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Our day started early, with a ~7am telecon with the MCC. The crew performed numerous EVAs throughout the day in support of the Sand Sampling, SediChem, and Change Detection experiments. Randall (Randy) Dunning and Patricia (Tricia) Marie Smedley started the EVAs and traveled ~11km north of the Hab, past Toothy Ridge to gather images of each of Cracking Table for the change detection experiment and gather sand samples as well. They discovered the ATVs did not have enough fuel, which delayed their EVAs.
Similar to yesterday, Haritina (Hari) Mogosanu and Jean Hunter also performed a Sand Sampling EVA near the Hab. Randy also took pictures for the SediChem experiment. After Tricia and Hari retrieved fuel from Hankville, I fueled the ATVs with Tricia’s help. After lunch Randy and Tricia left to explore the Cracking Table fieldsite. For most of the day, I focused on activities in and around the Hab, including resupply, maintenance, and writing down the log of daily activities – things that are key to the success of all missions, including future missions to the Moon or Mars.
Taking good notes and documenting what is done here at MDRS, no matter how simple or complex, long or short, successful or unsuccessful, is very important. It helps both the crew and mission planners better understand why some tasks can be completed and why others cannot. It is useful for both the crew and mission planners in their assessments of daily activities. For example, activity logs can help us identify where an increase or decrease in workload is needed, especially when things we don’t plan for happen. In short, they help to streamline activities and maximize our efficiency.
We had six visitors today, so we had a great opportunity to tell them about the World Space Week. Four unexpected, but welcome guests who were passing through Hanksville heard about the MDRS and decided to see it for themselves – and they sure were happy to be here. It is clear that word about MDRS is getting out and people are traveling long distances to see the Hab. Jean took advantage of this “outreach opportunity” and provided them a great explanation.
DG, our faithful and greatly appreciated helping hand from Hanksville, was our fifth visitor. He talked with the crew, and checked fuel and water levels. He also helped transfer water from the trailer tank to the Hab external tank, and helped with changing the oil in the generator. While we were at the generator, we noticed that the acid in the generator battery was boiling. A fix (by DG) is being considered and may be implemented tomorrow.
John Barainca of The Mars Society was our sixth visitor. He’s a veteran of MDRS and is someone who has helped the Society greatly. It was great to see him again – we took time to visit, and talked about Mars, exploration, astronomy, MDRS, and even went outside to observe a flyover of the International Space Station. We also discussed plans and ideas on how crews might be able to increase production in the greenhab.
This article is available in: German
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