Journalist Report – Oct 31st

Crew 214 Journalist Report
Thursday 31st Oct Sol 4
by Sandy Dance

A bit of a focus shift this morning when we realised we were using more water than we should be. So we sat around the table discussing how to reduce our water consumption: washing hands with sanitizer, washing dishes less often, keeping the vegetable rehydration water for future uses, washing ourselves even less often (we’re all in this together, so hopefully won’t notice!).

Andrew and I went out on an EVA this morning to install the string grid for the micrometeorite experiment in the location selected yesterday. This was a lot of fun, sticking satay sticks in the soft ground at the 4 corners of the grid, running 4 pieces of 10 metre string around the square, then the sticks at each 1 metre step around it. Fun until one skein of string decided to ravel into a hopeless knot, which took ages to unravel, in gloves. A lesson for Mars, find a way of controlling balls of string.

Anyway, it was a great success, we completed a good percentage of the grid as we expected, and were able to move onto the next exercise: running a magnet over a local anthill to see if the local rocks were magnetic. They weren’t, which should help the integrity of the micrometeorite experiment. We then moved to another location which had a line of sight back to the Hab and successfully sent a heliograph signal: a mirror flash.

Handy if all other forms of comms fail, if a little impractical.

The afternoon was spent in kick-back mode after our exertions, albeit including a bout of tying down more eyelets in the tarpaulins covering the tunnels.

Today David returned to the trailer outside the hub (or blasted off in the returning shuttle); it is a shame to lose my fellow vegetarian and his benign presence.