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EVA Report – November 17th

November 17, 2016

By Crew Biologist Anushree Srivastava

It’s Sol 55 and an EVA was scheduled. So the EVA team, Commander Alexander Mangeot, Executive Officer Yusuke Murakami and I, took part in our routine EVA briefing with our EVA coordinator and Crew Geologist Dr Jon Clarke. This EVA was again focused on the lichen sampling. We were supposed to conduct a pedestrian EVA in the east of our habitat. So after a brief discussion with Jon about the sampling site, egressing time and duration, we started gearing up. I was supposed to wear a different but exotic space suit for this EVA to test the fogging issue I had during my last EVA. So Jon prepared my space suit and I put it on to check if any adjustment is needed.  Anastasia and Annalea made sure if any trash bag needs to be removed from the hab so that we can perform this task during the EVA. So, finally after all pre-EVA preparation, we were ready to egress the habitat.

On the other hand, we were a bit concerned about the cold temperature, high velocity “Martian” wind, and extremely dusty atmosphere outside, but we did not consider it as a factor to withdraw our EVA plan for today as it was supposed to be a pedestrian EVA in the vicinity of MDRS. So we were almost ready to start our depressurization inside the EVA airlock. But then we received a radio transmission from our PI Shannon Rupert suggesting to abort the EVA because of the horrendous wind outside. Our HabCom and Crew Engineer discussed the issue with Shannon on the radio and conveyed it to the Commander Alex. In the meantime, we were engaged in the final preparation and making sure we were not missing anything in terms of sampling tools, GPS tracker, and other equipment. The discussion between HabCom, Commander, and PI was over and the conclusion was to cancel the EVA!

The funniest part or you can say the biggest dilemma for three of us was – should we be happy or disappointed? Personally, I was feeling little bad because no EVA means no adventure and our agenda was to collect biological samples, which was postponed. As the first phase of MARS 160 mission is going to be over almost three weeks and there are lot of work to be accomplished, I was a little bit concerned from the work front. HOWEVER, I started remembering my school days. There had been times when you were ready to go school in your school uniform, school bag, lunch, water bottle so on… and suddenly you get to know that it’s holiday or your school is closed J I remember as a kid, sometimes I used to be happy that no school and some more time with family and playing; however I used to be a book worm, locking myself in my study room. But for the first time, I felt the same joy again today after my school days. And not just me, Alex and Yusuke were on the same page. I know sometimes the child inside all of us wants to come out and want to live life its fullest. It is not that we were happy and we were not concerned about our individual jobs as EVA team. We all had been to multiple strenuous EVAs, where we reached to extremely difficult and distant locations, and accomplished our science and engineering objectives. Especially, sometimes as an anomaly, when your helmet starts fogging up, it becomes very challenging to deal with the situation from all fronts, which happened to me during my last EVA. So, EVAs are intense and very very demanding, although in pictures they look fancy and spacey!

Another funny story about this whole story is that our XO Yusuke, who is the funniest member of our crew, always imagines something before his EVAs and which becomes true in some way or the others. As he told us today, his first thought in the morning was, Jon will say, bad weather so no EVA today. Aaaand it happened. So we all keep telling Yususke to imagine – more internet, more water, cheese cake and so on… but sadly it never happened haha

I was assigned to write an EVA Narrative for CapCom window today, but since no EVA today, I decided to write about – why…?

Getting ready for EVA

Getting ready for EVA.


Yusuke removing his tracker and smiling of course! 

Yusuke removing his tracker and smiling of course!