Journalist Report – January 7th

Sol 7 – Back to the Grind

Today’s clear skies allowed the warm sun to erase any lingering Martian frost and set the stage for our most ambitious EVA yet. The vast canyon surveyed in EVA 3 was but a tantalizing preview of the wonders that lay below. We had to return.

A team of 4 led by our commander, Max Fagin, suited up and departed the airlock around 10:30 am, reaching the turn-off to the Maxwell Montes around 11:15. But instead of walking north along the canyon’s ridge as we had done previously, the team searched eastward for a safe passage into the canyon itself. They succeeded and soon found themselves immersed in a sprawling labyrinth of rocky channels. Invigorated by the thrill of discovery, the team pressed on, and after some wandering was able to locate the base of the enormous stratified walls identified in EVA 3. The team’s geologist, Cesare Guariniello, studied the crossbeded layers of sandstone and salt with a trained eye, but the wander through the maze of chasms had cost the team time. Before long it was time to head back. The EVA team returned at 3:30 pm, exhausted, but with smiles on their faces.

Nothing exciting is planned for this evening and I’m sure today’s EVA crew will appreciate the downtime. Last night we played our first few trial runs of the self-made cooperative Mars-themed card game which we have named “Mars Quest”. We plan to iterate on the rules slightly, as the game felt a little too easy. But the team still greatly enjoyed the experience.

Justin Mansell, MDRS Crew 186 Journalist