When science meets art and art meets science…
The SSLP has given the opportunity to have at disposal a fair quantity of unused soil. The density
measurement has shown that mixing water with the soil gives a quite consistent mud. At this point,
it has been considered a pottery artistic project out of the leftovers of soil samples (instead of
throwing them away).
Later, Gypsum has been found at Tank Wash. Some samples have been brought back. Reduced to coarse
pieces and baked in the oven at 150°C for few hours. It comes out quite white and opaque which
indicate that the calcium sulfate dihydrate has lost part of its water content. For the purpose, the
coarse grains have been pounded to make a fine powder. The result is plaster powder ready to use.
With two materials on hand, it has been decided to make an artistic goodie with a semi-industrial
process. The original idea was to make two plaster molds with low relief engravings to build some
sort of pottery coins at the Crew and MDRS effigy.
However, the pottery part has been found unfeasible. When the clay dries, cracks appear and destroy
the original object (see picture 01). It seems that the clay must be prepared in a way that remains unknown to be
used for pottery…
The counter molds have been graved, though. The result (see pictures 02 and 03) is left to your judgment. It is still
possible to use commercial clay to make the coins (which will probably be done). The only thing is
that the clay will not come from MDRS area.
Nonetheless, it has been possible to make a ball of clay during preliminary tests, without cracking.
It gave the idea of making expanded clay pebbles for hydroponic system out of the local soil. The
only thing missing at the MDRS is a high temperature oven to bake the clay. Indeed, clay requires to
be baked at 1200°C or it would dissolve into water at its contact. Running out of time, this idea
needs to be explored in a future rotation.
To conclude, it is amazing what it is possible to make from waste of scientific programs and/or
local resources. In this particular case, there is a clear flow of ideas coming from scientific
activity (soil analysis and field exploration) toward artistic activity. Not being artists by
nature, this is our curiosity and ingenuity that lead our ideas into this direction. Testing these
ideas come with new ones which are related to science, technology or art.
In the coming decades, it is probable that space will be more and more inhabited. Eventually a new
culture will emerge from this new "territory". Consequently, for space long duration mission or
colonization, art creativity should not be underestimated to ease this new culture emerge. It also
leads to new way of thinking and make people more prone of exploiting waste or other resources.
Last night after communication window with CapCom, we all learn new skill using my second version of the creation guide. The new guide was made by Paul Knightly as the expert. The new skill we learn was to learn how to dance Copperhead Road, a contemporary country song that is very popular in western bar all across the United States of America. This activity gave me more data so I could get a better statistic for this version of the test.
In a previous science report, the one from the 26 of November, I found that the first version of the creation guide scored 78.85% with the first version of the evaluation matrix and 67.17% with the second one. The second creation guide got a score of 76.81% with the first version of the evaluation matrix and 79.21 with the second one. The standard deviations of the distributions are 3.68 and 3.31 respectively.
It is noticeable that on the first version of the evaluation matrix the first version score slightly higher making it a better test, but the average score on each test are within one standard deviation of each other, making it had to make sure with a good certainty that the seen result of good. By using the second evaluation matrix score we have a more certain result. The average of the first version of the creation guide is at 1.94 standard deviation of the second version of the creation guide.
This result while far from perfect show that the second evaluation matrix was successful to separate the score of both version, allowing a better review of the situation.