Commander Report – March 13th

Today we started our working day by a gym session given by our crew physicist Sophie. An EVA was planned for 4 of us, Martin, Ariane, Bastien and I, so we just had time to eat breakfast and get dressed with the spacesuits and all material needed for the outing. Everyone was motivated and all procedures were perfectly followed by the EVA’s team. We left at 9.30 a.m. with two ATVs and the Curiosity rover. After a few minutes, we reached “White Moon” on the northern side of the Hab. Our crew engineer Bastien was the EVA team leader and he started mapping the area using his drone. He is currently working on these data in view to create a 3D map. His results seem to be encouraging! During the outing, I collected 3 soil samples for further analysis at the station. Theses samples were collected on “White Moon” and on a hill near “URC North Site”.

We came back at the Hab at 10.30 a.m. after the EVA without unexpected event and we stayed a while in the Hab together having a discussion about missing reports and things that must be improved. We lunched together and then everyone started their experiments. Michael spent his afternoon in the ScienceDome, coding his automatic scheduler. Sophie tried to take pictures of the Sun with the telescope but she is still trying to deal with it.

Ariane began her bacteria culture and the selection of the right strains. Our GreenHab officer almost finished his first hydroponic tower and it will soon be ready for a first test. Regarding other experiments, I spent time with Martin in the ScienceDome analyzing our respective samples. We have already got some results on the soil samples collected in the morning showing a difference of acidity between the samples (“URC North Site” soil is more basic than the others). Frédéric, on his side, added a mix of hydrogel on Martian soil for his mint, basil and radish plantations. Ariane is currently baking bread for our supper and we will prepare dinner. Tonight we will probably play board games to relax and strengthen the team spirit.

Regarding the station, no particular problem was encountered. Tomorrow, we will continue the work on our respective scientific projects and some of us will go on EVA (see EVA request).