Sol Summary – January 23rd

MDRS Sol Summary Report for Sol 8
Crew Journalist & Artist Niamh Shaw
Summary Title
Gigabytes and Gallons and blustery gales.
Mission Status:
All is well with Crew 173. News of our mission spreads back on Earth, and as interest mounts, we must prepare for delayed comms between Earth and Mars in speaking with schools and news agencies.
Sol Activity Summary:
Like sheafs of wheat in the bountiful fields back on Earth, who bend and bow to the beat of the wind and weather, we too must adapt daily to the weather that Mars brings us. We had 2 interesting EVA’s planned for the day, but due to bad weather, we set them side and focussed our attention instead to our other projects today, specifically outreach. Roy had a request to speak with some students on Earth earlier this morning. After a series of comms tests he obtained a secure connection (22 minutes ahead of us, of course) and spoke with the students from the ‘Young Israeli Astronaut Academy’, a programme which is part of the Davidson Institute of Science Education, the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The students were interested in discussing the geological experiments with Roy including the 3d printed bricks and regolith which they will be filled with. They also spoke to Rick and Idriss about their participation in the project. Then the crew knuckled down to preparing another video for our outreach activities which Niamh is in the middle of editing. We have high hopes for the final product and predict that it will pique the interest of even more Earthlings, highlighting the importance of our work here. There are remnants of last nights Slovakia culture night around the communal area, a reminder of the great evening’s entertainment our commander provided for us.
Look Ahead Plan:
We continue to 3D print our modular brick system, and with Michaela’s and Roy’s students experiments from Slovakia and Israel respectively. Niamh continues to document our experience and hopes to complete her art project by the end of the week. We will push hard on more outreach activities for the remainder of our time on Mars, including answering some of the many questions that have been sent in to us from Earthlings.
Anomalies in work:
We are trying to understand how we are consuming an inordinate amount of water and internet usage as we have made no changes to our daily routine. Something is afoot and we will strive to solve this ‘gigabytes and gallons’ anomaly.
Weather today was less familiar to us, an inclement morning more akin to an Irish ‘soft day, thank God’ (rain, rain and more rain, with blustery gales). It perplexed the crew but hibernophile Niamh took them through the experience of getting ‘soaked to the bone, whilst simultaneously getting the wind taken out of ya’. Some understood, others still looked clueless. Thankfully, the afternoon cleared up nicely to the more familiar chilly martian sun we have grown to love since landing here. So we could put an end to describing the many different forms of rain in Ireland.
Crew Physical Status:
The crew is in good shape but getting cabin fever due to our inability to stretch the Martian legs, so as to speak. Tomorrow is another sol.
Due to the inclement weather (see above), EVA’s were stripped back to a short and local perambulation by Rick and Idriss, to do our necessary operations activities. They returned flushed and invigorated by the special time they spent alone together. We will resume our planned EVA’s tomorrow when the more familiar Martian weather conditions return.
Reports to be filed:
sol 8 summary
Eva report
Eva request
Commander’s report
Operations report
Support Requested:
 Information about water readings and internet anomaly