Temperatures have plummeted and the night left a thin dusting of frost that lingered in the shadows throughout the day. Last night the team planned one of our most complex EVAs yet. One that would require the maximum compliment of 5 crewmembers on EVA at once. The goal: locate elusive hematite “blueberries” (named for their rounded shape and color) that could indicate the presence of liquid surface water in the distant Martian past.
The convoy travelled south to revisit areas explored on EVA #2. This time the team focused our search around a possible ancient stream bed. But alas, the search was unsuccessful. Still, the EVA traversed a variety of terrain and allowed all members of the EVA to gain experience identifying the different geologic formations. Back at the hab, our health and safety officer, Sam Albert, has begun cataloguing microbial samples from around the hab to better understand the microbial environment.
I am also happy to report that last night’s pizza was a hit, if not only due to Cesare’s magic touch that saved the dough. The crew was able to fit in some astronomical observations of the double Martian moonrise before relaxing over a television show. Tomorrow we will continue these leisure activities and have dedicated the day to relaxation to mark the halfway point of our mission.
Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist
P.S. Photos attached. Photo of the day: 05Jan2018 Building a microbe catalogue.jpg