Journalist Report – February 4th

Crew 221 Journalist Report 04Feb2020
Author: Hemani Kalucha, Crew Journalist
Sol 2
Title: Setting up a Weather Station

Today, we started with one of our science experiments: building an in-house crew assembled weather station! It actually ended up being a terrific team building exercise. We all gathered in the science dome early at 10 this morning, to put together 3 elements: a barometer, a rain gauge, and a hygrometer. Everyone put their best DIY skills to use as all of the elements were made of everyday objects found at home. Some of the intricate steps involved straws, sticky tack, cotton balls and lots of masking tape. Oh, and good timing. After this amazing team effort, we sent out two crew members on an EVA to install the 3 elements outside the hab, so that we could take weather measurements twice a day. We were pre approved to attach our instruments on the outside face of the tunnels at the science dome. Unfortunately, using zipties as a fastener was not as successful as we hoped. The EVA crew’s attempts resulted in snapping of most of the zipties. However, we have now found Velcro straps in our equipment, and will try reinstalling the equipment on a later EVA. As HabCom for this EVA, I particularly enjoyed watching the EVA crew at work from our kitchen window, and giving them special instructions for installation. Overall, I would say we had a real “starting a human presence on Mars” experience today. Unfortunately, one piece of equipment did not make it to the hab, so we will have to do without our anemometer’s wind measurements. Fortunately, Commander Grulich’s impeccable baking making skills will distract us. Dinner was made more eventful by Kuwaiti cultural night and a lovely play of “hometowns” to get to know our teammates better. Our conversations are already so much deeper and more interesting than just 48 hours ago!