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Crew 103 Log Book for April 15, 2011

Photos of the day

Commander's Check-In Report

Anne-Sophie Kalbfleisch Reporting

Crew Physical Status: everybody is fine

Time Departed/Returned from EVA:

EVA1 : 10h30-13h30

EVA2 : 16h30 - small return to get extra fuel - back to the mission until 20h

Brief Narrative of Field Mission Results:

We studied the permeability of some different kinds of soils around the MDRS.

EVA Data/Interpretations:

The permeability degree varies from moderate to very high.

Engineering/Hab Maintenance:

Some crew members went to Hanksville in order to get our flycase and received from Don Lusko 10 gallons of fuel for the ATV's.

Plans for Tomorrow:

We have received our flycase, so the experiments will finally start!

Commander's Report

Anne-Sophie Kalbfleisch Reporting

Today our experiences were dedicated to the study of the soil's permeability. Two different teams went outside in order to collect soil samples and make some experiments in situ. We collected also different parameters as the surrounding vegetation, the soil type & condition as well as the temperature.

The aim was to complete an experience started by the previous team, which studied only two different types of soils.During the second EVA we had to cope with a lack of fuel so that we get back to the Hab in

order to get some extra fuel.

The precise results of this experiments will be detailed in the EVA reports.

Some good news : we finally received our flycase with the stuff for our experiences so that they finally will start!

Engineering Report

Thibault Windels Reporting


Honey (Diesel Generator) (Used? Yes/No): yes

Wendy (Gas Generator) (Used? Yes/No): no

Battery Charge Level: 10,3 volts

Notes/Comments (include how many generator runs, approximately when, and any times you needed to turn the generator on/off):

Fuel Status:

Diesel (Full/0.75/0.5/0.25/Empty): 0,5

Propane Tank (Full/0.75/0.5/0.25/Empty): 0,39

Gasoline Tank (Full/0.75/0.5/0.25/Empty): 10 galons

Notes/Comments: Don gave us 2 jerricans


Kitty Oil Quantity (# of Quarts in storage): the previous commander told us not to check the oil quantity of Kitty because we have to turn the all generator off!

Honey Oil Quantity (# of Quarts in storage): /

ATV Oil Quantity (# of Quarts in storage): full

Car Oil Quantity (# of Quarts in storage): /

Water Status:

Outside Potable Water Tank Level (inches from bottom): 14,5

Trailer Potable Water Tank Level (inches from bottom): 14,5

Hab Potable Water Tank Level (inches from bottom): 4,8

Potable Water Meter Reading: 45153,6

In to GreenHab Meter Reading: /

Notes/Comments: /


Condition of plants in Tank 1: /

Condition of plants in Tank 2: /

Condition of plants in Tank 3: /

Greenhab Notes/Comments: The ventilation of the green hab is off (One of them is unplugged and for the other, it's very difficult to follow the cable...). The thermostat is at 50°F and the temperature inside is 84°F


Telescope Used? (Yes/No): no

Observatory Notes/Comments: there's no telescope



Used (yes/no): yes

Oil Checked (yes/no): yes

Tire Status: ok

Odometer at end of day: 124250,5

Notes/Comments on Hab Car: We used the car to get our shipment in Hanksville.

ATV 1 (Opportunity):

Used: yes

Oil Checked: no Fuel consumed : 1/4 tank approximately

Tire Status: ok

Comments: /

ATV 2 (Spirit):

Used: yes

Oil Checked: no

Fuel Consumed:1 /4 tank approximately

Tire Status: ok

Comments: /

ATV 3 (Viking I):

Used: yes

Oil Checked: no

Fuel Consumed: 1/4 tank approximately

Tire Status: ok

Comments: /

ATV 4 (Viking II):

Used: no

Oil Checked: no

Fuel Consumed: 0

Tire Status:

Comments: does not work

Heating and Ventilation:

Thermostat setting upstairs (Farenheit): 68

Actual temperature upstairs (Farenheit): 78

Thermostat setting downstairs (Farenheit): /

Actual temperature downstairs (Farenheit): 72

Computers/Networking Infrastructure:

Notes/comments on internet/computers?: internet is still running well

General Engineering Notes/Comments:

Science Report (Geology)

Gregory Van Roy Reporting


Today we decided to measure the permeability of the soil in the area around the MDRS. Permeability is an important factor of the soil and can determine subsurface sensing for water on Mars surfaces. The permeability is the ability of the soil to transmit air and water. If the permeability is high, water would infiltrate the soil easier than in the other case. Consequently, this experiment is essential for the surface study of an unknown soil. This value will give us some idea about the ability of the soil to be used for growing crops, or the possibility to create a pond. Many factors affect the permeability of the soil: Some, such as cracks and

holes are localized and make it difficult to calculate representative values of permeability measurements. A serious study of soil profiles is essential to verify these measurements, but we can decide whether the actions of permeability are truly representative by observing the soil texture, structure, color and stains, the arrangement of layers, visible pores and depth of impermeable layers.

This experiment was conducted with in full simulation with helmet, gloves, suit, boots, air reserve,… to follow the “realistic” conditions of a real Mars mission. It will be an indication of the problem we can have with this experiment and will help develop procedures for a human space exploration in the future.

We did 2 EVA missions on ATVs to take samples in different ways. First of all, we developed a procedure to take the measures of the permeability.

Then, we divided the crew in 2 groups, one for the morning, one for the afternoon. For the first group, we decided to leave the MDRS at 10.30 am with Gregory, Wouter and Jonas. The second group, Anne-Sophie, Steve and Thibault, begins his experiment at 3.30 pm. To economize potable water, we restricted the amount of water to 4 liters for the 2 groups.

Apparatus: Different measurements of permeability were taken. First of all, the temperature of the soil is important for the permeability. We took with us a thermometer we have in the lab. The coordinate of each point was recorded with the GPS. Finally, we describe the type of soil and the conditions under which the permeability occurred.

For the permeability measure itself we used a big can with a known diameter, a chronometer, a meter and water.

Method: We checked different points in the MDRS area. The first group explored the right side of the road near the MDRS and the second one the left side. We measured the permeability in various locations to increase the number of samples we did.

With these measurements we can calculate the permeability in cm/hour. Then we can compare this index with a predefined table to determine if the permeability is comparatively low or high.

Therefore, we took measurements just in front of the MDRS to test the procedure. Then, we took the permeability measure at three locations. The first one was a non-vegetative area with a lot of pebbles. The second one was in a dried river and the last one in a vegetation zone near a cliff.


Location 1 :

Plants : None

Soil condition : dry

Soil type : sediment at the foot of a hill, soil pretty red with a crust above

Soil temperature : 33°C

Permeability measure : 0,3 inch / 10 min => 4,572 cm / hour => moderate

Location 2 :

Plants : None

Soil condition : dry with pebbles

Soil type : sand, pretty white

Soil temperature : 25°C

Permeability measure : 0,9 inch / 10 min => 13,716 cm / hour => high

Location 3 :

Plants : None

Soil condition : dry

Soil type : sand in a dried river

Soil temperature : 28°C

Permeability measure : 3 inch / 3 min => 152 cm / hour => very high

Location 4 :

Plants : Herbaceous and cactus

Soil condition : dry

Soil type : sand with some rocks near the cliff

Soil temperature : 32°C

Permeability measure : 2,8 inch / 10 min => 42,6 cm / hour => very high


As we can see, the permeability of water in clay (red soil) is lower than in the sand soil (white soil). However, the permeability stays high or moderate in the area. The crust above the soil often protects the soil and prevents water infiltration into the ground. We can also remark that soils which receive more water are more permeable than others. Vegetation is also a essential parameter of the water permeability.

Science Report (Biology)

Wouter de Groot Reporting

The LED experiments:

Yesterday Shannon asked me what algae species are we studying: the exact species is calledin French "Chlorella Sorokiniana", it must be the same in English.

About the "home-made" circuit, I sent a picture of it from the six we daily send you so you can see clearly what I'm talking about. I thus use red, blue and white LED's, I agree that the white ones seems more yellow than white but the seller told me that was "warm white" LEDs when I bought it... I use specially red and blue LEDs because it is known that algae's absorption spectrum presents higher levels around 475 and 680 nanometers.

Concerning the LED experience on solid substrate, we realised that we made a bad choice by placing the basic solution quantities between the LEDs (to compare significantly a red-red light whith a red-blue one) rather than just above them. By doing this mistake, the algae were only exposed to a very reduced quantity of light because the LED emits light over a very little surface of the substrate and so the algae didn't receive light at all... We have thus prepared a new substrate where we corrected this problem. We will start taking pictures tomorrow morning.

Concerning the LED experience in aqueous environment, as we only received the flycase at 4 pm I just spent all afternoon to make the assembly and I haven't finished it yet. But I have tested every parts of it and can already tell you that everything works well.

I will send a picture of it when it will be finished tomorrow.

EVA 3 Report

Anne-Sophie Kalbfleisch Reporting

Time: 10h30 - 13h30

Crew Members: A.Kalbfleisch, T. Windels, S. Viroux

Site Location:

- Location 1:

Coordinates: 12S 0518230 / 4250727

- Location 2:

Coordinates: 12S 0515499 / 4252119

- Location 3:

Coordinates: 12S 0517641 / 4251270

Transit Mode: ATV

Objectives: Take some soil samples in order to make a

permeability/property study

Results: The study was successfully completed over all the way-points.

We were able to characterize three different kinds of soils

Lessons Learned: Always take a watch with you!

EVA 4 Report

Anne-Sophie Kalbfleisch Reporting

Time: 10h30 - 13h30

Crew Members: G. Van Roy, J. Offergeld, T. Windels

Site Location:

- Location 1 :

Coordinates : 12S 0518255 / 4250696

- Location 2 :

Coordinates : 12S 0519068 / 4255703

- Location 3:

Coordinates:  12S 0519749 / 4256099

- Location 4 :

Coordinates : 12S 0520705 / 4256674

Transit Mode: ATV

Objectives: take some soil samples in order to make a permeability/property study

Results: The study was successfully completed over all the way-points.

They were able to characterize four different kinds of soils

Lessons Learned: /

Chef's Report

Gregory Van Roy Reporting

1a) Today was

A non-cooking day

1b) Was today a special day celebrated at the main meal with special food or activity?

Nothing special today

2) List the foods served at today's main meal (usually the evening meal), giving full names of each.

BeerBreak Soup Santa Fe Chipotle, Beef with onions, Spinach, Potatoes with pesto sauce, Cookies and Lemon drink mix

3) List any main meal foods not finished by the crew (leftovers stored for later use or discarded)

Spinach : left 1/2 pack

Beef : left 1/2 pack

Potato : left 1/3 pack

Onion : pack is almost finished

4) Recipes for anything more complicated than following package directions exactly, or rehydrating.


5) Lessons learned (if any)

Kung Fu Chicken pasta isn't tasty. We put some red hot sauce in the saucepan the give a better effect.

6) Comments/questions for Kim and Jean, the food study investigators

We saw that the precious crew didn't respect the indicated level of olive oil. We just use this oil today for the sauce cooking and we already used a part of the crew 104 reserve.

We think, for next crews, that more pasta would be better. We had only 2 packs and one of those contained only 450g for 6 persons...