MDRS End of Field Season

Thanks to everybody who contributed to this year’s field season at the MDRS.  We will be archiving this site shortly, and all the content will still be available under a different URL.

The next field season begins in December 2017.  You can Apply to Join the Crew.

Daily Summary – May 9th

Crew 180 Daily Summary Report 090517

MDRS Daily Summary Report for sol 8

Summary Title: (During the morning all the crew member worked in their projects. In the afternoon, the journalist of the UNAM arrived and started with the interviews about MDRS).

Mission Status: (All are fine)

Sol Activity Summary: (We did not do EVAs. We stayed working in our projects. Four members went to look for a suitable sector to prepare the experiment and to lunch the  capsule  tomorrow)

Look Ahead Plan: (Tomorrow, Yair and Camilo will launch the capsule and all the crew will join them. The people from the UNAM will record the experiment).

Anomalies in work: (We returned to sim and all it is running normal)

Weather:  Cloudy and windy.

Crew Physical Status:  Fine

EVA: (No EVAs today, we stayed around the house)

Reports to be file: (Journalist, engineering report and EVA request)

Support Requested:  No support

Prepared by Yendry

Daily Summary – May 7th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 7 2017

MDRS Sol 9 update

The first hours of the sol were normal. We evaluated the damage caused by the wind and found the tunnels were bent. Later each of us went to our place to continue working with our projects. After that we had lunch and as usual talked about ourselves.

The rest of the day has been different. Crew members went out for a programmed EVA and one of them had an accident in rover. The vehicle flipped twice and the driver passed out for few seconds. The rover, a helmet and a ATV got broken but the crew member is in a good condition.

However, just to be safe, a commission was formed in order to drive the crew member to Grand Junction’s hospital. The group left around 7pm and they are expected to arrive around 10pm to the hospital. As this is a very particular situation, we have broken sim for the rest of the sol and probably solmorrow.

We will notify CapCom as soon as we have more information about the crew member’s condition. However he should be fine: he had not visible signs of being hurt, just minor scratches. 

Daily Summary – March 1st

Crew 180 Daily Summary Report 01052017

MDRS Daily Summary Report for sol (1)

Summary Title (We started the simulation. We had a talk with Shannon. The laboratory was prepared for working and we received the student visitors from a school on earth. Everyone started preparing their project)

Mission Status: (All is fine)

Sol Activity Summary: (We talked to Shannon about the rules on the station. We set the protocols for EVAs and the house. We learned about how to use the EVAs. All the food was counted to be distributed in a better way. We decided to have a shower every 2 or 3 days but just using 8 liters of water. The crew defined Lima-Alpha-Tango-One as the Hab communication password. During our fisrt EVA on SOL-1 we have started at 11:35. We defined the time inside the airlock as one minute before going out)

Look Ahead Plan: (Tomorrow three crew members will have a EVA in the morning. We will start working in the Green Hab and in the laboratory. We will have crew session with Leonardo Valencia with the aim of explaining us about their project)

Anomalies in work: (No problems so far)

Weather: Sunny

Crew Physical Status: The Crew is ok

EVA: (The crew drove along the road till quary Rd in the Special Region Zone

Easting 518500, Northing 4255800 for samples collection of the surface by

the commander Corrales, Y.

The green hab officer Reyes, C. take some pics along the road and helped to the commander to collect the samples.

The EVA Officer Pina, Y. tested the active radiation monitoring and the video-position system through smartphone. The systems are operating adequate.

The crew successfully concluded the EVA at 13:30 and received Earth visitors from Colorado, US to show the hab, lab, and Musk observatory.)

Reports to be file: (Journalist, engineering report and EVA request)

Support Requested: No support

Prepared by: Yendry Corrales and Yair Piña

XO Report – April 28th

04.28.2017 Sol 5

We jumped into early this morning and assembled for breakfast and lectures at 08:00.  We had two behavioural health lectures and then went straight into our EVA preparation.  We had another exploratory mission planned today in addition to an ex-Hab construction project.  Unfortunately, a medical emergency with one of the crew members resulted in a delta evacuation to base.

Debrief after the EVA focused largely on how to deal with bad outcomes in an extraterrestrial environment.  There was good participation from the entire team.

The debrief was followed up by ultrasound testing of the crew members as part of Rick Cole’s ultrasound study.  The testing continued as we rolled into further lectures on ultrasound applications in space.

The crew also reviewed a proposal for research at the Hab in the afternoon.  It is a proposed study on isolation and mood, which is a topic of interest in prolonged space flight and extraterrestrial habitation.

We had a another lecture on Mars medical kits and then had some free time.

This is our last night in the Hab and spirits are high.

Commander Report – April 18th

Today was a rather common day in the schedules. Breakfast at 8 am, followed by an EVA from 9 to 11:59 am with Mathieu, Calogero and myself to install my telecommunication relays and continue signal tests and recordings, and to collect new soil samples for the Mathieu’s experiment, together with the logistic help of Calogero. Unfortunately, winds were too strong to work properly on the top of the hills with the telecommunication relays. This part of EVA is then reported to tomorrow. About Mathieu, he was still able to collect his new soil samples. Back from EVA, we enjoyed culinary talents of Calogero to taste rice with vegetables and a home-made pizza. During the afternoon, every crew member continued to work on his experiment in the Hab for the last EVAs of the next days.

Commander Report – April 13th

We started our Sol 3 with our Coach Nathalie putting on “Feeling Good – Muse” at 8AM, a good reason to wake up happily. After a common breakfast, I spent an hour to fix some software issues on two of the crew’s laptops, while our Crew Astronomer continued to deploy his equipment in the science lab: a scintillator and its control unit. In the meantime, our HSO, Nathalie, launched her physical evaluation exercises for her experiment with, again, a swinging music. At noon, our Master Chief (and Crew Astronomer) Quentin got a genius idea to prepare a lyophilized American cheese fondue, which remains quite fat but still good. Again, this meal was accompanied by our favorite bread, prepared with love by our well-known “full star” baker Math(ieu), the Crew Scientist. In the afternoon, Damien (Crew Engineer) and I continued to prepare tomorrow’s EVA by finishing some welding, program the frequencies of telecommunication devices and testing the repeaters and the sound beacons. Our HSO took charge of her regular sport group, a good way to stay dynamic for the rest of the day

Our third EVA was led by the Second in Command, Calogero, accompanied by our Crew Geologist, Elke Mergny. The sunny and very windy weather conditions allowed them to stay cool. Calogero continued to build his 3D map with a programmed drone by exploring a new area in the North, while Elke succeeded in collecting three different geophysical profiles with her ground penetrating radar, transported in the PEV.

Finally, the Crew Engineer tried to fix the faulty water heater but was stuck with an error code, an issue that will be adressed during the next CapCom. We all finished the afternoon by fulfilling our daily surveys for the “Using Analog Missions to Develop Effective Team Composition Strategies for Long Duration Space Exploration” NASA experiment.

Ad astra!

Aurian d’Avernas – Crew Commander

Commander Report – April 11th

Journalist report Sol 0 and Sol 1 – 170411
Mathieu « Mitch » Vander Donckt
Crew Journalist and Scientist
Crew 178

“Let it be” echoes in my dreams, and my eyes open. I’m in a small dark room. The light ray radiating from under the door illuminate the simply furnished room – a bed and a shelf – in which I was sleeping. My numbness is quickly replaced by excitement: I’m on Mars! The music was the wake-up signal given by Aurian aka “Boss”, the Crew Commander. The rising thrill is fed by the memories of yesterday, when we landed and saw the station with our own eyes for the first time: a circular habitation module connected by tunnels to a greenhouse, a laboratory, and a telescope. Of course, we saw photographs and sketches back on Earth during our training, but no media can pass the global picture or the feeling of this outpost in the middle of nowhere – or let’s say at the boundary of human influence.
We’re not the first crew to have the extraordinary opportunity to settle in this station, built a decade ago, but still we see ourselves as pioneers, eager to explore and analyse this hostile new world. The previous crew should have welcomed us and guided us before going to the departure station, and then home, our Earth. Unfortunately, they did go away a week ago in great urgency, which is really unusual – actually this is a first – for an interplanetary mission, where everything is planned for years and costs billions. But everyone is happy to be here and don’t want to think about that.
The absence of a previous crew brought its own difficulties. Such a station needs a maintenance every day. This is the job of Damien or “Hoover”, the Crew Engineer, who is charged with the upkeep and reparation of all systems, one of the most important being our water supply. When we penetrated the station for the first time, the communication indicators flashed red, indicating a major problem. We had no link with Mission Control on Earth, which was indeed a problem. There is no colony on Mars, just a few scientific installations half-dependent of Earth like ours. Mission Control is of great support, can give us technical advice, supply us with food from orbital reserve if need be, and guide us from day to day. Without them we could run out of water or get caught in a deadly dust storm during Extra Vehicular Activity. The first task of Hoover was to repair the antenna linking us to a satellite, allowing us to communicate with Earth. An easy assignment for an experienced engineer, and a relief for all the crew.
Today all our systems are nominal – except hot water but it is not seen as an urgency –  and we are ready to accomplish our mission here. That begins with the exercises of Nathalie, “Coach”, who keeps us in shape and studies our muscular loss here where the gravitational field is a third of Earth’s. An amusing exercise for some, a torment for others. Anyway, a good physical condition is important.
Now, everybody is unpacking or preparing the experiments. We can’t anticipate what will come next, but we are all eager to make discoveries in our respective domains.

EVA Report – March 31st

EVA Report:  EVA #9
Filled by Otsmar Villarroel, Crew Commander
Crew members: Pitchayapa Jingjit, Esteban Espinoza, Caleb Li, Otsmar Villarroel
12 N 518524 4249129
12 N 518172 4250624
12 N 518158 4253775
12 N 517738 4254864
12 N 518230 4250725 (outside the hab)
Time: departure at 3:00 pm. Estimated return at 5: 30 pm
Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes approximately
Vehicles: 2 ATV’s and 1 Rover
The purpose of this EVA is the collection of soil samples surrounding the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) to bring back to McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas in order to find bacteria producing antibiotics to combat antibiotic resistance crisis.
Twenty one soil samples, 5 g each approximately, were collected to bring them back to McLennan Community College to begin soil dilution process. Samples were collected from five different places around MDRS. The goal for this research is to find unique and effective antibiotics available to cure resistant bacteria.