FMARS-15 XO Report 27-07-2023

 In XO Report

Sol: 4
Summary Title: Advancing Research and Preparing for Future EVAs
Author’s Name: D. Terry Trevino
Mission Status: All Nominal

Sol Activity Summary: Today’s activities started with a simple breakfast as we anticipated a
mid-morning EVA. However, we encountered air quality issues overnight, prompting the crew to
take immediate action. We performed system checks and increased airflow to mitigate the
problem. Crew Engineer Lead Andy Greco and I collaborated on identifying potential solutions
for the high wall humidity around one of the large panels and the humidity in the floors nearby.
These solutions will be discussed further over the next week and integrated into our plans for the
off-season. Health and Safety Officer Caleb Pool discussed the potential adverse effects of
short-term exposure to volatile organic compounds with the crew to ensure everyone’s
The EVA for today involved a visit to the “chain of lakes” to collect water samples for the
nano-plastics study and search for active cyanobacteria colonies. During the EVA, the team,
consisting of Science Mission Lead Olivia Drayson and myself, spent approximately 4 hours
outside. Andrew diligently served as a bear guard, ensuring our safety during the expedition. We
made exciting discoveries during the outing, stumbling upon a large stromatolite sample and a
few fossils.
Back at the habitat, we focused on enhancing the research station’s air quality by installing a
6-inch fan that pulls fresh air from the lower hab emergency exit. The engineering team worked
tirelessly to organize and source potentially hazardous materials while salvaging helpful
Olivia also conducted further human performance research, including the IRB-approved emotion
recognition study and 10-minute focused breathing exercises. We aim to quantitatively
demonstrate the benefits of these practices in maintaining psychological health during our
mission’s challenging and isolated conditions.
Look Ahead Plan: As we proceed to Sol 5, our planned tasks include:

  1. Grounds Maintenance: We will dedicate time to clean up and maintain the surroundings of the
  2. Flight Preparations: We will organize and weigh the expected loads for the plane flight
    scheduled on July 31. Furthermore, we will double-check the landing strip for any large stones as
    requested by Borek Air.
  3. EVA Preparation: On Friday, we have a catch-up day for lost time and furthering our lab
    studies. Crew members will prepare the necessary equipment and thoroughly check space suits
    and backpacks. We will also ensure the facility is thoroughly cleaned.
  4. Habitat Maintenance: Today, we made progress by decluttering the engineering rooms and
    removing lighting in the upper hab.
    Research and Reporting: Science Officer Olivia Drayson and I will continue our research on
    fluorescent photography of the water samples. Olivia has created several samples using a specific
    Thermo Fisher Dye, which will be aggregated with the water source sample. The results of this
    study will be documented in our post-mission science report.
    The required reports, including Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, EVA Report,
    and EVA Request, will be diligently prepared and submitted as scheduled.
    Weather: Mars on Devon Island experienced sunny and bright weather today, with temperatures
    around 14°C. The humidity remained low, and a moderate wind speed of 4 m/s during the
    Crew Physical Status: The overall physical health of the crew remains nominal, and we will
    continue to share our personal health numbers for reference and monitoring.
    Support Requested: We appreciate Eleonore and Sam’s continued support in identifying
    pollutants and clarifying concerns related to TVOC and formaldehyde. As a crew, we have
    addressed the significant concerns and are working through those remaining issues.
    Mission Success and Mars Exploration: Our crew’s achievements are a testament to our
    dedication and the success of our mission. As we continue to explore the Simulated Red Planet,
    we gather valuable data and insights that will contribute to future missions and humanity’s
    long-term presence on Mars.

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