Daily Summary Report – December 30th

SOL: 12
Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO
Summary Title:
Mission Status: Complete
Sol Activity Summary: Cleaned hab, composed final report
Look Ahead Plan: Training new crew tomorrow
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: High 38F, Low 26F, Humidity 36-69%, Wind avg 2mph, Gust 3mph,
Clear and sunny
Crew Physical Status: Alive and well
EVA: None
Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Journalist’s Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report
Support Requested
– None

Crew Photos – December 29th

The Martian terrain becomes increasingly lunar.


The EVA team winds its way across the landscape.


The EVA team poses in front of a cliff face.


Sean and Connor traverse the strange terrain on ATVs.


Geoffrey shows his enthusiasm for Bow Tie Thursday as he prepares to depart with the EVA crew.


Connor stops at the crest of a hill to get the lay of the land.


An otherworldly landscape.


Sean holds the MDRS in the palm of his hand.

Geology/Mars Climate Report – December 29th

I rounded up all my time lapse cameras from the outside during our EVA today. I hope to use all this data I have collected in order to better understand the climate and surface features of Mars. This data coupled with the weather data will provide valuable insight. More information and the concluding remarks about the project will be showcased tomorrow in the final mission report.

Max/Min: Outdoor Temp – 11 F – 45 F

Outdoor Humidity – 34% – 72%

GreenHab Temp – 23 F – 100 F

GreenHAB Humidity – 9% – 38%

Barometer – 29.85 – 30.05 inHg

Wind – 0.8 mph, gust – 2.5 mph

Solar Rad. Max – 402.0 W/m^2

UV Index – 778 uW/cm^2

Dew Point – 3.9 F – 22.5 F

Recorded Precipitation today – 0.00 in

The Final Philosophy of Colonizing Mars Report will be showcased tomorrow in the final mission report, stay tuned.


Submitted by: Connor Lynch – Crew Geologist/Astrophysicist – Crew 171

GreenHab Report – December 29th

Crop tending and data capture for the bioregenerative life support
system research took a great deal of time today.  Plant growth
properties, size and number of leafs, pH/EC, and photos were recorded.
Due to unforeseen issues with the GreenHab, data collection will need
to continue after the duration of simulation at MDRS.

Brittany Zimmerman

Daily Summary Report – December 29th

SOL: 11

Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO

Summary Title: Last EVA

Mission Status: Winding down

Sol Activity Summary: Received water, EVA to Lunar Plains

Look Ahead Plan: Cleanup tomorrow for next crew

Anomalies in work: None

Weather: High 45F, Low 11F, Humidity 34-72%, Wind avg 0.8mph, Gust

2.5mph, Clear skies

Crew Physical Status: Anxious to get back to civilization

EVA: None

Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Commander’s Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report

Support Requested
– None

Commander Report – December 29th

Today we officially concluded our mission activities. While research efforts in the GreenHab had impediments, the process provided insight on potential future improvements to growing facilities at MDRS as well as complications that may occur on Mars. Data collection pertaining to the Astronaut Obstacle Avoidance project was successful, and results may provide implications about spacesuit design and the potential for built-in interfaces in future spacesuits. Tomorrow we plan to spend the sol cleaning the facilities and will spend all of Sol 13 training the next crew before departure on the morning of Sol 14.

The past couple of weeks have been quite an adventure for all of us. We’ve become close and are grateful for having been a part of such a compatible group dynamic. Each of us brought a unique perspective, personality, and set of skills to the crew. We all did our share in keeping the Hab organized and functional, supporting mission objectives, and keeping each other well fed and entertained. Our experience here has provoked thought on the complications involved in a manned mission to Mars, both technical and psychological. We are thankful for being given this opportunity, and will never forget our unique experience at MDRS.

A Sol Summary, Engineering Report, Science Report, and photos will follow.    

Ad Astra!

Alison Gibson

Commander, MDRS Crew 171 (SEDS)

Crew Photos – December 28th

Commander Gibson remotely shuts off the inertial measurement unit which guinea pig Anselm has strapped to his head.
Commander Gibson’s walking course
The EVA team stopped by this interesting rock formation on their way back to the Hab.
The sediment layers in the chasm were beautiful to see.
Anselm and Brittany stand in front of Candor Chasm during their EVA
The EVA crew stops to enjoy the view mid-journey.

Journalist Report – December 28th

Sol 10 Journalist Report
Authored by Anselm Wiercioch

We’re out of water. So there’s that.

We transferred the final dregs from the resupply drone (250L?) into our
primary tank and the drone left. That was a few days ago though and we
haven’t seen anything back. It shouldn’t take more than two days to
boop up to orbit, hit the big transport ships, and boop back down to
us. It’s fully automated and there aren’t many other places for it to
go. We should definitely get those microwaves and condensers up and
running ASAP though. They were supposed to be running when we got
here, but like a lot of things about this mission, got sidelined last
minute. We’re intended to run on tanks carried here instead, which
will never be a long term solution. Good thing our primary mission is
ending soon. None of us we’re expecting to return to Earth for sure,
but I can’t say the prospect is disappointing. We’ll see what happens.
We still have a few sources we could pull from for water and last long
enough for the resupply drone. Day by day.

On the bright side, Mars is gorgeous. The follow-up crew hit Candor
Chasma today and it was breathtaking. Grand Canyon got nothing on
Mars. Something about the rich colors and years of erosion by dust
storms mixed with the desolate, frozen geology is awe inspiring. Like
the ruins of a long dead but once great civilization. It’s kind of
creepy too, because you can tell it was the kind of civilization that
fixed all our technological issues and got past all the social divides
we’re stuck on and somehow still got wiped out. Desolate doesn’t begin
to describe it. As nice as going back would be. There’s so much to do
here and so much to see and millions of people may never see any of
this. Just seems like a bit of a waste.

We also tested out Commander Gibson’s research project and helped
gather some data for an augmented reality obstacle avoidance system.
Would be really nice to have sometimes. These helmets are absolutely
horrible to hike in. Once the soil gets muddy or soft, you’re done
for. Add it to the list of improvements. That’s why we’re here though,
right? To take a great chance and figure out how to make things easier
for the next crews and generations.

Hab life is good. Things are becoming routine now. People are
generally not going insane or injuring themselves too severely, so
that’s good. We’ve got an overall mission report coming up soon so I
won’t go into things too much here. We are starting to feel the
isolation though. I suppose it’s a good thing that it took this long,
but it’s a curious feeling. These five people are our family now –
very possible the folks we’ll grow old and die with. Our Martian
Elysium is insanely beautiful, but also very empty. A planet
inhabited, other than us, entirely by robots. Other crews will come in
time, but not within easy visiting range, and after the first few,
they’ll stop sticking around. No guarantees when that will be though
or whether one of those shuttles will have room for us. We might never
see anyone again solely because the wrong politician gets into office
and the program drops funding. Humans are weird like that.


Daily Summary Report – December 28th

SOL: 10
Person filling out Report: Anselm Wiercioch, XO
Summary Title: Final Countdown
Mission Status: Working in final EVAs
Sol Activity Summary: Candor Chasma EVA, Spacesuit testing
Look Ahead Plan: EVA to Lunar Plains
Anomalies in work: Out of water
Weather: High 43F, Low 12F, Humidity 35-67%, Wing avg 1.1mph, Gust 2.5mph, Sunny
Crew Physical Status: Functional but feeling the isolation
EVA: Follow up to Candor Chasma
Reports to be filed:
– Sol Summary
– Journalist’s Report
– Science Reports
– 6-8 Photos
– EVA Plan
– Operations Report
Support Requested
– None