Astronomy Report – May 21st

Crew 181 Astronomy Report 21 May 2017

Name:  Janet Biggs     Crew: 181
Date: Sol 7 (20 May 2017)
Sky Conditions: Clear

Wind Conditions:

Observation Start Time: 22:30

Observation End Time: 24:30

Summary: Since I am a novice, the learning curve is a bit slower for me than anticipated.  Our Engineer Charlie has been working with me, which has been helpful.  We are both reading guides and manuals during the day to familiarizing ourselves with the equipment.  We are still trying to set our two-star alignment.  We were able to view and center Mizor last night in the finderscope.  Although it did not appear centered in the Telrad.

We are still having trouble focusing the telescopes 2” eyepiece.  If you can give us any tips here it would be appreciated as we cannot complete a two-star alignment until we master focusing.

I was able to take some video images of Charlie working inside the Observatory … one of my goals for my mission!

We are eager to try again, but last night was too cloudy and we had to get the station ready for our media guest.  Tonight, we have a media visit from Ozzy Ozbourne so I’m not sure if we will be able to try any viewing.

Objects Viewed: Mizar and Alcor

Problems Encountered: No problems, other than the above mentioned focusing problem.

Daily Summary – May 21st

Crew 181 Daily Summary Report

May 21st, 2017


MDRS Daily Summary Report for SOL 8


Summary Title: A Rainy Day on Mars

Mission Status: A day full of Settlers of Catan and getting too excited about a potential thunderstorm.

Sol Activity Summary: Janet and Charlie had another late night troubleshooting the observatory. Luckily, they are starting to make progress! In the early AM, Janet, Charlie, and Avishek went to Gallieo Rd (see EVA report for more).

Around 2-3pm, we endured our first Martian rain storm that brought heavy winds. All crewmembers took advantage of the tunnel system to get a sense of the storm and make sure there wasn’t too much damage afflicted to the Hab and the buildings. We then had tuna melt quesadillas and played Settlers of Catan while the storm raged on.

After a few rounds of Catan, Charlie had remained undefeated for the day and nobody wanted to play a third round. We checked our internet and realized our usage was up (still unclear what caused this). We are now writing our reports that will be sent in the early AM tomorrow.

Look Ahead Plan: More observatory tonight if it’s clear enough. We will be out of sim tomorrow (aside from a morning EVA) as we prepare for our Martian invaders, Ozzy and Jack! We will not have reports tomorrow, as it will be a tiring day for all involved. Avishek also leaves us tomorrow, which we are all sad to lose a crewmember mid way through our sim (but PhD work can’t wait, apparently.)

Anomalies In Work: Water heater continues to not work (more info in the engineering report). We also lost Internet connection around noon and continue to not have it. We are unsure if this is because of an earlier service manual for the water heater that Charlie downloaded, or if someone accidentally had something connected to wifi. There does not appear to be any issue with the router, but we have tried all options with it. During the rainstorm, we realized a panel of the Hab seems to be flapping when winds from the north gust against it, creating a loud heavy sound.

Weather: Partly cloudy all day leading up a windy and rainy storm around 2-3pm.

Crew Physical Status: Good spirits all around, a little sad that Avishek will be leaving us tomorrow.

EVA: Morning EVA went to Galileo Rd. Afternoon EVA was canceled.

Reports to be Filed: journalist report, engineering report, EVA report, and EVA request.

Support Requested: Unless you can send out a Martian technician to fix or replace the water heater, we do not have any requests.


Prepared by Cassandra



Cassandra Klos

Commander, Crew 181

Journalist Report – May 21st

Journalist Report 21 May 2017

Prepared by Juan Jose Garcia

Images courtesy of Janet and Juan

Sol 8

Janet is the inventor of Tuna melt quesadillas on Mars. So we’ve named a mountain range after her in homage.

The morning EVA was an adventure to a spectacular area called Galileo Road according to the crew that went. So spectacular, that Avishek was invested in going back for his final EVA this afternoon.

The inside of the GreenHAB was 188° Fahrenheit. I immediately rushed to tell the crew, where several of us rushed into the GreenHAB to experience the surface of Mars without a space suit. Janet, Cassie, and I turned it into an artist sauna. 188° feels like a pressing yet comfortable heat. It makes one feel sleepy. One could fall asleep and stay asleep permanently in the GreenHAB. One is slowly roasted in the soothing warmth of the concentrated desert sun.

We have rescheduled the evening EVA because a riveting thunderstorm rolled up on the HAB leaving muddy ground not apt for astronaut ATV rides. The sky was invaded by dark gray clouds. The mountains vanished vanished from the sky. The back airlock door became nearly impossible to open with the winds. We certainly became concerned, if Charlie rushes out concerned, then we take the trouble seriously.  The wind pummeled the East side of the HAB, where a panel started making a horrible noise because it had become loose. The tunnels and observatory dome swayed in the wind. The weather is back and forth today, beautiful morning, cloudy 188° in the GreenHAB weather at midday, followed by thunderstorm and howling winds, and now we’re back to beautiful skies in the evening.

The meat of the day was in a 6-hour long marathon of the land building game CATAN. It’s essentially monopoly and Risk combined, but better than both. So invigorating was the game that as soon as we ended the first one, we immediately started a new one. Charlie won both times. After the first game, an alliance was formed between Janet, Cassie and myself to put an end to his tyrannical expansion. At a decisive moment in the game, Cassie laid down roads in a key location on the game board, forever more after that moment the history of the game was split into pre-Cassie and post-Cassie’s colonization.

Janet is the expert on Musk observatory domes on the entire planet. She has been troubleshooting the telescope for days now, with the help of Dave from ground control. Charlie has been troubleshooting the water heater with the greatest effort as well. Fortunately, he did have the pleasure of winning two games of CATAN in a row.

Crew Photos – May 21st

A riveting game of CATAN


Avishek and the sunrise


Avishek in the airlock


Avishek on an ATV


Cassie catching some internet