Flashline-16 EVA Report-01 08-07-2024

 In EVA Report

Extra-Vehicular Activity Report 01

Leader: Michael Andrews

Team: Ilaria Cinelli, Mason Robbins

Destination(s): The data logger locations on the outermost rim of the Haughton Crater

Transport: ATV and On foot

Duration: 2.25 hrs

Time: 1045-1300

Furthest coordinates from the station: 75° 25′ 4.1″ N, -89° 48′ 50.4″ W

Expedition Objectives:

  • Test out Mason’s experimental, pressurized space suit away from the habitat to perform missions.
  • Extract all three data loggers that have been recording for the last year.

Expedition Description:

The team exited the habitat around 10:45, two with their regular FMARS space suits and Mason with his experimental suit. 

Due to the nature of Mason’s suit, he must pressurize it via air compressor and Anker mobile battery pack.  This means to perform this objective, he must break sim and exit the airlock without a helmet, proceed to the objective coordinates, and the pressurize his suit and helmet. 

All team members mounted an ATV and worked to get them started.  One of the olive Arctic Cat ATVs would not start, and after a little bit of troubleshooting, it was deemed unable to fix in simulation. Therefore, I made the decision to head to the objective on foot and allow Robbins and Cinelli to travel via ATV. 

The datalogger location can be easily reached via an ATV trail beyond the airstrip.  A small portion of the trail as covered in a few inches of snowbank, but the ATVs were able to easily descend down the bank as I walked down it.  The trip back up would not be as easy. 

Upon reaching the first datalogger, Cinelli and Robbins dismounted their ATVs, and the team split up.  Robbins would start to activate his suit, and Cinelli and I would proceed to datalogger #2.  The high-level plan for data logger retrieval follows:

  • Robbins activates his suit while Cinelli and I proceed to data logger #2.  I would perform the removal of data logger #2
  • Data logger #2 is brought back to Cinelli’s ATV for storage
  • Robbins, having activated his suit, groups with Cinelli and I at data logger #1.  Robbins would use his suit to retrieve data logger #1
  • Data logger #1 would be stored on Robbin’s ATV
  • Robbins would begin to deactivate his suit
  • Cinelli and I would proceed to data logger #3.  Cinelli would perform the removal.
  • Cinelli would store data logger #3 on her ATV.
  • All crew members would return to the habitat.

Although this plan would have to be flexible as complications arose, this was our North Star for the expedition. 

Cinelli and I proceeded to data logger #2 and realized that it is not the same configuration as the others.  This larger receptable had less attachment points, but required different tools to remove.  After about 5 minutes and a combination of needle nose pliers and the crescent wrench, the data logger and all hardware was removed from its stand.

I had brought a collection of tools to perform the removals.  They are listed below:

  • Small socket set with long sockets
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Roll of duct tape (yellow)
  • Adjustable crescent wrench
  • Multi-tool
  • Wrist slate with ball point pen
  • Mobile phone (to be used as a camera)
  • Small flathead screwdriver

Cinelli and I returned to the ATV and attached the logger to the hood of the vehicle.  I noticed Mason was still working on activating his suit, so I made the executive decision to focus on data logger #3’s retrieval next.  Cinelli and I proceeded down the rim to the final position.

This third data logger had the expected configuration, and we had reviewed it prior to the EVA and come up with a plan to extract it.  Cinelli first used a socket to remove the receptable from its U-bolt, and then quickly unplugged each cable with a push of the glove.  The cords pulled out from the rubber manifold, and the receptacle was loose.  Cinelli and I then used the pliers and multi-tool to wrap duct tape around all cords to create a water-tight seal.

When we returned to the ATV location and stored data logger #3, we interacted with Robbins.  While we were in transit, his air hose became torn on a sharp edge of the ATV’s rail.  He spent the duration cutting off the torn segment and patching the remaining hose.  Cinelli and I remained by his side, ready to offer help if we could.  After his patch was tested and the suit held pressure, we proceeded to data logger #1.

For this final removal, Cinelli managed Robbins’ air lines, I provided the appropriate tools and steps for removal, and Robbins performed the removal.  Due to the nature of suit pressurization, we could not audibly communicate with Robbins.  I wrote down the steps of the removal on my wrist slate and would motion towards each step with the appropriate tool(s).  Once the data logger was removed, I held it as we walked to the ATVs. 

For extraction, the team moved further down the trail to a drier and rockier part and performed a three point turn.  Again, Cinelli and Robbins were on ATV and I was on foot.  However, once Cinelli’s beige Arctic Cat ATV approached the snowbank, it lost traction.  I exchanged roles with her (handing off data logger #1 in the process), and attempted to scale the banks.  I was also unsuccessful.  Robbins recommended that I switch the ATV to four-wheel drive, and we realized that the beige models do not have 4WD, whereas the olive ones do.  As a result, I took a slight detour around the bank while Robbins easily scaled the snowbank in his ATV on 4WD mode.  Once we reached the other side of the snowbank, we decided to have Cinelli walk back to the habitat with data logger #1 in hand and data logger #3 in pocket, while I carried data logger #2 on the ATV and Robbins carried his battery and compressor on his ATV. 

Several minutes later, we all arrived at the habitat safely and entered the airlock to conclude simulation.  All objectives were completed.

Figure 1. Original placement locations of the data loggers.  Option 1 was the ultimate placement location from the FMARS-15 mission.
Figure 2. Testing Crew Engineer Robbins’s experimental, pressurized space suit to extract data logger #1.

Figure 3. Post-extraction state of data logger #3’s location.

Figure 4. Post-extraction state of data logger #1’s location.
Figure 5. Retrieved data loggers back in the research station.