from the cliff top, direction of the cliff face relative to the sample, light intensity in the shade and in the light (for either where applicable), pH of water associated with ice (where applicable), temperature of water associated with ice (where applicable), time that the sample was collected, and the height of a reference block and the shadow length of the same reference block. Pictures and maps of the canyon were generated to illustrate sample locations. Samples were kept in a cooler filled with ice in order to maintain the ice in a solid phase. Climatic data, the pH of the melted ice, conductivity of the melted ice, total coliform, gram stain, solubility over-salting, ammonia and phosphate tests, and
 +
 
 +
sample exposure to light will be conducted in the following days.
 +
 
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 3, 2002, Jon Rask ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 
 +
50 gallons of water was pumped from the external tank into the Hab's holding tank in sim.
 +
 
 +
An attempt to pump gray water out of the holding tank.was made, but no water emerged. Apparently, the underground drain is working.
 +
 
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 
 +
All 2.5 gallon tanks were filled with gas using the hand pump from in the 55 gallon drum. Generator function normal.
 +
 
 +
EVA Equipment:
 +
 
 +
Four EVA packs continue to function normally. Oil was checked on the two remaining ATVs and is normal (but black).
 +
 
 +
Safety:
 +
 
 +
Red cardboard flags were posted on the walls above all four fire extinguishers for easy location. The new crew member was trained on the ATVs. First Aid supplies were consolidated and organized.
 +
 
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 
 +
The improved network continues to function. However, the connection sometimes stalls, so we have been restarting the the main computer a few times per day. Attempts to make the Starband email account compatible with Eudora or Outlook has been unsuccessful.
 +
 
 +
General Maintenance & Waste Management:
 +
 
 +
The entire Biology Lab was organized and cleaned. Items cluttering the countertops were stowed and garbage was hauled out. A small shelf holding pipettes was mounted on the wall next to the cabinets. A shelf was constructed and placed on the counter in the Biology lab for the vortex machine and hotplate. This helped to make more work room in the lab. Items in the cabinets were rearranged to increase available storage room. The entire lower floor was swept and vacuumed. Again, the lower floor is looking better and better every day.
 +
 
 +
Two handles were attached on the inside of the dome hatch.
 +
 
 +
The incinolet was cleaned. The ashes and all other Hab trash were hauled to the trashpile.
 +
 
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, Mar 4, 2002, Greg DeLory ===
 +
As promised yesterday, today we attempted to find a route to the top of Factory Bench, a vast plateau above the Hab, using a trail that meandered Southwest around the base of Skyline Rim. From the topo maps the possibility of getting through looked 50/50, but the promise of being able to reach Factory Butte and several interesting canyons appeared to make the attempt well worth it. Fellow crew member Gilles and I suited up and departed.
 +
 
 +
We made it a good deal around the base of Skyline Rim, heading South and then West. We found a canyon going up into the bench area and decided to follow it, in hopes that there might be a route up top. While the canyon held some interesting features, eventually it came to a dead end and we turned back. Continuing West with the base of Skyline Rim on our right, we kept our eyes open for trails leading North and up onto the top of the bench.
 +
 
 +
Eventually, we came to a sharp, steep gully, and no way around. One part of the gully looked like it might be passable, with careful ATV use. I tried it, and quickly determined that to continue would not be safe. Other possible routes around it would not have kept the simulation going. That would break our two highest priorities, safety and sim, and so that was that. Despite the desire to get to the top of Factory Bench, in the end we had to remember we were on analog Mars.
 +
 
 +
There may be another route to the top of Factory Bench far up to the Northwest, past the Coal Mine Wash that Jon Rask and I drove out to a few days ago, in the longest EVA yet. Well, perhaps a future crew will find an alternative way up top. For now, our priorities are going to have to shift somewhat during our last two operational days here for EVAs. Tomorrow morning a reporter is arriving to document everything we do here, especially the EVAs, and we will likely tailor our excursions to accessible regions where we may be followed and filmed. Also, we still have to test the space suit microphone system, for which Don Barker is building an enclosure at this very moment. Between that and the visiting reporter, looks like our EVA time is spoken for until the end of this rotation. Those EVAs should be as fun, if not as challenging, as our adventure today.
 +
 
 +
EVA OPERATIONS LOG
 +
 
 +
Fred Janson, John Putnam
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 
 +
Today's EVA is a route searching expedition. The crew is attempting
 +
 
 +
         to find a safe means of circumnavigating the Skyline Rim formation and
 +
 
 +
         attain access to the Factory Bench and Factory Butte area.
 +
 
 +
EVA23 is also taking the EM-Sounding equipment in case the areas traversed
 +
 
 +
         prove to be adequate test beds for this equipment.
 +
 
 +
EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-23
 +
 
 +
DATE: 03-04-02
 +
 
 +
EVA SCENERIO
 +
 
 +
Factory Area Scouting
 +
 
 +
               EVA HAB COMM (s)
 +
 
 +
Barker
 +
 
 +
OJT: Putman
 +
 
 +
               CDR
 +
 
 +
MDRS1
 +
 
 +
MDRS2
 +
 
 +
MDRS3
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW (Name/#)
 +
 
 +
Delory/2             
 +
 
 +
Dawidowics/4             
 +
 
 +
N/A
 +
 
 +
N/A
 +
 
 +
EVA START TIME (PET):
 +
 
 +
11:00             
 +
 
 +
EVA STOP TIME:
 +
 
 +
14:15
 +
 
 +
Scheduled/Actual
 +
 
 +
15:20/             
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
Today we made a valiant attempt to find a southern route around the base
 +
 
 +
       of Skyline Rim in an attempt to reach the top of Factory Bench. We were unsuccessful. Our route took us West of the Hab, travelling almost to
 +
 
 +
       the base of Skyline Rim, then South between the Rim base and the Lower
 +
 
 +
       Blue Hills, then West again around the base of the Rim.     
 +
 
 +
Enroute we encountered a canyon cutting into the Factory Bench, and
 +
 
 +
         we drove in to explore. There were some incredible debris slopes in
 +
 
 +
         the region, one of them containing a lone "monolith" rock
 +
 
 +
         formation.
 +
 
 +
The Canyon came to a dead end, and no route to the top of the bench
 +
 
 +
         was evident. We backtracked and continued our quest westward in hopes
 +
 
 +
         of finding yet another possible route up to the bench. Eventually we
 +
 
 +
         came to a gully, most of which was too steep to cross. There was a single
 +
 
 +
         section that looked like it might be tractable, and I made an attempt
 +
 
 +
         using one of the less stable Green/Tan ATVs; if this ATV could make
 +
 
 +
         it, then the more stable Yellow model that Gilles was driving should
 +
 
 +
         have no problem. I made it to the bottom of the gully after getting
 +
 
 +
         stuck once, then tried to rise up the other side, only to get stuck
 +
 
 +
         again. I concluded that it was not safe to proceed and would also violate
 +
 
 +
         the spirit of the sim, at which point we turned back.
 +
 
 +
On the way back to the hab, an attempt to measure magnetic field distortions due to some nearby conductors was made, with little or no effect. Continuing to the Hab, some roads crossing the lower blue hills were explored.
 +
 
 +
It should be noted that due to the distance and the terrain we were
 +
 
 +
         out of radio communication with HabCom for an extended period, hence
 +
 
 +
         there is only one position update in the log below, which was given
 +
 
 +
         on our way back.
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
No special preparation was needed for this EVA. Nominal suit donning
 +
 
 +
         and preparation continued until one of the selected suit backpacks was
 +
 
 +
         found to be inoperative. Backpack change out solved the current problem.
 +
 
 +
         Following the EVA a maintenance check will be performed on backpack
 +
 
 +
         number three.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
Nominal ingress and depress. Radio check on handsets worked nominally.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK
 +
 
 +
(Hourly Operation)
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 1
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 2
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 3
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 4
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 5
 +
 
 +
Comm ck 6
 +
 
 +
TIME
 +
 
 +
11:16             
 +
 
 +
13:21             
 +
 
 +
14:15
 +
 
 +
              REPORTED MAP LOCATION
 +
 
 +
E0518173
 +
 
 +
N4250920
 +
 
 +
@ HAB
 +
 
 +
E0513985
 +
 
 +
N4246851
 +
 
 +
@HAB REPORTED STATUS
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
Nominal
 +
 
 +
              Auxiliary Information
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
EVA23 started the EVA with an odometer reading of 2483. Com-check on repeater
 +
 
 +
       channel functioning nominally.
 +
 
 +
It is 2 hours into EVA23 and still awaiting first comm check!
 +
 
 +
13:22 - EVA 23 has a of yet been unsuccessful in accessing the Factory Bench area. Will be heading back in this direction and performing EM-Sounding
 +
 
 +
       if appropriate conditions are found on the way.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
We were quite dusty after this experience, due to some difficult terrain
 +
 
 +
       and getting the ATVs stuck on several occasions. A good vacuum clean was
 +
 
 +
       due for both suits upon return.
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW
 +
 
 +
COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
Well, we made our best effort, but we came to a place in the route that
 +
 
 +
       was simply not safe to pass. It would be possible given proper safety
 +
 
 +
       gear and training, and out of sim. For now, Factory Bench is out of reach.     
 +
 
 +
Today was an excellent exercise using good judgement and safety precautions.
 +
 
 +
         I don't think the ATV use was pushed too far, but any farther would
 +
 
 +
         have been beyond what I think qualified as safe given the operational constraints of the sim. Turning back was disappointing, but the best
 +
 
 +
         decision in the end.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
Nothing to add.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
None
 +
 
 +
=== Biology Report — MDRS, Mar 4, 2002, Frederic Janson ===
 +
The record of monthly climate (average max/min temperature, average total precipitation, average total snowfall, average snow depth) from 1948 to 2000 was obtained today to estimate the quantity of water and ice that may be found in the canyon for an average year. The pH values of the melted ice were identical to the water values from which the ice samples were collected (Figure 2) within +/- pH 1. The values range from pH 8.6 to 6.8 and this seems to correlate with elevation, decreasing pH with increasing elevation. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the drying of the riverbed begins downstream as does the salting process. The conductivity experiments could not be performed, as the voltmeters provided were not designed for laboratory work. To compensate for this an over-salting of the samples will be conducted to determine the quantity of salt that can be added to a given volume of the salty samples before over-saturation occurs. This will be compared to a standard curve generated using table salt to determine the quantity of salt in each sample. Gram staining provided a spectrum of slides of various stain concentrations (Figure 1). These concentrations will be related to the other ten data points collected yesterday and to the climatic data in days to come.  
 +
 
 +
Figure 1: Photograph of the gram staining concentrations from left to right, increasing to decreasing concentration, respectively. Bottom row is the main spectrum of gram stain concentrations; top row slides are equivalent to bottom row slides with respect to their position in the spectrum.
 +
 
 +
Figure 2: Distribution of ice samples in White Rock Canyon, Hanksville, Utah.
 +
 
 +
Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2
 +
 
 +
Mar 4, 2002
 +
 
 +
Jon Rask
 +
 
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 
 +
Approximately 50 gallons of gray water was pumped from the external holding tank. The earlier assumption of a properly functioning underground drain was most likely incorrect. The probable cause of the apparent lack of water while pumping on 3-03-02 was largely due to ice clogging the main hose. Today's warmer temperatures helped to thaw the ice in the hose, as large chunks of ice emerged during the first few seconds of pumping.
 +
 
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 
 +
Lamont dropped by for a visit to check if we needed gas. One of the 55 gallon barrels was already empty and the second is getting low. Lamont took one of the barrels to Hanksville, filled it, and returned it later in the day. All 2.5-gallon tanks were filled with gas using the hand pump from in the 55 gallon drum. Generator function normal.
 +
 
 +
EVA Equipment (including ATVs):
 +
 
 +
EVA pack #3 malfunctioned and completely shut down moments before EVA 23 entered the Airlock. The #3 EVA pack was removed and replaced with one that was working normally. An inspection of the pack while EVA crew 23 was entering the airlock found that the on/off switch may be malfunctioning. The pack seems to work now, but a closer inspection of the switch is needed. Three other packs continue to function normally.
 +
 
 +
2 remaining ATVs function normally. The left front tire of the light green/tan Honda 300 is a little low.
 +
 
 +
Lamont dropped off his ATV, and now we will have three for tomorrow's EVA.
 +
 
 +
Safety:
 +
 
 +
The desired route to Factory Bench today pushed the limit on the ATV use. While we don't believe safety was compromised, we were reminded of their limitations - particularly with regards to stability. Other crews, especially those less experienced in ATV driving, will want to bear this in mind.
 +
 
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 
 +
Another attempt to make the Starband email account compatible with Outlook has been successful. We hope this will dramatically decrease time needed for communication and will greatly speed up email service.
 +
 
 +
General Maintenance & Waste Management:
 +
 
 +
A small wooded box was built for some electronics equipment that will be used for the EVA microphone experiments.
 +
 
 +
Picture Based Tour of the inside of the MDRS
 +
 
 +
We thought a picture tour of the Hab would be appropriate to familiarize our audience with the inside of our temporary home.
 +
 
 +
At the top of the stairs on the south side of the second floor we see Don is using 'Hab Com,' our main computer system.
 +
 
 +
To the left of Hab Com and above the stairs are our daily schedules.
 +
 
 +
Our personal computer workstations are located on the east wall of the second floor.
 +
 
 +
The kitchen and pantry is located on the north side of the second floor.
 +
 
 +
The crew's 'Staterooms' are located on the west half of the second floor. Notice the Hab's internal holding tank for fresh water and the dome hatch for roof access above the bedrooms.
 +
 
 +
Immediately to the left of Hab Com are the stairs.
 +
 
 +
Here is the view of the lab when coming down the stairs.
 +
 
 +
Jon has fixing a disassembled EVA suit as seen from in front of the rear airlock.
 +
 
 +
Here we see Fred and Gilles using the microscopes.
 +
 
 +
The EVA room is where all the EVA gear is stowed.
 +
 
 +
Looking back into the lab area from the EVA room, we see the front airlock door.
 +
 
 +
On the left in this image is the tool bench. We also see the doors to the toilet, shower, and rear airlock. The furnace is near the top of the image.
 +
 
 +
The toilet and urinal.
 +
 
 +
Next to the toilet is the sink and shower.
 +
 
 +
Jon Rask
 +
 
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, March 5, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Imagine sitting in the Hab on analog Mars, working away on a computer or performing a laboratory experiment. Suddenly, you feel the Hab shutter slightly and hear a sharp noise like a soda can being opened. Then, the unmistakable popping in your ears, indicating that the pressure is falling...something has happened, and the Hab has a leak. The location of the leak is found - buried deep behind a pipe fitting in the lavatory area - and it's likely that attempts to fix it will take too long while the Hab air runs out. Everyone - all crew members - are forced to suit up and perform an emergency EVA to go outside and figure out how to fix the leak.
 +
 
 +
That was our drill today. It occurred at about 3:15 p.m., while today's two person EVA was enroute to the Hab after a successful exploration of the Barsoom Outcrop area. We had discussed among ourselves here the various possible emergencies that we might simulate that would be relevant to life on Mars. One of the most "sim" like aspects of being here is the EVA process, and the associated equipment. A massive spontaneous depressurization seemed like a good exercise. It's somewhat amazing how fast a motivated group of people can suit up - in this case, in about 15 minutes. Some shortcuts were taken, since it was an emergency; not every detail of the usual suit donning procedure was followed, only the essentials; helmet on, radio connected, pack running. I returned from my EVA today with fellow crew member Don just in time to witness the mass exodus of the remaining crew from the Hab. Finding and fixing the leak outside was simple, and afterwards we all gathered for a photo op in front of the flag.
 +
 
 +
This wasn't our only objective for today; prior to the "emergency" we had a good EVA, being followed and filmed by our reporter-visitor Gerry Williams from the San Diego chapter of the Mars Society. We performed tests of an external microphone sensor system for the suits, which provides the occupant with enhanced acoustic information of the outside using stereo microphones mounted on the helmet. Patched into the existing suit radio system, it worked amazingly well; I was able to hear sharp details of the world outside that I had missed on previous EVAs, including the noise of ATVs that were behind me, something that was previously difficult to do. My colleague Don brought a voice amplifier that he wore on the outside of his suit - during operations, he was able to converse with me casually over distances of up to 100 feet. A great demonstration for an idea that Don and I have been kicking around for a few years. Further tests might prove this system to be so useful that consideration be given to including it as a standard item in the sim suits. Well, we'll make our case.
 +
 
 +
Things are almost rounding up here for this crew at MDRS. Tomorrow is our last, full operational day, and we're going to make the most of it. Yet again, a route to the bottom of Candor Chasma will be scouted. Gerry will tag along behind us out of sim to document and film what will undoubtedly be some incredible footage. Tonight most of us have a lot of document-making to do, so it may be a long night. But we have one more day of excitement ahead of us, and everyone here is still as ready to go as we were on day one, here on analog Mars.
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 
 +
The EVA scenario today will be multifaceted.  Commander Delory will be wearing our prototype Mars Suit External Audio System (MSEAS) for its first trial run.  Executive Officer Barker will monitor the system performance and be wearing an external voice amplifier to test inter-crewman communications without radio support.  In conjunction, the EM-Sounding equipment will be tested when appropriate terrain is located.  The MSEAS equipment should nicely complement the EM-Sounding equipment.
 +
 
 +
DATE:  03-05-02
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
The purpose of this EVA was threefold: (1) Test the new external suit microphone sensors, designed to give the suit occupant high fidelity audio sensing of the environment, (2) Test the EM sounder on sandstone, (3) Facilitate documentation of MDRS EVAs for record-keeping and public relations purposes. For the last item, we were followed and filmed by Gerry.
 +
 
 +
We headed North on the main road from the Hab, stopping at a few areas for photo opportunities. A broad, flat area about 1 km North of the hab was chosen to test the suit microphones. Don used a voice-loudspeaker connected to his comm system to test my ability to localize external sounds, and to see how far away I could hear the loudspeaker.
 +
 
 +
Continuing on, we occasionally stopped for footage when requested by Gerry, and arrived at the fork in the road leading to the Barsoom area at ~517.8E, 4254.6N. We headed West at the fork, then North again, descending into the rolling Morrison formation. At roughly 516.7E, 4257.3N a second fork in the road was encountered; on a previous EVA, we had gone left in order to head up to the Coal Mine Wash area. The road to the right was unexplored for this rotation, so we elected to go right and characterize that area. We arrived at the top of a Dakota Sandstone layer, the edge of which had collapsed into a valley of Morrison, with a dry riverbed visible in the distance D probably Muddy Creek. More tests with the suit microphones were conducted, and an EM sounding over the sandstone seemed to detect faults/discontinuities in the subsurface, either due to fractures in the collapsing sandstone or discontinuities with the underlying Morrison.
 +
 
 +
We headed back to the Hab at about 2:45pm. Checking in with the Hab at ~3:15, we were informed of an emergency situation in which an atmosphere leak had developed which couldnÕt be isolated and repaired inside. The crew executed an emergency procedure to have all members suited up and exit the structure. Upon our return, repair operations were underway and Hab pressure was restored. There were no injuries, and the crew appeared to have suited up quickly and smoothly in response to the emergency.
 +
 
 +
< EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS WAS A SIMULATED EMERGENCY- IT WAS NOT A REAL EMERGENCY. >
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
Much preparation went into work for this EVA as the MSEAS equipment had to be securely mounted within the confines of the backpack structure.  Wiring also had to be routed and secured to insure safety and operability.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
The EMS equipment and EVA safety box were staged in the airlock prior to EVA. Airlock depress and egress occurred nominally.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
Comlock two finds EVA 24 taking an unexplored route to the north in the Barsoom Outcrops.
 +
 
 +
30 minutes prior to EVA24 returning to the HAB, the remaining crew in the HAB reported to the EVA team that an emergency event was happening.  The HAB main and backup computers reported a depressurization event in progress. The remaining four members believed that they had isolated the leak to a pressure seal near the toilet facilities on the west side of the HAB. All members were instructed to suit up as a precautionary measure.  They would also exit the HAB and try to locate the leak visually from outside. There was no visual proof of a leak upon inspection, which was repaired.
 +
 
 +
Meanwhile EVA24 would head home to try to assist with any repair actions necessary.
 +
 
 +
Upon verifying HAB pressure and reentering the HAB, the engineering team determined that there had been a double transducer failure which affected both computers.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
Post clean up and inspection went nominally.
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
TodayÕs EVA was fairly productive; I received the first positive magnetic wave tilt measurements using the EM sounder over Dakota Sandstone. Also, Don and I tested the suit external microphone system for the first time. On each side of my helmet, a single microphone was mounted, each connected to the right or left ear using a 3-channel audio mixer system, which was then combined with the suit radio. The sensation of natural sounds while on EVA was striking; in addition, Don used a voice amplifier mounted on his suit as a loudspeaker. I was able to hear him over 100 feet away. The EM sounder tone was also much easier to listen to, and improved the fidelity of the soundings. We also spent quite some time accommodating Gerry in his attempts to film us during our operations. We ended up going out to a region of the Barsoom Outcrop, ending up on top of a layer of Dakota Sandstone, partially crumbled away into a river valley.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
This EVA was a great first test of the Commercial-Off-The-Shelf prototype Mars Suit External Audio System.  Greg was able to directionally locate a rough sound source within 15 degrees.  In addition, he could accurately understand voiced information at an unobstructed range of about 100 feet when the other crewmember used the External Voice Speaker.  Greg could hear non-amplified voice, or just my vocalizations within the suit at a distance of about 40 feet.  External environment characteristics like rocks falling, winds and breezes, etc. was also perceived.  Supporting EMS operations and its audible sensor signals also proved valuable.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
N/A
 +
 
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 5, 2002, Jon Rask ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 
 +
Approximately 50 gallons of freshwater was pumped into the internal holding tank. Gray water from sinks was hauled out of the Hab.
 +
 
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 
 +
The generator failed today. Apparently the oil level was low. After 3/4 of a quart of oil was added, the generator functioned normally.
 +
 
 +
EVA Equipment (including ATVs):
 +
 
 +
EVA pack #3 was disassembled, cleaned, and the on/off switch was replaced. The pack seems to work fine as of now.  All other packs were inspected, and the two non-functioning packs were serviced and recharged. All packs seem to be working as of today.
 +
 
 +
Oil on the ATVs was checked and found normal.
 +
 
 +
Safety:
 +
 
 +
An emergency egress during a rapid decompression simulation went very well. 4 crew members were able to get completely suited and be in the airlock in about 10 minutes.
 +
 
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 
 +
None.
 +
 
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 
 +
Incinolet was cleaned and ashes were hauled to the trash pile.
 +
 
 +
=== Status Report — MDRS, March 6, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
Well folks, this is it. We've had our last day here at the Hab, and tomorrow morning we'll be pulling out. There will be a 3-day break prior to the arrival of the next crew, during which some maintenance will occur - including getting the greenhouse fully functional. But overall the Hab systems have performed admirably; some of the procedures took some getting used to, but with each day we've measurably improved our capability to operate this facility. This has allowed us to focus on our real reason for being here, the EVAs. We performed two today, one to the bottom of Candor Chasma, and a second 3-person EVA on foot out in the hills behind the Hab.
 +
 
 +
In reviewing our activities for the past two weeks, I almost get dizzy. We have indeed been busy. We conducted extensive tests of Gilles' Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV). I did EM sounder surveys. Fred went on EVAs to the water seepage phenomena at least three times, performing a detailed characterization of that area with a lot of associated lab work back at the Hab. An external audio sensor system for the suits was put together and tested on two EVAs. Our geologist Andy performed a comprehensive survey of the area, and developed some thoughts and strategies about how to interrelate geological investigations with the search for past or present life on Mars. During the last few days, John Putman ran biofeedback experiments on us in between report writing and dinners. Gerry Williams, a film maker from the San Diego chapter of the Mars Society, has been here documenting our experience. We've done more than a few "take twos" for Gerry, but we recognize the importance in documenting Hab and EVA procedures, both for future crews and the general public.
 +
 
 +
In looking back at all of our activities, I'm most proud of the fact that we never broke sim. Nobody gave up and drove into town to get fresh butter, or maybe cold Milk. Our water use has been equally impressive, at less than 5 gallons per person per day, for our entire time here. And, above all, the team worked great together. With a variety of backgrounds among the crew, we had an equal variety of opinions on how to spend our time here. Open discussion was the mechanism of choice to resolve our direction each day, and it worked well. I for one learned much from my colleagues. We hope to pass on the benefits of our experience here to the next crew, as we learned from the last rotation members. This transfer of information won't be perfect, nor should it be. The process of "re-inventing the wheel" for the next crews will be half the fun, and almost all of the learning experience. So here's to the MDRS, may she teach us all what we need to know.
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW
 +
 
 +
Today’s EVA25 is a simple scouting mission to find a path to the bottom of the valley to the East of the HAB, dubbed Chandor Chasma.
 +
 
 +
The second EVA of the day is designed to be the second field test of the Mars suit External Audio System (MSEAS).  This will be a pedestrian EVA that will cover the terrain to the West of the HAB in the area of the repeater antenna.
 +
 
 +
DATE:  03-06-02
 +
 
 +
<nowiki>*</nowiki>EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)
 +
 
 +
EVA 25:
 +
 
 +
The purpose of this EVA was to reach the bottom of Candor Chasma, and we were successful.
 +
 
 +
The route was as follows: We began on the main road, turning right from the Hab (heading South) and then about 3km later, taking a track left heading East at about 0520000E, 4248000N. We followed this track past the White Rock Reservoir, towards muddy creek. The track eventually comes to a downsloping sandy area that leads down into the bottom of Candor Chasma. A few parts were steep, but not unsafe given careful ATV use, i.e. low gear and go slow.
 +
 
 +
At the bottom of the Canyon, we believe we penetrated beneath the Summerville Formation.  We examined a few sites, witnessed some interesting, very white, thin layers criss-crossing the usual strata. We then headed across the Canyon to the base of the East rim, and climbed a debris apron in order to get a spectacular view. Heading South, we explored the Canyon floor, then returned back to the Hab without incident.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
Climbed the bluff west of the HAB following the repeater antenna wire connection.  Both the wire and the antenna looked to be in good condition. Several observations and tests were performed using the MSEAS components. Audio clarity, directionality, sounds-recognition were assessed.  In addition, observations were made as to how this system complemented the tactile, kinesthetic and visual sensory systems, which are wholly or in part shielded/degraded by the suit.
 +
 
 +
PRE EVA OPERATIONS
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
Since no special equipment is necessary for this operation, the suit donning and setup was smooth and nominal.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
Replacement of battery power for the audio amplifier and general systems check was performed. Otherwise, EVA prep and donning was nominal.
 +
 
 +
AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
A nominal 5 minute simulated depress took place once the airlock hatch was sealed.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
A nominal 5 minute simulated depress took place once the airlock hatch was sealed.
 +
 
 +
HAB EVA MONITORING
 +
 
 +
TEXT:
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
12:40 - EVA team reports that they have reached the bottom of Chandor Chasma and are exploring the wall of the canyon.
 +
 
 +
14:00 - EVA reported that they were HAB bound at this point.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
15:55: Status reported nominal, at top of hill near the Hab antenna system.
 +
 
 +
POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
Nominal ingress and cleanup.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
Nominal ingress and cleanup
 +
 
 +
EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED
 +
 
 +
EVA CDR:
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
This was a great final EVA. We had all been wondering what was at the bottom of Candor Chasma, and today we had a chance to find out. The route down was safe and uneventful as we traversed a large sand dune that had eroded down into the canyon, providing a smooth ramp. I had read that there were Triassic features in this area, but was not sure if Candor Chasma would go deep enough for us to see them. We definitely penetrated below the Summerville, but how far I don’t know. Down in the lower levels of the canyon, the strata were penetrated by extremely narrow intrusions in a criss-crossing pattern. Jon found a photosynthetic organism buried in some small, rough red rocks that we cracked open at the bottom of the canyon.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
This was a simple and nice finishing EVA for the tour.  We were able to ascend a rather steep, clay encrusted/weathered surface with a minimum of difficulty.  A two step forward half step type of surface.  Similar to climbing the pumice-strewn slopes of Japan’s, Mount Fuji. Final test run of the MSEAS components proved very fun, interesting and insightful.  Variations in surface materials were audibly detectable.  Wind noise was similar to that of driving in a convertible, not unpleasant and not distracting.  Overall, I think that once integrated into the prototype suits at JSC, this will prove to be of great use to future surface dwellers of Mars.
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS1:
 +
 
 +
EVA25:
 +
 
 +
This was my final opportunity for EVA at MDRS. Again, Greg and I pressed beyond the area explored by the previous crew. We traversed deep into the spectacular Summerville Formation of Candor Chasma and climbed some high talus formations near vertical cliffs. We ended our journey at Muddy Creek. Several samples of soil and sand were also collected. During the return, we decided to closely inspect a sandstone outcrop near Muddy Creek. While observing the rock, I noticed a colorful red piece of what appeared to be Quartzite. An attempted to scratch the rock proved it was much harder than my hammer. During previous EVAs, this kind of rock has been seen, and they are incredibly beautiful - especially if they can be cracked open. I struck the rock with a swing of my hammer and it broke apart, revealing a tiny green film deep inside the rock. It was then when I realized I had serendipitously discovered green endoliths. A closer inspection of the rock will be made and an attempt to image its internal biology will be made.
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
Went on foot around immediate area of hab (traversed approximately 2 miles). Tested MSEAS at various locations. We varied distance and position (relative to the receiver). Slope was rather steep in locations -particularly near the communication system antenna. Suit performed well (save for knit cap which slipped over my eyes by the end of the end of EVA). (IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Check size of cap before leaving hab on EVA.)
 +
 
 +
EVA MDRS2:
 +
 
 +
EVA26:
 +
 
 +
The first time suiting up for an EVA in sim - an amazing experience.  The suits, though bulky, aren’t as claustrophobic as I’d expected. The airflow was good throughout, and the minor scuffs and scratches in the helmets were easily ignored (except for my nose prints).  When we climbed Hab Ridge in full suit (plus a handheld still camera) the going was very good and climbing would have been much easier if I’d have been in better shape. The viewing was great, and we were able to spot a wide variety of rocks and geological features (and one fascinating biological specimen - a thin reedy plant with a bulbous midsection - very Martian-looking).
 +
 
 +
Working a 35mm still camera in suit was an interesting exercise:  I put on a 17mm super-wide angle lens and taped the hyperfocal distance to infinity at f/8.  I was able to put the viewfinder right up against the helmet and get a good idea of what the shot was..  The difficulty came in triggering the camera through the thick gloves - we eventually found a stick that would poke the shutter release when the gloves wouldn’t work. Broke the stick twice trying to put it in my mouth as a third hand - not possible with a helmet in the way! Keeping the camera strap wrapped around the gloved hand was a good idea, especially since I was able to protect the camera when I stumbled climbing the mountain.
 +
 
 +
All in all it was a great EVA experience with the only complaint being the tinny-sounding com system - but that’s what we were working on during this EVA - improving the sound and communications in the suits.  I’d definitely do it again.  :-J
 +
 
 +
=== Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 6, 2002, Jon Rask ===
 +
Water Systems:
 +
 
 +
None.
 +
 
 +
Power and Fuel:
 +
 
 +
The four 5-gallon gas cans were filled. Generator function normal.
 +
 
 +
EVA Equipment (including ATVs):
 +
 
 +
Nominal.
 +
 
 +
Safety:
 +
 
 +
Nominal.
 +
 
 +
Computers and Communications:
 +
 
 +
We successfully got the Mac online. A screen shot of the configuration setup was taken and saved on the Hab Com. as winproxy_mac_configs.jpg in the procedures and protocols folder.
 +
 
 +
General Maintenance:
 +
 
 +
Smell of Incinolet is evident.
 +
 
 +
=== Human Factors (Psychophysiology/ EEG Biofeedback) — MDRS, Feb 23-24, 2002, John Putman,  M.A., M.S ===
 +
Power generation has been an ongoing issue here at the hab. As such, power surges and cut offs are of continual concern. A surge protector seemed to provide adequate protection for the biofeedback instrumentation but the integrity of the feedback was somewhat compromised. There was quite a bit of high frequency artifact in the EEG recording, due (likely) to the gas powered generator nearby that supplies power to the habitat. Due to the rather intense EM environment, braiding the electrode (sensors) was mandatory. It was suggested by another member of the crew (Don) that the source of the artifact noise may have been inside the hab due to the "Faraday cage" like environment provided by the metal scaffolding of the hab structure itself.
 +
 
 +
The general rationale for performing neurofeedback in this setting has to do with its efficacy in dealing with disorders of arousal and attention. It has demonstrated its effectiveness in resolving even some of the most seemingly intractable mood, attentional and behavioral problems. Since mood instabilities generally tend to emerge over time in groups of even the most hearty individuals when living under conditions of high demand in close quarters, it was thought that this training might be of benefit if used in a preventative fashion. It has been shown that test pilots who are able to generate higher amounts of midrange frequency brainwave activity (alpha) are more resistant to burnout fatigue and deteriorating performance as well as mood instability and insomnia. This is true of nearly any person who is involved in stressful work that demands external focus and vigilance. It has also been demonstrated that these midrange frequencies can be enhanced through EEG biofeedback.
 +
 
 +
The basic procedure was to attach the signal electrode at C4 (10% of the way down from the crown of the head along the sensor-motor cortex. Reference and ground electrodes were attached to neutral areas (left and right ears). The signal was then increased through a pre amp and sent from the signal encoder via optical cable to the computer for digital filtering. Overall signal gain was set at 10,000. The raw signal was filtered into three discrete frequency bands (4-7 Hz, 12-15 Hz, 22-30 Hz) that were then mapped into a video game to be viewed by the subject. 12-15Hz activity was rewarded while the 2 extreme frequency bands were inhibited simultaneously. Amplitude threshold limits were set as to not make the video game frustrating or too easy. When all three threshold criteria were met, the subject would score a point and would then hear a beep. 
 +
 
 +
All of the crew did at least one session of EEG biofeedback over the last 6 days. (# of training sessions ranged from 1 to 3). Most experienced some degree of relaxation and one member experienced improved sleep following the training, but because of the minimal amount of training time, long term benefits are unlikely. This, combined with the small number of participants make it difficult to get statistical significance.
 +
 
 +
The conditions were certainly less than ideal given the busy schedule and the constant activity. As such, it was necessary to impose on crew time in order to obtain EEG measurements and perform the training. In spite of this, all crew members were gracious and accommodating in allowing themselves to be "wired up". And, as mentioned, there was a considerable amount of EM noise leading to some fairly gross artifacts in the record.
 +
 
 +
EEG Record: Obtaining low electrode impedances was fairly critical in this environment in order to maintain the common mode rejection feature of the differential amplifier. High electrode impedances tend to lead to differential mode rejection, resulting in unusually high amplitude readings due to extraneous voltages leaking in. Despite the problem with noise, there was a general trend towards increasing amplitude in the reward frequency (11-14 or 12-15) in the spectral display over the course of the 21-24 minute session.  
 +
 
 +
White Rock Canyon Cryogenic Extremophile Distribution
 +
 
 +
Introduction
 +
 
 +
White Rock Canyon was chosen as an ideal Mars analog site as it is primarily lined with nutrient deprived, alkaline, salt and iron-rich sediments, with a sporadic distribution of ice corresponding to varying exposure to sunlight, a function of both the depth and orientation of the canyon. If life exists on Mars then it is likely to be extremophilic due to the extreme environmental conditions provided by Mars (low pressure, sub-zero temperatures, high concentration of metaloxides in the soil, little to no liquid water, high concentration of atmospheric C02, and high UV radiation. Ice samples were collected throughout the canyon to search for examples of extremophilic bacteria. Bacteria have the capacity to pass on genes that confer resistance to extreme environmental conditions via the transfer of genetic material found in rounded gene-protein structures know as a plasmids. Advances in molecular biology may enable researchers to engineer life on Mars using genes from extremophilic bacteria.
 +
 
 +
Geography
 +
 
 +
White Rock Canyon can be divided into three regions, the north end, the south end, and the central region. The central region is the only portion of the canyon that runs from west to east. Figure 1 illustrates the various regions[1]. The mouth of White Rock Canyon is located approximately 46.25 km NE 80_ of Hanksville, Utah, off highway 24. The solid red line represents highway 24, the dotted red line represents a southbound access road to the canyon, the upper and lower boxes indicating 2km represent the north and south end of the canyon, respectively.
 +
 
 +
Cutting through the iron-rich Jurassic Morrison sedimentary formation, the canyon serves as a southern tributary from White Rock Canyon Reservoir (north) to the Fremont River (double blue line). The bulk of this activity occurs between the months of June to September when flashflood events are common due to the combination of elevated temperatures (melting winter snow and ice) with increased precipitation in the form of thunderstorms[2]. Table 1 is a 52 year average monthly climate summary[3]. The greater part of the moisture contribution to this arid region is provided during the winter months (November to March) in form of snow. Note that from October to April the average maximum temperature is above zero and so ice is capable of melting and percolating to the low lying canyons. The average minimum temperature during these months is below or close to freezing, and so the percolated water accumulates as ice at the base of the canyon walls.
 +
 
 +
Canyons provide a unique environment for the accumulation of ice due to the reduced solar input (greater areas of shade), a function of the canyon depth and width.
 +
 
 +
Orientation of the canyon is also important in the economics of ice accumulation and ablation. Canyons that align from east to west are exposed to sunlight for most of the day. The angle of the sun’s rays over an east-west canyon vary during the year but relative to a canyon that aligns north to south the input of solar energy across the basin of the canyon is much greater. Therefore, a north-south canyon will preserve ice longer than an east-west canyon.
 +
 
 +
Figure 1: White Rock Canyon Regional Divisions
 +
 
 +
Central
 +
 
 +
South
 +
 
 +
2km
 +
 
 +
North
 +
 
 +
2km
 +
 
 +
Table 1: The Period Record Monthly Climate Summary for Hanksville, Utah, 7/ 1/1948 to 12/31/2000.
 +
 
 +
           The nature of the sun distribution across the canyon was examined (February 2002) using a Styrofoam-mounted rod that protruded one centimeter above the Styrofoam at angle of 90_. The length of the shadow, the angle of the shadow relative to west (set equal to 0_), the angle of the sun along the horizon, and the light intensity, were monitored for one day in order to determine the solar input of the areas where ice samples were collected. Again, this data is only a snap shot of the light distribution over a particular sample in a given year. Temporally, it best represents the bacteria found in each sample, as the population density for any given sample is proportional to its surrounding environmental conditions.  Figures 2, 3, 4, and 5 summarize the results.
 +
 
 +
Figure 2: Shadow Length versus Time
 +
 
 +
Figure 3: Shadow Angle (relative to west = 0 degrees) versus Time
 +
 
 +
Found at end of paper
 +
 
 +
Figure 4: Angle of the sun versus Time
 +
 
 +
           Figure 5: Light Intensity versus Time
 +
 
 +
Notice that the peaks of both the angle of the sun and the sun intensity correlate well with one another suggesting that at approximately 13:12 pm, the sun was at its highest position relative to the horizon and that this did correspond to the greatest sun intensity. Notwithstanding, the smallest measurement of the shadow length did correspond to this time. This is a reasonable observation considering that the sun (light source) was at its highest position above the fixed rod and so the shadow was necessarily shorter in length. The plotting of the angle between the shadow and the west, assigned a value of 0_, versus time was used to determine the linear path of the sun along the Earth’s surface. It was calculated that the sun followed a linear path corresponding to 62_ SE/NW. This plot was conducted in an open field at an elevation of 4190 ft corresponding to a GPS coordinate of E 0518179 and N 4250909.
 +
 
 +
Ice Sample Distribution and Characterization
 +
 
 +
           Eleven ice samples were collected throughout the canyon, 4 from the north end, 5 from the central region, and 2 from the south end. Figure 6 illustrates the distribution of the various ice samples. Note the surrounding topology that provides the canyon with water.
 +
 
 +
Figure 6: White Rock Canyon Ice Sample Distribution
 +
 
 +
The criteria for characterizing the various ice samples were chosen as a function of the laboratory equipment and supplies made available at the research station.
 +
 
 +
The following data points were collected for each sample: GPS position and elevation; the horizontal distance between the sample and the canyon wall; the presence of phosphate, nitrate, and ammonium; the pH of the melted ice; and a gram stain test. Table 2 summarizes the results with the exception of the gram stain results. They are illustrated in Figure 7.
 +
 
 +
The presence of phosphate, nitrate, and ammonia were assayed using a Hach Water Testing Kit. Sample 6 was the only sample that registered the presence of phosphate. No ammonium or nitrate was detected in any of the samples. This illustrates either the nutrient-poor conditions of the soil or the insensitivity of the Hach assay kit.
 +
 
 +
The Hach pH meter was used to measure the pH of the melted ice samples. In general, the pH increased downstream. This may be a function of the surrounding rock or salt. Increased salt deposits were observed upstream. Four voltmeters were employed to test the conductivity of the samples (indicators of salt concentraion – Nernst Equation) but to no avail. Then an evaporation assay was conducted for each sample but a standard curve could not be effectively generated using table salt and dH2O. An over-salting of the samples to determine the relative salt saturation limits may be the next best bet. A laboratory voltmeter would be ideal.
 +
 
 +
A gram staining kit was employed to determine the relative concentration of gram positive bacteria. Figure 7 illustrates a gram stain spectrum for each of the samples. The GPS position of each sample will allow other biologists to monitor or gauge these site for bacterial activity. A GPS meter was used to determine the height of the canyon by taking readings both at the collection site and above the collection site.
 +
 
 +
The height of the canyon functions like a camera shutter, allowing light into the canyon. This depends on the angle of incidence of the sun and as previously mentioned the orientation of the canyon. The horizontal distance of the sample from the cliff was measured with a measuring tape in order to facilitate the determination of the distribution of light onto the sample.
 +
 
 +
The canyon height relative to the canyon basin fluctuated between values of 4414 and 4460 feet. To relate this to the sun distribution plot, a 1cm rod under the light source at the highest sun angle, 45_, at the peak of the day, 1:12pm, did generate a shadow of approximately 1 cm. However this was at an elevation of 4190 ft. If at 4190 ft the shadow of the rod is equal to 1cm then at elevations 4414 (lowest cliff) and 4460 (highest cliff), the shadow is equal to 1.05 and 1.06cm, respectively. Approaching the cliffs from 62_ SE/NW at the peak of sun activity a diurnal shadow zone is expected to reveal the areas where ice is best preserved. The diurnal shadow zone is calculated by multiplying the height of the cliffs, analogous to the height of the rod, by the equivalent ratio of 1.05 and 1.06. For simplicity, the average of the two ratios of the highest and lowest cliff, equivalent to 1.055, was applied to the height of the cliff for each sample. Shadows ranging from 14.6 feet to 63.3 feet were calculated. The length of each shadow begins at the top of each cliff spanning down the slopes of the canyon across the riverbed.  This data will allow other biologists to assess the distribution and intensity of sunlight on canyon samples and provides a tool from which to identify possible locations of ice accumulation using a map only.
 +
 
 +
Table 2: GPS position and elevation, the horizontal distance between the sample and the top of the cliff, presence of phosphate, nitrate, or ammonium, pH of melted ice.
 +
 
 +
Figure 7: The Relative Concentration of Gram Negative Bacteria in WRC Ice Samples
 +
 
 +
The scope of this project is beyond a two week project and should be carried on as an exercise for finding life in canyon country. A gel electrophoresis apparatus should be introduced to the lab in order conduct more detailed biological investigations. The laboratory should be moved to a corner of the lab and sealed with plastic walls to minimize contamination. A UV light should be installed to sterilize the room a few hours a day. Proper storage containers should be provided for pipet tips. Immunochemistry would be an ideal tool in the lab allowing rapid identification and quantification of bacteria. A Bergey’s Definitive Microbiology reference should definitely be added to the lab for reference. A spectrophotometer would allow quantification of DNA, proteins, etc. Halophilic, alkaliphilic, psychrophilic, thermophilic, and UV tolerant bacterial studies should be pursued to elucidate further proteins conferring resistance to extreme environmental conditions. This information will be helpful to genetic engineers and environmental microbiologists seeking to find or introduce life on Mars.
 +
 
 +
Thank you for the interesting research and life experience,
 +
 
 +
Frederic Janson
 +
 
 +
greengenes1999@hotmail.com 
 +
 
 +
=== March 6, 2002, Greg Delory ===
 +
The tour of duty for the second crew of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is coming to a close, formally ending on March 7th, 2002. The past two weeks of activities has marked an exciting, stimulating, and at times challenging environment for everyone here. Overall I would call our time here a great success, as we maintained a mindset of living on ‘analog Mars’ while engaging in various scientific and technical investigations geared toward the future exploration of the red planet.
 +
 
 +
Located in Southeastern Utah, MDRS (affectionately called ‘Hab’ by crew members) exists in a geologist’s dream of exposed sediments from the Cretaceous and Jurassic ages. Looking out the portholes of the Hab, there is little doubt you are on Mars; the red landscape is shaped by a combination of rounded hills, buttes, sharp ridgelines and jagged rocks, formed by a history of receding and advancing oceans as well as natural erosion over millions of years. Five of us arrived here almost two weeks ago, joining an existing crew member who was already here and overlapping from the last rotation. As I am sure will be the case with many future MDRS crews, our group is diverse; Andy De Wet, the carry-over member from the first rotation, is a professor of geology. Jon Rask is a Lockheed engineer working on building incubators for the laboratories of the International Space Station (ISS). Don Barker, from the NASA Johnson Space Center, also works with the ISS as a controller and planner for station activities. Gilles Dawidowicz is a Geomorphologist from France. Fred Janson is our resident biologist, and I round out the crew, being a space and planetary scientist from the University of California at Berkeley. Midway into our tour, Andy De Wet was replaced by John Putman, a neuro-feedback expert, here to study our brain activity during MDRS operations.
 +
 
 +
The central purpose of the MDRS is to learn and demonstrate techniques for accomplishing scientifically valid field research and experiments while under the constraints of living on the surface of a planet with a hostile environment - in this case Mars. The emphasis for this simulation - or ‘sim’ as we call it - are the ergonomic factors associated with what a real Mars crew would have to endure while exploring the surface. This includes six people learning how to live and work within the confines of the Hab, monitoring and controlling our food and water intake, limiting communication to a single satellite link, and performing all field work outside using bulky, prototype space suits, complete with backpacks and functioning air hoses. All-Terrain Vehicles are used to get around the area. Each day, we all meet at 9am to discuss the next planned Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). Selected crewmembers suit up, exit the airlock following a depressurization protocol, and get on with the day’s work. Members staying behind at the Hab engage in EVA radio support as well as Hab upkeep and maintenance, clearly another important activity to practice for a real mission to Mars.
 +
 
 +
The science and technology investigations carried out during our time here were as varied as the crew. Gilles brought a unique rover called the ‘Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle’ (CRV), which scales down the sides of cliffs with the help of a human operator at the top. A camera pointed at the cliff walls during the descent obtains detailed, high resolution images of the rock strata, aiding in the interpretation of the geologic history of the area. Fantastic demonstrations of this rover concept were performed in ‘Candor Chasma,’ a deep canyon a few kilometers Southeast of the Hab. One of my pet projects involves techniques to find subsurface water on Mars, using electromagnetic sounding techniques. Materials buried beneath the surface such as ores, water, and natural gas can distort ambient electromagnetic fields in predictable ways, detectable from hand-held instruments used by scientists in walking surveys. This type of technology may be an important part of future Mars expeditions, as the crew attempts to scout for resources that may be locked beneath the surface - resources that may be key for the mission’s very survival. The team that picked the MDRS site as an analog Mars may have done their job too well - my sounder results showed a very uniform subsurface, and only detected a few possible faults beneath some sandstone. Fred engaged in research on extremophiles - a unique class of bacteria able to live in extreme environments. Modified  versions of extremophiles may be able to someday live and proliferate on Mars, aiding in the successful biotransformation of that planet as part of a larger a terraforming effort. Microbes found living in a water-ice mixture in a shadowed region of White Rock Canyon, ~4.5 km Southeast of the Hab, may fall into this category. Our geologist Andy has studied the area from a comprehensive point of view, attempting to relate how the search for past of present life on Mars would fit in with the known geology, emphasizing cooperational efforts between geologists and biologists. Andy’s replacement John has measured our brain waves - some of us may have some signs of fatigue, if the larger than normal signals in the 1-2 Hz range are any indicator. Clearly, crew mental health is going to be an issue for any long term Mars exploration mission. Our most recent investigation here was in the utility of adding sensitive external microphones to the Mars surface suits, in an attempt to enhance the suit user’s ability to hear and interpret natural sounds outside, normally muffled by the helmet or obscured by the suit fans. The initial tests of this system were remarkably successful, increasing the communication and safety factors during our last EVA. Such a system should also work on Mars; despite the thin atmosphere, sounds are not below what standard microphones and audio amplifiers can detect.
 +
 
 +
Not all of our investigations our complete to date, and some won’t be for some time. The operation of MDRS is an evolving process, as is our quest to understand and explore Mars. Our experience here has only whetted our appetites; understanding Mars today may yield the secrets of our history and origin, while exploring and ultimately modifying the red planet may hold the key to our prosperity and perhaps even the very survival of the human race. Some might consider MDRS a small step - but with the dedication of each successive crew, our knowledge of how to perform meaningful scientific exploration in environments like these will grow with time. If we are fortunate, there may come a time when such knowledge is desperately needed.
 +
 
 +
On to Mars!
 +
----[1]  United States Department of the Interior Geological Survey, Skyline Rim and Steamboat Point     Quadrangles, Utah-Wayne Co., 7.5 Minute Series (1987).
 +
 
 +
[2]  Capitol Reef National Park, www.capitol.reef.national-park.com/visit.htm#flood
 +
 
 +
[3]  Western Regional Climate Center Database, Hanksville, Utah,
 +
 
 +
  <nowiki>http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliRECtM.pl?uthank</nowiki>

Latest revision as of 10:19, 12 October 2019


Contents

Daily Log — MDRS, Feb 21, 2002, Greg Delory

Today was the changeover period between the first and second crew rotations for MDRS. 2nd shift crew members Greg Delory, Jon Rask, Don Barker,  and

Gilles Dawidowicz arrived sometime between 10-11 am, after some of us managed to "explore" a few other dirt roads near the MDRS region. A quick

tour and update from Tony, the previous crew commander, was enough to show the new crew most of the essentials for daily operations. We exchanged

stories and information with the old crew, who looked none the worse for wear, but nonetheless eager to return to civilization. The official crew

changeover occurred at noon as Tony handed over MDRS to the new crew commander, Greg Delory, each shaking hands in front of the main airlock in a

photo-opportunity.

Tutorials by overlapping crewmember Andy De Witt continued throughout the rest of the day. Procedures for the generator, shower/bathroom, power and

internet use, fresh water supply, and safety were all reviewed. Supplies and equipment brought by the new crew were stowed. A one hour practice on the

ATVs was conducted to acclimate us all to their operation and safety aspects. Upon return, Andy and Greg went into Hanksville to clarify rules

and procedures for ATV operations in the area with local authorities. The sixth and final 2nd crew rotation member, Fred Janson, arrived at 5pm along

with a significant amount of new food supplies. An all-hands meeting was held, where science priorities, scheduling, and the next day's activities

were discussed. We decided on a 3-person EVA, with ATV use,  to scout for sites relevant to both geomorphology and biology investigations, while

allowing the new crew to practice EVA procedures. After the meeting, we decided to hold an official "entering sim" ceremony, as the entire crew

gathered to  watch Greg close the main airlock and announce that the simulation had begun.

The evening concluded with a group photo, contact with mission support, and a delicious spaghetti dinner cooked by Andy. Excitement is high as all look

forward to both fun and hard work. Tomorrow will be our first operational day on Mars.

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 22, 2002, Greg Delory

Today we got an early start with most of us waking up between 7 and 7:30 am. A wonderful scene greeted us at the viewports of the hab as we looked out on the desert in the morning sunrise. The sharp red tones combined with the sloping, rounded terrain reminded all of us that this was indeed our first morning on Mars. After each of us picked up a quick breakfast, we gathered for an all-hands meeting somewhat before 9 am to discuss the details for today's planned EVA. It had been decided the previous night to focus this EVA on site selections for testing Gilles' Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), which would also give this new EVA team some much needed experience with the local area and standard EVA procedures. Andy, Gilles, and Jon comprised our first EVA crew, and under Andy's instruction, all were suited up and ready to go by 10:30. Once outside a quick comm check and GPS position verification was conducted. It was quite a sight indeed, watching three figures in their suits depart the hab in a single file line of ATVs against the Martian landscape, each with large red numbers on their backpacks for easy identification.

Greg assigned Don and Fred to perform habcom duties, monitoring the radios and recording position and status information during regularly scheduled hourly reports. The radio exchanges with the EVA crew were terse and professional, as they rapidly became engrossed in observations of the surrounding landscape. At least two sites were identified as possible testing areas for Gille's CRV. During the search for these sites, an interesting ground water spring was found on the side of a cliff, with some slow seepage. Such a feature might possibly be similar to larger gully outflow regions identified on Mars. This feature had gone unnoticed during previous EVAs through the area, but a short foot excursion by some curious EVA members revealed its presence; it is doubtful it would have been discovered by a rover or from the vantage point of an ATV. The EVA team returned an hour early, having had a successful day in this "shakedown" test for the new crew members. An excited, loud debrief followed in which the EVA team enthusiastically related their experiences. Gilles was beaming with anticipation for an upcoming test of the CRV on some of the slopes and cliffs they had seen, while Jon talked about what kind of life might be living in the cliff-side water source they had found.

Less than exciting as the EVA but equally important was the continuing work necessary to maintain the hab infrastructure. Greg tried to get at least one more laptop functional on the network, and was partially successful. Don composed some signage, checklists, and log file templates to be used during EVA operations and as a guide to the evening reports. Fred reviewed previous biology reports and began to ascertain how best to carry on their work in our current crew rotation.

Overall we had a very good first day on Mars, with a successful EVA and some immediate improvement in documentation and procedures. Tomorrow there will likely be a second shakedown EVA for the remaining crewmembers who didn't make it outside today. We can't wait!

Donald Barker

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

This EVA was planned to serve as a Generic ATV Area Survey of several local sites for the implicit purpose of finding locations for conducting future operations of the French Mars Society chapters Cliff Recognizance Vehicle and to locate good sites of microbial activity in extreme conditions.

DATE (MM-DD-YY): 02-22-02

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

Initially the EVA team headed to the top of HAB ridge. This afforded us a fantastic clear 360 degree panoramic view of the Henry Mountains, Skyline Rim, Factory Butte, and the red and white  hills of the Morrison Formation.

A brief trip west across the Lower Blue Hills to the base of vertical cliffs of Skyline Rim allowed the new crew members to see the intensely bioturbated sandstones of the Ferron Sandstone.

The EVA team identified 2 excellent locations to conduct experiments with the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle. One location is approximately 500 meters north-west of the HAB. A 45 degree slope in the red and white banded Morrison Formation will serve as a test for a non-vertical descent of the CRV. The second location is approximately 2 km south-east of the HAB. A small canyon in this location has 10 to 20 meter high cliffs that will test the vertical descent capabilities of the CRV.

We also discovered numerous water seeps in the vertical cliffs in the canyon. These remarkable seeps seem to have microbial activity associated with them and may serve as excellent analogs for similar geological features on Mars. We are planning to revisit this site for detailed sampling and study.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

EVA equipment setup and donning went nominally.  Both MC1 and MC2 were performing first time EVA.  EVA CDR had previous experience.  Suit donning took approximately 45 minutes.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Crew entered airlock. One person had a loose water supply container.  Crew exited airlock and container was secured.  A 5 minute airlock depress was then performed nominally.

HAB EVA MONITORING

TEXT:

EVA sortie initiated nominally.  Intermittent crew-to-crew communications was received.  EVA crew reported nominal operations and locations as planned.  CDR reported EVA goals accomplished and they were returning to the HAB before scheduled EVA termination.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

Inner airlock opened 13:44 following nominal 5 minute repress.  EVA crew entered suit storage room, suit room door was closed while EVA crew cleaned and vacuumed suits.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

This was another excellent EVA. It was the first EVA for Jon and Gilles and for first time I was the ‘old hand’. I am now very comfortable being a geologist on ‘Mars’.  I just have to figure out how to use a hand lens and Brunton Compass while wearing thick gloves and a full visor. The geology is fantastic especially if you are interested in sedimentology and stratigraphy. The spectacular scenery can be enjoyed by everyone!

EVA MDRS1:

It was my first time on Mars. Very impressive !

Landscapes are really nice. We found 2 places for testing soon the CRV and we have to find a secure pass for another third interesting place to make the test. Here, geologists and geographers can find easily their paradise and make studies during weeks and weeks. Between forms, formations, process, weathering… we will have a lot of work to understand how this landscape occurs and why it looks like it is now.

Lessons : Ensure your hat is correctly fixed. Becaurefull with your glasses. Protect you photo camera.

EVA MDRS2:

Geology here is spectacular. Riding ATV’s over a ridge to see skyline rim far along the horizon for the first time was breathtaking. Hills, cliffs, bluffs, mesas, valleys, and plains colored red to grey both near and far form an incredible panorama. Varied formations, a sedimentologist’s dream indeed! Crossbedding, bioturbidation, and fossils (gryphaea, small plants, etc.) abound. Many areas without visible vegetation, but some survives in regions where water is more abundant. Large drought-resistant woody plants flourish in low-lying regions of valleys and canyons.

We parked the ATVs and continued on foot during the last half of the EVA. Some large carnivore tracks were discovered, most likely dogs or possibly fox. We continued further down the valley and achieved our goal of locating sites of microbial activity in extreme environments and to find a readily accessible cliff to test the CRV.

Fantastic layered cliffs show evidence of recent and current ground water seeps. Approximately 10 m below the cliff appeared to be an excellent site that might be considered as an analog for Martian ground water seeps. Samples were gathered in an area where white, powdery salt-like deposits were located. Clearly, some kind of biological activity was present underneath 2-3 cm salt-like layers. Access of the site was very limited. Discovery of this site was possible because of human explorers on foot.

Lessons: Ensure water packs are very secure before going on EVA.

Single file only during ATV use. Do not pass, drive slowly.

Consider placement of mirror during ATV operation.

Bring ample number of sample bags.

When on foot, move slowly and relax.

Repeater worked well, pressed buttons on EVA

Legend: CDR - commander, MDRS# - crew id

Donald C Barker  Created on  2/22/2002 1:28 PM

MDRS Crew 2 Executive Officer (2nd Command)

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2

Feb 22, 2002

Document Prep Donald Barker (Executive Officer - 2nd CMD)

Water Systems:

A coordinated two crew member water tank refill was completed - an estimated 60 gallons were pumped into the HAB storage tank.

The external Grey water tank was pumped out onto the adjacent leach field.

All other water systems operating nominally.

Power and Fuel:

Generator still running continuously - no problems to report.

Lamont delivered a single 55-gallon drum of gasoline.  Payment was placed on Commander Delory’s credit card and the receipt will be turned in later for processing.

All crew have been trained on the non-simultaneous operation of cooking equipment with heating coils, microwave and the water heater.  Safety labels have been installed to assist in the continued operation of this equipment.

EVA Equipment:

Suit backpack-1 has hole in one of the white air hoses.   A temporary fix incorporating grey tape will work, but the hose will need to be replaced with the next crew.

Suit backpack-1 power system is not working properly.  Currently the battery does not display the proper charging status when plugged in. - further diagnostics to come.  Assume replacement necessary.

Safety:

Fire safety conditions and procedures are being developed and assessed.

Computers and Communications:

More network routing in work - one more personnel computer up

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 23, 2002, Greg Delory

Day 3 for the second crew of MDRS marked continued improvements in operational procedures and identification of science investigations. Crew members Fred Janson and Don Barker embarked on their first EVA since arrival, led by Jon Rask. Realtime checklists and operations logs were used with increasing efficiency to both guide and document our activities. Things are indeed beginning to fall into a "groove" as each of us settles into our

tasks and we become more familiar with the systems and terrain.

Given yesterday's unexpected discovery of water seepage in a narrow canyon roughly 4.5 km away from the hab, we decided to return to that site with a more focused EVA to collect samples and perform a more detailed characterization. Fred reviewed the observations from the previous EVA at this site and devised a sample kit for today's excursion, where water, soil,

and rock samples would be stowed for later analysis. After spending over an hour collecting samples in the canyon, the EVA crew continued to explore, reaching a larger canyon about 3 km East of the hab. Here yet another promising site was found for an upcoming test of the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV), a unique cliff-scaling rover brought from France by crew member Gilles Dawidowicz.

Speaking of the CRV, a consensus decision was made that we would pursue a test of the vehicle as soon as possible. In preparation for this, upon

returning to the hab the EVA crew practiced unstowing and mounting the CRV on the ATVs. Several practical lessons were learned about what was needed to perform a real transport of the CRV. Tomorrow, the current plan is to conduct the first operational test of the CRV just outside the hab in an area that can be easily accessed on foot. If successful, the CRV will be transported to more challenging terrain using the ATVs either during that same EVA or perhaps the day after.

The post-eva activities today were particularly busy as everyone sat down to write reports of our activities. Jon Rask is cooking us something special tonight - marinated chicken. Hunger dictates that I sign off, eat a good meal, and prepare for tomorrow's adventures.

Jon Rask, Don Barker, and Fred Janson

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

This EVA was planned to return to the water seepage site, to gather more samples for biological analysis, to better characterize the area, to continue the search for similar seepage, and find other locations that may be suitable for the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV). 

DATE:  02-23-02

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

To begin, the EVA team headed out 2 km to the vertical cliff seep site discovered 02-22-02. Skies were overcast, and the temps were lower making for a cooler EVA. The team reached the end of the ATV trail and proceeded to the site on foot. A total of eight more samples were gathered at this site. Three water samples from pools 100m upstream from the seep site were gathered. Afterward, the CDR safely hiked to the top of the vertical cliff site that is near the seep thought to be a good location for vertical wall testing of the CRV. He determined that access is possible by foot.

The EVA team left the site after 2.5 hours and headed northeast toward the rim of another very large, wide canyon. Incredible vertical cliffs with many layers form the walls with large talus features at the base of the canyon. This site also appeared to be a good area to test the CRV on high cliffs once its use is well understood since access to the cliff edge and talus is possible

After the EVA team returned to the Hab, a test was performed to determine if the CRV could be loaded onto the ATV. The EVA team determined that the CRV could be fastened to the ATV for transport to remote sites.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

EVA equipment setup and donning was nominal and lasted 45 minutes. Both MC1 and MC2 were performing first time EVA. EVA CDR had previous experience.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Crew entered airlock, waited for 5 minute airlock depressurization, and moved to ATVs.

HAB EVA MONITORING

TEXT:

EVA sortie initiated with some communication problems. CDR radio was locked and could not be switched to repeater channel for long distance communication. While in short range of the Hab, CDR communicated with Habcom. At great distance, communications with Habcom were peformed by both MC1 and MC2. EVA Team reported goals accomplished before returning to hab. Successful CRV ATV attachment completed.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

The EVA team entered the airlock. The CDR also brought with him the CRV, and the airlock was closed. EVA team entered the storage room leaving the CRV in the airlock.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

The role of EVA CDR is an excellent exercise in crew leadership, safety, and operations. Being first in line during ATV sortie is energizing. Seeing something first is truly amazing, and being CDR for an EVA team makes one feel quite responsible and leaves you with a sense of what is necessary to perform an EVA in general. The seep site should now be well characterized, and we are awaiting the analysis of the biological samples. The canyon was spectacular, and I highly advise it be explored further to determine if the CRV can be used here. However, I recommend that the CRV only be used here if the EVA team is very experienced with its function, mobility, and limitations. This cliff is very high and is vertical.

Geology Report — MDRS, Gilles Dawidowicz, Feb 23, 2002

SAND ANALYSIS - Gilles Dawidowicz (Association Planete Mars - French

Chapter)

Site #6 Alt. 4514 ft. Geog. Position E0520193 / N4249939. Sample Collected

at 2h36 pm 02-23-2002.

Granulometry (granulation size):

0.5% have a diameter equal or sup. to 0,5mm

10.6% have a diameter between 0,2 and 0,5mm

25.4% have a diameter between 0,1 and 0,2mm

63.5% have a diameter inf. to 0,1mm

Morphoscopy:

20% are non used (this means that they had not traveled a lot),

20% are dulled and shiny (this means that they're used by water flood), 60% sont rounded and unpolished (this means that they had been carrying by the wind and shocked some between others, involving microscopics stars and fractures or cracks).

That's to soon to give detailed report, but the weathering of this sample is not from an oceanic environment or a vanishing fluvial terrace. It could be an old eolian sand dune.

Site n¡6 Alt. 1375m. Position Géog. E0520193 / N4249939. Collecté à 14h36 le

23/02/2002.

Granulométrie:

0,5% ont un diamètre égal ou supérieur à 0,5mm

10,6% ont un diamètre compris entre 0,2 et 0,5mm

25,4% ont un diamètre compris entre 0,1 et 0,2mm

63,5% ont un diamètre inférieur à 0,1mm

Morphoscopie:20% sont non usés (ce qui signifie qu'ils n'ont subi qu'un court transport),

20% sont émoussés et luisants (ce qui signifie qu'ils ont été usés par l'eau),

60% sont ronds et mats (ce qui signifie qu'ils ont été transportés par le vent et heurtés les uns contre les autres, d'où de microscopiques étoilements et cassures).

Il est trop tôt pour s'avancer, mais l'altération de cet échantillon de  sable ne provient pas d'un milieu marin, ni d'une terrasse fluviale en voie de disparition. Il s'agirait plutôt d'une ancienne dune de sable.

Biology Report — MDRS, Feb 23, 2002, Fred Janson

Seven samples were collected across a hydrated succession of growths of various color from beneath a south east-facing overhang covering a steep slope of MDRS-named Whiterock Canyon. The site is found at a moderate elevation of 4489 ft. The atmospheric pressure will be calculated and reported as a factor of the pressure found at the bottom of Hellas Basin for comparison sake. The site where the samples were collected had very little exposure to sunlight, a function of the overhanging rock. UV rays on Mars sterilize the first 8 meters of soil and so a UV minimized/sheltered site is certainly of interest when collecting samples. A local high and low of -6 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, was recorded at the HAB station. This range is conducive to the proliferation of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic organisms, comparable to life that may exist below the surface of Mars, average surface temperature of -60 degrees Celsius, warming with depth (isothermic amelioration). The surface of the rock beneath the overhang was coated with a salty precipitate which extended above and below where the samples were collected. Halophilic bacteria are important organisms to study as quite often they live in extreme alkyl environments, analogous to Mars surface chemistry (high metal oxide concentrations). Also, halophilic and alkaliphilic adaptive systems are known to be at least partially regulated by the same starvation sigma factor (KatF/rpoS gene in E.coli). The starvation sigma factor regulates a number of other adaptive systems of interest on Mars. Namely, high temperature (isothermic and gas vents habitats), hydrogen peroxide resistance (oxidizing agent) and osmotic stress environments. Underlying all of the samples was a gritty green clay. Samples were extracted from this underlying clay in search of anaerobic organisms, like those that would have to exist on Mars. A free chlorine test will be conducted on the specimens to determine if indeed they are halophic in nature. The pH of the soil will be examined to determine if the environment is alkyl in nature. Suspected bacterial cells will be gram stained and subjected to oxidase and fermentation assays to better their classification.      

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 22, 2002, Greg DeLory

Water Systems:

Gray water tank partially flushed today.

Power and Fuel:

Generator was fueled on the standard schedule (3 times each day, morning, 4pm, and prior to sleep period.)

The generator oil was checked and changed. The oil looked very dirty, and the feeling here is that the current generator will be insufficient to last for the entire planned MDRS operational period. The unit was apparently not designed for continual use - we are aware that a replacement is planned, but we want to emphasize that this remains an issue. For now we are keeping a close eye on the oil consumption and quality.

EVA Equipment:

Two of the pack fuses remain blown, and no replacements have been found.

Modifications were made to the water bladders, which had a tendency to fall out during some EVAs. Extra velcro and duct tape was added.

A minor problem with one of the EVA radios was found - it was somehow ‘locked’ and did not allow the channel to be changed.

In summary, we still have four operational packs, sufficient for the planned EVAs. If an additional pack is necessary we may consider bypassing the fuses, although we are still in the process of deciding whether or not that constitutes a risk to EVA crewmembers, since the batteries are within the air circulation compartment and batteries discharged at high rates can and do release toxic gases.

Safety:

No safety issues or violations occurred today.

Computers and Communications:

Mission Support email has made it clear, along with our own experience here, that the StarBand link is far, far below its potential. A suggestion has been made to move the antenna 5 degrees, at which point our internet account can be officially ‘activated,’ along with StarBand email.

The main desktop computer used for operations is not fully stable - long pauses and some system freezes occur with regularity. For now, it is treated gently.

General Maintenance:

Crewmember Andy de Wet constructed a wooden box that can be used to transport items on the ATVs.

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Donald Barker (Acting Commander)

Day 4:

Today the heavy sleepers in the crew like the acting Commander (Donald Barker) woke up, quarter after 8, to the wonderful smell of a weekend morning breakfast.  Andy and Jon had prepared a pancake and scrambled egg breakfast for all to enjoy before an adventurous dayÕs work. It was highly appreciated.

Following breakfast, Andy, Jon and Gilles started preparing for the days EVA.  This EVA tested the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle (CRV) in the field. Two exciting tests were performed.  One on hill with a long smooth slope and the other over a very high cliff (~50 feet), which had an overhang, near its base.  This made for a very interesting test.  The CRV was lowered down the face and retrieved by pulling it back up.  Brining it up proved to be more interesting and insightful than its descent.  Both EVA sessions were successful and a lot was learned about how EVA crews are able to interact with robotic equipment in the field.  Upon leaving from the first site, Andy made the geological and biological find of the day. While breaking apart promising samples, to his delight he discovered a fossilized stramolite which is a remnant of an ancient microbial mat.   It is believed that during actual Mars missions, such a find could be easily missed by a robotic only mission.  The ability to efficiently scan an area and pick out the best samples can only come from the trained eye of a human crewmember.

Back at the HAB, Fred and Don acted as the HABs communications officers.  In addition, they continued their biological surveys and continued housekeeping chores.  Some body has to do themÉ Even on another planet.

Tonight, after completing and sending a series of logs and reports to Mission Control, we will enjoy a French dinner prepared by our international crewmember Gilles.  This to be followed by a movie and popcorn.  A well deserved R&R session for this hardworking crew.

Mars is a Blast,

Acting MDRS Commander

End Transmission

Andy de Wet CMDR, Jon Rask, Gilles Davidowicz

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

Today’s EVA is to test the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle provided by the French contingent.  The first phase is to occur in a local region (walking distance) to the East of the HAB module.  A stratified formation there will provide a good test bed for CRV operations.  The second portion of the day is available and reserved for a follow on EVA in which the CRV will be moved via ATV to one of the sites discovered by EVA-13 and confirmed by EVA-14 crews.

DATE:  02-24-02

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

The first test run of the CRV was completed on a 35 degree slope (Hab ridge) directly to the west of the Hab. CRV sustained minor damage and  was repaired upon return  to the Hab. The CRV was secured to MDRS2 ATV and the EVA crew headed out to the cliff near the seep site approximately 4 km from Hab. Upon arrival, the CRV was unloaded from ATV and then transported by crew to the top of cliff site. Second run of the CRV was completed on a vertical slope. During both runs, CRV captured video of entire run. After the CRV runs, the area was briefly scouted for interesting rocks and a fossilized stromatolite was found.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Pre Eva operations and set up went well.  We still need to practice having all equipment that is to be used on the EVA prepared and staged for the days operation.  This needs to be done before suit donning.  Suit donning started at 10:00 and was complete by 10:35.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Nominal, we are getting used to conducting the airlock depress.  Other simulated operations might be considered for future simulations/crews to enhance simulation validity and repeatability.  Suggest reviewing Apollo and current Station EVA activities and procedures.  This could be a research tack for the Control Center.

Crew exited the HAB nominally and retrieved the CRV equipment and proceeded to test area.

HAB EVA MONITORING

TEXT:

EVA 15 proceeded to a local test area; one that suited the CRV demonstration requirements.  Due to the close proximity, EVA 15 and HAB were in continuous communication coverage (without using the repeater frequency). The HAB was able to monitor EVA activities as they occurred.

At 11:25, EVA-15 reported that the rover had a roll over and one of the lifter bars was reported as broken. Crew is working on assessing the continued operability of the CRV.

At 11:45 EVA crew returned to pack up the CRV on the ATVs and proceed to the designated site.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA airlock hatch represses finished at 14:25.  Suits were vacuumed and crew reentered HAB.

EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

This was another successful EVA. The CRV tests were successful in that we discovered that the CRV will be useful in exploring inaccessible locations. Some modifications on the CRV will be required. Other processes such as securing and transporting the CRV on an ATV will need to be improved. The discovery of a cobble containing stromatolites in the  Salt Wash Mbr of the Morrison Formation was very exciting. What a wonderful discovery that would make on Mars!

Use of the CRV in steep and vertical areas raises safety issues for the EVA crew. The crew member that controls the descent of the CRV by feeding out the cable needs to be near the edge of the cliff and will need to be secured. Another crew member should be in a position to observe the descent of the vehicle in order to advise the CRV descent crew of any problems with the descent. Our tests today involved fairly low cliffs thus safety concerns were not as pressing. Later tests on higher cliffs will require more comprehensive safety measures.

EVA MDRS1:

This EVA was programmed to test the CRV on 2 different sites. The first one was considered like a safe site, more to test us and our manipulations than to test the CRV it self. All was nominal. The second test site was more interesting : a nice cliff, 15 meters deep, explored during last EVAs. The descent was superb, really interesting to see how the rover was going-down. We should now test it on a big cliff, about 40 or 50 meters minimum. Another interesting point is to study the videos than the rover took of the layers of the cliff...

EVA MDRS2:

This EVA was greatly anticipated and the sites found during EVA 13 and 14 for CRV testing produced great results. The process of scouting safe sites for future EVA exploration and characterization has worked well. I recommend continued EVA sorties to find new sites for future sampling (both biological and geological) and more test runs of the CRV along higher cliffs.

Although transport of the CRV on foot was somewhat tiring because of the uphill walk and intense sunlight, we were very excited and hopeful to see the rover slowly scouting hillsides and cliffs.

Geology Report- EVA 15 — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Andy de Wet CMDR, Jon Rask, Gilles Davidowicz

The main purpose of this EVA was to test the Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) operated by Gilles Davidowicz. The first test involved lowering the CRV down a slope of about 35 degrees within the Brushy Basin Member (Morrison Formation). The Brushy Basin Mbr includes colorful mudstones, siltstones and occasional sandstones and limestones. The soil developed on these rocks is very soft and difficult to negotiate especially in Mars suits. Humans exploring Mars will probably encounter similar terrain and could use rovers to explore these difficult but interesting areas.

The second test involved lowering the CRV down a vertical cliff in the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. We have identified numerous seeps in the cliffs of the Salt Wash Member. Seeps are interesting because they might harbor interesting biota. Similar features on Mars would be excellent locations to look for life but might be very difficult and dangerous to explore with humans. The CRV would be perfect to explore these locations on Mars.

After the second test was completed, the EVA crew explored the surrounding area. The Salt Wash Mbr contains spectacular cross-bedding and channel deposits. Large pebbles and cobbles abound (see image). These cobbles provide a sampling of the mountains to the west of this area during the Upper Jurassic. Basalt, greenstones, chert, diorite, and quartzites are the most common lithologies. All the pebbles are covered in desert varnish making identification difficult by just looking at them. While exploring this area one of the crew noticed a more unusual rock. On closer inspection, and after the pebble was broken open, it became evident that a fist sized sample of stromatolites had been found (see image).

Stromatolites are organic sedimentary structures produced by cyanobacteria. They have been found in rocks on Earth that are over 3.4 billion years old! Modern stromatolites are only found in a few places including the Bahamas and Shark Bay, Western Australia. Stromatolites were probably one of the most common life forms for most of the Earth’s history and they contributed to the buildup of oxygen in the atmosphere. Stromatolites paved the way for the evolution of oxygen breathing complex organisms such as humans.

Is it possible that stromatolites might also have evolved on Mars? Perhaps they thrived during the early evolution of the Mars only to die out as the planet became drier. Now the only evidence for this history will be found as fossils in the rock record. But how difficult will it be to find this evidence? We do not know the age of stromatolite sample we found, but it must be older than Upper Jurassic. In any case the key point here is that it takes a trained eye to detect the complex and subtle variations in the forms and textures in rocks that lead to this type of discovery. The EVA team spent another 30 minutes looking at the thousands of pebbles and cobbles littering the desert floor to find more samples of stromatolite. None were found! The discovery of just one fist sized pebble with stromatolites on Mars would be momentous. It seems inconceivable that a rover would be able to make such an important discovery. We are convinced that human exploration of Mars is essential to make these types of discoveries.

Biology Reports — MDRS, Feb 23-24, 2002, Frederic Jansen

Biology Progress Report — 2/23/2

An overhanging slope beneath which some moisture was found spawning an observable proliferation of grass (dried, sun-bleached), and various colored growths. The slope faces exactly south east plus 2¡ south as measured digitally by the GPS. It rests some 4489 feet above sea level (GPS). A GPS reading was taken 25 feet from the sample collection site reading: N 4247434, E 0520587. The various coloured growths were found in the following descending order, green, red, black, black, and white. Notwithstanding, a superposition of growths was also observed. The green growth (highest moisture content) slumped onto the red growth, and the red slumped onto the black growth (damp and clumpy). However, white and black growths did not appear to grow over one another. Rather, an elevated crust (mostly white) was observed between the two growths. Samples of each growth and intermediate margin were collected for investigation.

The site where the samples were collected had very little exposure to sunlight, a function of the overhanging rock. UV rays on Mars sterilize the first 8 meters of soil and so a UV minimized/sheltered site is certainly of interest when collecting samples. A local high and low of -6 and 23 degrees Celsius, respectively, was recorded at the HAB station.

This range is conducive to the proliferation of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic organisms, comparable to life that may exist below the surface of Mars, average surface temperature of -60 degrees Celsius, warming with depth (isothermic pressure). The surface of the rock beneath the overhang was coated with a salty precipitate which extended above and below where the samples were collected. Halophilic bacteria are important organisms to study as quite often they live in extreme alkyl environments, analogous to Mars surface chemistry (high metal oxide concentrations). Also, halophilic and alkaliphilic adaptive systems are known to be at least partially regulated by the same starvation sigma factor (KatF/rpoS gene in E.coli). The starvation sigma factor regulates a number of other adaptive systems of interest to Mars. Namely, high temperature (isothermic and gas vents habitats), hydrogen peroxide resistance (oxidizing agent) and osmotic stress environments.

Biology Progress Report — 2/24/2

A sample of ice was collected from the same location as yesterday, MDRS-named Whiterock Canyon. The extremely low surface temperatures of Mars coupled with the weak atmospheric pressure, 6.6 to 12.4 millibars, limit the ability of water to remain in the liquid state (less than 1% of H20 in the atmosphere, majority resides in the polar ice caps, an upper value of 3.2-4.7 x 106 km3). Psychrophilic bacteria are able to live in these low temperatures, a function of membrane lipid reorganization, followed by protein substitution and chaperone differential folding, cytosol gel formation, reduction in cell size, increase cell adhesions, and the induction of various starvation genes by alternative sigma factor signaling.

Dilution of the samples from yesterday were performed in order to find a manageable number of cells to gram stain and then enumerate. The diluted samples were gram stained today. Wet samples were weighed and then desiccated to remove all fluids in order to generate a dry weight value. The gram stained cells will be enumerated tonight.

Biology Report of the Image bio_sample_inset.jpg — MDRS, Feb 24, 2002, Jon Rask

Background: These images were gathered 2-22,23,24-02,. Note that the insets are higher magnifications of the same site. Also, see ruler in picture for size reference. As for the insets of microbes, we scraped a sample from the rock and prepared it as a slide.

These were taken from the samples gathered from EVA 13 and 14 at the Seep site.  While verification of species is uncertain, it is clear that life is present in these alkaline, salty conditions. Although these biospecimens will most likely not be found on Mars, we feel the site is a good analog for the seepage sites seen on Mars in some Mars Global Surveyor images. It is important to note that a wide variety of microbiology and multicellular biology are thriving in this extreme environment here on Earth.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 24, 2002, Donald Barker (Acting Commander)

Water Systems:

Today we transferred approximately 30 gallons potable water from the external water tank to the internal tank. This was the first time this procedure was done by Don and Fred.  We probably did not add enough and will need to do it again tomorrow at it is currently at the 20 gallon mark. This following two showers today.

Grey water was also pumped for a while.

Power and Fuel:

We are down to our last 8 AA batteries, and will need some ASAP.  These are used in the radios and several photographic devices. We have plenty of AAA.

Note, the generator is still being fueled three times daily.  We currently have one 55 gallon drum full and one empty.

EVA Equipment:

We still have not heard back on the fuses.  We doubt that there are any locally.

Backpacks need to be vacuumed out bi-weekly.  The pack has to be completely opened to correctly do this.  It takes about 30 minutes per backpack.

Safety:

Still working on identifying medical equipment and easily identifying fire extinguishers and exits. This along with completing the installation of the rest of the smoke detectors is a high priority.

Computers and Communications:

We looked at the antenna today.  The instructions sent earlier were insufficient.  We have included photos (antenna1-5.jpg) of the antenna settings and request more info on how to align the dish.

General Maintenance:

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 25, 2002, Greg DeLory

Today we woke up to the sound of howling winds - literally shaking the hab structure. A quick check of the weather monitor revealed wind speeds hovering around 20 and gusting up to 40 mph. Such winds would probably not

be a concern on Mars, where the low atmospheric pressure would make winds of

those speeds feel like a gentle breeze. Despite the fact that we are in a

"Mars sim," today was one of those days we had to remind ourselves that we

were in fact on Earth. And winds of those speeds are a problem, especially

when further tests of the CRV had been planned. We decided that if the winds

remained strong, today's EVA would not move forward.

Not wanting to miss any chance to sit down and eat a good meal, we waited out the winds while eating pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Almost as soon as we were finished the winds stabilized below 10 mph, and we proceeded with the EVA as planned. Gilles, Jon, and Andy suited up for the most extensive tests of the CRV yet. Along the way they found a few dinosaur fossils and some petrified wood, and with a rectangular metal plate with six large numbers

and a "1953" near the bottom - evidently left here by some alien species.

After a 5 hour EVA the crew returned exhausted after fetching the CRV from a particularly steep descent from which it proved difficult to recover.

While the EVA was in progress, the rest of us settled into what has now become all non-EVA personnel's primary duty: keeping the hab running. This

means refueling the generator, water tanks, dumping refuse, and any other

minor maintenance tasks that need tending. This in effect keeps the sim going, and enables the EVA folks to stay out there and do their job. Thus a rotation in EVA personnel tends to spread out the chores at the hab nicely.

On to another subject. I arrived at the hab with a minor sore throat which I had ignored. It quickly blossomed into one real head cold, and as of

February 23rd I relieved myself of command temporarily to fellow crew member

Don Barker. With lots of ISS operational experience under his belt at NASA,

I knew Don was the man to keep things running while I recovered. Some communications with the flight surgeon at Mission Support established that I was pretty sick but probably didn't need antibiotics. On the Doc's advice, theraflu and bed rest were enough to get me back in shape. I'm happy to report feeling much better today, and have resumed command of MDRS. So here's thanks to the fast response and expert advice from the folks at

Mission Support - the system worked!

If all goes well, I'll finally get my first EVA tomorrow, where we'll begin

to test an electromagnetic survey instrument for locating subsurface

structures - including those due to the presence of water. Keep checking in

to get the latest from the 2nd crew of MDRS.

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Gilles Dawidowicz, Jon Rask, Andy de Wet

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

Today's EVA takes the crew to another location that was observed during EVA 14.  Again, the Cliff Recognizance Vehicle will be tested, depending on local wind conditions, and used to record video of the cliff face strata. In addition, the crew geologist will observe the local stratigraphy and geomorphology.  The location for today's EVA is directly east of the HAB and was dubbed Chandor Chasma.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-16

DATE:  02-25-02

EVA SCENERIO

ATV CRV EVA 2 EVA HAB COMM (s)

Don Barker;

Greg Delory CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Rask/5

Dawidoicz/4

de Wet/3

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

10:45

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

15:50/16:00

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

EVA 16 was as physically challenging as it was operationally. The crew explored the area northwest of 'Candor Chasm' on foot and discovered many pieces of petrified wood and fossilized dinosaur bones. Afterward, the crew drove to the south side of the canyon where the CRV was tested on a 23 m vertical cliff 3 km due east of the Hab. Incredible images were captured of the operation and the canyon.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

EVA setup completed previous evening.  Two suits cleaned.  Nominal status and operations are becoming comfortably routine.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Airlock depress went nominally as expected.  A normal 5 minute depress routine has been adopted.  The EVA crew departed the HAB and started the EVA after powering on the ATVs.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

10:56

11:39

1:24

2:58

4:00pm REPORTED MAP LOCATION

N4250930

E0518168

@HAB

N4252052

E0519864

N4250544

E0521795

N4250651

E0521741

@HAB REPORTED STATUS

Go for EVA

Request directions to candor chasm

Commencing CRV test

Ready to return

End of EVA Auxiliary Information

TEXT:

Sporadic com monitoring with channel 2.00  (non repeater channel)  was capable for the duration of the EVA. This is probably due to the lower and less obstructed terrain to the east of the HAB.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

The EVA team entered the airlock and brought with them the samples and CRV. The airlock was closed. EVA team entered the storage room leaving the CRV in the airlock.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

This EVA was invigorating and exhausting. We began the EVA by driving the ATVs to a region to the northwest of Candor Chasm. Communication was established with the Hab and the crew explored the area on foot. Tree and dinosaur fossils were discovered. Later, the crew drove to the east rim of the canyon for another CRV test.

Access to the third CRV test site required a steep downhill hike to a safe location near the cliff edge. The crew carried the CRV to the test site and Gilles began the experiment by allowing the rover to slowly descend over the edge. Andy monitored us, imaged the process, and I helped Gilles. Unfortunately, the rover flipped over during the descent and we decided to pull the CRV back. This task turned out to be quite difficult. Apparently, the CRV became entangled and or stuck on the rocks below the cliff edge. After several careful attempts, the CRV was successfully retrieved. 

Clearly, the CRV is a useful tool for exploring remote locations not accessible by humans. However, the CRV should be modified to improve deployment and its ability to be retrieved since its stability is limited and cannot be steered.

EVA MDRS1:

The second part of this EVA was very difficult. We operated the rover on a big deep cliff, with many sediments layers and with a debris apron in sand. It was a good site even if we could not for security reasons to stand up near the hole of the cliff. After the first going-down, the CRV spins. We picked up the rover and restarted the test. All was nominal but suddenly it spins once. We tried during 30 minutes to take it back safe, without any success. After a last try, Andy succeeded and the CRV was safe except the on-board video camera now seems unusable.

EVA MDRS2:

This was my first EVA to the area directly east of the HAB. The stratigraphic sequence in this area dips gently towards the west, while the topography steps down towards Muddy Creek in the east. This combination exposes the lowest parts of the sequence. The spectacular 'Candor Chasma' cuts across this area exposing millions of years of geologic history.  Vertical cliffs of Summerville Formation are capped by the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. From a hill in the Salt Wash Member it was possible to look west towards the location of the MDRS Hab and see the complete sequence from the Mid Jurassic Summerville Formation up sequence to the Mid Cretaceous Emery Sandstone capping Factory Butte. Wow, almost as good as the Grand Canyon!

Geology Report — MDRS, Jon Rask CMDR, Andy de Wet, Gilles Davidowicz, Feb 25, 2002

In this spectacular view west from the south rim of 'Candor Chasma', the complete sequence from the Middle Jurassic Summerville Formation up to the Middle Cretaceous Emery Sandstone Member of the Mancos Shale can be observed. This sequence represents 10's of millions of years of geologic time and records numerous cycles of sea level rise and fall (transgressions and regressions).

The complete sequence from the oldest to the youngest units is:

Summerville Formation, Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation, Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation (upper part of the Jurassic), Dakota Sandstone (lowest part of the Cretaceous), Tunuck Shale Member, Ferron Sandstone Member, Blue Gate Shale Member, and finally the Emery Sandstone Member. The Tunuck, Ferron, Blue Gate and Emery are all part of the Mancos Shale Formation.

The Dakota Sandstone caps the rim above the HAB, the Ferron Sandstone caps Skyline Rim and the Emery Sandstone caps Factory Butte.

The MDRS HAB is visible in the middle distance against the colorful backdrop of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation.

Biology Report — MDRS, Feb 25, 2002, Fred Jansen

The desiccation of the Whiterock Canyon samples support the idea that separate tributaries flow to the samples found within the shaded growth areas and not that a common tributary flows first from the exposed green growth and then down the same plane to the shaded growth samples, as previously expected.

The enumeration of cells for each sample was achieved by dilution but the equivalent number of cells per dry gram of soil will not be calculated until after the submission of this progress report. Preliminary data suggests that cell populations increase down the sample section away from the shaded areas towards exposed ground. As water content also decreases in this direction and salt crystallization was observed in the white growth section an interesting situation presents itself. Halophiles can adapt to salty environments as they have a number of ion pumps that maintain osmotic, membrane potential, and pH balance. Two of these, bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin pump out protons and pump in chloride ions. Pumping out protons will increase the pH of the soil. However, desert soils are often highly alkaline due to the presence of sodium carbonates. As we are currently waiting for specialized batteries to operate our pH meter, this part of the puzzle will, for the short term, remain a mystery.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 25, 2002, Greg Delory, Don Barker

Water Systems:

We refilled the internal water supply with 47 gallons of water. The color of the water may be of some concern - it is very noticably red. For the moment, we are using it for cooking and cleaning, but drinking bottled water. 

Lamont also notified us that the owner of the water tanker out back has requested its return to support his livestock operations.  He plans to return here tomorrow (2/26) to retrieve the tank. We discussed a trade whereby we receive a number of 55 gallon drums that could be used to keep our water. If this new arrangement doesn't work out we may need to find a more permanent solution to our water supply.

Power and Fuel:

Last evening we found that we could not use the vacuum cleaner in the suit room and the water heater at the same time.  We tripped the generator and had to go out and restart it.

The generator was refueled as usual, and we appear to have plenty of gas, about ~1.5 drums.

EVA Equipment:

Two more suits were thoroughly cleaned (open up the back pack casing) last night.

Safety:

No safety issues or violations occurred today.

Computers and Communications:

The WinProxy software license expired yesterday, so that no internal networking is possible. Attempts to reinstall it failed. We can purchase it online for a permanent license, but wanted Mars Society authorization in order to get reimbursed.

The StarBand dish remains in its current, sub-optimal position pending more information regarding how to adjust it. The initial attempt was unsuccessful due to a high degree of ambiguity in the antenna settings and few or no visible markings.

General Maintenance:

One of the 2-wheel drive, green ATVs may have an oil leak. Jon and Andy are going to investigate. The 4th ATV remains in Lamont's possession, which is also in need of repair (no front brakes.)

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 26, 2002, Greg DeLory

Today I woke up with excitement. It was going to be my first EVA, after an abnormally long wait. The "pre-EVA" feeling reminded me of the state of mind

I used to have prior to a challenging SCUBA dive. I had the urge to get up

early, start checking gear, instruments, and lists, take a break, and then check everything again. I've found that in any environment in which you depend on equipment to sustain life, you must be comfortable with your gear. Your use of it must be easy, relaxed, yet confident. That was the feeling I

had today. I had been couped up in the hab long enough...it was time to go

out!

The EVA began with a familiarity run up to Skyline Rim. The views enroute were tremendous, combined with the rich colors of the strata. The helmet dome was remarkably clear. On the way we found what had to be millions of fossilized shells lying in the sand, while on the Rim cliffs themselves we found a large slab bearing trace fossils. Not being a geologist, I had

always naively imagined that fossils were something one had to dig for and

were acquired only after hours of work. I was almost incredulous. It was all

here, lying out, ready for us to read examine. After surveying the Rim base

I climbed up a small hill and took in the vista - plateaus, buttes, and

canyons were all within view, again accented by the incredible reds, whites,

browns of the strata.

After the "fun" part, it was time to get down to business. The technical and scientific task for the day was to test the EM16, a relatively easy to use electromagnetic (EM) subsurface sounder. The instrument in essence senses the electrical properties of the subsurface, using EM waves generated by VLF (very low frequency) radio towers. Distortions in the wave magnetic field sensed by the instrument can be caused by conducting bodies beneath the surface, such as iron ores or a water-bearing fault. The instrument also possesses two electrical probes, which when inserted into the ground sense the electric field from the VLF station. Comparing the electric field to the magnetic field then yields the "apparent resistivity," a measure of how resistant the subsurface is to electric currents. Low values of resistivity

may indicate subsurface resources, such as oil, natural gas, or water. This

type of EM sounding may be a crucial tool for the detailed exploration of

landing sites on Mars. More sophisticated versions of the EM16 can resolve

the depth and thickness of multiple aquifers up to kilometers below the

surface. Today we were conducting a local survey using the handheld EM16,

which senses to depths of ~30 feet. Initial tests indicated that the

instrument was functioning, and ready for use around the varied sites

surrounding the hab.

Returning to the hab a little tired but elated, it was time for the post-EVA snack. Sandwiches and Top Ramen never tasted so good. Later on, it's Andy's

turn to cook, and I encouraged him to drag out the frozen steaks we had been

saving.

I'll sleep well having had a good first EVA and a good meal.

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Greg DeLory, Jon Rask, Fred Jansen

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

The first part of this EVA will scout out a region near Skyline Rim. Following this, the EVA crew will return to the HAB and collect the Electromagnetic Sounding experiment equipment followed by a short drive to an area of level terrain for the first field test of this equipment.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-17

DATE:  02-26-02

EVA SCENERIO

ATV EMS TEST EVA

EVA HAB COMM (s)

Barker

CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Delory/2

Rask/5

Janson/4

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

10:40

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

14:40/14:45

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

3 km EVA ATV sortie to base of Skyline Rim to familiarize Greg and Fred with landforms west of the Hab. This was Greg's first EVA. Fred had problems staying warm and became cold while traveling to Skyline Rim. Rock samples, shell fossils and trace fossils were gathered. Shortly afterward, the crew returned to the Hab. After some brief discussion, we collectively decided that Fred should leave the crew, enter the airlock, repressurize, and seek warmth inside the Hab while Greg and I continued the second half of the EVA.

Greg and I continued the ATV EVA to find a suitable location to test the EM sounding equipment. A site was found, and three sounding points were chosen. The equipment worked well, and we returned to the Hab. Finally a brief pedestrian EVA north of the Hab concluded our day.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

The EMS equipment has been prepared and staged in the airlock for retrieval by the crew upon transiting to the test site.

This is Greg's first suited EVA and he is learning how to ingress and prep the suit.

All other EVA setup operations went nominal.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Depress was nominal and crew conducted normal com check on both channels.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

10:50

11:41

13:01

14:00

REPORTED MAP LOCATION

N4280968

E0518143

@HAB

N4251430

E0515314

N4249289

E0518463

Same

REPORTED STATUS

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

Auxiliary Information

EVA START

EVA17 reported on ch2, but could not hear HABCOM on same.

Packing up EMS and returning to base.

TEXT:

At 12:30, the EVA team returned to base to gather the EMS gear and proceed to the test site for this equipment.

EVA-4 reporting very cold and plans on cutting short his EVA. EVA-2,4 are going on to do the first EMS test.

EVA-4 reported that vent cooling was too high for the ambient temperatures; to date, the cooling has been rather sparse given weather and crew aerobic activity (walking).

EVA17 called and reported arriving at the EMS test site.  There were some problems establishing a good two-way link.  Not sure why!

EVA17 returned to HAB vicinity and were requested to perform a local visual inspection of the base.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA-4 entered the airlock at 12:40 and conducted a repress and the post EVA cleanup.

EVA17 completed operations and reentered the HAB. Repress and post EVA cleanup in progress.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

Today's EVA was extra special since this was Greg's first EVA, and I was again given the privilege of EVA commander. Fred and Greg had not been west of the Hab, so the ATV EVA started by traveling 3 km west to Skyline Rim with several stops along the way to enjoy the area geology and gryphaea fossils. Unfortunately, Fred became chilled while during the drive. We all quickly warmed up as we explored the area on foot. The view to the north and east was incredible with Skyline Rim towering behind us. Samples were gathered and we returned to the Hab. Fred became chilled again, and we decided he should go back into the Hab. Greg and I continued to a site 2 km south of the hab to a region of pediments to test the EM sounding equipment.

We chose pediments 2 km south of the Hab because of their flatness. These formations are very gently sloping, wide plains developed by running water. We are interested in these locations for this experiment because the EM sounding equipment can tell us something about the conductivity of the subsurface, which is directly related to the presence of lack of water in the subsurface.

Lessons learned: It is important to observe temperatures prior to beginning EVA so necessary preparations can be made to prevent overheating or becoming chilled. We're lucky to be in the second round of Hab rotations; later crews will have to deal with much higher temperatures.

EVA MDRS1:

Well, as noted above this was my first EVA. I had no great difficulty with anything, and in fact found it easier and more enjoyable than I might have imagined. The Skyline Rim trip was a great way to get introduced to the area. Following this was my real objective - a test of the EM16 subsurface sounder. No ergonomic issues or problems were encountered in using this handheld survey instrument.

EVA MDRS2:

Upon reaching the edge of the Skyline Rim we climbed up the debris slopes in search of biological phenomena. We collected what appeared to be fossilized wood, fossilized worms and other not yet identified forms of life. On an adjacent gray slope, a number of pronounced black features protruded from the slope. Further investigation determined that the features were entirely composed of black ash. The features were surrounded by white ash, ash that was discovered during the descent to be found within every footstep. Reevaluation of the gray slope indicated that the surficial layer was almost entirely composed of soot. To the depth of approximately one foot or a third of a meter. The ash was collected for further comparative analysis with the white powder collected at Whiterock Canyon. The cliff above the gray slope did display a dark black band of strata but the unstable nature of the slope and cliff did prevent further analysis. We returned after I was unable to adapt to the air conditioner climate provided to my suit by the air fan.

Geology Report — MDRS, Feb 26, 2002, Greg Delory

Background:

The EM16R is a subsurface electromagnetic (EM) sounder that uses very low frequency (VLF) waves generated by radio towers in either Oregon or Maine. The instrument has two modes; in the first mode, the magnetic wave tilt

angle is determined. This can be indicative of a subsurface discontinuity

due to ores or water, up to depths of ~30 feet. In the second mode,

electrodes are deployed into the ground which measure the electric field.

When compared to the magnetic field amplitude, this yields the "apparent

resistivity" of the material below the surface. This is in essence a

composite response resulting from a multitude of combinations of resistivity

structure beneath the ground. Low values of resistivity may indicate water,

ores, or damp soil. High values are characteristic of dry sand for example.

Initial Test Results:

During EVA 17 today the EM16 subsurface sounder was tested and used with the

suits for the first time. No major difficulties were encountered as far as

ergonomic issues were concerned - all switches, buttons, connectors, and dials were able to be manipulated through the gloves. The unit was brought

to some pediments about 2.5 km South, 0.5km East of the hab for testing. The Maine VLF station was acquired almost immediately to the East, and three readings were taken roughly 100 feet apart heading East. At all three sounding locations, no magnetic wave tilt was discernable, indicating a

highly uniform subsurface in this region. Measurements of apparent

subsurface resistivity varied between 10 and 40 ohm-meters, which is the

expected value for a composition ranging between clay and sedimentary rock.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2

Feb 26, 2002

Don Barker

Water Systems:

Lamont came and took the water tanker at 14:15. One of the EVA members spoke to him during sim, he claimed that he would return tomorrow with some 55-gallon drum replacements. We currently have just over 20 gallons of potable water left, and will need additional water by tomorrow at the latest.

During a shower, one of the crew members became over enthusiastic in the use of the flow valve, unscrewing the valve fitting itself. This resulted in a slow leak which began to trickle outside the hab. The problem was discovered quickly and rectified without too much water loss.

Power and Fuel:

Last night we had another circuit breaker disconnect and lost HAB power.  It appeared to happen when the microwave and the one light-colored lone-hotplate was turned up to hi.

All other generator operations continued as usual.

EVA Equipment:

Two packs remain unusable pending receipt of parts enroute.

There are currently only four GMRS radios and not many more microphone/earpiece assemblies.

Safety:

Fred experienced a severe chill today which compelled him to remove his airhoses during sim. Upon noticing this, the Commander terminated is EVA, bringing him back to the hab, and continued with the planned activities with remaining crewmember Jon Rask. Fred seems none the worse for wear at the moment.

Computers and Communications:

The StarBand system remains below optimal performance and the WinProxy service is still expired. We understand that authorization has been given to purchase a WinProxy license.

General Maintenance:

All HAB trash was collected and put in the trash collection area.

One of the hotplates (the larger one in the dual plate unit) has ceased to function.

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 27, 2002, Greg DeLory

We are now nearly one week into our stay at MDRS. So far, I'd say everything

is going fine. We have the usual bumps in the system, mostly due to

engineering issues, but those are a fact of life. The Mission Support Team has done a great job helping us through a few of these trials and none of us are the worse for wear.

We have a diverse team here that appears to be meshing well. Gilles is our singing Frenchman, tall, wiry, and a little wacky at times; he's brought enough camera gear to shoot this place for several major news networks combined. The tests of his CRV have marked our most exciting EVAs, no doubt.

His partner in crime is Fred, a French Canadian - and our resident biologist. This is a man who clearly knows how to take care of mind and body, always advising us about diet and vitamins. He looks like he could bench-press three of us. Don provides a counter weight to these two, coming from the professional, operations oriented culture in NASA space station planning. Thanks to Don, we had schedules sitting in front of us on our

first day, and we've used the same template ever since. He really has helped

us focus on a plan and keep on track. Jon is our energetic space station

engineer, originally from a farm in North Dakota. Probably our best EVA man,

you can tell he's been riding ATVs on open terrain since about age 3. His

unique combination of space studies coursework and practical farm-bred

sensibilities has made him indispensable for Hab maintenance. Andy is the

oldest and probably most experienced of all here at the Hab, a professor in

Geology at Franklin and Marshall college. He was our carry-over crew member

from the last rotation whose detailed knowledge of Hab operations was

frankly critical to our success here. I couldn't place his accent at first -

turns out he's from South Africa. We've all learned a little geology from

him, but much more about how to clean out the Incinolet. Last there's me -

an experimental space physicist who used to be more at home in the

ionosphere than the desert. This has changed recently, having chased dust

devils in Arizona last year, and now spending time at MDRS. Probably the

most enjoyable part for me - aside from the EVAs or course - is having the

experience of spending time with the variety of scientists and engineers we

have here. Any successful exploration of Mars will truly be a

multidisciplinary endeavor.

After a 4 hour EVA today, I was happy to return home - to the Hab. Andy is preparing his comprehensive report of the area from a geological

perspective, and I'm busy trying to figure out what my EM sub sounder is

really telling me. It sure beats working for a living!

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Greg DeLory, Gilles Dawidowicz, Fred Janson

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

This EVA is the second in a series designed to obtain Electromagnetic Soundings of local area subsurface structures and asses possible water content.  The first sight of attempted sounding will be above the water spring location of earlier EVAs (the water seepage site  N4247550, E0520397) Assuming nominal performance, EVA18 will proceed to scout for another location and try the experiment again.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-18

DATE:  02-27-02

EVA SCENERIO

ATV EMS EVA EVA HAB COMM(s)

Barker CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Delory/2

Dawidowicz/5

Janson/4

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

10:50

EVA STOP TIME: Scheduled/Actual

14:30/15:15

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

The objectives of today's EVA was to explore several sites where the EM16 sounder could be tried. The first site chosen was an area where water seepage had been found on prior EVAs (location given during Comm Check 2 below). Secondary objectives included geology and sample collection by Fred and Gilles.

After spending some time at the water seepage area, we proceeded to White Rock Reservoir. A small dry pond bed was found and further EM16 soundings were performed.

The EVA concluded with an exploratory ATV drive up along the rim of Candor Chasma, in an attempt to scout out yet more sites where the CRV may be tested in the future, and also to ascertain if there were any safe routes down to the bottom of the canyon..

All in all this EVA was nominal with no major issues, except for the fact that Gilles' ATV quit for no apparent reason and then restarted without difficulty.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Set and staging of EVA components and EMS hardware was nominal.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

The nominal 5 minute depress cycle was adhered to, all nominal.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

11:00

12:00

13:02

14:00

14:45 REPORTED MAP LOCATION

N4250921 E0518166 @HAB

N4247550 E0520397

Local to last report

N4247384 E0520381

N4250208 E0523115 REPORTED STATUS

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal Auxiliary Information

Go for EVA Reported returning to HAB

TEXT:

- 13:05 EVA18 reports that they are trying to access the rim of the small canyon in order to perform a sounding test above the spring site.

- 14:00 EVA18 completed reservoir sounding and is moving to the canyon (Chandor).

- 14:45 EVA18 reported traversing a large portion of the canyon and now returning to HAB.  ETA is 20 minutes.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA crew burst out of the EVA prep room and into the lower laboratory prior to cleaning off and removing suits. The EVA commander reminded them of the proper clean-up procedures and they returned to the prep room.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

See above. Other than that, it was fairly hot today, did lots of sweating. I brought up the rear on all ATV movements, and during the ride home my eyes became very irritated and watery due to dust. I was about to call a halt to the ATV motion for the crew when the condition improved and I was again able to see clearly. The EM16 results appear consistent, but perhaps too uniform. Contact with an Earthbound expert may help.

EVA MDRS1:

This EVA was really interesting even if we have not discovered or explored new areas. First we went back to the first canyon (White Rock Canyon). Here, we found new samples of salt crystals, water and ice.. After this, we went to White Rock Reservoir, a large flat area with very nice active sand dunes. Greg tried his experiment. To finish our EVA, we decided to return to the front of the big canyon "Chandor Chasma" but not at the same place where we tested the CRV, during EVA 16. The south rim of "Candor Chasma" is very spectacular. Hundreds of superimposed layers are easy to observe. We have selected a new place for new CRV tests.

EVA MDRS2:

We returned to White Rock Canyon in order to begin an assessment of remnant ice and water for life. The dried up river bed has since become a salt bed. My head piece started fogging up, a function of elevated body and air temperature. Six of our ten samples collected today melted and leaked. The collecting bags do not hold water or ice. The 15mL capped tubes are acceptable containers for water but not for ice as the diameter of the opening is no more than 2cm. Gilles ATV broke down on the road for no apparent reason but we managed to start it back up with him driving with the choke open to the maximum for the duration of the ride back to the HAB.

Gilles' EVA notes:

We started Greg, Fred and I the EVA 18 to the little canyon site called

White Rock Canyon, to run Greg's experiment in order

to find water. During the test, Fred and me done some geology and biology

research.

We found and collected stalagmites icy samples. Fred collected ice and water

to analyse them. I found evidences of water

evaporation and evidence of micro water floods on the slope of the canyon.

We found on the floor of the canyon, some very nice salt crystals anf

halophyt plants. We found recent ripplemarks too, probably

from the last rain.

We decided to go running the Greg's experiment in front White Rock Reservoir, a very flat area due to the presence of an ancient

lake. After that, we finished the EVA going in front our "Grand Canyon"

named "Candor Chasma". Here we found a spectacular panorama

with hundred superimposed layers. We found a secured cliff to run another

time and soon the CRV rover.

Geology Report — MDRS, Feb 27, 2002, Greg Delory

Today the EM16 sub sounder was brought to three different locations; two near the water seepage cliffs at what is now called "White Rock Canyon," (N4247550, E0520397) and a third at a dry reservoir bed called White Rock Reservoir (N4247384,E0520381). At White Rock canyon, a dry streambed at the

bottom of the canyon was chosen for a sounding. It was initially difficult

to localize the incoming VLF signal due to the canyon rims, but after some

effort it was located in its expected Easterly direction. No wave tilt was found. Apparent subsurface resistivity was 10 ohm-m.

Traversing to the top of the canyon rim, another test sounding was conducted on top of what felt like solid rock (as opposed to the softer, granular

material characteristic of much of the area.) No wave tilt, and subsurface

resistivity was 30 ohm-m. A higher value than the stream bed was expected,

but I was surprised that it wasn't greater than 30 ohm-cm if it really was

solid rock - indicating that it was probably the combination of clays and

sedimentary rocks we've seen elsewhere.

Driving farther Northeast, we found a dry lake bed where White Rock Reservoir should be. The surface had the appearance of dry cracked mud (sent

during a previous EVA, with the hammer for scale). Again no wave tilt was

found. Subsurface resistivity was less than 10 ohms. During this test, I noticed that it was difficult to hold the EM16 unit far enough from metallic structures on the suit. With effort, I held the unit at arm's length, and

was able to obtain much clearer wave tilt results. This may have been a

factor during previous wave tilt determinations. Scouting out around the

border of the dry mud flats, where sand and vegetation began, there was at

most 2-3 degrees of magnetic wave tilt, which may be indicative of a gently,

sloping boundary between the dried reservoir material and the surrounding

sand.

Two important issues arose today:

(1) There is an apparent interference between the suit and the sounder that may affect wave tilt soundings. The fidelity of tilt determinations seems to improve if the unit is held as far from the suit as possible. Either

metallic elements in the suit structure, or electromagnetic noise from the

fans may be factors.

(2) The values for subsurface resistivity appear to be very uniform over

much of the region, between 10-50 ohm-meters. This may be expected if the

area is indeed uniform in its subsurface morphology, but a consultation with

the unit's inventor (Dr. Alex Becker) may be called for to get some advice.

I plan on getting in contact with him as soon as a communication window

allows.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 27, 2002, Jon Rask, Donald Barker

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Travel to Hanksville was required to receive two packages containing much needed filters, batteries, fuses and mineral testing supplies. 12 Gallons of fresh drinking water was also purchased. Yesterday, we analyzed a sample of the tap water in the hab and discovered a variety of impurities ranging from dust to bacteria. Thus, we felt that fresh drinking water was a priority since we were nearly out of water, and over the past 3-4 days the water quality inside the holding tank had deteriorated, and looked very rusty.

Water Systems:

Lamont brought a used (new for us) plastic water tank (~350 gallons) to the HAB today at 10:30.  The tank has a small but noticeable leak near the faucet connection and is believed due to positioning and unloading.  An interesting label on the tank details it as capable of being used for a variety of pesticides. Settled gravel and sand is on the bottom of the tank.  We do not know the previous use of this tank, and will only use the water for washing and consumption if boiled.  The internal water tank was drained, flushed, and then filled with 60-gallons of water. The water color was markedly clear, a much appreciated change from the last refill from the old tank with rust brown water.

The under-sink water filter was inspected and seems to be all in place except for a right angle double threaded plastic connector, which was broken during the original installation. Additionally, the installation instructions do not include the use/installation of the UV filter, which was also installed with this filter system.  It would be very nice to get this up and running.

Some gray water was pumped out of the holding tank.

Power and Fuel:

One 55-gallon gas can was filled and returned to the site around 13:00 by Lamont. No power outtages today. Generator operation normal.

EVA Equipment:

EVA battery packs: the new fuses that we just received were tested in two of the packs that were having charging problems.   Shortly after we started charging the packs with the new fuses,  they burned out. Clearly we have a deeper systemic issue here - either a malfunction in the batteries (drawing too much current during a recharge) or the charger itself. Using a multi-meter, we’re going to attempt to localize the problem. The additional fuses helped in that we at least know there is a deeper issue.

Oil was checked on all ATVs, and levels were normal. Both the green and tan ATV's oil is very black.

Safety:

No safety issues.

Computers and Communications:

Internet connection is still sporadic and slow. The crew is heavily using one USB floppy disc drive to exchange data between all the computers. We hope it will continue to function normally. Without it, we cannot share data between computers.  The network is again rising as a priority, and we hope to get it functioning soon.

General Maintenance:

Incinolet was cleaned today, and ashes were hauled to trash pile. Organization and consolidation of hardware and appliance manuals and information is underway.

Status Report — MDRS, Feb 28, 2002, Greg DeLory

Imagine the first human crew is sent to Mars, and upon landing they discover that the communications link to Earth is far slower than predicted, and not sufficient to meet the needs of the mission. After attempting to diagnose

the problem within the habitat with no results, an emergency EVA is planned

to determine the status of the communications dish on the roof of the hab. Mission control sends images of what the proper antenna configuration and alignments should be, and it's the EVA crew's job to go outside and find out what's wrong, if anything. Upon exiting the hab and climbing on the roof, they find that the antenna polarization is slightly off nominal for optimal bandwidth. Using guidance from mission control, they adjust it manually, loosening fittings on the dish receiver assembly and restoring communications back to normal.

Such a scenario might make for a minor diversion in a science fiction movie about a mission to Mars. And yet, we faced the same situation here on analog Mars over the past week. Upon arrival it was clear that the satellite

internet link was far slower than expected. A little back and forth with

Mission Support established that the antenna probably needed a polarization adjustment. This meant going out on the roof, taking an image of the

antenna, sending it back to Mission Support, and receiving an image back

from them showing exactly how the antenna should be adjusted. The roof of

the hab is sloped and there's only a small opening at the top from which to

climb out, so this was definitely a procedure to be undertaken "out of sim,"

with no space suit. With the help of a crew member, and a solid rope around

my waist for safety, I scaled down the hab roof to examine the antenna. Sure

enough, the polarization was off, slightly. As per Mission Support

instructions, I rotated a fitting by 5 degrees around the "feed horn" area,

where the dish focuses all of the signal from the satellites. Upon returning

to the hab, internet communications were markedly faster. All in all, the

whole experience was remarkably like what a crew would go through during a

real mission given a similar anomaly. The whole idea behind MDRS is to

simulate these situations as much as possible, and it's remarkable how close

to reality the "sim" becomes as we try and run a remote place like MDRS.

Once again, the system worked. A satisfying experience indeed.

The antenna was my chore for the day, while three other members were engaged

in a long distance, 6.5 hour EVA in an attempt to reach the bottom of a

large canyon to the Northeast. They made it down, and I'm looking forward to

their EVA report. Tonight is crew member Andy De Wet's last night here, and

we're going to celebrate. It's been another good day at the hab.

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Andy De Wet, Jon Rask, Donald Barker

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

Exploration of the area to the north of the HAB was the main mission of this EVA. This area had been explored by some of the first crew rotation but had not been explored by the second crew rotation. Specifically we were interested in examining up close the Summerville Formation, finding good sites for further EM16 and CRV tests, and looking for fossils and limestone and ash layers in the Morrison formation. We headed north and reached the top of a side canyon to the main canyon of the Dirty Devil Creek. There was no way down to see the Summerville Formation so we doubled back and tried farther to the west. This road led to a rugged area in the Morrison Formation. Finally we tried another road that led up and over the Tunuck Shales, down through a canyon in the Morrison Formation, and finally to the shore of Muddy Creek (a tributary of Dirty Devil Creek). We returned to the HAB and completed a short EVA in the vicinity of the HAB. This was the longest EVA attempted at MDRS, a grueling 6.5 hours.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-19

DATE:  02-28-02

EVA SCENERIO EVA HAB COMM (s)

Delory CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

De Wet/2

Rask/5

Barker/4 EVA START TIME (PET):

1025

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

1630/1705

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

This was an excellent exploration EVA to the area north of the HAB. We discovered a spectacular side canyon to the Muddy Creek canyon. The canyon afforded an excellent view of the lower parts of the Morrison Formation overlying the Summerville Formation. Unfortunately there was no way down into the canyon to view the Summerville Formation in detail. While exploring in the Morrison Formation we found several large fossilized trees and some thin beds of limestone. After several dead ends we finally made our way down to the banks of the  Dirty Devil Creek. The way down led through a spectacular canyon in the Morrison Formation.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Nominal.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Began 1020; nominal.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

1030

1045

1111

1145

1209

1337

REPORTED MAP LOCATION

0518173E

4250876N

0518173E

4250876N

0518036E

4253972N

0519369E

4256142N

0520736E

4256839N

0516325E

4254583N

REPORTED STATUS

Outside Hab

Fork in the road

2nd fork in road; proceeding north

Nominal

Nominal Auxiliary Information

TEXT:

10:30 Hab checkout, position, channel 201 test

10:45 Encountered fork in road

11:11 2nd fork, decided to continue heading north.

11:45 3rd fork, taking right.

12:09 At canyon rim; can't get down, doubling back.

13:37 Standard coordinate report and "moving on."

15:35 051606E 4254558N

17:05 End of EVA

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

Nominal - crew stayed in the EVA prep room this time!

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

This was my last EVA at MDRS. It was also the longest EVA attempted at MDRS (6.5 hours). I will miss the experience of simulating being a geologist on Mars. Thanks to the great crew members of rotations 1 and 2, the whole experience was interesting, educational, and fun. I am convinced we will be able to do rigorous geological field work on Mars, but it will be much more demanding physically and emotionally than working on Earth!

EVA MDRS1:

As noted by the EVA commander, this was the longest EVA to date covering approximately 30 km, lasting 6.5 hours; an important exercise in long duration EVAs. It was also physically demanding, as we scouted many hills in rough terrain walking a great deal while looking for samples. The scenery was spectacular, with the highlight of the EVA being the discovery of  two 80 cm diameter fossilized trees 6 km from the Hab. I am becoming familiar with the area geology, and I have learned a great deal from Andy in the field. He has taught be how to identify a variety of minerals, crystals, and dinosaur bones! This EVA helped solidify my understanding of the local strata. Lower Cretaceous, Morrison, and Summerville formations are very easy to identify, and I can now spot faults and disconformities in the geologic record. I'm going to miss Andy. He has been a lot of fun and he is a pleasure to work with. Thanks, Andy!

Two locations along the trail required some skilled ATV maneuvers. They were easy for me since I have had a fair amount of ATV experience. One of the crew was driving fast at both sites. Lucky for him it wasn't too fast. I have noticed that one gets a false sense of protection while in the EVA suit - but its just bulk! This reinforces the importance of cautious ATV operation; slow driving, and leave a safe distance between all ATVs in motion. I cannot stress this enough. Better to drive slowly and arrive a little late than not at all. We know when we are supposed to be back every night from an EVA.

EVA MDRS2:

The most relevant portion of this EVA as a Mars operations analogue was the physiological stress involved with a long duration expedition which incorporated both the use of ATVs and selected pedestrian sorties.  Assuming that the Martian terrain local to a human landing site is relatively navigable by rover like vehicles, the greatest portion of time used by crews will be in mounted exploration.  It allows crews to explore a greater area while minimizing physiological stress and consumable use.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Feb 28, 2002, Greg Delory

Water Systems:

The water situation is under control. We're drinking bottled, using the main tank for everything else.

Power and Fuel:

The generator died tonight, apparently because of low oil. We checked the level less than 2 days ago, and it was sufficient. It appears to have used over a quart since then. We'll keep an eye on it.

EVA Equipment:

n/a

Safety:

No safety issues.

Computers and Communications:

Antenna adjusted, bandwidth appears much higher. We request clarification on how to get a starband email account, and to make sure that our connection is indeed "activated," since I think we're working under a tech support fix right now.

While the bandwidth is higher, the starband modem has crashed twice tonight.

General Maintenance:

Final note: 45 MPH winds outside, we're going to have to inspect for damage tomorrow.

Status Report — MDRS, Mar 1, 2002, Greg DeLory

The first day of March on analogue Mars marked a changeover in one crew member here at MDRS. Andy De Wet left early this morning, and was replaced by John Putman, a Neuro-feedback specialist from Los Angeles. An examination of his gear made it obvious that more than a few of us would be his subjects over the next few days, in what may be the first biomedical experiments conducted at the hab. Most of us were more interested in the new supplies John brought; we were in need of a few food items, and everyone was pleased with the selection. We were all sorry to see Andy leave, but a fresh face can be a good thing when six people have been in close quarters for awhile.

After many days of successive EVAs, we took it easy this morning and decided that at least three of us would remain to work on hab cleaning and maintenance. Fred and Gilles were still itching to get outside, so we decided on a short, two person EVA to the southwest of the hab, at the base of the Skyline Rim. This area had not been explored yet during MDRS operations. While Fred and Gilles were having fun, the rest of us got down to business. More antenna adjustments were made, with little improvement. Jon reorganized the tool area downstairs, now it actually looks usable. Unused and spare items were moved outside into containers for longer term storage, resulting in much more room in the rear airlock in particular. The generator has been acting up, so checking the oil, sparkplugs, and air filter seemed wise. The network cables were re-routed for more efficient connections on the main desk in the living area. New water was pumped into the hab, and I'm happy to report we're maintaining a consistent

~5 gallons/day of water use per person. During these activities, two of us carried radios to continually monitor position and status reports from the EVA; can't let Hab maintenance get in the way of safety.

Today was colder than usual, with strong winds. Wind chill might have even been a concern. I'm looking forward to a warm sleep tonight, because tomorrow we have a long EVA planned; far up to the Northwest, again in an area unexplored during our stay here. I hope to find a variety of surfaces where I can test the EM sounder, while Jon and Gilles continue to hope for an easy way down to the floor of Candor Chasma. New crew member John is settling in, getting ready for his first dinner in the hab. Ah, I remember that feeling on the first day...

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Gilles Dawidowicz, Fred Jansen

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

A short two-man Survey EVA was planned to scout out a new region to the southwest to the HAB base area.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-20

DATE:  03-01-02

EVA SCENERIO

Survey ATV EVA

EVA HAB COMM (s)

Barker

CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Dawidowicz/4

Janson/5

N/A

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

11:30

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

14:30/15:25

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

Having followed Skyline Rim to the south and around a bend towards the west, Fred and I investigated areas conducive to the preservation of ice for further study. Unfortunately, no ice was found. Much of the landscape is either exposed or inaccessible. We did come across dried riverbeds and basins but again due to the exposure to the sun and the lack of relief surrounding these riverbeds no ice was found.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Nominal EVA sortie prep and suit ingress.  This task just gets easier with practice.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Nominal ingress and 5 minute depressurization.  Again, repeated tasks become more efficient.  It is important, though, to not become complacent with sensitive tasks even though one has performed them many times.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

11:30

12:50

13:40

14:19

REPORTED MAP LOCATION

HAB No GPS

E0515046 N4250746

No data

E058222 N4251570

REPORTED STATUS

EVA start

Nominal

?

Auxiliary Information

Check only done on ch2 not on repeater ch.

Transiting area SW rel to HAB

Garbled and unreadable Comm

Received location but lost comm after

TEXT:

Interesting note for multilingual radio communications (goes for same language novice radio users as well) - there is a need to standardize certain communication phrases, directions, call signs, etc. that would be memorized and used by all participating EVA crews.  This would ensure efficient and effective communications of information.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA20 returned to base and started repress at 14:30.  Nothing abnormal to report.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

I was commander for this interesting EVA. Fred and I went via the Chluda Pass to the South West of the HAB, exploring the Skyline Rim to the Blue Valley. During our 3 hours EVA we met 3 live antelopes and we found a dead one. We observed nice debris slopes and some residual relief on it, resembling towers.

EVA MDRS1:

We followed Skyline Rim in search of ice but headed towards the sun and open desert rather than away from the sun and so no ice was found. It might be better to follow Skyline Rim to the North and see if the canyons in the distance yield better protective conditions for ice. There is a minor problem with the design of the respiratory devices such that both of our packs blew silt into our helmets causing eye irritation and silt in our mouths and lungs.

EVA MDRS2:

None

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2

Mar 1, 2002

Jon Rask

Water Systems:

60 gallons of water were pumped from the external tank into the Hab's holding tank.

The under-sink water filter was inspected and seems to be all in place except for a right angle double threaded plastic connector, which was broken during the original installation. Additionally, the installation instructions do not include the use/installation of the UV filter, which was also installed with this filter system.  It would be very nice to get this up and running.

An attempt to pump gray water out of the holding tank.was made, but no water emerged. Apparently, the underground drain is working.

Power and Fuel:

The gauge on the propane tank (for the furnace) was checked.  The level is less than 3 percent full. We may need more propane very soon.

We are concerned about the Hab's power system; the generator failed again today. For unknown reasons, the generator died when very little power was being used. The gas line, oil, and air filter were all checked and found normal. The spark plug was removed, inspected, cleaned and reinstalled. There was some carbon residue on the plug, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary. The exhaust of the generator seems normal, as no distinguishable burning oil or gas smell is present. In the past, the generator would typically quit if too much electricity was used when any combinations of the microwave, hotplates, hot water heater, or wet/dry vacuum were used. This time, only lights and the water heater was on, which in the past has not caused a problem..

We continue to fill 2.5 gallon tanks with a hand pump from the 55 gallon drum. We add gas to the generator three times per day. We also have been checking the generator's oil daily.

EVA Equipment:

Four EVA packs continue to function normally.

Safety:

Three fire extinguishers were checked and found normal. One was mounted on the wall in the middle of the room on the lower floor for easy access in case of an emergency. The other two extinguishers are still located at the bottom and top of the stairwell.

Computers and Communications:

The Starband antenna on the roof was readjusted again to day in an attempt to optimize the bandwidth and antenna noise floor. According to Gary Snyder, this had little effect. Our current noise floor is slightly worse than prior to today’s adjustment, but the internet speeds are still in the 100 kbytes/sec range for downloads, and probably less for uploads. A network for 3 PC's has been implemented and can also function online. We can't seem to get the MAC online. Note that we are currently limited to a total of THREE users on the network, plus the starband computer, due to the WinProxy license - the $60 only includes three users, more can be added for more money.

General Maintenance & Waste Management:

25-30 mph sustained winds with 45 mph gusts during the night prompted us to scrutinize the Hab's exterior for damage early this morning. The Hab looked normal, but one of the four yellow straps securing the greenhouse had come loose. We reattached the strap and tightened it down this morning. The greenhouse is secure for now. However, the zipper door has ripped open. Gray tape has been used to temporarily fix the problem but a long term solution is needed soon.

The work bench area on the lower floor was cleaned. Tools were organized and made more accessible. Shelves where power tools and electrical supplies are stowed was also cleaned and re-organized. Tools were hung up above the work bench. It really looks good and makes one want to use it!

Many items cluttering the lower floor and rear airlock were hauled to sealed storage containers outside of the Hab. Insulating weather stripping was added to the outside rear airlock door to reduce heat loss and will also limit the amount of airflow into the Hab. 

A shelf was mounted above the Incinolet for storage of some bathroom supplies. The incinolet was also cleaned today, and ashes were hauled to trash pile. Organization and consolidation of hardware and appliance manuals and information continues.

Status Report — MDRS, Mar 2, 2002, Greg DeLory

It was shaping up to be another exciting day on analog Mars. There was an extended EVA planned to journey over 15 km Northwest to an unexplored area shown on the map as "Coal Mine Wash." I hadn't been outside in two days, so I was ready. My comrades Jon and Gilles suited up with me and we went through the usual pre-EVA airlock procedures; load gear into the airlock, enter, close the inner door, depressurize for 5 minutes, and egress. It looked like a sunny, clear day outside, if just a little cold. This was going to be good. We stepped down off the airlock steps and approached the ATVs in order to load them with our gear. Then we noticed that there were only 2 ATVs outside.

There was one ATV missing.

Gilles had put gas in all three less than 45 minutes ago, so whatever happened had occurred recently. Dumbfounded, we began short walk around the Hab, to make sure a crew member hadn't parked it nearby after some unauthorized horsing around outside. Failing to find it in the vicinity of the Hab, it began to sink in that someone must have taken it.

Well, so there we were. All dressed up for an EVA and at least one of us with no place to go. I considered stopping the EVA, getting everyone back into the Hab, and coming up with a plan of action. Taking a moment for some calm thought, I remembered the four overriding priorities that govern much of what we do here on analog Mars: "Safety, Simulation, Science, Comfort." A missing ATV may have been annoying, but we were all still safe, so priority number one was satisfied. Next on the list was the simulation - and it would go on! Since Gilles had been out on EVA the previous day as well, I ordered him back inside - disappointing, but the only option if the sim was to continue. Jon and I would carry on the planned EVA with just the two of us - the minimum number for an EVA, but certainly sufficient to get our objectives for this trip completed. Gilles went back through the airlock following the usual procedures, while I informed HabCom (it was Don Barker today) to send a few people into town out of sim to make a police report. That was all we could do - and there was no point in ruining a good EVA.

It was well worth it in the end - the long ride out to Coal Mine Wash was about 15 km, and provided varied and beautiful scenery along the way. Many of the paths were discontinuous, and we back tracked more than once in an attempt to get to our destination. The most memorable terrain was witnessed driving between small hills of Morrison formation, some with stark outcroppings of what looked like Sandstone above. Buried below the horizon and surrounded by rolling red hills on all sides, we really began to feel like we were exploring. We reached Coal Mine Wash - after some serious GPS work, where we performed another EM sounding and took some photos. The ride back was equally enjoyable, as we discovered a natural arch on the way back, along with some large white crystals (calcite maybe) that were at least several inches in diameter.

Returning to the Hab, we learned that several crew members had indeed filed a report with the local Sheriff - and that the ATV was found. It had been "borrowed" without our knowledge by someone we knew - well, at least it hadn't been "stolen." All in all it was another good exercise on analog Mars - one could imagine an ATV popping into gear accidentally and wandering away during the night in a real mission, and the crew being faced with the same decisions the next morning. I think we all acted appropriately, each doing his job - the EVA crew stayed on sim, and HabCom did all necessary activities to support us. And so we gather for another night of sloppy Joes being simmered by our new crew member John Putman, all awaiting whatever surprises tomorrow brings...

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Greg DeLory, Jon Rask, Gilles Dawidowicz

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

This EVA will attempt to reach an as yet unscouted area to the Northwest of the base..  References to the topologic maps of the area suggest a relatively flat and open expanse that will support the EM-Sounding experiment.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-21

DATE:  03-02-02

EVA SCENERIO

EMS ATV EVA EVA HAB COMM (s)

Barker CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Delory/3

Rask/5

Dawidowicz/4 EVA START TIME (PET):

10:30

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

16:30/15:20

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

EVA-4 (Dawidowicz) had to be terminated early due to a missing ATV. EVAs 3,5 (Delory/Rask) continued with the EVA as planned.

During this EVA, we reached our goal at Coal Mine Wash, 9 km North, 5 km East of the Hab. The trails leading to this area were not obvious, and there were several occasions when we were forced to backtrack. A combination of trial and error and GPS use led us to our desired destination, eventually stopping at E0512895, N4259726.

On the way to/from Coal Mine Wash:

A broad, flat area of lower Cretaceous shale was traversed, just above the Dakota sandstone. An EM sounding in this area demonstrated that the regolith had a low resistivity of 10 ohm-m.

A collection of very large calcites were found (several inches in diameter).

A natural arch was found, eroding the brushy basin in a Morrison formation.

Several interesting examples of boundaries between the Morrison formation and Dakota Sandstone were witnessed along the way. In these cases the Dakota Sandstone was in the form of an overhang above the Morrison layer, with a very clear boundary visible.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Nominal EVA prep and suit ingress.  EMS equipment was staged in the airlock.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

One minute into the airlock depress, the crew discovered a map needed for the EVA was missing. EVA 21 repressurized, and retrieved the map. A nominal 5 minute depressurization followed. Upon exiting the vehicle, EVA crew reported one of the ATV missing. EVA-4 was ordered back to the Hab so that EVAs 3 & 5 could continue.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

10:47

12:15

13:22

14:15

15:18 REPORTED MAP LOCATION

E0518179

N4250909

Alt - 4190ft

@ HAB

E0516689

N4257334

E0512895

N4259726

E0515421

N4257255

@Hab REPORTED STATUS

OFF NOMINAL

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal Auxiliary Information

One ATV is missing

TEXT:

- 12:15 EVA21 signed in and said that they were heading west towards Coal Mine Wash.

- 13:22 EVA21 arrived at the Wash.  Proceeding to setup EMS experiment and photograph the region.  Will then proceed back to base.

- 14:15 EVA21 came in broken but gave GPS position and reported they were going to proceed on for one more hour.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA21 loaded and entered the airlock at 15:18 and began a nominal repress.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

This was a long trek - about 30 km roundtrip. There were several broken trails and some backtracking, but the scenery along the way was well worth it. For a time we were immersed in some shallow sloping Morrison formation following a groove towards the wide open flats of the Coal Mine wash, which on the map looked like a unique feature in the area. Upon arrival, there was increased vegetation and tumbleweeds, and a dry, cracked, hard surface underfoot. The EM sounder showed that the regolith was more resistive compared to the other surfaces tested thus far, >50 ohm-m. I believe this is primarily due to a different composition.

EVA MDRS1:

This EVA started out with a few problems. Initially, we forgot the map and had to repressurized and get it. In retrospect, we probably would not have reached our destination with out a map. Don't leave home without it! Then we discovered an ATV was missing! Imagine that! Commander Delory decided to continue with a 2 person EVA and gave me the privilege of trailblazing through uncharted territory.

This EVA took us the greatest distance away from the Hab to date. Conditions were dusty. Because the winds were very strong and the air was quite cool, our. hands and fingers were susceptible to the cold. Perspiration inside the gloves compounded the problem. This will be an important issue to consider for humans working on Mars.

The winding path through the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation to the Barsoom Outcrops was incredible. We stopped occasionally looking for crystals and bones and then drove up into the Cretaceous. We found calcite, quartz, and gypsum crystals, but no bones.

After we finally reached coal mine wash, I noticed the Henry Mountains peeking out over the top of Skyline Rim. It was then when I realized how far northwest of the Hab we really were. Greg took a couple readings with the EM sounder, and we headed home.

EVA MDRS2:

None

Geology Report — MDRS, Mar 2, 2002, Greg Delory

Consultations with my Earthbound counterparts confirmed that I am probably using the EM16 sounder correctly. So the initial results appear to indicate that the subsurface in the areas probed to date is very uniform over scales relevant to the instrument. Subsurface impedance measurements of between 10 and 50 ohm-m are again consistent for material consisting of a mixture of clays and sedimentary rocks. When time allows, I plan to verify the subsurface composition in this area from another source in order to determine if the EM16 results are consistent - but perhaps not until after the sim.

Two more soundings were performed today; loosely packed shale gave the lowest resistivity to date, less than 10 ohm-m. The solid, cracked brush covered surface out at Coal Mine Wash gave the highest resistivity result yet, over 50 ohm-m. I believe the difference is mainly due to subsurface composition rather than varying moisture content.

To gauge the instrument's capabilities, the next step would be to find some buried metallic source - a pipe or power line - in order to at least verify that wave tiles and resistivity readings aren't being obscured by suit fan noise or other factors unique to the sim.

Jon Rask, EVA MDRS1

Travel to coal mine wash led us through the three dominant geological formations of the area. The trail through the Jurassic 'Barsoom Outcrops' was incredibly rocky and rough with rapidly changing topography.

In one location, we spotted an erosion feature on the side of a typical Brushy Basin Member exposure. Upon closer inspection, we discovered this was a small, newly forming structure resembling a natural arch. Images were taken from above (top_of_arch.jpg) and at the opening. In the same area, the distinction between Jurassic and Cretaceous was striking and very obvious (JKboundary.jpg).

Several steep washouts along a dry creekbed that empties into Muddy Creek were carefully crossed. EVA 21 had moved into new uncharted territory.

As we traveled further northwest of the Hab, Dakota sandstones capping the rough Morrison formations transformed into lower Cretaceous Tunuck shales. In many places, the ground was covered with gryphaea and was very similar the same formations directly west of the Hab. Crystals of Gypsum and Calcite glistened everywhere in bright sunlight and several samples were collected. One sample of a dull yellow soil was collected.

EM Sounding of the Coal Mine Wash revealed the highest resistivity yet, over 50 ohm-m.

Status Report — MDRS, Mar 3, 2002, Greg DeLory

After more than 10 days here at the Hab on "analog Mars," things are almost beginning to become routine. I hesitate to make that statement given the unique landscape surrounding us, and the regions we have yet to explore. At least in terms of keeping the Hab up and running, and activities necessary to support EVAs, there have been fewer bumps and disruptions. This is due in large part to the vigilance of the crew here, everyone being aware of the limitations of the power and water systems in particular. With everyone following the right procedures, things are starting to go smoothly. There are still of course surprises now and again. Yesterday's missing ATV was an example.

The stabilization of Hab operations has encouraged everyone here to begin thinking "outside of the box" in terms of what else we can accomplish on analog Mars. One issue that keeps cropping up, obvious to all of us as we look at the topo maps of the area, is the fact that no one has been on top of Factory Bench - a large flat area separated from the Hab by the steep Skyline Ridge, a seemingly impassible boundary. Yet some of the most interesting features in the area appear to be on top of the bench, one of them Factory Butte over 1400 feet high, as well as an extremely narrow canyon. And so the bug has infected all of us; we want to find a way to get on top of the bench. Some reconnaissance ATV EVAs are called for in order to scout out some possible routes, which may begin tomorrow. If there's a way up, we hope to find it.

Today I worked on getting an external microphone system up and running for the suit helmets. It may be hard to believe - but in the thin, rarified atmosphere on the surface of Mars, it's very possible to detect sounds. They would be fainter than similar sounds on Earth - by at least 20 dB or more - but still within the detection of relatively standard, off-the-shelf microphones and preamplifiers. Using some audio equipment and connectors, my colleague Don and I managed to mix in two microphone signals into the existing suit radio gear. With each microphone outside acting as an "ear," we hope to test this idea soon - tomorrow or the next day - and explore the utility of enhancing the acoustic sense for occupants of the suits, which generate their own internal fan noise and otherwise muffle sounds from the outside. This type of acoustic feedback may be a crucial addition for suits on Mars, where users will appreciate being able to hear the pounding of a hammer or listen to a piece of equipment that is not

functioning properly.

There will likely be some animated discussions tonight over dinner about how best to get to the top of Factory Bench, while maintaining sim. People have different opinions, and that's part of what makes this process an enjoyable one. Hopefully out of the multitude of suggestions a solution will shake out, or at least a plan. It should be entertaining at the least.

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Fred Janson, John Putnam

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

EVA22 will return to White Rock canyon and perform a biology wrap-up EVA of the site.  The major focus of today's EVA is to assess the insulation properties associated with the sample recovery area in this canyon. Additional samples will also be collected and returned as needed.

As internal HAB water supplies has dwindled through the day, the EVA crew will be requested to perform the exterior portion of the water supply refill.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-22

DATE:  03-03-02

EVA SCENERIO

ATV EVA EVA HAB COMM (s)

Barker CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Janson/5

Putman/2

N/A

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

11:50

EVA STOP TIME:

Scheduled/Actual

15:00/18:00

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

Ice samples collected in White Rock Canyon. Light intensity and light distribution experiments conducted.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Several small and intricate pieces of biological measuring equipment were assembled and staged to support EVA operations.  This is the First EVA of John Putman and he is going through his EVA suit up introduction and ATV operations review.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Ingress and depress went well.  Still need to work on familiarity and final suit checks with all EVA equipment.  A work in progress!  Also, since AVT keys will probably be stored within the Suit Room from now on, EVA crews need to make sure that retrieving these keys is part of their EVA set up checklist and tasks.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

11:15

13:52

14:55

16:50 REPORTED MAP LOCATION

E0518171

N4250913

@ HAB

E0520416

N4247540

E0520293

N4247573

E0520505

N4247426 REPORTED STATUS

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal Auxiliary Information

TEXT:

EVA22 was out of short range monitoring for most of the trip.  Several of the reporting sessions were weak and unreadable - possibly due to power or location in surrounding terrain.

14:55 - EVA22 reported that they were continuing north from last reported position.

17:30 - EVA22 returned to the base and initiated water resupply operations. All exterior operations from connecting the transfer hose to the water pump, inserting and monitoring the pump supply line and powering the pump to a few pump pressure malfunction evaluations and corrections.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

no report

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

Ten ice-bearing sites were sampled throughout White Rock Canyon for further investigation. Ten data points were obtained for each site. The most difficult aspect of the sampling was crushing the ice into small enough pieces to fit into a collection tube without contaminating the sample with nearby dirt. The Big Bear ATV has not been running well lately. Our gloves became drenched midway through the collections. John's pack was running double time and he felt that his head was inside a refrigerator. I have had a similar problem in the past. The air fan blows too fast, too hard. Triangulation was employed to determine the height of cliffs in close proximity to samples.

EVA MDRS1:

The EVA itself ran fairly smoothly although I had nothing to compare it to as this was my first.. The suit was reasonably comfortable and accommodated movement rather well overall. The most cumbersome part of the suit was, of course, the gloves. Dexterity is not the first word that comes to mind when describing them.  This, however, has been a problem that has plagued the entire manned space program since the beginning. Part of the problem was likely my own inexperience. in using the suit. The airflow was very good over all although a bit strong. The only problem occurred after the sun began to set and the air temperature dropped, at which point I began to experience the "refrigerator head" syndrome.  Overall a very innovative piece of engineering.

EVA MDRS2:

None

Biology Report — MDRS, Mar 3, 2002, Jon Rask

The Lower Cretaceous shales are incredibly moon-like in their appearance and seem completely devoid of life. The objective of sample collection near Coal Mine Wash during EVA 21 was to determine if bacteria were present in such harsh conditions. The image soil_sample_process.jpg shows how the sample was processed.

A sample of pale yellow soil found in the gray Tunuck shale was collected on 3/02/02 during EVA 21. The site was selected because no observable biology was present anywhere within several hundred meters. The nearby soil was extremely dry, powder-like, and cracked.

The small amount of the soil was re-hydrated back at the Hab. 50 microliters of the soil water mixture was vortexed, and then placed in a centrifuge. 10 microliters of the liquid was heat fixed onto a slide, and then gram stained.

After analysis, it was clear that even in the incredibly dry, powdery soils north of the Hab near Coal Mine Wash, many tiny round gram negative coccoid bacteria were present.

Fred Janson

We returned to White Rock Canyon for the last time for a comprehensive characterization of life found exclusively in ice samples. Ten sites were sampled and the following data were collected at each site. The GPS location, sample and cliff elevation (GPS), horizontal distance of the sample from the cliff top, direction of the cliff face relative to the sample, light intensity in the shade and in the light (for either where applicable), pH of water associated with ice (where applicable), temperature of water associated with ice (where applicable), time that the sample was collected, and the height of a reference block and the shadow length of the same reference block. Pictures and maps of the canyon were generated to illustrate sample locations. Samples were kept in a cooler filled with ice in order to maintain the ice in a solid phase. Climatic data, the pH of the melted ice, conductivity of the melted ice, total coliform, gram stain, solubility over-salting, ammonia and phosphate tests, and

sample exposure to light will be conducted in the following days.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 3, 2002, Jon Rask

Water Systems:

50 gallons of water was pumped from the external tank into the Hab's holding tank in sim.

An attempt to pump gray water out of the holding tank.was made, but no water emerged. Apparently, the underground drain is working.

Power and Fuel:

All 2.5 gallon tanks were filled with gas using the hand pump from in the 55 gallon drum. Generator function normal.

EVA Equipment:

Four EVA packs continue to function normally. Oil was checked on the two remaining ATVs and is normal (but black).

Safety:

Red cardboard flags were posted on the walls above all four fire extinguishers for easy location. The new crew member was trained on the ATVs. First Aid supplies were consolidated and organized.

Computers and Communications:

The improved network continues to function. However, the connection sometimes stalls, so we have been restarting the the main computer a few times per day. Attempts to make the Starband email account compatible with Eudora or Outlook has been unsuccessful.

General Maintenance & Waste Management:

The entire Biology Lab was organized and cleaned. Items cluttering the countertops were stowed and garbage was hauled out. A small shelf holding pipettes was mounted on the wall next to the cabinets. A shelf was constructed and placed on the counter in the Biology lab for the vortex machine and hotplate. This helped to make more work room in the lab. Items in the cabinets were rearranged to increase available storage room. The entire lower floor was swept and vacuumed. Again, the lower floor is looking better and better every day.

Two handles were attached on the inside of the dome hatch.

The incinolet was cleaned. The ashes and all other Hab trash were hauled to the trashpile.

Status Report — MDRS, Mar 4, 2002, Greg DeLory

As promised yesterday, today we attempted to find a route to the top of Factory Bench, a vast plateau above the Hab, using a trail that meandered Southwest around the base of Skyline Rim. From the topo maps the possibility of getting through looked 50/50, but the promise of being able to reach Factory Butte and several interesting canyons appeared to make the attempt well worth it. Fellow crew member Gilles and I suited up and departed.

We made it a good deal around the base of Skyline Rim, heading South and then West. We found a canyon going up into the bench area and decided to follow it, in hopes that there might be a route up top. While the canyon held some interesting features, eventually it came to a dead end and we turned back. Continuing West with the base of Skyline Rim on our right, we kept our eyes open for trails leading North and up onto the top of the bench.

Eventually, we came to a sharp, steep gully, and no way around. One part of the gully looked like it might be passable, with careful ATV use. I tried it, and quickly determined that to continue would not be safe. Other possible routes around it would not have kept the simulation going. That would break our two highest priorities, safety and sim, and so that was that. Despite the desire to get to the top of Factory Bench, in the end we had to remember we were on analog Mars.

There may be another route to the top of Factory Bench far up to the Northwest, past the Coal Mine Wash that Jon Rask and I drove out to a few days ago, in the longest EVA yet. Well, perhaps a future crew will find an alternative way up top. For now, our priorities are going to have to shift somewhat during our last two operational days here for EVAs. Tomorrow morning a reporter is arriving to document everything we do here, especially the EVAs, and we will likely tailor our excursions to accessible regions where we may be followed and filmed. Also, we still have to test the space suit microphone system, for which Don Barker is building an enclosure at this very moment. Between that and the visiting reporter, looks like our EVA time is spoken for until the end of this rotation. Those EVAs should be as fun, if not as challenging, as our adventure today.

EVA OPERATIONS LOG

Fred Janson, John Putnam

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

Today's EVA is a route searching expedition. The crew is attempting

         to find a safe means of circumnavigating the Skyline Rim formation and

         attain access to the Factory Bench and Factory Butte area.

EVA23 is also taking the EM-Sounding equipment in case the areas traversed

         prove to be adequate test beds for this equipment.

EVA CALL SIGN: EVA-23

DATE: 03-04-02

EVA SCENERIO

Factory Area Scouting

               EVA HAB COMM (s)

Barker

OJT: Putman

               CDR

MDRS1

MDRS2

MDRS3

EVA CREW (Name/#)

Delory/2             

Dawidowics/4             

N/A

N/A

EVA START TIME (PET):

11:00             

EVA STOP TIME:

14:15

Scheduled/Actual

15:20/             

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

Today we made a valiant attempt to find a southern route around the base

       of Skyline Rim in an attempt to reach the top of Factory Bench. We were unsuccessful. Our route took us West of the Hab, travelling almost to

       the base of Skyline Rim, then South between the Rim base and the Lower

       Blue Hills, then West again around the base of the Rim.     

Enroute we encountered a canyon cutting into the Factory Bench, and

         we drove in to explore. There were some incredible debris slopes in

         the region, one of them containing a lone "monolith" rock

         formation.

The Canyon came to a dead end, and no route to the top of the bench

         was evident. We backtracked and continued our quest westward in hopes

         of finding yet another possible route up to the bench. Eventually we

         came to a gully, most of which was too steep to cross. There was a single

         section that looked like it might be tractable, and I made an attempt

         using one of the less stable Green/Tan ATVs; if this ATV could make

         it, then the more stable Yellow model that Gilles was driving should

         have no problem. I made it to the bottom of the gully after getting

         stuck once, then tried to rise up the other side, only to get stuck

         again. I concluded that it was not safe to proceed and would also violate

         the spirit of the sim, at which point we turned back.

On the way back to the hab, an attempt to measure magnetic field distortions due to some nearby conductors was made, with little or no effect. Continuing to the Hab, some roads crossing the lower blue hills were explored.

It should be noted that due to the distance and the terrain we were

         out of radio communication with HabCom for an extended period, hence

         there is only one position update in the log below, which was given

         on our way back.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

No special preparation was needed for this EVA. Nominal suit donning

         and preparation continued until one of the selected suit backpacks was

         found to be inoperative. Backpack change out solved the current problem.

         Following the EVA a maintenance check will be performed on backpack

         number three.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

Nominal ingress and depress. Radio check on handsets worked nominally.

HAB EVA MONITORING

NOMINAL EVA COMM/SAFETY CHECK

(Hourly Operation)

Comm ck 1

Comm ck 2

Comm ck 3

Comm ck 4

Comm ck 5

Comm ck 6

TIME

11:16             

13:21             

14:15

              REPORTED MAP LOCATION

E0518173

N4250920

@ HAB

E0513985

N4246851

@HAB REPORTED STATUS

Nominal

Nominal

Nominal

              Auxiliary Information

TEXT:

EVA23 started the EVA with an odometer reading of 2483. Com-check on repeater

       channel functioning nominally.

It is 2 hours into EVA23 and still awaiting first comm check!

13:22 - EVA 23 has a of yet been unsuccessful in accessing the Factory Bench area. Will be heading back in this direction and performing EM-Sounding

       if appropriate conditions are found on the way.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

We were quite dusty after this experience, due to some difficult terrain

       and getting the ATVs stuck on several occasions. A good vacuum clean was

       due for both suits upon return.

EVA CREW

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

Well, we made our best effort, but we came to a place in the route that

       was simply not safe to pass. It would be possible given proper safety

       gear and training, and out of sim. For now, Factory Bench is out of reach.     

Today was an excellent exercise using good judgement and safety precautions.

         I don't think the ATV use was pushed too far, but any farther would

         have been beyond what I think qualified as safe given the operational constraints of the sim. Turning back was disappointing, but the best

         decision in the end.

EVA MDRS1:

Nothing to add.

EVA MDRS2:

None

Biology Report — MDRS, Mar 4, 2002, Frederic Janson

The record of monthly climate (average max/min temperature, average total precipitation, average total snowfall, average snow depth) from 1948 to 2000 was obtained today to estimate the quantity of water and ice that may be found in the canyon for an average year. The pH values of the melted ice were identical to the water values from which the ice samples were collected (Figure 2) within +/- pH 1. The values range from pH 8.6 to 6.8 and this seems to correlate with elevation, decreasing pH with increasing elevation. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that the drying of the riverbed begins downstream as does the salting process. The conductivity experiments could not be performed, as the voltmeters provided were not designed for laboratory work. To compensate for this an over-salting of the samples will be conducted to determine the quantity of salt that can be added to a given volume of the salty samples before over-saturation occurs. This will be compared to a standard curve generated using table salt to determine the quantity of salt in each sample. Gram staining provided a spectrum of slides of various stain concentrations (Figure 1). These concentrations will be related to the other ten data points collected yesterday and to the climatic data in days to come.  

Figure 1: Photograph of the gram staining concentrations from left to right, increasing to decreasing concentration, respectively. Bottom row is the main spectrum of gram stain concentrations; top row slides are equivalent to bottom row slides with respect to their position in the spectrum.

Figure 2: Distribution of ice samples in White Rock Canyon, Hanksville, Utah.

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2

Mar 4, 2002

Jon Rask

Water Systems:

Approximately 50 gallons of gray water was pumped from the external holding tank. The earlier assumption of a properly functioning underground drain was most likely incorrect. The probable cause of the apparent lack of water while pumping on 3-03-02 was largely due to ice clogging the main hose. Today's warmer temperatures helped to thaw the ice in the hose, as large chunks of ice emerged during the first few seconds of pumping.

Power and Fuel:

Lamont dropped by for a visit to check if we needed gas. One of the 55 gallon barrels was already empty and the second is getting low. Lamont took one of the barrels to Hanksville, filled it, and returned it later in the day. All 2.5-gallon tanks were filled with gas using the hand pump from in the 55 gallon drum. Generator function normal.

EVA Equipment (including ATVs):

EVA pack #3 malfunctioned and completely shut down moments before EVA 23 entered the Airlock. The #3 EVA pack was removed and replaced with one that was working normally. An inspection of the pack while EVA crew 23 was entering the airlock found that the on/off switch may be malfunctioning. The pack seems to work now, but a closer inspection of the switch is needed. Three other packs continue to function normally.

2 remaining ATVs function normally. The left front tire of the light green/tan Honda 300 is a little low.

Lamont dropped off his ATV, and now we will have three for tomorrow's EVA.

Safety:

The desired route to Factory Bench today pushed the limit on the ATV use. While we don't believe safety was compromised, we were reminded of their limitations - particularly with regards to stability. Other crews, especially those less experienced in ATV driving, will want to bear this in mind.

Computers and Communications:

Another attempt to make the Starband email account compatible with Outlook has been successful. We hope this will dramatically decrease time needed for communication and will greatly speed up email service.

General Maintenance & Waste Management:

A small wooded box was built for some electronics equipment that will be used for the EVA microphone experiments.

Picture Based Tour of the inside of the MDRS

We thought a picture tour of the Hab would be appropriate to familiarize our audience with the inside of our temporary home.

At the top of the stairs on the south side of the second floor we see Don is using 'Hab Com,' our main computer system.

To the left of Hab Com and above the stairs are our daily schedules.

Our personal computer workstations are located on the east wall of the second floor.

The kitchen and pantry is located on the north side of the second floor.

The crew's 'Staterooms' are located on the west half of the second floor. Notice the Hab's internal holding tank for fresh water and the dome hatch for roof access above the bedrooms.

Immediately to the left of Hab Com are the stairs.

Here is the view of the lab when coming down the stairs.

Jon has fixing a disassembled EVA suit as seen from in front of the rear airlock.

Here we see Fred and Gilles using the microscopes.

The EVA room is where all the EVA gear is stowed.

Looking back into the lab area from the EVA room, we see the front airlock door.

On the left in this image is the tool bench. We also see the doors to the toilet, shower, and rear airlock. The furnace is near the top of the image.

The toilet and urinal.

Next to the toilet is the sink and shower.

Jon Rask

Status Report — MDRS, March 5, 2002, Greg Delory

Imagine sitting in the Hab on analog Mars, working away on a computer or performing a laboratory experiment. Suddenly, you feel the Hab shutter slightly and hear a sharp noise like a soda can being opened. Then, the unmistakable popping in your ears, indicating that the pressure is falling...something has happened, and the Hab has a leak. The location of the leak is found - buried deep behind a pipe fitting in the lavatory area - and it's likely that attempts to fix it will take too long while the Hab air runs out. Everyone - all crew members - are forced to suit up and perform an emergency EVA to go outside and figure out how to fix the leak.

That was our drill today. It occurred at about 3:15 p.m., while today's two person EVA was enroute to the Hab after a successful exploration of the Barsoom Outcrop area. We had discussed among ourselves here the various possible emergencies that we might simulate that would be relevant to life on Mars. One of the most "sim" like aspects of being here is the EVA process, and the associated equipment. A massive spontaneous depressurization seemed like a good exercise. It's somewhat amazing how fast a motivated group of people can suit up - in this case, in about 15 minutes. Some shortcuts were taken, since it was an emergency; not every detail of the usual suit donning procedure was followed, only the essentials; helmet on, radio connected, pack running. I returned from my EVA today with fellow crew member Don just in time to witness the mass exodus of the remaining crew from the Hab. Finding and fixing the leak outside was simple, and afterwards we all gathered for a photo op in front of the flag.

This wasn't our only objective for today; prior to the "emergency" we had a good EVA, being followed and filmed by our reporter-visitor Gerry Williams from the San Diego chapter of the Mars Society. We performed tests of an external microphone sensor system for the suits, which provides the occupant with enhanced acoustic information of the outside using stereo microphones mounted on the helmet. Patched into the existing suit radio system, it worked amazingly well; I was able to hear sharp details of the world outside that I had missed on previous EVAs, including the noise of ATVs that were behind me, something that was previously difficult to do. My colleague Don brought a voice amplifier that he wore on the outside of his suit - during operations, he was able to converse with me casually over distances of up to 100 feet. A great demonstration for an idea that Don and I have been kicking around for a few years. Further tests might prove this system to be so useful that consideration be given to including it as a standard item in the sim suits. Well, we'll make our case.

Things are almost rounding up here for this crew at MDRS. Tomorrow is our last, full operational day, and we're going to make the most of it. Yet again, a route to the bottom of Candor Chasma will be scouted. Gerry will tag along behind us out of sim to document and film what will undoubtedly be some incredible footage. Tonight most of us have a lot of document-making to do, so it may be a long night. But we have one more day of excitement ahead of us, and everyone here is still as ready to go as we were on day one, here on analog Mars.

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

The EVA scenario today will be multifaceted.  Commander Delory will be wearing our prototype Mars Suit External Audio System (MSEAS) for its first trial run.  Executive Officer Barker will monitor the system performance and be wearing an external voice amplifier to test inter-crewman communications without radio support.  In conjunction, the EM-Sounding equipment will be tested when appropriate terrain is located.  The MSEAS equipment should nicely complement the EM-Sounding equipment.

DATE:  03-05-02

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

The purpose of this EVA was threefold: (1) Test the new external suit microphone sensors, designed to give the suit occupant high fidelity audio sensing of the environment, (2) Test the EM sounder on sandstone, (3) Facilitate documentation of MDRS EVAs for record-keeping and public relations purposes. For the last item, we were followed and filmed by Gerry.

We headed North on the main road from the Hab, stopping at a few areas for photo opportunities. A broad, flat area about 1 km North of the hab was chosen to test the suit microphones. Don used a voice-loudspeaker connected to his comm system to test my ability to localize external sounds, and to see how far away I could hear the loudspeaker.

Continuing on, we occasionally stopped for footage when requested by Gerry, and arrived at the fork in the road leading to the Barsoom area at ~517.8E, 4254.6N. We headed West at the fork, then North again, descending into the rolling Morrison formation. At roughly 516.7E, 4257.3N a second fork in the road was encountered; on a previous EVA, we had gone left in order to head up to the Coal Mine Wash area. The road to the right was unexplored for this rotation, so we elected to go right and characterize that area. We arrived at the top of a Dakota Sandstone layer, the edge of which had collapsed into a valley of Morrison, with a dry riverbed visible in the distance D probably Muddy Creek. More tests with the suit microphones were conducted, and an EM sounding over the sandstone seemed to detect faults/discontinuities in the subsurface, either due to fractures in the collapsing sandstone or discontinuities with the underlying Morrison.

We headed back to the Hab at about 2:45pm. Checking in with the Hab at ~3:15, we were informed of an emergency situation in which an atmosphere leak had developed which couldnÕt be isolated and repaired inside. The crew executed an emergency procedure to have all members suited up and exit the structure. Upon our return, repair operations were underway and Hab pressure was restored. There were no injuries, and the crew appeared to have suited up quickly and smoothly in response to the emergency.

< EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS WAS A SIMULATED EMERGENCY- IT WAS NOT A REAL EMERGENCY. >

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

Much preparation went into work for this EVA as the MSEAS equipment had to be securely mounted within the confines of the backpack structure.  Wiring also had to be routed and secured to insure safety and operability.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

The EMS equipment and EVA safety box were staged in the airlock prior to EVA. Airlock depress and egress occurred nominally.

HAB EVA MONITORING

TEXT:

Comlock two finds EVA 24 taking an unexplored route to the north in the Barsoom Outcrops.

30 minutes prior to EVA24 returning to the HAB, the remaining crew in the HAB reported to the EVA team that an emergency event was happening.  The HAB main and backup computers reported a depressurization event in progress. The remaining four members believed that they had isolated the leak to a pressure seal near the toilet facilities on the west side of the HAB. All members were instructed to suit up as a precautionary measure.  They would also exit the HAB and try to locate the leak visually from outside. There was no visual proof of a leak upon inspection, which was repaired.

Meanwhile EVA24 would head home to try to assist with any repair actions necessary.

Upon verifying HAB pressure and reentering the HAB, the engineering team determined that there had been a double transducer failure which affected both computers.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

Post clean up and inspection went nominally.

EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

TodayÕs EVA was fairly productive; I received the first positive magnetic wave tilt measurements using the EM sounder over Dakota Sandstone. Also, Don and I tested the suit external microphone system for the first time. On each side of my helmet, a single microphone was mounted, each connected to the right or left ear using a 3-channel audio mixer system, which was then combined with the suit radio. The sensation of natural sounds while on EVA was striking; in addition, Don used a voice amplifier mounted on his suit as a loudspeaker. I was able to hear him over 100 feet away. The EM sounder tone was also much easier to listen to, and improved the fidelity of the soundings. We also spent quite some time accommodating Gerry in his attempts to film us during our operations. We ended up going out to a region of the Barsoom Outcrop, ending up on top of a layer of Dakota Sandstone, partially crumbled away into a river valley.

EVA MDRS1:

This EVA was a great first test of the Commercial-Off-The-Shelf prototype Mars Suit External Audio System.  Greg was able to directionally locate a rough sound source within 15 degrees.  In addition, he could accurately understand voiced information at an unobstructed range of about 100 feet when the other crewmember used the External Voice Speaker.  Greg could hear non-amplified voice, or just my vocalizations within the suit at a distance of about 40 feet.  External environment characteristics like rocks falling, winds and breezes, etc. was also perceived.  Supporting EMS operations and its audible sensor signals also proved valuable.

EVA MDRS2:

N/A

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 5, 2002, Jon Rask

Water Systems:

Approximately 50 gallons of freshwater was pumped into the internal holding tank. Gray water from sinks was hauled out of the Hab.

Power and Fuel:

The generator failed today. Apparently the oil level was low. After 3/4 of a quart of oil was added, the generator functioned normally.

EVA Equipment (including ATVs):

EVA pack #3 was disassembled, cleaned, and the on/off switch was replaced. The pack seems to work fine as of now.  All other packs were inspected, and the two non-functioning packs were serviced and recharged. All packs seem to be working as of today.

Oil on the ATVs was checked and found normal.

Safety:

An emergency egress during a rapid decompression simulation went very well. 4 crew members were able to get completely suited and be in the airlock in about 10 minutes.

Computers and Communications:

None.

General Maintenance:

Incinolet was cleaned and ashes were hauled to the trash pile.

Status Report — MDRS, March 6, 2002, Greg Delory

Well folks, this is it. We've had our last day here at the Hab, and tomorrow morning we'll be pulling out. There will be a 3-day break prior to the arrival of the next crew, during which some maintenance will occur - including getting the greenhouse fully functional. But overall the Hab systems have performed admirably; some of the procedures took some getting used to, but with each day we've measurably improved our capability to operate this facility. This has allowed us to focus on our real reason for being here, the EVAs. We performed two today, one to the bottom of Candor Chasma, and a second 3-person EVA on foot out in the hills behind the Hab.

In reviewing our activities for the past two weeks, I almost get dizzy. We have indeed been busy. We conducted extensive tests of Gilles' Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV). I did EM sounder surveys. Fred went on EVAs to the water seepage phenomena at least three times, performing a detailed characterization of that area with a lot of associated lab work back at the Hab. An external audio sensor system for the suits was put together and tested on two EVAs. Our geologist Andy performed a comprehensive survey of the area, and developed some thoughts and strategies about how to interrelate geological investigations with the search for past or present life on Mars. During the last few days, John Putman ran biofeedback experiments on us in between report writing and dinners. Gerry Williams, a film maker from the San Diego chapter of the Mars Society, has been here documenting our experience. We've done more than a few "take twos" for Gerry, but we recognize the importance in documenting Hab and EVA procedures, both for future crews and the general public.

In looking back at all of our activities, I'm most proud of the fact that we never broke sim. Nobody gave up and drove into town to get fresh butter, or maybe cold Milk. Our water use has been equally impressive, at less than 5 gallons per person per day, for our entire time here. And, above all, the team worked great together. With a variety of backgrounds among the crew, we had an equal variety of opinions on how to spend our time here. Open discussion was the mechanism of choice to resolve our direction each day, and it worked well. I for one learned much from my colleagues. We hope to pass on the benefits of our experience here to the next crew, as we learned from the last rotation members. This transfer of information won't be perfect, nor should it be. The process of "re-inventing the wheel" for the next crews will be half the fun, and almost all of the learning experience. So here's to the MDRS, may she teach us all what we need to know.

*EVA SCENERIO OVERVIEW

Today’s EVA25 is a simple scouting mission to find a path to the bottom of the valley to the East of the HAB, dubbed Chandor Chasma.

The second EVA of the day is designed to be the second field test of the Mars suit External Audio System (MSEAS).  This will be a pedestrian EVA that will cover the terrain to the West of the HAB in the area of the repeater antenna.

DATE:  03-06-02

*EVA Highlights (EVA CDR)

EVA 25:

The purpose of this EVA was to reach the bottom of Candor Chasma, and we were successful.

The route was as follows: We began on the main road, turning right from the Hab (heading South) and then about 3km later, taking a track left heading East at about 0520000E, 4248000N. We followed this track past the White Rock Reservoir, towards muddy creek. The track eventually comes to a downsloping sandy area that leads down into the bottom of Candor Chasma. A few parts were steep, but not unsafe given careful ATV use, i.e. low gear and go slow.

At the bottom of the Canyon, we believe we penetrated beneath the Summerville Formation.  We examined a few sites, witnessed some interesting, very white, thin layers criss-crossing the usual strata. We then headed across the Canyon to the base of the East rim, and climbed a debris apron in order to get a spectacular view. Heading South, we explored the Canyon floor, then returned back to the Hab without incident.

EVA26:

Climbed the bluff west of the HAB following the repeater antenna wire connection.  Both the wire and the antenna looked to be in good condition. Several observations and tests were performed using the MSEAS components. Audio clarity, directionality, sounds-recognition were assessed.  In addition, observations were made as to how this system complemented the tactile, kinesthetic and visual sensory systems, which are wholly or in part shielded/degraded by the suit.

PRE EVA OPERATIONS

EVA25:

Since no special equipment is necessary for this operation, the suit donning and setup was smooth and nominal.

EVA26:

Replacement of battery power for the audio amplifier and general systems check was performed. Otherwise, EVA prep and donning was nominal.

AIRLOCK INGRESS/DEPRESS

EVA25:

A nominal 5 minute simulated depress took place once the airlock hatch was sealed.

EVA26:

A nominal 5 minute simulated depress took place once the airlock hatch was sealed.

HAB EVA MONITORING

TEXT:

EVA25:

12:40 - EVA team reports that they have reached the bottom of Chandor Chasma and are exploring the wall of the canyon.

14:00 - EVA reported that they were HAB bound at this point.

EVA26:

15:55: Status reported nominal, at top of hill near the Hab antenna system.

POST EVA INGRESS AND CLEANUP

EVA25:

Nominal ingress and cleanup.

EVA26:

Nominal ingress and cleanup

EVA CREW: COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/LESSONS-LEARNED

EVA CDR:

EVA25:

This was a great final EVA. We had all been wondering what was at the bottom of Candor Chasma, and today we had a chance to find out. The route down was safe and uneventful as we traversed a large sand dune that had eroded down into the canyon, providing a smooth ramp. I had read that there were Triassic features in this area, but was not sure if Candor Chasma would go deep enough for us to see them. We definitely penetrated below the Summerville, but how far I don’t know. Down in the lower levels of the canyon, the strata were penetrated by extremely narrow intrusions in a criss-crossing pattern. Jon found a photosynthetic organism buried in some small, rough red rocks that we cracked open at the bottom of the canyon.

EVA26:

This was a simple and nice finishing EVA for the tour.  We were able to ascend a rather steep, clay encrusted/weathered surface with a minimum of difficulty.  A two step forward half step type of surface.  Similar to climbing the pumice-strewn slopes of Japan’s, Mount Fuji. Final test run of the MSEAS components proved very fun, interesting and insightful.  Variations in surface materials were audibly detectable.  Wind noise was similar to that of driving in a convertible, not unpleasant and not distracting.  Overall, I think that once integrated into the prototype suits at JSC, this will prove to be of great use to future surface dwellers of Mars.

EVA MDRS1:

EVA25:

This was my final opportunity for EVA at MDRS. Again, Greg and I pressed beyond the area explored by the previous crew. We traversed deep into the spectacular Summerville Formation of Candor Chasma and climbed some high talus formations near vertical cliffs. We ended our journey at Muddy Creek. Several samples of soil and sand were also collected. During the return, we decided to closely inspect a sandstone outcrop near Muddy Creek. While observing the rock, I noticed a colorful red piece of what appeared to be Quartzite. An attempted to scratch the rock proved it was much harder than my hammer. During previous EVAs, this kind of rock has been seen, and they are incredibly beautiful - especially if they can be cracked open. I struck the rock with a swing of my hammer and it broke apart, revealing a tiny green film deep inside the rock. It was then when I realized I had serendipitously discovered green endoliths. A closer inspection of the rock will be made and an attempt to image its internal biology will be made.

EVA26:

Went on foot around immediate area of hab (traversed approximately 2 miles). Tested MSEAS at various locations. We varied distance and position (relative to the receiver). Slope was rather steep in locations -particularly near the communication system antenna. Suit performed well (save for knit cap which slipped over my eyes by the end of the end of EVA). (IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Check size of cap before leaving hab on EVA.)

EVA MDRS2:

EVA26:

The first time suiting up for an EVA in sim - an amazing experience.  The suits, though bulky, aren’t as claustrophobic as I’d expected. The airflow was good throughout, and the minor scuffs and scratches in the helmets were easily ignored (except for my nose prints).  When we climbed Hab Ridge in full suit (plus a handheld still camera) the going was very good and climbing would have been much easier if I’d have been in better shape. The viewing was great, and we were able to spot a wide variety of rocks and geological features (and one fascinating biological specimen - a thin reedy plant with a bulbous midsection - very Martian-looking).

Working a 35mm still camera in suit was an interesting exercise:  I put on a 17mm super-wide angle lens and taped the hyperfocal distance to infinity at f/8.  I was able to put the viewfinder right up against the helmet and get a good idea of what the shot was..  The difficulty came in triggering the camera through the thick gloves - we eventually found a stick that would poke the shutter release when the gloves wouldn’t work. Broke the stick twice trying to put it in my mouth as a third hand - not possible with a helmet in the way! Keeping the camera strap wrapped around the gloved hand was a good idea, especially since I was able to protect the camera when I stumbled climbing the mountain.

All in all it was a great EVA experience with the only complaint being the tinny-sounding com system - but that’s what we were working on during this EVA - improving the sound and communications in the suits.  I’d definitely do it again.  :-J

Engineering and Systems Report — MDRS Team 2, Mar 6, 2002, Jon Rask

Water Systems:

None.

Power and Fuel:

The four 5-gallon gas cans were filled. Generator function normal.

EVA Equipment (including ATVs):

Nominal.

Safety:

Nominal.

Computers and Communications:

We successfully got the Mac online. A screen shot of the configuration setup was taken and saved on the Hab Com. as winproxy_mac_configs.jpg in the procedures and protocols folder.

General Maintenance:

Smell of Incinolet is evident.

Human Factors (Psychophysiology/ EEG Biofeedback) — MDRS, Feb 23-24, 2002, John Putman,  M.A., M.S

Power generation has been an ongoing issue here at the hab. As such, power surges and cut offs are of continual concern. A surge protector seemed to provide adequate protection for the biofeedback instrumentation but the integrity of the feedback was somewhat compromised. There was quite a bit of high frequency artifact in the EEG recording, due (likely) to the gas powered generator nearby that supplies power to the habitat. Due to the rather intense EM environment, braiding the electrode (sensors) was mandatory. It was suggested by another member of the crew (Don) that the source of the artifact noise may have been inside the hab due to the "Faraday cage" like environment provided by the metal scaffolding of the hab structure itself.

The general rationale for performing neurofeedback in this setting has to do with its efficacy in dealing with disorders of arousal and attention. It has demonstrated its effectiveness in resolving even some of the most seemingly intractable mood, attentional and behavioral problems. Since mood instabilities generally tend to emerge over time in groups of even the most hearty individuals when living under conditions of high demand in close quarters, it was thought that this training might be of benefit if used in a preventative fashion. It has been shown that test pilots who are able to generate higher amounts of midrange frequency brainwave activity (alpha) are more resistant to burnout fatigue and deteriorating performance as well as mood instability and insomnia. This is true of nearly any person who is involved in stressful work that demands external focus and vigilance. It has also been demonstrated that these midrange frequencies can be enhanced through EEG biofeedback.

The basic procedure was to attach the signal electrode at C4 (10% of the way down from the crown of the head along the sensor-motor cortex. Reference and ground electrodes were attached to neutral areas (left and right ears). The signal was then increased through a pre amp and sent from the signal encoder via optical cable to the computer for digital filtering. Overall signal gain was set at 10,000. The raw signal was filtered into three discrete frequency bands (4-7 Hz, 12-15 Hz, 22-30 Hz) that were then mapped into a video game to be viewed by the subject. 12-15Hz activity was rewarded while the 2 extreme frequency bands were inhibited simultaneously. Amplitude threshold limits were set as to not make the video game frustrating or too easy. When all three threshold criteria were met, the subject would score a point and would then hear a beep. 

All of the crew did at least one session of EEG biofeedback over the last 6 days. (# of training sessions ranged from 1 to 3). Most experienced some degree of relaxation and one member experienced improved sleep following the training, but because of the minimal amount of training time, long term benefits are unlikely. This, combined with the small number of participants make it difficult to get statistical significance.

The conditions were certainly less than ideal given the busy schedule and the constant activity. As such, it was necessary to impose on crew time in order to obtain EEG measurements and perform the training. In spite of this, all crew members were gracious and accommodating in allowing themselves to be "wired up". And, as mentioned, there was a considerable amount of EM noise leading to some fairly gross artifacts in the record.

EEG Record: Obtaining low electrode impedances was fairly critical in this environment in order to maintain the common mode rejection feature of the differential amplifier. High electrode impedances tend to lead to differential mode rejection, resulting in unusually high amplitude readings due to extraneous voltages leaking in. Despite the problem with noise, there was a general trend towards increasing amplitude in the reward frequency (11-14 or 12-15) in the spectral display over the course of the 21-24 minute session.  

White Rock Canyon Cryogenic Extremophile Distribution

Introduction

White Rock Canyon was chosen as an ideal Mars analog site as it is primarily lined with nutrient deprived, alkaline, salt and iron-rich sediments, with a sporadic distribution of ice corresponding to varying exposure to sunlight, a function of both the depth and orientation of the canyon. If life exists on Mars then it is likely to be extremophilic due to the extreme environmental conditions provided by Mars (low pressure, sub-zero temperatures, high concentration of metaloxides in the soil, little to no liquid water, high concentration of atmospheric C02, and high UV radiation. Ice samples were collected throughout the canyon to search for examples of extremophilic bacteria. Bacteria have the capacity to pass on genes that confer resistance to extreme environmental conditions via the transfer of genetic material found in rounded gene-protein structures know as a plasmids. Advances in molecular biology may enable researchers to engineer life on Mars using genes from extremophilic bacteria.

Geography

White Rock Canyon can be divided into three regions, the north end, the south end, and the central region. The central region is the only portion of the canyon that runs from west to east. Figure 1 illustrates the various regions[1]. The mouth of White Rock Canyon is located approximately 46.25 km NE 80_ of Hanksville, Utah, off highway 24. The solid red line represents highway 24, the dotted red line represents a southbound access road to the canyon, the upper and lower boxes indicating 2km represent the north and south end of the canyon, respectively.

Cutting through the iron-rich Jurassic Morrison sedimentary formation, the canyon serves as a southern tributary from White Rock Canyon Reservoir (north) to the Fremont River (double blue line). The bulk of this activity occurs between the months of June to September when flashflood events are common due to the combination of elevated temperatures (melting winter snow and ice) with increased precipitation in the form of thunderstorms[2]. Table 1 is a 52 year average monthly climate summary[3]. The greater part of the moisture contribution to this arid region is provided during the winter months (November to March) in form of snow. Note that from October to April the average maximum temperature is above zero and so ice is capable of melting and percolating to the low lying canyons. The average minimum temperature during these months is below or close to freezing, and so the percolated water accumulates as ice at the base of the canyon walls.

Canyons provide a unique environment for the accumulation of ice due to the reduced solar input (greater areas of shade), a function of the canyon depth and width.

Orientation of the canyon is also important in the economics of ice accumulation and ablation. Canyons that align from east to west are exposed to sunlight for most of the day. The angle of the sun’s rays over an east-west canyon vary during the year but relative to a canyon that aligns north to south the input of solar energy across the basin of the canyon is much greater. Therefore, a north-south canyon will preserve ice longer than an east-west canyon.

Figure 1: White Rock Canyon Regional Divisions

Central

South

2km

North

2km

Table 1: The Period Record Monthly Climate Summary for Hanksville, Utah, 7/ 1/1948 to 12/31/2000.

           The nature of the sun distribution across the canyon was examined (February 2002) using a Styrofoam-mounted rod that protruded one centimeter above the Styrofoam at angle of 90_. The length of the shadow, the angle of the shadow relative to west (set equal to 0_), the angle of the sun along the horizon, and the light intensity, were monitored for one day in order to determine the solar input of the areas where ice samples were collected. Again, this data is only a snap shot of the light distribution over a particular sample in a given year. Temporally, it best represents the bacteria found in each sample, as the population density for any given sample is proportional to its surrounding environmental conditions.  Figures 2, 3, 4, and 5 summarize the results.

Figure 2: Shadow Length versus Time

Figure 3: Shadow Angle (relative to west = 0 degrees) versus Time

Found at end of paper

Figure 4: Angle of the sun versus Time

           Figure 5: Light Intensity versus Time

Notice that the peaks of both the angle of the sun and the sun intensity correlate well with one another suggesting that at approximately 13:12 pm, the sun was at its highest position relative to the horizon and that this did correspond to the greatest sun intensity. Notwithstanding, the smallest measurement of the shadow length did correspond to this time. This is a reasonable observation considering that the sun (light source) was at its highest position above the fixed rod and so the shadow was necessarily shorter in length. The plotting of the angle between the shadow and the west, assigned a value of 0_, versus time was used to determine the linear path of the sun along the Earth’s surface. It was calculated that the sun followed a linear path corresponding to 62_ SE/NW. This plot was conducted in an open field at an elevation of 4190 ft corresponding to a GPS coordinate of E 0518179 and N 4250909.

Ice Sample Distribution and Characterization

           Eleven ice samples were collected throughout the canyon, 4 from the north end, 5 from the central region, and 2 from the south end. Figure 6 illustrates the distribution of the various ice samples. Note the surrounding topology that provides the canyon with water.

Figure 6: White Rock Canyon Ice Sample Distribution

The criteria for characterizing the various ice samples were chosen as a function of the laboratory equipment and supplies made available at the research station.

The following data points were collected for each sample: GPS position and elevation; the horizontal distance between the sample and the canyon wall; the presence of phosphate, nitrate, and ammonium; the pH of the melted ice; and a gram stain test. Table 2 summarizes the results with the exception of the gram stain results. They are illustrated in Figure 7.

The presence of phosphate, nitrate, and ammonia were assayed using a Hach Water Testing Kit. Sample 6 was the only sample that registered the presence of phosphate. No ammonium or nitrate was detected in any of the samples. This illustrates either the nutrient-poor conditions of the soil or the insensitivity of the Hach assay kit.

The Hach pH meter was used to measure the pH of the melted ice samples. In general, the pH increased downstream. This may be a function of the surrounding rock or salt. Increased salt deposits were observed upstream. Four voltmeters were employed to test the conductivity of the samples (indicators of salt concentraion – Nernst Equation) but to no avail. Then an evaporation assay was conducted for each sample but a standard curve could not be effectively generated using table salt and dH2O. An over-salting of the samples to determine the relative salt saturation limits may be the next best bet. A laboratory voltmeter would be ideal.

A gram staining kit was employed to determine the relative concentration of gram positive bacteria. Figure 7 illustrates a gram stain spectrum for each of the samples. The GPS position of each sample will allow other biologists to monitor or gauge these site for bacterial activity. A GPS meter was used to determine the height of the canyon by taking readings both at the collection site and above the collection site.

The height of the canyon functions like a camera shutter, allowing light into the canyon. This depends on the angle of incidence of the sun and as previously mentioned the orientation of the canyon. The horizontal distance of the sample from the cliff was measured with a measuring tape in order to facilitate the determination of the distribution of light onto the sample.

The canyon height relative to the canyon basin fluctuated between values of 4414 and 4460 feet. To relate this to the sun distribution plot, a 1cm rod under the light source at the highest sun angle, 45_, at the peak of the day, 1:12pm, did generate a shadow of approximately 1 cm. However this was at an elevation of 4190 ft. If at 4190 ft the shadow of the rod is equal to 1cm then at elevations 4414 (lowest cliff) and 4460 (highest cliff), the shadow is equal to 1.05 and 1.06cm, respectively. Approaching the cliffs from 62_ SE/NW at the peak of sun activity a diurnal shadow zone is expected to reveal the areas where ice is best preserved. The diurnal shadow zone is calculated by multiplying the height of the cliffs, analogous to the height of the rod, by the equivalent ratio of 1.05 and 1.06. For simplicity, the average of the two ratios of the highest and lowest cliff, equivalent to 1.055, was applied to the height of the cliff for each sample. Shadows ranging from 14.6 feet to 63.3 feet were calculated. The length of each shadow begins at the top of each cliff spanning down the slopes of the canyon across the riverbed.  This data will allow other biologists to assess the distribution and intensity of sunlight on canyon samples and provides a tool from which to identify possible locations of ice accumulation using a map only.

Table 2: GPS position and elevation, the horizontal distance between the sample and the top of the cliff, presence of phosphate, nitrate, or ammonium, pH of melted ice.

Figure 7: The Relative Concentration of Gram Negative Bacteria in WRC Ice Samples

The scope of this project is beyond a two week project and should be carried on as an exercise for finding life in canyon country. A gel electrophoresis apparatus should be introduced to the lab in order conduct more detailed biological investigations. The laboratory should be moved to a corner of the lab and sealed with plastic walls to minimize contamination. A UV light should be installed to sterilize the room a few hours a day. Proper storage containers should be provided for pipet tips. Immunochemistry would be an ideal tool in the lab allowing rapid identification and quantification of bacteria. A Bergey’s Definitive Microbiology reference should definitely be added to the lab for reference. A spectrophotometer would allow quantification of DNA, proteins, etc. Halophilic, alkaliphilic, psychrophilic, thermophilic, and UV tolerant bacterial studies should be pursued to elucidate further proteins conferring resistance to extreme environmental conditions. This information will be helpful to genetic engineers and environmental microbiologists seeking to find or introduce life on Mars.

Thank you for the interesting research and life experience,

Frederic Janson

greengenes1999@hotmail.com 

March 6, 2002, Greg Delory

The tour of duty for the second crew of the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is coming to a close, formally ending on March 7th, 2002. The past two weeks of activities has marked an exciting, stimulating, and at times challenging environment for everyone here. Overall I would call our time here a great success, as we maintained a mindset of living on ‘analog Mars’ while engaging in various scientific and technical investigations geared toward the future exploration of the red planet.

Located in Southeastern Utah, MDRS (affectionately called ‘Hab’ by crew members) exists in a geologist’s dream of exposed sediments from the Cretaceous and Jurassic ages. Looking out the portholes of the Hab, there is little doubt you are on Mars; the red landscape is shaped by a combination of rounded hills, buttes, sharp ridgelines and jagged rocks, formed by a history of receding and advancing oceans as well as natural erosion over millions of years. Five of us arrived here almost two weeks ago, joining an existing crew member who was already here and overlapping from the last rotation. As I am sure will be the case with many future MDRS crews, our group is diverse; Andy De Wet, the carry-over member from the first rotation, is a professor of geology. Jon Rask is a Lockheed engineer working on building incubators for the laboratories of the International Space Station (ISS). Don Barker, from the NASA Johnson Space Center, also works with the ISS as a controller and planner for station activities. Gilles Dawidowicz is a Geomorphologist from France. Fred Janson is our resident biologist, and I round out the crew, being a space and planetary scientist from the University of California at Berkeley. Midway into our tour, Andy De Wet was replaced by John Putman, a neuro-feedback expert, here to study our brain activity during MDRS operations.

The central purpose of the MDRS is to learn and demonstrate techniques for accomplishing scientifically valid field research and experiments while under the constraints of living on the surface of a planet with a hostile environment - in this case Mars. The emphasis for this simulation - or ‘sim’ as we call it - are the ergonomic factors associated with what a real Mars crew would have to endure while exploring the surface. This includes six people learning how to live and work within the confines of the Hab, monitoring and controlling our food and water intake, limiting communication to a single satellite link, and performing all field work outside using bulky, prototype space suits, complete with backpacks and functioning air hoses. All-Terrain Vehicles are used to get around the area. Each day, we all meet at 9am to discuss the next planned Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). Selected crewmembers suit up, exit the airlock following a depressurization protocol, and get on with the day’s work. Members staying behind at the Hab engage in EVA radio support as well as Hab upkeep and maintenance, clearly another important activity to practice for a real mission to Mars.

The science and technology investigations carried out during our time here were as varied as the crew. Gilles brought a unique rover called the ‘Cliff Reconnaissance Vehicle’ (CRV), which scales down the sides of cliffs with the help of a human operator at the top. A camera pointed at the cliff walls during the descent obtains detailed, high resolution images of the rock strata, aiding in the interpretation of the geologic history of the area. Fantastic demonstrations of this rover concept were performed in ‘Candor Chasma,’ a deep canyon a few kilometers Southeast of the Hab. One of my pet projects involves techniques to find subsurface water on Mars, using electromagnetic sounding techniques. Materials buried beneath the surface such as ores, water, and natural gas can distort ambient electromagnetic fields in predictable ways, detectable from hand-held instruments used by scientists in walking surveys. This type of technology may be an important part of future Mars expeditions, as the crew attempts to scout for resources that may be locked beneath the surface - resources that may be key for the mission’s very survival. The team that picked the MDRS site as an analog Mars may have done their job too well - my sounder results showed a very uniform subsurface, and only detected a few possible faults beneath some sandstone. Fred engaged in research on extremophiles - a unique class of bacteria able to live in extreme environments. Modified  versions of extremophiles may be able to someday live and proliferate on Mars, aiding in the successful biotransformation of that planet as part of a larger a terraforming effort. Microbes found living in a water-ice mixture in a shadowed region of White Rock Canyon, ~4.5 km Southeast of the Hab, may fall into this category. Our geologist Andy has studied the area from a comprehensive point of view, attempting to relate how the search for past of present life on Mars would fit in with the known geology, emphasizing cooperational efforts between geologists and biologists. Andy’s replacement John has measured our brain waves - some of us may have some signs of fatigue, if the larger than normal signals in the 1-2 Hz range are any indicator. Clearly, crew mental health is going to be an issue for any long term Mars exploration mission. Our most recent investigation here was in the utility of adding sensitive external microphones to the Mars surface suits, in an attempt to enhance the suit user’s ability to hear and interpret natural sounds outside, normally muffled by the helmet or obscured by the suit fans. The initial tests of this system were remarkably successful, increasing the communication and safety factors during our last EVA. Such a system should also work on Mars; despite the thin atmosphere, sounds are not below what standard microphones and audio amplifiers can detect.

Not all of our investigations our complete to date, and some won’t be for some time. The operation of MDRS is an evolving process, as is our quest to understand and explore Mars. Our experience here has only whetted our appetites; understanding Mars today may yield the secrets of our history and origin, while exploring and ultimately modifying the red planet may hold the key to our prosperity and perhaps even the very survival of the human race. Some might consider MDRS a small step - but with the dedication of each successive crew, our knowledge of how to perform meaningful scientific exploration in environments like these will grow with time. If we are fortunate, there may come a time when such knowledge is desperately needed.

On to Mars!


[1]  United States Department of the Interior Geological Survey, Skyline Rim and Steamboat Point     Quadrangles, Utah-Wayne Co., 7.5 Minute Series (1987).

[2]  Capitol Reef National Park, www.capitol.reef.national-park.com/visit.htm#flood

[3]  Western Regional Climate Center Database, Hanksville, Utah,

  http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliRECtM.pl?uthank