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Greetings from the MARS 2013 Mission Support Center in Innsbruck! Yesterday was a much-needed day off for both the field crew and the crew in the Mission Support Center, so here follows your news update on Thursday’s events.
Following a Wednesday dedicated to repairs and maintenance, the MARS2013 field crew was back in full activity mode on Thursday with a full line-up of exciting tests and experiments.
Both the Aouda.X and the Aouda.S suits were active in the field, including doing several runs on the DELTA experiment and taking geological samples near the camp.
Among the other successful experiments of the day was a test of the Magma White rover equipped with the recently-repaired LIFE laser, which successfully analysed several samples of organic materials, as well as several successful runs of the YELLOW equipment.
Another important piece of equipment that was tested Thursday was the deployable shelter, as an analog astronaut wearing the Aouda.S suit spent over half an hour in the shelter. The field crew reported that the astronaut “appears to be very relaxed in the shelter judging by medical telemetry.”
The deployable shelter is designed to be stowed in a backpack-sized case and easily transported on a smaller vehicle. In the event that a single or a small group of astronauts are caught in a dangerous situation away from their base, the shelter can be easily deployed and provide protection from the elements until help arrives.
Finally, on yet another positive note, the Hunveyor robot, which had previously suffered from some technical problems, is back in action and fully operational. The robot ran on solar panels and batteries, and gathered data continuously for well over 24 hours.
About the experiments
Hunveyor is a robot that can monitor local weather and environmental parameters. YELLOW tests a set of distance-finding radio transmitters that would be usable for navigation purposes. DELTA measures the impact of wearing a spacesuit on an astronaut’s performance. Magma White is a remotely-controllable rover, serving as platform for the LIFE laser, which can detect organic materials. The deployable shelter is designed to be transported in a backpack-sized case and to protect astronauts caught away from base in an emergency.
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