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Engineering Report


Victor Luo


I will pen today’s report as ‘The Mystery of the Comma’.  If you felt like doing the math from the previous two reports, you would find that we were claiming a per person usage of more than 60 gallons a day.

This calculation is of course absurd.  We don’t even poop more than once a day (although I should report that the toilet clogged today,

but was fixed with the plunger).   After some careful manual

calculation of the water tank and doing some maths, we have resolved the issue.  There is a comma on the water meter.


So for everyone’s sake, the water tank is marked in decaliters.  The water meter is marked in gallons, with the last digit being a decimal digit.  And if everyone on Earth saved water like we are doing on Mars, we would still be able to have the Hummer and the Concorde.


Speaking of water, after filling our tank tomorrow, I suspect it the water level will be at approximately 2/40in, so a shipment would be awesome.  Got the propane so that’s great.


Went out on my second EVA today with HSO Susan Jewell and Crew Biologist Yusuke Murakami.  Another productive adventure on Mars.

We’ve attached flashy neon wrist band lanyards to the ATV keys so that we can carry them with us when we are away from our vehicle and are much harder to lose.  We noticed a couple of bad mics so we tagged them and put them in a separate area to avoid use.  We also realized helmet 2 is quite scuffed up and the opening is quite tiny.  Would recommend refurbishing the helmet, but in the meantime we will try to avoid using said unit.  Similarly, space pack 3’s battery ran out after approximately 2 hours, so we will also be benching this unit.

The unit resumed working after being plugged in and our EVA yesterday was approximately 2.5 hours, so the battery itself must be losing its ability to hold its charge.  The helmet with no number bumped up against a crewmember and it was not cushioned, so we fixed that.

Mostly good findings, but we will step up our EVA prep game.


On long EVAs, we find that it would be nice if we had access to water so we are considering modifying the suit to support water intake.  Any concerns or recommendations?


In other news, I got my computer working with the new Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2, and I had a few virtual reality meditation apps loaded up, so Susan and I evaluated some of them and discussed plans for future collaborations.


Along with preparing for the beginning of construction, I ran a suite of scans on the attic and I’ve attached two images of the processed product.  I would recommend you try the online interactive app to get the full 360 panorama and 3D model experience:



Next steps would be to continue mapping out the hab, with the eventual goal of putting it inside of an interactive virtual reality experience using the Oculus Rift setup that is now working.


A few open questions.  We’ve been pretty diligent with our water usage and realized we are spending most of our usage on cleaning the pots and pans.  Any chance we could look into getting nonstick cooking-ware for the hab? Also, what’s the timeline on getting our crew website and reports on the MDRS site?




Diesel:                  50%

Propane:              90%

Water:                 9.5/40in

Water meter:     88687.3

Water usage/person:      27.36L


Morale:                If the Oregon Trail was a bus, we would be on it.

Weariness:          Going into meditation mode

Tony:                    Okay people, it is time for a Tony joke.

Brace yourselves:

“Q: Do you know how an electron do extreme sports?  A: They jump off the hydrogen bond!”