Greetings Mission Support,
Commander Report Crew 166:
Earth date: 31/03/16
Last night was a really short night for me. The astronomer and I went
to the MUSK observatory from 21:30 to midnight. We tried long pose
measurement of the light coming from Capella and Arcturus. The process
took a lot of time since we were using 100 seconds of exposure time and
tried to make 15 samples to take their average.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t perfectly clear and one cloud went
in the observation field of the telescope when we made this extremely
long measurement. Thus it broke all the results. We finally achieved a
long measurement though it seems like we obtained too much noise to
achieve a result which can be really useful.
I woke up at 04:00 am, three hours later than when I fell asleep. I
checked the sky by my window. It was perfectly clear. I went into the
kitchen and saw that the Moon wasn’t really high in the sky. I went
back to bed but could not sleep. At 05:30 the Moon was higher in the
sky and the weather still without clouds. I woke up the astronomer and
we went to the observatory. The dome was really hard to open. The
batteries had no more power. As it was one of our last night we
decided to persevere. We took objects which emit light and placed
them in front of the solar panels. It was long for us but we obtained
enough power to open the upper part of the dome. I think that there may
have a mechanical problem with it because when it was achieved, the
lower part opened without any problem.
It was quite late for astronomers. We started to measure the spectrum
of the light coming from the Moon. And we succeeded! We continued taking
data and as the Moon’s light is much brighter than stars, we were able
to reduce our exposure time to four seconds and take 50 samples to
obtain a valuable average. We finished when the east was taking
beautiful red, gold and blue colors. We waited some minutes to observe
the sunrise. We were so tired that we didn’t wait enough to see the
Sun. Unfortunately for me, the window in my room doesn’t have
something to hide the light rays and I failed to sleep well before the
After it, we went on EVA. We used ATVs and went far away. We stopped
four or five times to let Bertrand take measurements with his
antenna. It was working quite well. Nadine took the go pro with her
but after the first stop, I exchanged my ATV with hers because the
#1 that she was driving had a problem. The left back wheel isn’t moving
normally and she was worried about it. During our stops, I walked a
bit in the areas that we were crossing to obtain additional data for
Arthur’s map. The travel took us more than one hour and half one way.
I decided that we would go back to the HAB before reaching the destination
that we planned. Bertrand took one last normal measure at farthest
crosslink of the roads that we visited.
On the way back to the HAB, we had an idea. The girls traveled on the
road with ATV to the point where they were able to see the HAB.
Bertrand and I went some hundred meters back on our tracks. It wasn’t
really easy to obtain a correct position of everybody but we nearly
succeed. It was difficult for us to receive messages from Arthur and
Gregory who were in the HAB but Julie and Nadine were able to
communicate with both the HAB and us. When it was finished, we traveled
the four at the same time to the HAB.
This afternoon, I tried to sleep a bit but I think that I really need
a full night to rest. As I mainly stayed in my room, I don’t really
know if something special happened during this time.
Tomorrow we plan to go back at the same place as one of us lost
something on the way during EVA. We’d like to recover it before the
wind blows sand on it.
From Crew 166; MDRS Martian Outpost