Journalist Report – February 21st

Crew 205 Crew Journalist Report 21-FEB-2019 Sol 11

Author: Daniel Robson

Title: “The Happy Little Elves – Hard at Work in their Wintery Workshop”

For those regular readers of the exploits and adventures of Crew 205, we are delighted to tell you that the “Great Jigsaw Puzzle of Sol 9 and 10” was eventually completed last night before bed! Good luck to any future crews that open that Pandora’s box…if you can find it.

The morning began with the crew waking up to a fresh, thick covering of Martian white salt deposit. We are certainly living on a White Mars! While not the Antarctic “Mars”, ours is definitely “Mars” but it’s just white today. Over a leisurely breakfast, the crew discussed tasks for the day, including preparing for the end of our mission and the arrival of the replacement crew – only days away!

The outer modules on our base were swept and mopped and all our equipment so perilously shipped from Earth began to be packed away. Back in the Hab many of the crew began preparing our final Mission Summary and the various other documents we intend to fill with the experiences, data, science, stories, and legends of our time here, out on our own little World.

Nathan, the crew’s GreenHab Officer, has now accepted the fate of his second pair of lost headphones and has now moved onto guarding his third pair with the reverence of a Holy Relic. Natalia, returning to her original role of Commander, and Daniel the HSO, both feared they had fallen to the same curse for a few minutes before finding theirs again.

Hannah has once again outdone herself with cooking today, having made an amazing looking spread of pizza’s and chicken and biscuit crackers for lunch, all garnished with basil from the GreenHab, olive oil, and squeezy cheese. Our multinational crew has the best of all worlds, both in terms of countries and planets!

After lunch, the work began in earnest on our Mission Summary. Like the well-oiled machine our team has proven itself to be, we all jumped at our allocated sections, writing up 11 Sol’s worth of information throughout the afternoon. In fact, we were so successful, we’ve actually had to spend some of tonight cutting it back down to length!

Nathan, Veronica, and Daniel also had a chance this afternoon to take some additional outreach photos for their clubs and groups across the world, another fine example of crew camaraderie and bonding after yesterday’s ceremonial t-shirt swap between the University of Leicester and Florida Institute of Technology.

For dinner (continuing the semi-accidental Italian theme of today) we had a scrumptious pesto pasta, again prepared lovingly by Hannah and her brand new homemade chef’s hat. We’ve heard our replacement crew are French so we do hope they approve of the touch.

Maria, the crew journalist has been working incredibly hard at editing and finalizing the crew videos so that we have some to release before our mission home, and also so we can have a group viewing session together on our last night. Her dedication to the art and outreach of science has given the Author a chance to express his more creative side and write this report (although as you may have noted Santa’s little elves don’t make a direct appearance in this issue).

Ghanim the crew astronomer has been compounded by nights of either blizzards and clouds or a clear night with a massive low hanging Moon causing the rolling landscape around our home to glisten from horizon to horizon and frame the stars in an un-Earthly glow. Unfortunately for him and his telescope, such beauty isn’t very good for the delicate optics, and he has been unable to get the observation of the Orion Nebula he has been after for days now.

Tonight (after the jigsaw has been completed and then buried in one of the under-chair storage containers never to challenge our crew again), we intend to try playing a few games such as dominos or possibly have a rematch of Space Chess. As I’m writing this we’re also trying to work out what each crew member’s catchphrase has been for the mission, and while it might not be useful enough for the Mission Summary we’re having fun with it anyway. Seeing as we’ve also now cracked the code for how to view American DVD’s on a European laptop, we may give Apollo 13 another go.

Hoping the World we are coming home too soon are having a pleasant night, and enjoying the weather, however bleak and beautiful it may be.

Ad Astra!