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  • Commander Report Day 12 TasMars2013
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Date Time: 20:00 02/06/2013
Written By: David Willson, Crew Commander of MDRS123

Today’s temperature ranged from above 32 °F reaching 50 °F with blue skies, similar to the previous day. 

The primary effort of the day was to take Jen Blank to Salt Lake City and pick up 2 visitors Rosalba Bonaccorsi and Stefanie Toth. David departed with Jen at 8.30 am and returned with the “visiting Mars crew” at 8.30 pm. 

The crew is now truly international in origin with, David and Emma from Australia, Melanie from New Zealand, Rosalba originating from Italy and Stefanie from Germany. The visitors will “stay on Mars” until the end of the crew rotation.

Stefanie will be trialing an image mapping technique, and Rosalba will be a subject in the dust experiments, assist with the QuadCopter trial, and complete the outstanding items with the MSL/MDRS rock Kits initiated by Jen Blank. The kits will be for future MDRS crews and for use by the MSL team.

Emma and Melanie undertook a short 5 minute Skype outreach with New Zealand high school (Kuranui in Greytown), followed by 1 hour of questions and answers via chatroll.

Later they spoke to another High School (Tawa in Wellington), this time just via chatroll. They used the MSL out reach materials provided by JPL.

At 2 pm they undertook an EVA in Sim within a 100 meter radius of the Hab testing a communication linkup to Hari and Jamie Eldridge in Wellington using the Mumble application (a low bandwidth voice chat software) on their iphones in space suits. This was part of the Antipodes experiment.

Emma and Melanie completed another the dust experiment while in Sim. The key issue occurring with the dust experiments is that very little dust is sticking to the suits and boots, despite doing work involving kneeling and lying on the ground. This may be due to the cold weather conditions not favoring dust adhesion or the dust overall material discourages dust adhesion.

Maybe dust transfer into Habs on Mars will not be a big problem.

Finally the crew ate radish sprouts, mung beans and alfalfa grown in the Greenhab Easysprout” kits. The kits are every successful. All plants except the Avocado tree are healthy. The crew hopes Melanie’s work on the Avocado tree will enable it to recover.

ENDS.

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