FMARS-15 Science Report 28-07-2023

 In Science Report

Submitted by Science Officer Olivia Drayson

  1. EVA:  One miniature EVA took place today to collect GPS data on nearby landmarks for the map under production. 
  1. Algal Investigation: The samples collected during EVA2 and EVA4 including cyanobacteria algae were inspected underneath a microscope. Another microscope was located inside the habitat packed away into a box. Either unused or barely used. The bulb worked perfectly and we were successful in viewing a sample of cyanobacteria mounted onto a glass slide. The 100X lens was an oil lens and microscope oil was found and applied successfully. The internal structure of the filamentous cyanobacteria was observed and imaged. A plan to track the growth rate of the cyanobacteria samples was started and an EVA returning to the algal mat will be conducted. 
  1. Microplastics Study: The Nile Red stock was added to a lake sample for microplastic detection. The slide was viewed under the fluorescent microscope and …
  1. Mapping the Surface:  Andrew began developing the detailed map using GPS co-ordinates collected during EVAs.
  1. Human Factors Study: Heart rate variability continues to be tracked and the crew has completed 2 meditation sessions per day each day of sim so far.
  1. Crew comfort, health and safety: After leaving doors open and setting up a fan extracting air from the attic running most of the day and night, the CO2 levels have dropped dramatically from previous days. The only form of indoor pollutant that remains a concern is the Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) including Benzene and Formaldehyde. Despite the addition of the ventilation system, the upper floor continues to read the maximum limit for TVOC at 9.99 mg/m3 and around 8 mg/m3 in the attic. The TVOC levels remain far above the WHO safe limit (3 mg/m3 for TVOC, 0.1mg/m3 for Formaldehyde for 30mins) and the crew continues to search for solutions. The dehumidifiers will be cleaned and tested as it is believed the higher relative temp and humidity in the upper level is causing greater off-gassing as well as accumulation of these pollutants.  

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