Status Report

Katy Quinn’s Devon Island Journal: July 11, 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
July 11, 2001
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Note: Text and photos republished from Katy Quinn’s FMARS page by permission of the author.

Wednesday night, July 11.  First day in FMARS habitat.

Here I am in the FMARS habitat.  I thought I might not be able
to access the Internet while in here but all systems are go.  Last
night I moved into the hab along with the other new members of Phase 2. 
Our commander and head of the Mars Society is Robert Zubrin, our communications
expert is Steve Braham, our biologist and Haughton Crater veteran is Charles
Cockell, our congnitive scientist and observer of crew procedures is Bill
Clancey, our physicist and representative from the European Space Agency
is Vladimir Pletser, and then there’s me, the geophysicist.  A good
mix of scientists and engineers, much like what you’d want for a crew going
to Mars.

Last night was rather busy.  We ferried over to the hab from HMP
base camp in ATVs around 9:30 pm, it took a while to get everyone here
and complete the hand over.  I got to ride over an ATV on my own,
it was a nice transition with time to myself to think about what I was
about to do.  Besides, of course, being lots of fun speeding the ATV
down the airstrip along the way.  Before I entered the hab myself
and Pascal Lee, the lead scientist for HMP and FMARS, had a final talk
about field science.  The Haughton Crater really is a marvelous place
to Mars analog research, it has the type of landscape you might expect
on Mars and is a perfect place to test human Mars exploration procedures. 
After one last look over the Haynes Ridge where the hab is sited, I entered
the airlock, spun the locking wheel, and started my time as a Phase 2 FMARS
crew member.

This morning we all woke up around 8 am, had breakfast and got ready
for an all hands meeting at 9 am.  Robert Zubrin led the discussion,
after an exchange of philosophies on simulation fidelity and quantifiability
of simulation results, we made our plan for the day.  The Discovery
Channel film crew was recording all of this, they are our major media sponsor. 
I must say, I’m rather ambivalent about having a film crew in the habitat. 
On the one hand, as a regular member of the Mars Society, I appreciate
their support and the visibility they provide.  On the other hand,
they are somewhat impeding our ability to run a realistic Mars crew simulation
by adding actors to the stage that wouldn’t otherwise be there.  However,
by neccessity there are other compromises to the simulation we have to
make.  As long as we are conizant of them and take them into account
when making any conclusions, then we are doing the best possible research
we can.

We spent the morning cleaning up the hab and tidying things away. 
Charles and I built two sets of shelves and stored the EVA gear. 
In the afternoon Robert, Vladimir, and myself went for a shake down EVA. 
We have simulated space suits that we must wear whenever we go outside
the habitat.  Designed and built by the Rocky Mountain chapter of
the Mars Society, they are really quite the work of art.  I have more
information about the suits on my Denver
briefing journal page.  It took about an hour to get all three
of us suited up, the EVA room is somewhat crowded with EVA equipment. 
Bill and Charles were a big help getting ready, it’s impossible to suit
up on your own.  A real team effort, yay team.  Suited up, we
entered the airlock, pre-breathed and depressurized, then exited the hab
and started our EVA.  Please notice my use of acronyms, “EVA”, “FMARS”,
etc.  The sign of a true astronaut.  Back to our story… 
We headed out onto Haynes Ridge and fanned out, looking for fossils and
interesting rocks.  The suit radios still need some tweeking but we
managed with hand signals and close range communication.  Found some
really good stuff, fossilized coral, stromatilites, cyanobacteria colonies
on the undersides of the rocks.  If I was on Mars I would be in heaven,
signs of ancient life and present day life are the holy grails of Mars

Well, it’s late and I should be getting some sleep.  There isn’t
enough time in the day to do everything, every time I look around I add
another item to the mental “to do” list in my head.  The Phase 1 crew
did a wonderful job finishing the neccessary interior work on the hab but
there are a lot of details to take care of.  I haven’t figured out
yet how to best take digital pictures in my space suit, so I’m going to
add some pictures of the upstairs of the hab.  Goodnight all.

Discovery Channel recording us suiting up in the EVA room.

The work desk upstairs in the habitat where we set up all our laptops.

Galley area and work/eating table on left, with the stateroom doors
to the right

Copyright © 2001 Katy Quinn – All rights reserved. The text and images within
this web document may not be used or reproduced in any form or by any means,
or stored in a public database retrieval system, without prior written or
electronic permission of the author. Reproduced on SpaceRef with the permission of the author.

SpaceRef staff editor.