Crew 184 Journalist Report
07 December 2017
Title Exploring Mars
Narrative I am sitting in my bed in the habitat and writing this report. And I am glad to get a little rest, because today has been physically challenging and we all are looking forward to our first Martian weekend.
We are getting our groove on with the longer days on Mars and yesterday treated ourselves by watching the infamous comedy puppet flick of “Team America”. Being far away from the home planet makes all these international conflicts seem even more ridiculous. Our crew on Mars is multi-national and we celebrate our differences. On top of that, we established fitting nicknames for all crewmembers. Our space doc is Bones, Crew Engineer Hunt is Big Foot, because he is not only the tallest man on Mars, but also has the biggest shoes. Commander Thomas Horn is the major and our Briton Akash Trivedi the royal on Mars. First Officer Randazzo is Wash, which came upon, when the crew assembled the first Martian workout bicycle and needed a lot of washers to make this item work. I am Smurf and I will not comment on how that happened.
Our water supply is doing great, but the generator still has some hick ups. To save the battery set-up we decided with mission control, to turn it off during the night. As a consequence not all life-supporting backpacks for the EVA were completely charged. But we got just about enough, to match our four crewmembers, who went out on the third leg of Science Officer Trivedis Matryoshka project.
For section three we went to URC North, just west of Galileo Road. It was a completely new sector for us and after we had passed some mountains we entered a giant terrain of mountain chains and valleys all covered by red stone. We had a few problems to find the exact location that was indicated by the scientists on earth via satellite imagery, but eventually found our destination.
Although I still have to carry a lot of equipment in two heavy bags with me I was happy with today’s behavior of the crew, because they remained longer in the respective exploration sites. That gave me enough time to get my pictures and I didn’t have to run around as much as in the previous days. Still, carrying the heavy backpack and holding the camera always still is an incredibly intense workout.
The adjustments we made yesterday to my alien space helmet worked pretty well. Only in the end of the EVA it got a bit foggy, but also the other helmets fogged up a little. I guess, with increased exhaustion our breathing got heavier and the sun was pretty strong, too. I will observe this in the days to come and we might apply some changes on the fly to make the helmet even better.
Talking about helmets. On our way back to the habitat we were facing the direct low sun and it was quite a challenge to navigate. It was quite funny to look at our Space Doctor Sczepaniak to drive at snails pace. As he is also the Security Officer he is an example of safety on Mars.
But we thought about a cool feature for the next generation of Martian helmets. Wouldn’t it be cool to have some sort of shades, a visor or a cap on the helmet top to use, when the crew is facing the full solar power? We will think about it a bit more and maybe come up with a new design in the days to come.
First Officer Randazzo discovered the Baking Automat yesterday and it became a tradition, at least in the last two days ( I have heard in America something is already a tradition, when it happened twice) to have freshly baked warm bread with Nutella right after the EVA. The perfect treat after an intensive ride on Martian turf.
But now I have to seize my reporting, because I am back on cooking command. We are soon running out of the last fresh food supplies we brought from earth. Today I will be using our last tomatoes, together with celery and tuna to mix one of my favorite dishes: Pasta with tomato sauce flavored with a cup of extra love.
Personal Logbook Today I was very content with our EVA from the perspective of a filmmaker. At today’s exploration spot the crew remained longer at the various sites and left me more time to get my shots.
I also could run three interviews, which is a high in the past week. Vlogs are coming along better, too and the crew feels more and more comfortably with their role. Maybe they will do it automatically in the next days. That would take a load of me.
Today I took less analogue pictures, but I checked regularly the settings and the camera didn’t fell down. So I am confident, that everything went smooth today. If I will keep this rate I will have a nice collection additionally to the digital exposures I have made.
Thank you very much for your help and attention.
Willie Schumann, Journalist, Crew 184