CO2 Levels were monitored again today with a similar pattern seen before where the CO2 levels would spike in the morning. However in the afternoon the CO2 levels fluctuated between 550 ppm and 650 ppm. A discussion was opened about the safe levels of CO2. It was decided that levels under 1500 ppm were of no real health concern. With this decided the CO2 issue has been resolved. The graph below (Data from 23 April) shows the typical CO2 patterns in the habitat. CO2 levels will drop over the evening after crew members go to bed. This can be late as about midnight. CO2 levels will drop until the morning. Crew members get up around 07:00 and begin their exercise routine. CO2 levels will jump dramatically to over 1000 ppm and then slowly decline during normal crew activities after exercise. (Eating breakfast, morning meetings etc.) By around 11:00 the CO2 levels stabilize between 500 ppm and 600 ppm. This pattern has been consistent. We are awaiting a new part for the primary generator, and are still on the backup generator. I am making three to four trips a day to fill the backup generator fuel tank.
Lots of installation of further creature comforts. Kept busy assembling items. I’ve done so much assembling of furniture that at this point I’m sure I qualify as a manager at Ikea.
A person from Planetary Power showed up this evening and started to prepare the generator for the arrival of the replacement part.
The first Extra Vehicular activity (EVA) was conducted today. I spent the morning helping everyone get suited up. It took some time as it was the first time we used the suits, radios, cameras, and other gear with the suits. All equipment functioned relatively well with a few minor issues. It was a big day for many members of the crew. I was their first time outside since arriving. For myself, I had been outside numerous times so I made sure everyone else got out before I did. A member of Planetary Power got the generator up and running. We were happy to be off power restrictions and I was very happy I would not have to fill the generator three times a day.
Today was the first day of my robotic companion study. One of the crew members took Pleo for three days to play with and then write a couple of surveys. Pleo will be passed around to another crew member every three days. Once he has spent some time with each crew member, I will take Pleo away for a week. Then I will return Pleo with some changes to his personality. Pleo will then be evaluated again the same way. The Pleo robot is a highly interactive robot that has multiple ways of interacting with a crew member. It can hear, see with a camera, has touch sensors on various points of his body. It requires feeding and goes through a growing cycle. When I gave the crew member Pleo today the robot was in its ‘hatchling’ stage where it needs lots of food and attention. It will be walking in a day or so and demanding more complicated forms of interaction.
Member of planetary power returned to finalize loading some software on the generator. I went out with crew member Sian on my first EVA. We spent some time walking around and tried to get used to the suits. It was very different being inside the simulation suit and it made me feel very separate from the outside environment. I was very happy with the experience. We explored the immediate area and then returned to the habitat after about 20 minutes.
Today was a quiet day. We focused on setting up ways of collecting data for the food experiment, plus submitted a weekly report to mission control. I have included some graphs of our power/water consumption over this past week at the end of this blog. We watch the movie ‘Stargate’ for movie night which was a nice break.
Sian and Angelo did an EVA in the late afternoon taking a variety of photos of the area. I suspect you will see many of them soon. I received word from mission control that the International Space Station (ISS) would be passing over the habitat around 20:15 that evening. Sian and I decided to try to get a photo of it. We went outside for about an hour taking a long exposure of the event. The results were very interesting.
I awoke in the morning to discover that there was no power in the habitat. The main generator had failed. I checked the error messages on the computer and contacted mission support. I placed up back on the backup generator. After a very long day, the generator was fixed with a fairly minor problem. We have been on the main generator power since.
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