Sol Summary – February 7th

Sol Summary:
Prepared by: Arpan Vasanth
Sol: 09
Earth date: 02.07.2017
The day began with regular team briefing session, we planned both today’s and tomorrow’s activities as we have a media person from Germany visiting us tomorrow! Team briefings is always fun, since its scheduled in the early mornings when the crew is full of energy.Today for the second time we had a break from cereals for the breakfast, our chief chef Sneha had prepared a typical Indian dish to kick start our day! In parallel Arun, Saroj and myself cleaned the vacuum cleaner to remove the martian dust!

I geared up with Saroj and Sneha for planned EVA after the breakfast, the goal was to get the soil samples from the farthest point from the hab. The team had finalised upon the location to be as Lith Canyon, it was very important to go to a region that had negligible or no human presence from previous missions as we need a ‘pristine’ sample of the desert soil. The EVA team buckled up for an exciting Dakar rally session except that the rovers was electrical! Its Mars folk’s renewable energy is very crucial. I was nevertheless very excited as Lith Canyon is via Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, I am fascinated by Dinosaurs since childhood and could not wait to see one of the Quarry in person! The site was magnificent with lots of information about different species of Dinosaur fossils found over there along with clear instructions of do’s and dont’s.

We looked around for a while and hit the road again driving through couple of tricky sessions wherein Sneha had to get off the vehicle to ensure safety! As we continued the route opened up to a mirage and we were mesmerised by the view, soon the camera was in action and we took a lot of pictures! Myself and Saroj went ahead with the protocols to sterilise the hands before collecting the samples, we found a lot of ‘alien’ footsteps so we had a walk a lot to finalise the spot! The mission was half done and with just 50 percent power left in one of the rover, we had to carefully evaluate and work our way back to the hab! Finally, after a long drive we could sense home after getting a glimpse of beautiful science dome! This was so far the longest EVA of mine and a memorable one.
Next activity was to check all the vital parameters for safe functioning of the hab for the operations report! There is nothing as satisfying as a warm meal after one is back from cold EVA, normally the crew in the hab takes responsibility for organising lunch. Today however it was a double treat as the hab pump was replaced by DG too! We have made it a point to have food together from the Sol0 and I feel it’s the best time there will be lots of interesting stories to share! Post lunch everyone started to work on the reports, while Sneha and Mamatha were occupied in the Greenhab watering the plants and monitoring root and shoot height of fenugreek plant! Later in the evening, our commander was busy sewing everyone’s mission patch onto suits as the Velcro was not holding up well! As mentioned earlier we are visited by media from Germany tomorrow and the team is looking forward for it!