FMARS-15 Crew Journalist Report 29-07-2023
Mars Society’s Mission Report – Sol 6: Martian Marvels and Winterizing Wonders
By D. Terry Trevino
Devon Island, Arctic – Greetings from our Martian outpost on the vast and unforgiving Devon Island! Sol 6 marked another eventful day for Crew 15 as we delved deeper into our mission, leaving no Martian stone unturned. The winds kicked up with gusto, and we felt a chill in the air as temperatures crept downward, signaling that winter is fast approaching here in the Arctic.
EVA Report: Today’s EVAs were nothing short of spectacular, filled with the spirit of exploration and excitement of exploring a distant world. Commander Andrew and Andy, accompanied by our trusted bear guard Caleb, embarked on EVA 5 in the morning. Their destination was an ancient site identified in 2017, a Martian geological beauty that continues to mesmerize us. Armed with wit and humor, the trio collected soil samples and even discovered rocks adorned with lichen. Rock stars, indeed! Photos of our findings immortalized the adventure, and like responsible Martian visitors, we left no trace of our passage behind. Of course, we couldn’t forget our beloved permafrost data loggers; even on Mars, data reigns supreme! This thrilling escapade lasted two hours, but the memories will last forever.
Later in the day, the dynamic duo, Science Mission Lead Olivia, and I teamed up with Commander Andrew as our vigilant bear guard for EVA 6. Our destination? The elusive algal mat that caught our attention during a previous EVA. Vroom vroom, our trusty ATVs Valkyrie, Pegasus, and Centaur whisked us along the chain of three lakes to our prize – the mesmerizing algal mat. We deftly collected water samples for analysis and even procured a small algal sample. Mars may be distant, but it’s teaching us to be eco-conscious even on alien worlds! On our journey home, we seized the chance to gather creek water with glass tubes for microplastic analysis, because who doesn’t want to find Martian microplastics? And hey, it’s not every day you enjoy a Martian snow cone, so we scooped some snow melt for the ultimate icy treat! Just kidding! We will continue the hunt for red nano-plastics. EVA 6 was a true water wonderland expedition, and our Martian adventures are becoming legendary.
Back at the habitat, we revealed in the fresh air as all air quality measurements were nominal and splendid. Commander Andrew was the creative thinker who floated the idea of testing the results by closing the station for 10 hours. The numbers began to elevate, signaling a need to open the station. We’ve got some brainstorming, including planning for a ventilation system or an ECLSS system for future analogue seasons.
Look Ahead Plan: As we gaze into Sol 7 and beyond, our crew remains dedicated to the mission’s success. Our planned tasks include:
1. Continual Grounds Maintenance and Winterizing of the Station: Embracing the chill, we will prepare the research station for the cold days ahead, ensuring it remains a cozy abode in this remote Martian wilderness.
2. Flight Preparations for Monday’s Pickup: We’ll meticulously pack Olivia’s and Andrew’s gear for their plane flight scheduled on July 31. We’ll double-check the landing strip, sending images to Borek Air to ensure a smooth departure from our Martian haven.
3. EVA Preparation: On Sunday, our catch-up day, we’ll focus on lab studies and ensuring our equipment and space suits are primed for further Martian explorations. A clean habitat is a happy habitat!
4. Habitat Maintenance: Today, the installation of 6 LED light fixtures in the upper level of the hab on 2 independently switched runs was completed, providing controllable and cozy yet bright lighting for the common area. A delightful 60W in full consumption, and the switches allow cutting that in half if desired. Oh, and two loads were incinerated, with two more planned for this evening. Our windsock and wind turbine generator continue to perform admirably, even in the face of Martian-like winds.
Our research endeavors continue, with Olivia and I passionately studying fluorescent photography to detect nano-plastics using water samples on hand. Science knows no bounds, even in a distant world.
As we prepare our required reports, including Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, EVA Report, and EVA Request, we take great pride in our progress thus far. The Martian winds may blow, and the chill may set in, but the spirit of exploration and the camaraderie of Crew 15 remain unshaken. Together, we venture into the unknown, one Martian step at a time.
Signing off from our Martian Marvels,
D. Terry Trevino
Crew Journalist, Crew 15