Journalist Report – October 30th

Wed 30 oct Sol 3
After a particularly cold night we wake to a clear sunny day. This is in some ways our first ‘normal’ day, we have finished bedding in and training up, now for normal life, on Mars.
We have recieved CapCom permission to have an EVA in the afternoon, so we will spend the morning preparing for that. In the meantime, good news, food arrived from Hanksville, however not including the milk and pasta we were hanging out for.
So the morning was spent tying loops on bits of string for use out in the field, as a grid reference system for the micrometeroite experiment. This consists of a 10 metre by 10 metre grid in 1 metre steps. A magnet is used to attract meteorites, if any, from the ground, and the total from each square metre is bagged for offline study. Sounds simple, but executing all these steps in suits can be quite tricky.
In the morning others were busy tying down the tarpaulins sheltering the ‘tunnels’ that connect the various parts of the MDRS campus. This is necessary due to the occasional high winds in these parts. Maybe not such a problem on Mars since the atmosphere is about 1% the density of ours, the gale in ‘The Martian’ movie notwithstanding.
In the afternoon an expedition of 3 Martians and 2 rovers headed north up the track to suss out which of four potential meteorite sites were best for setting up the grid. Out in the backblocks they came across a cougar print, not exactly to be expected on Mars, but a fascinating finding anyway!