Journalist Report – January 07th

Journalist Report

Robinson Raphael, Crew 219 Astronomer,

Sol 2,

The Two Tales of the EVA

We are slowly adapting to our new life on Mars! The morning was filled with quiet as we were all tired from the past few days of repairs and moving in but slowly, we gained our strength after some coffee and a pleasant breakfast. A big chunk of the day consisted of two EVA’s. Meanwhile, the rest of the day afterward consisted of catching up on work around the Hab and personal time.

The first EVA started at 8am and it consisted of our CO, HSO, LSO, and GHO. The final destination was North Ridge and if time permitted, they had plans to climb it. Given the weather conditions, the crew proceeded with their journey and all things seemed well, right? Nope. A couple of the crewmembers had to deal with a lot fog in the helmets because of the cold! In the end, the crew did reach North Ridge but did not climb because of the fogging and snow cover. Despite all of it, the first EVA crew was rewarded with hot chocolate when they came back!

The second EVA started at 1pm and it consisted of myself, the XO, the engineer, and our geologist. The final destination was Kissing Camel Ridge E and plans were also made to climb to collect samples at different stratifications, if time permitted. This time around, the fogging issue had been solved and the weather was much better. Prior to heading to Kissing Camels, we set up the optical mount setup that I brought with me to MDRS. It was placed between the Musk Observatory and Robotic Observatory and it is marked with a flag that the Geologist and I made. Speaking of our Geologist, he was able to take some sweet photos of the optics mount. You can also see the mount from the MDRS habitat! A beautiful sight to see when people wake up if I do say so myself! After the mount was setup, we proceeded to drive the rovers to Kissing Camels.

Near Kissing Camel, we were able to collect some cool samples, each with their own interesting features. After collecting the samples, we saw that Kissing Camel had lots of area untouched by snow, so we proceeded to climb up the side of the ridge to collect additional samples. The climb went a bit slower than anticipated since it was my first time doing an EVA of this magnitude, but overall, we did what we came to do. In the end, the second EVA crew was also rewarded with hot chocolate, coffee, and an excellent lunch of tuna salad and pasta prepared by our LSO!