Journalist Report – November 21st

The white structures of the campus are overlaid on a primordial landscape of pink, grey, orange and white. The Hab accommodates 6 crew in its upper level, but one of the
reasons it feels psychologically comfortable is the views out of the 5 upper level windows. These help us keep in touch with the daily cycle. We don’t worry about the neighbors looking in.

Above the top stair landing facing south is one of two large circular windows. This
looks directly down across a flat parking area in front of the Hab enclosed by mounds
and hillocks to the south and east, where the rovers and other vehicles park and can be
monitored. The RAM can be seen off to the right. This window is located above the main
entry airlock and stairs, though these are not visible from here. Looming above the
adjacent mounds on the distant horizon is Mount Henry. This is the highest landform
visible from the Hab, and has a blueish tinge, now capped by snow.
The second large window in the upper level living space faces east, and is located over
the couch. It overlooks the Greenhab and Science Dome, and also the approach to the
MDRS from the public road heading northwards into the wider adjacent public lands. This
allows us to monitor our EVA’s departing and returning to the campus, and also any
other traffic that may be in the area. A hill on the far side of the road has a
distinctive square rock at the summit and is known as ‘Zubrin’s Head’. The land in that
direction is generally flat, though accommodates large eroded, rounded mounds of
varying sizes and colors. Through this window we enjoy beautiful sunrises.
Two small square windows are located above the kitchen bench. One facing north-east provides a view of the tunnel to the Science Dome and to the Musk Observatory. The separate forms of the second observatory and solar array are also visible. The flat
plain continues north and west, with large hills on the horizon in the far distance,
and medium sized hills with distinctive colored sedimentary striping and curved
silhouettes in the middle distance to the north. We can see the rovers driving off the
north through this window too, and pick up their radios as they return. It was through
this window we saw the flashes of Andrew’s heliopgraph during our tests the first week of the expedition. The small square window above the sink catches a fuller view of the striped hills to the north, with the adjacent section of plain in the foreground.
My stateroom on the far right of the row of 6 is the only one to have a window. Its
square frame floods the room with natural light and allows views of the adjacent low
rise where the Musk Observatory formerly stood. Looming behind this is the side of the escarpment above, topped by a layer of sandstone that was once a seabed, as attested by the surface layer of fossilized shells.
Windows will be prized on Mars.