Commander Report – February 20th

Dear Earth,

Sol 8: we have been here for an entire week now, and this morning we
woke up with the foggiest weather we had since our arrival.

Mouâdh took the commandership of our morning EVA, leading Louis
Maller, Xavier and I to the southernmost part of our map: White Rock
Canyon. The mist was nearly gone when we arrived there, but on the
inside part of the helmet glass, the fog was terrible. We could only
drive at a very low speed to stay on the Main Road. Despite its not so
impressive size, the canyon was stunning. We discovered orange-red
water when walking along the valley, and lots of colored strata with
various orientations.

Then, the plot thickened: deep inside the canyon, Xavier realized that
its backpack had stopped sending him fresh air. Mouâdh reacted quickly
and wisely by taking the decision to recover to the rovers and to head
back to the Hab. Xavier and I agreed on a solution inspired by our
scuba diving experience to provide him with air: I plugged one of my
air-supply tubes to his helmet, keeping the other one on my own
helmet. That way, Xavier could not only breathe fresh air, but also
see through his helmet, the fog being cleaned by the airstream. We
walked side by side on our way back to the rovers, and then the EVA
team came back to the Hab after almost two and a half hours outdoors,
with the sun finally showing up. This experience was quite inspiring,
indeed afterward we defined some emergency protocols regarding this
kind of situation, likely to happen again if we forget to turn off the
backpack when they are recharging.

In the afternoon, we tried a new physical training proposed by Louis
Mangin, inspired by his usual rowing training. Demanding, but we felt
good after this physical effort, and it was an excellent teambuilding
activity. I am glad to see that even after a whole week in here the
crew is still dynamic and motivated! Ahead of us, we still have about
twelve Sols of mission, which is the typical duration of a rotation at

Ad Astra!

Arthur Lillo,
Commander of the sportive Crew 175