Journalist Report – January 8th

  

Crew 219 08-Jan-2020 Journalist Report

Nathan Hadland, Crew 219 Executive Officer

Sol 3

Here Comes the Sun

White Mars is breathtakingly beautiful and continues to astonish us
with both its magnificent landscapes and interesting science. Today,
the Sun finally came out from behind the clouds briefly and greeted us
across the vast void of 93 million miles for the first time since we
arrived.

Alejandro (ENG) and I share the loft in the Hab, which we have dubbed
“The Penthouse.” We woke up early to treat our crew with blueberry
pancakes before the day’s activities. The rest of the morning was
spent helping with EVA prep. Our EVA’s have been running extremely
smoothly because of the implementation of the Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) developed by my last MDRS crew, the International
Emerging Space Leaders Crew 205. These are essentially checklists
designed to ensure that the appropriate equipment is operational,
everyone understands the route and purpose of the EVA, and everyone is
healthy and ready to go. Consequently, we never forget equipment and
generally the EVA accomplishes their tasks quicker and more
effectively.

The purpose of both EVAs today were to continue sampling for our
mineralogy survey and collecting data for our biometrics project. We
have been getting extremely interesting data and I am excited to
analyze what we have obtained so far post-mission. I will be taking
the samples we have been collecting to Florida Tech’s X-Ray
Diffractometer (XRD) and will work with the crew geologist to generate
a GIS map of the mineralogical and chemical composition of the MDRS
site.

The first EVA started out smoothly, but Dave’s (CO) helmet almost
immediately started fogging because the vents were not pointed
directly at the visor! Other personnel were having fogging issues too
because of the extreme cold so Dave decided to cancel the EVA and
return to the Hab after taking pictures of the optical mount we set
up. Upon arrival back at the Hab, the crew was warmly greeted with hot
chocolate. The rest of the morning was spent catching up on work in
the lab or laying on the couch and reading.

I was on the second EVA and wow, the landscape was astonishing. After
driving the rovers south, we walked along Kissing Camel towards Phobos
Peak. Along the way, the Sun came out and warmed our backs and started
freeing up additional sites for sampling. We also saw some mysterious
tracks… perhaps some Martian antelope? We got some interesting samples
along the base of the peak and returned back to the Hab. The EVA team
was greeted by cream of mushroom soup and fresh bread prepared by
Hannah, our Lead Science Officer (LSO). I have to commend her on the
food she has been making; every meal has been a treat!

Tomorrow, we are looking forward to continuing to explore this grand
and magnificent environment with two EVAs planned and further analysis
of our samples. Maybe we will see the Sun again tomorrow…