Author: Michael Bouchard
EVA #: GeoEVA_1/BioEVA_1
EVA Date: 12-25-13
EVA time slot: morning/afternoon (10am-2pm)
Objectives and Plan overview, please comment on preEVA expectations:
1) Begin Geologic Mapping Project
2) Establish a sense of the local stratigraphic column, characterize units, and collect the first round of Geo samples
3) Scout out a experimental Astrobiologic site and take soil samples from three different depths
Narrative EVA report: //can limit to first three-five paragraphs
Today's EVA was exciting and muddy. We accomplished all major objectives of the EVA and would have returned just after our 4 hour window had we not doubled back to retrieve a dropped piece of equipment. Total EVA time was 4 hours and 40 minutes. All participants returned unharmed and in good humor. All EVA equipment was returned and sustained no damage with the exception of being caked in mud. These have been cleaned.
Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the EVA team and the data we collected. Today was the combined GeoEVA_1 and BioEVA_1. The principle Geologic goals were to being the Geologic mapping project, characterize the units, establish a sense of the stratigraphic column, and reclaim 2-3 subsurface samples to be run through the UltraViolet Spectrometer. The Crew Geologist completed all of these in addition to a human factors study of typical Geologic equipment used in a Martian analog environment. The Crew Geologist is convinced we are in a location that once contained several generations of water flow, both fluvial and deep sea marine. This is an exciting development in our continued Astrobiologic and Geologic investigations of the red planet.
The Astrobiologists were able to scout out their experimental site for this mission and collected environmental data and sub surface samples from various depths. The resident artist also completed his experiential mission objectives and documentation for his continued investigation. The specifics of all of these are detailed in their respective reports.
For this mission the EVA crew opted to try out the first generation EVA Self Contained Life Support Systems (SCLSS) and helmets. We also took out the second set of hand radios to see if they worked better than the first set. The crew brought two GoPro video cameras, a spade, and a suite of almost 20 Geology tools, and strapped to the Crew Geologist.
The crew traversed towards the selected peak (UTM 27, 12S, 518500mE, 4251500mN) from the South. This leg of the EVA was very productive and comfortable. The helmets had been treated with dish soap prior the traverse and there was much better visibility this traverse. The radios also worked about 80% of the time. This leg also gave the crew some exciting and interesting Geologic information about the region, including topping indicators that verified that the surrounding units have not been overturned, and an ancient river bed.
The crew reached the base of the peak and moved west to reach their second waypoint. They climbed up the slope to the top of the peak. They attempted to establish radio communication with the habitat there but failed. Here the Crew Geologist took some time to make a sketch of the peak and its units. After about 25 minutes they were ready to move on and the habitat had reached them for a quarter check-in (Mission 132 has an EVA procedure with two versions of check-ins. The EVA team initiates a Waypoint Check-in when they reach one of the preselected waypoints, and the Habitat Support CapCom initiates a check in every quarter of the duration of the EVA).
The crew wanted to cross from their peak to the neighboring peaks but the path was deemed potentially to dangerous so the crew began to descend the peak. The path selected for the decent was along one of the erosional valleys that ran from the top of the peak to the base. This path turned out to be very muddy and marked with sink holes. We do not advice another traverse of this nature to be attempted. The descent took about an hour because the crew was taking it slow. A few different paths had to be attempted. As the day progressed and our level of activity increased the helmet visibility decreased. This also slowed the crew down as they verified their steps. The EVA team reached the base of the peak around 1:30pm, unhurt, but very muddy.
At the base of the peak they completed their Astrobiologic investigation, and prepared the site that will be returned to three more times this mission. With good spirits the crew turned towards home. We reached the ATV trail that marked our return route of the traverse and were within site of the habitat when we realized one crew member had dropped one of the GoPro cameras. We retraced our steps back to the Astrobiologic site and then back towards the ATV trail. We did find the lost piece of hardware in full working condition. The EVA crew made it back to the habitat at 2:40PM, this delay was due to the extra 20 minutes to and from the Astrobio site.
All crew members performed their duties exceptionally and were very professional throughout the EVA. All mission objectives were accomplished, with significantly less equipment issues than the traverse the day before. We returned to a wonderfully cooked meal and baked Christmas S'mores.
SCLSS: Pack's ran the entire EVA, except pack 3 which did not run at all
Helmet, visibility: mild fogging, more when traversing difficult terrain
Air flow: steady throughout, one crew members got switched off when pack got bumped
Coms, usage, drop outs: radios worked most of the time, two times we could not reach the habitat, but then they called us from a similar location
Gear, boots, gators, caps, gloves: all worked but are caked in mud
Ian's glove's got so muddy he couldn't operate the camera
Water, usage, accessibility:
GPS: no issues
Digging Equipment: Rock hammer and spade worked well
Other: Lost one GoPro but were able to find it while retracing our steps
Waypoint Check in:
>trouble with second point but over all good
Half Hour Check in:
>worked very well
>Requested clearance to enter hab
time: 10:15 Departed from Airlock
Location: UTM 27, 12S, 518230mE 4250740mN
Comment: Check in, all radios working, ready to depart
Location: 518389mE 4251521mN
Comment: tried to check in at 11:59 but there was no radio contact. We stopped to make sketches. At 12:20 Habitat contacted us for a check in, radios worked then.
Location: UTM 27, 12S, 518750mE 4250790mN
Comment: EVA team realizes that they have left a camera behind and radio to CapCom to let them know that they are retracing their steps to retrieve the camera.
Location: UTM 27, 12S 518464 4251404
Comment: Commander calls to EVA team about tardiniess. EVA team confirms that they have retraced their steps and are now turning back to habitat.
Location: 518231mE 4250745mN
Arrive Time: 10:20
Depart Time: 10:22
Findings: Just north of Habitat. Icy.
Location: 518389mE 4251521mN
Arrive Time: 11:59
Depart Time: 12:25
Findings: Top of the peak, great view. Took a rest and took time to make a Geologic sketch of the peak for reference
Arrive Time: 1:42
Depart Time: 1:43
Findings: Hit the ATV road much farther south than expected and did not record GPS data