Greetings Earthlings! Guest writer Pierrick Loyers wrote today’s Sol Summary. Let’s see what he has to say about Crew 172’s activities…
We woke up this morning at 07:30 am in great shape for the most of us. Martian crepes were added to the breakfast menu this morning. Honestly, Martian crepes made with powder eggs and powder milk are not as good as Terrestrial crepes but no time to complain! The EVA this morning started 30 minutes earlier than normal in order to clean the ATVs and Deimos (Rover) of mud.
After everything was checked and batteries for the scientific equipment fully charged, Gwendal, Ilaria, Nick, Patrick, and I opened the main hatch at 09:30 am sharp. After 40 minutes of cleaning our vehicles, Patrick (who accepted to help us for this task) returned back to his work within the HAB while the rest of the EVA team heading to the South. We parked near “Zubrin’s Head” (A rock face named after Robert Zubrin – the founder of The Mars Society), in front of a stunning Martian landscape.
We decided to start hiking one of the hills, avoiding to take rocky paths which could be dangerous in our suits. The trail was quick but “physically challenging.” We reached the top of our objective, out of breath, but so satisfying because of the rewarding view of this infinite and chaotic desert. Beyond this poetic hike with epic scenery, Gwendal and I still had a scientific objective. The objective of the 3D cartography system that we have designed is to follow and record the profile of the field encountered while the astronaut is walking through it. After going back down the hill, we investigated the area which seemed to be appropriate for a geophysical analysis with the GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) and then returned to the HAB for lunch.
The lunch of today, prepared by Patrick, was composed of scrambled eggs (protein!), several vegetables (healthy!) and the inevitable dehydrated cheddar cheese – which has become an addiction for many of the crew members. After a good meal and the physical activities of this morning, our daily space nap (with the sleep mask on obviously) was necessary and we slept well.
Half an hour after the space nap began the crew woke up feeling refreshed. Troy, Nick, Gwendal, and I prepared for the crew’s second EVA of the day. We decided to head back to the area of this morning for GPR investigations and continuing altimetry measurements of it. During this EVA, we split into two group: Gwendal and I were doing soil probing with the GPR, while Nick and Troy (bravely) accepted to climb another hill. (This ridge being higher than the one of this morning and having to lug the 3D cartography system all the way up there was not for the feint of heart.)
50 minutes later, the mission had to be aborted because of the weather conditions. As everyone knows, electronics and rain are not really good friends and we preferred not to try to prove the opposite. Troy and Nick went back down their hill, slowly but safely. It was not an easy hike apparently but as Troy said: “It was an honor for me to help to expand the sum total of the scientific knowledge of Humanity.”
We came back to the HAB where our biologist, Anushree , prepared Masala tea – Spicy but so so good! Physically tired from the day, crew members easily melted into the couches to read space books with some good tunes in the background. We are on a Moby, Artic Monkeys, and Coldplay kick the past few days. Tonight, Patrick is making dinner (again!). Our chef is going to cook mashed potatoes with crumble sausages, and I know it will be delicious. Crew 172 signing off.