The whole crew is now aware of what the exterior world looks like.
Indeed, Victoria, Xavier and Louis Mangin went out of the Hab with
Louis Maller leading the EVA#2. Reminiscence from Mission 164 was
useful to find the gorgeous canyon called Candor Chasma. This EVA was
dedicated to exploration, and the new electrical rovers Phobos and
Deimos are perfect for that purpose: less risk of losing one
crewmember than with the individual ATVs (helpful when you are in
charge of a non-expendable crew).
Sol 4 brought a festive atmosphere to the MDRS: 21 years ago, our
Mangin was born far away from here, on a pale blue dot called Earth.
Thus, he will no longer be the only one in the crew being proposed a
glass of water in American restaurants. However, we had no alcoholic
beverage here to celebrate, only a powder supposed to give you orange
juice when rehydrated (I have my doubts about it). Anyway, Simon’s
baking skills saved the party when he took his delicious birthday cake
out of the bread machine. Louis’ gift was to learn how to play the
card game known as “Barbu” in France, which basically means “Bearded”.
Note for future Mars-Mission commanders: a card game involving the
whole crew is an excellent way to divert them from preparing a mutiny.
Otherwise, we spent a typical afternoon full of work: science, DIY,
reports writing, bread baking, dish washing, nap to recover from the
EVA… The crew keeps busy, making good use of all the facilities of the
MDRS. The only thing I can criticize about it: we spend less time
together since some of us work in the Science Dome or in the GreenHab,
while last year only the Hab was usable on Mission 164. Not
necessarily a bad thing though, sometimes having a break from the rest
of the group can be useful for the general mood (otherwise we could
turn mad quite quickly…)