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SOL: 11

12/24/2015 / Thurs

HSO James Giammona


Second in Command: James Giammona

Summary Title


Christmas Eve



Crew 159 is comfortably in the routine of life on Mars. EVA9 saw Astroengineer Barak Stoltz and XO James Giammona climb some high peaks and set up the farthest connection yet with HabCom. The crew is excited for Christmas tomorrow and are cooking and making some special items to celebrate. Tonight the crew is making a pizza based on Crew Engineer Chiara Cocchiara’s grandmother’s recipe and cutting out paper decorations.


Morning briefings focused on 

1.         EVA9 agenda 


2.         Crew 160 logistics

Mission planning for the day


1.     0800 – Breakfast/ Plan for the day


2.     0840 – Crew 159 receives approval to use the 3d printer in the Engineering airlock.


3.     0900 – Astroengineer Barak Stoltz lays out the plan for EVA9. Once again, he and XO James Giammona will take the ATVs to explore distant terrain. The new element today is that EVA9 would focus on hiking up onto the high ridges to take in the great vistas, scout more distant terrain and see if the range to contact HabCom could be extended.


4.     1008/1200 – Astroengineer Stoltz leads EVA9. Weather was good and the defogging solution kept vision clear. EVA9 did a good amount of hiking and took some fantastic pictures. They were also able to contact HabCom from a 20 minute ATV drive away!


5.     1215/1245 – Lunchtime

Scrumptious Breadsticks and Italian wedding soup made by the multi-talented Commander Anna Ialeggio


6.     1245/1315 Debrief led by Astroengineer Barak Stoltz. Visibility was great. EVA9 scouted out lots of new terrain form their high vantage point. Crew 159 was impressed that the EVA9 crew could be contacted that far away.


7.     1315/1800 – Crew works on writing reports and working on personal projects and cooking the pizza!


8.     1800/1845 – Dinner time and social time.


9.     1803/1809 – Third ISS flyover. Digipeater was off yesterday, but we shall hope for the best today. (Crew 159 saw ISS but again failed to make contact.)


10.  1900/2100 – CAPCOM time window


11.  2130/2230 Personal leisure time


12.  2100/0000 Astroengineer Barak Stoltz will continue taking beautiful pictures with the CCD!


Mission planning for the week 


1.     Crew will implement a rotating commandership where each crew member is commander for two days.


2.     XO James Giammona will work on contacting the ISS. ISS Finder says that today and Saturday around 1800 are when the ISS will fly over the Hab. Apparently, the digipeater has been off for the past week due to emergency EVAs on the ISS. Hopefully, it will be back on today or Saturday.


3.     Crew members plan to work on the 3d printer if the proposal is approved and also on other personal projects.



Mission planning for the remaining time of the mission


1.     On Friday, commander will submit final report by 5pm.


2.     Crew 159 will help Crew 160 travel from Grand Junction and assist in assembling their supplies.



1.     A highly successful EVA today for EVA9. After engineering check, EVA9 headed northeast along the main road on ATVs. They confirmed the previous boundary area where communication with the Hab becomes spotty and then ceases, which is perhaps a 3 minute ATV ride.


2.     EVA9 continued on ATVs for ~10 more minutes before dismounting and exploring some interesting new terrain on foot. EVA9 took a different path from the previous EVA teams and headed straight to the top of the main ridge to survey the entire canyon from above.


3.     EVA9 was surprisingly able to contact HabCom from the top of the ridge which is important information if an EVA team needs to quickly communicate with HabCom during an emergency.


4.     Crew makes several delicious homemade pizzas based on Crew Engineer Cocchiara’s grandmother’s recipe! We made our own dough, tomato sauce and toppings from ingredients available at the Hab.


5.     XO James Giammona set up his Yagi antenna, tripod and radio to attempt to contact the ISS. Even though it was cloudy, Crew 159 was able to spot the ISS. Once again, we did not get any signal from the ISS even with the squelch totally off. The digipeater is probably still off. The last flyover during this mission is on Saturday. Fingers crossed that it’s on by then.


Look Ahead Plan:


1.         How are you going to follow up? 


1.     Crew will finish setting up the 3D printer.


2.     EVA10 will also use the defoggant on their mission.

3.     XO Giammona will try one last time to contact ISS on Saturday.

2.       What is the plan for tomorrow?

1. Tomorrow, EVA10 will be led by Commander Anna Ialeggio with Crew Engineer Chiara Cocchiara joining.

2. Crew 159 celebrates Christmas on Mars!     

Anomalies and any problems in work:  



Weather: Partly overcast day. Not much wind. 30-50 degrees F.

Crew Physical Status: Everyone remains in excellent health and high spirits.


EVA: where did you go?

After engineering check, EVA9 headed east on the ATVs along the main road for about an hour. After some exploring on foot, they returned the same way.

Reports to be filed



EVA request

EVA Summary Report

Daily Summary Report

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