Journalist Report – February 18th

Journalist report, 02/18/17 – Sol 7: Rainbow over fog.

For today’s EVA, we had to go by foot: the ground was wet so that most roads were not practicable. We had two goals: test the radios and the sextant. The weather was cloudy, and rain was close. We had planned a short EVA, and I left with Simon, Victoria, and Arthur.

To begin with, we went as far from the hab as possible before losing the radio signal. Once here, a first pair stopped, and a second kept going. The first pair was holding a homemade radio relay (see pictures), done with walkie-talkies, in order to test the advantage of splitting, to reach the hab easily. At the same time, Arthur was using the sextant to locate us precisely, to help us get more accurate values. Both experiments were disturbed by the weather. Radio communications were very bad, and particularly unstable, and the sextant decalibrated, probably because of temperature changes. Arthur did not manage to calibrate it again with his gloves, so that we had only the first values. He will have to customise it to make it possible. To end with, fog was an issue once again, so that after one hour of tests, with very difficult communications, we decided to go back to the base, having done everything we were able to with both experiments.

In addition to casual work and reports, Xavier and I decided to track more precisely the use of water, counting showers, flushes, greenhab use, and drinking water. Simon gave us a personal feedback on our morning sport program he manages, Victoria will be able to get spinach from the greenhab tomorrow, and Arthur got the results from his test on our drinkable water, using the Aquapad experiment. The more impressive result we had was between boiled water and regular or filtered one. Boiling water kills almost every germ and the experiment shows it clearly.

As a conclusion, the Sun showed us a beautiful rainbow during sunset, ending our first week officially in sim.


Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175