Journalist Report – January 12th

Crew 219 Journalist Report, 12 JAN 2020

Author: Nathan Hadland

Sol 7

A DONSA To Remember

Ah, the DONSA. The day where you take a moment to breathe and recharge
your batteries. Indeed, today allowed our minds and bodies to recover
from a week of productive science and maintenance tasks. The crew
slept in this morning and woke up to the sound of reggae as well as
the ever-present water pump. As I climbed down from the loft, I saw
our commander in a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt making a breakfast of
bacon and eggs. The rest of the crew emerged in their own uniquely
colored Hawaiian shirts and I chuckled at the irony of a group of
scientists on Mars hanging out as if they were laying on the beach
back in Florida. After sweeping the tunnels of snow and cleaning the
lower deck, I challenged Robinson (ASTRO) and Alejandro (ENG) to an
epic game of Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The battle was intense,
exhilarating, and nerve-racking. Robinson joked that we smacked him
off of Mars back to Florida. For lunch, Hannah (LSO) and Cynthia (GHO)
harvested some greens from the GreenHab and made a delicious fresh
salad along with sliders and fresh bread. For the rest of the day,
Robinson and Abdul (GEO) worked in the Science Dome on their samples.
I got to witness Robinson simulate a Martian dust storm to investigate
the most effective dust mitigation methods for optical mirrors in
astronomical observations. He will be presenting this work at a
conference later this spring! He also got some awesome images last
night for his astronomy research.

After working in the lab, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading my
book and listening to the ambient noise of Alejandro, Cynthia, and
Dave playing cards. We also got to enjoy some delicious cookies made
by Hannah and heavenly Chai tea made by Abdul. Later tonight, we will
be making a dinner of blueberry pancakes and hash browns. Tomorrow we
will be back to work and continuing sample collection. I am both
excited and humbled at the opportunity to be working in an environment
as magnificent as this and am eager to see what this week on the Red
Planet will reveal.