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Archive: 28 Nov 2016

Sol Journal – November 28th

November 28, 2016 | Permalink

Construction on Mars

We entered the airlock with little energy left. Three men and one woman. All with the same expression of tiredness on the faces. Three hours of working at the surface on Mars. For the first time we were building the two meters high dome in the spacesuits. Even though the material is plastic cardboard, we still spend “sweat and blood” by assembling the parts. Bulky space gloves made it even harder to work with the wires and small parts. We had to use extra tools, such as nippers, pliers. The edges of the helmet were stopping me to get a closer look at the components and joints, therefore sometimes I had blind spots. At that moment, I understood that construction on Mars would be the hardest EVA for astronauts, which led me to question “how to prepare for that?”

Let’s start with the astronauts. They have to be in a very good physical shape, which brings several important aspects. On the spaceship flying to Mars there should be progressive medical and exercise facilities to maintain health and stamina of the crew. Apart from that, the key role would be the quality of the food and vitamins supplements. Here at MDRS I experienced it, as never before. Firstly, yoga and physical activities always brings up more energy, makes the blood circulate, removes tension in muscles and congestion, clears head and gives fresh look. The exercise hours for me is recreational time, rather than a work or physical torture. The dehydrated food was difficult to process for my stomach, like chewing sand and trying to digest it. Don’t get me wrong we cook great food here, it tastes very nice, but my body tolerate it each day less and less. I judge by the skin condition because the skin is the mirror of the gut. Ideally, in the Mars missions each crew member will have specially designed diet and set of packed food with amount of all needed nutriments. And after few months living on Mars they will grow fresh vegetables and maybe even fish. I like the idea of using aquaponics systems. It is a large water tanks, in which lives fish and plants. The excrements of the fish provide food for the plants, and the plants clean the water from toxic fish waste products. Perfect union, where the three parties win: plants, fish and human. We also have such a system in the greenhouse, which will be running in the nearest future.

In addition to human factors, the equipment, hardware and software will play crucial role to build the station and expand a colony on Mars. 3D printers will be used widely to produce plastic and metal parts for the engineering use, medical tools and even a breeks made from Martian soil. The spacesuits should be different from the ones space agencies use now. Most likely, the mechanical counter pressure (MCP) suit will fit to “the construction on Mars” requirements. The MCP suit is when the body is compressed by tight garments except the head, which would be in standard gas-pressurized helmet for breathing. It should be a light, durable, puncture resistant, low leakage suit with excellent full-body flexibility. In this case, the construction work in the space suits will be restricted only by the amount of oxygen left in the backpack.

The experiment of building the domes at Mars Analogue station will help us to understand the difficulties, which Mars explorers will face in the future. Therefore, the more we try, the less we deluded.

Picture of the Day – November 28th

November 28, 2016 | Permalink

Setting up for 3-D imagery

Setting up for 3-D imagery

Crew Photos – November 28th

November 28, 2016 | Permalink

Contemplating cross bedding

Contemplating cross bedding





Ominous sunrise

Ominous sunrise


Photographing honeycomb weathering

Photographing honeycomb weathering


Rocky archway

Rocky archway


Yusuke in his dome

Yusuke in his dome


Coming over the ridge

Coming over the ridge

Sol Summary – November 28th

November 28, 2016 | Permalink

Sol Summary Report (SSR):

Sol# 66

Person filling out report: Annalea Beattie

Summary Title: Another busy day on the fingers.

Mission Status on track:


Sol Activity Summary:

This morning Jon and Yusuke took the ATVs on a four and a half hour geology and a lichen sampling EVA. They were blown away by the geology as well as the wind.  Yusuke’s dome is still in place, however (See Jon’s EVA Narrative for details). Anushree cleaned the lab, started work on spore tests and completed her contribution to the second key Mars 160 report.  She also spoke to Shannon today about protocols for halophile plating and with Alex ‘s help, tried to take high-res images of lichens at the cellular level with mixed results. Late this afternoon Yusuke processed the results of the dome project and started writing for the major report. Claude-Michel nurtured the plants and wrote his contribution to the key report as well as completed the food and engineering report. Anastasiya  wrote and wrote I wrote and wrote. Another busy day on the fingers.

There is paper work, even on Mars!


Reports Submitted to CapCom:

  1. Sol Summary- Annalea
  2. EVA Narrative- Jon
  3. Journalist report- Anastasiya
  4. Food Report- Claude-Michel
  5. Pictures -Anastasiya
  6. Photo of the Day – yes


MDRS lessons:

1) Timing is everything.

2) Just be a good Martian.


Plans for tomorrow:  Lichen and hypolith EVA

Crew Physical Status: well.

Weather: Chilly and possibly snowy.

Anomalies: no

EVA Narrative – November 28th

November 28, 2016 | Permalink


Jon Clarke

Today Yusuke and I carried a multi-focus EVA.  We started out setting up some instrumentation in Yusuke’s dome and attaching padding to the roll bars of the electric rover.  We then set out to the north along Cow Dug Rd(yes there were cows today as well) on the quad bikes to collect more data of the palaeochannels that I visited with Annalea last week.


Yusuke among the boulders

The weather was blustery, a cold north wind with light snow showers all round, but not on us.  We were cool, but it was warm enough while we were walking round.  Lugging 15 kg simulated space suits round the landscape is a very warming activity!


Photographing honeycomb weathering

There was lots of data to collect –orange lichens, honeycomb weathering, crossing inverted palaeochannels, and cross bedded conglomerates in the palaeochannels.  Yesuke was trialling a new technique, 3D photography from which he was able to construct anaglyphs (blue-green stereo-pairs).  We should be able to post these in the next couple of days.  When we finished out field work we headed back to the station and did some more work on the dome and collected data on the dimensions of the quad bikes.


Yusuke photographing bright orange lichen

Now the work really starts, as it does after all EVAs – making sense of the data.  There are notes to read and complete, photos to edit and sort, correlations and comparisons to be made. Out of these data and analyses come the ideas that shape our understanding of the area and drive the goals of future EVAs.

Recipe for Cheese & Potatoes Quiche

November 28, 2016 | Permalink

Food Report for of November 2016.

Cheese & Potatoes Quiche: (for Very hungry Martian with enough appetite to eat every single layers)

Dehydrated slice potatoes
Dehydrated Cheese
Dehydrated Peas
Dehydrated tomatoes
Dehydrated Onions

Note: I didn’t add any quantity so read carefully all the instruction and adjust quantity by the size of you pan. The ingredients are in order of which you will need to most

Preparation of the Dish
Step PotD – 1: Start soaking all the vegetables and potatoes and cheese, in three different soaking bowl.

Step PotD – 2: Butter a (or use an non adhesive) pan.

Step PotD – 3: preheat the oven at 450F.

First Layer
Step 1L – 1: Cover the bottom of the pan with hydrated slice potatoes.

Second Layer
Step 2L – 1: In a mixing bowl, mixed all you onions, peas and tomatoes.

Step 2L – 2: Add the egg mix with the correct amount of water to make scramble eggs and then mix the inside of the mixing bowl.

Step 2L – 3: Cover the potatoes layer with the mix

Third Layer
Step 3L – 1: Cover the vegetables with eggs layer with slices potatoes

Forth Layer
Step 4L – 1: In the same mixing bowl use for the second layer( that should be empty) add eggs and cheese with enough water to make scramble eggs.

Step 4L – 2: Cover the second potatoes layer with the mixture.

Cooking the Quiche
Step CtQ – 1: Put the pan in the over for around 90 minutes. Make sure the all the layers are cooked by putting a knife inside and see if it come wet or dry.

This was another successful dish made by Yusuke, that was made in very large quantity. The flavors mixed really well together and it was a real delight.

As always please try this at home. Very little supervision is require, and to eat. Please enjoy.