SOL 52 - EVA Narrative: Challenges and Accomplishments

Sol 52 [15 November 2016]


Another intense EVA!


Today, Annalea, Anastasiya and I headed towards the field site at 9:17 in the morning. After gearing up, we went inside the EVA airlock, simulated depressurisation and egressed the hab. Our first task was to remove the two trash bags from the hab. This EVA was basically focused on collecting hypolith abundance data and taking the sample back for macroscopic measurements of hypolith colonies.
The first lesson learned is to always accompany a route map while heading for a field site. Today, although our sampling site was in the vicinity of MDRS, for the first 15 minutes we kept wondering about the most convenient way to reach the ridge where we were supposed to conduct the hypolith study. The ridge was approximately 1400 meters above from the sea level. Although we were trying to take a route which was most convenient and required more walking than climbing in spacesuits, we ended up a shorter but difficult route. I had been to the location for an EVA before, for a different research objective, but we decided not to proceed that way as it was easy but a long walk. Also, we did not have the exact route map to follow. Finally, we came to a conclusion and found our way towards the ridge. The path to the ridge was absolutely tricky. We had to climb multiple slippery mounds and a steep incline, which, in the heavy spacesuit, was something to do. But we did it!


The two unexpected events occurred. First, my helmet started fogging up while climbing. Second, Anastasiya found a fly (we were not alone :) roaming inside her helmet which was very disturbing. So, we decided to stay for 10 minutes in the middle of the mound which was very slippery; we adjusted our legs properly so that we do not fall down. Anastasiya got rid of the fly, and the fog in my helmet started clearing up. The foggy helmet makes your excursion even more challenging and actually dangerous as you are not able to see through. Having resolved those issues, we moved ahead and decided to slow down our pace, which worked. During this period, we were constantly receiving transmissions from our HabCom – our Crew Geologist Dr Jon Clarke (a responsible job!). HabCom is a person who is based inside the hab, monitors the activities of the EVA team, and provides suggestions if needed via radio transmissions. This job rotates.


Finally, we completed our exhausting journey to the sampling location. Dr Chris McKay has proposed the hypolith study for Mars 160 mission. So, as he has suggested, I want to cover as many sites as possible to get a significant data of percentage abundance of hypolith in the Utah Desert. Although I felt this was not an ideal site for hypolith study, I wanted to record the data. Moreover, I collected some soil sample for further analysis.


I was just deliberating with myself, why our work of recording hypolith percentage abundance in the Utah Desert is important even though it is commonly practiced in the deserts. Our work stands out because we are performing this study in the full simulation suit while carrying almost 16 kilograms on our bodies. It is unprecedented. Additionally, it would provide a significant comparable data with other Mars analogs to understand the pattern and extent of colonization and environmental effect. We are also trying to understand the challenges and limitations of conducting such studies in full simulation suit for the future human astrobiological exploration of Mars. Telescience is a very important component of MARS 160 mission, which means, we maintain regular communication with our Earth-based scientists, as sometimes protocols need to be modified according to the changing situations.


So, we finished our field work and headed back to the hab. Again, we were extremely careful while climbing down. We were putting baby steps :)


Oh yeah, suddenly we felt that we were hungry! We started discussing mashed potatoes on the radio.

Funny!!

When my helmet got fogged up. (Image Credit: Crew Artist Annalea Beatie and The Mars Society)

Views: 128

Comment

You need to be a member of SAGANet to add comments!

Join SAGANet

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Blog Posts

¿Are the Venusian sulphuric acid clouds the by product of long dead anoxogenic photosynthetic organisms?

Posted by Andrew Planet on May 4, 2020 at 2:51pm 2 Comments

I just read the piece at the link below entitled "Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world."

I'd been thinking on similar lines recently, on different atmospheres with early life, but I was considering anoxogenic bacteria whose byproduct is sulfur instead of molecular oxygen. ¿Had life evolved on Venus could its sulfuric clouds be the signature byproduct of such life with no branches ever evolving to produce the equivalent of Earth's Great…

Continue

100 years tomorrow 26th April 2020 since we looked beyond the Milky Way Galaxy

Posted by Andrew Planet on April 25, 2020 at 11:10am 0 Comments

Exactly 100 years ago tomorrow, the subject on whether this Universe is larger than the Milky Way Galaxy was brought up publicly at an event sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, known as The Great Debate. Until then the Milky Way was thought to be this Universe.  Conference at the NAS http://www.nasonline.org/about-nas/events/annual-meeting/nas157/

See this…

Continue

The 5th Mexican School of Astrobiology

Posted by Tardigrelda on June 24, 2019 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

I am really glad to invite everyone to the next Mexican School of Astrobiology (aka EMA) which is this August.

¡Anímate a participar en la 5ta Escuela Mexicana de…

Continue

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabli…

Posted by Wolf D. Geppert on February 24, 2019 at 1:33am 0 Comments

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabling Europe to emerge as a key player in Astrobiology and to…

Continue

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Forum

Ask your questions here!

Started by Gina Riggio in SAGANet Discussions. Last reply by Mert Kabalcı yesterday. 121 Replies

If you are trying to ask a question live during Ask an Astrobiologist, please do so in the main chatroom at the bottom of the screen! You can also ask on twitter…Continue

Have we been looking in the wrong time-frame? Requesting feedback on a recent paper.

Started by Christopher J Reiss in The Cutting-Edge of Astrobiology Apr 3. 0 Replies

Let me first say Hi to everyone as a new member here!   I hope you are all safe, sound, and not too stir-crazy during this Pandemic.I recently stumbled upon a notion for SETI which seems so simple I…Continue

Interactive Online Astrobiology for 10-12 yr olds

Started by Julia Brodsky in Education and Public Outreach Mar 9. 0 Replies

If your 10-12 yr old child is interested in space science, I would like to invite them to our courses. I am a former science teacher,  mom of three, and a former NASA astronaut instructor. I also…Continue

Tags: school, education, middle, astrobiology, STEM

zahra cell

Started by adam nurjaman in Education and Public Outreach Mar 7. 0 Replies

Hallo apa kabar ? semoga selalu baik2 saja zahra cell adalah blog yang…Continue

Tags: cell, zahra

© 2020   Blue Marble Space, a non-profit organization committed to science and science outreach.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service