FMARS Journalist Report for August 13, 2001
Yesterday's visitors to the hab were from the Nunavut lands of northern
Canada. Most of the area of the floor of Haughton crater is inside Nunavut
territory. The Inuit people who live there require us to get permission
before we do any exploration on their land, and we respect their wishes. We
hope that this visit will increase our friendship with the Inuit people who
live year-round on Devon island and the other islands of the Canadian
Arctic. We look forward to future seasons on Devon, where we can explore
this vast wilderness together.
It seems that our equipment in the FMARS station is starting to show some
wear. This was expected due to the arduous nature of life in the Arctic,
especially on EVAs. Our engineering staff here at Mission Support are
taking a good look at these issues to see if they pose immediate risks to
the crew, and to evaluate them so that they can be prevented in the future.
Some examples: A broken helmet strap, a cracked helmet and numerous bite
valves are breaking down (these valves allow the space suit wearer to get a
drink of water from a hose leading to a bottle in the backpack.)
Throughout the simulation, the crew has occasionally reported that they
could not find something in the hab. We are attributing this to the hectic
nature of the simulations, compounded by the late start that occurred in
rotation 1. We again discussed logistics in the hab, and the possible need
for a "setup" crew that does no EVAs, but readies the hab for the coming
season. This issue may raise contention, however, because of the short
summer season and the many people who want to as much science as they can
during this time.
The crew indicated that they would like a permanent library of reading and
audio/visual media in the hab. This would allow the crew some brief R&R
whenever they get the chance. We concur, and we will do this before the
A communication problem prevented the Devon team from responding to the
Kennedy Space Center questions, so Mission Support's were used instead.
Lorraine Bell continues her work down at KSC with the Mars Society
presentations given next door to our dessert habitat. She continues to work
on the logistics of the presentation and the coordination with the NASA's
space shuttle presentation people. We are concerned that they NASA people
are not able to get the interactive questions ahead of time, and it makes it
hard for us to get the answers back to them before the presentation is over.
Although we cannot get the questions in advance, we will still do our best
to get the answers. Lorraine says that even without the questions, the
exhibit and presentation are a huge success. She emailed us, "When we fail
to get answers in time from the field team, I think we are more disappointed
than the crowds."
We have accumulated many hours of audio files from Devon Island, and we had
a brief discussion about transcribing them to text. We thought that an
automatic system could be used, but we would have to do a lot of editing of
the resulting text files. Manual transcription may be the only way to do
this, and it would be good to do in real-time so that Mission Support could