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0408-ScienceReport

Mission Report for:
Crew Astronomer
Dakota Clayton?

My individual research project "Applied Mycological Study at MDRS, Hanksville, Utah" began this week. During the week, I went on science EVA's to collect soil samples from approved sites around the Mars analog environment. These soil samples will have DNA extraction and isolation performed on them to procure any fungal DNA present in the regolith samples. The DNA fragments will be amplified by Polymerase Chain Reaction, then verified by gel electrophoresis. The results will be sent for sequencing and run through software and online databases to check for known matches. It is possible that if there is a strong enough presence, the organism could be cultured and grown for follow-up experimentation and additional analysis. I am performing this study in the hopes that possible desert dwelling fungal decomposers, which could be beneficial to efforts of terraforming on future Mars colonies, are identified. I collected a total of 15 soil samples.

Mission Report for:
Crew Biologist
Jesse Stanford

Over the course of this trip I was able to collect soil samples from a several different areas of the surrounding terrain. While I looked for soil that had signs of moisture, the physical characteristics of the soil varied.

Upon our return to Earth, specifically Waco, I will use a DNA isolation kit in conjunction with PCR to amplify any presence of cyanobacterial DNA.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to collect these samples. I look forward to processing them and receiving results.

Mission Report for:
Crew Executive Officer
Clark Overman

Clark Overman's data acquisition is continuous and ongoing. While sleep quality appears to have been improving, last night's data showed a slight decline in quality. He will be looking to see if there is a correlation between the day's activities and the degree of restful sleep obtained.

Mission Report for:
Engineer
Jonathan Beechner

I have devoted this week to recreating a digital scale model of the hab in 3D. I have made considerable progress but still have much to do. So far, the top floor, state rooms, and loft are complete. I am currently working on the bottom floor and expect to finish it within the next two days. Next, I will import my model into Unity 3D and make it interactive (you will be able to put on suits, perform engineering duties, enter the airlock, etc. in the virtual world). I really look forward to the next week and getting to know the new crew.