Summary Title: The Ultimate Penultimate
Author’s name: Lindsay Rutter
Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Summary: Our penultimate sol on Mars was quiet. Jin needed to obtain COVID planetary protection certifications for his return flight to Planet Earth. The nearest certification center was more than two hours away, at the Hanskville Spaceport. Dave and Jin departed the HAB around 0930, with Dave bringing science gloves to prevent touching the same space fuel nozzles at recharging fuel stations along the route. Inga and I remained at the HAB. Our radio communication with Dave and Jin only lasted for about ten minutes. They gave an estimated return time of 1630. Indeed, they were gone most of the day.
I continued my metagenomic regolith experiments in the ScienceDome and Inga prepared for her upcoming presentation at the Mars Society Conference. She will present machine learning findings about social dynamics in space analogs. When I returned from the ScienceDome to the HAB to share lunch with Inga, she commented on how oddly quiet the HAB had felt when she was in it all alone for the first time!
After Dave and Jin safely returned to the HAB, we made minor adjustments in our schedule for how to spend our final sol on Mars. I feel a bit of the "third-quarter effect" wafting throughout the HAB. But it is not as prominent as usual. We have several big events tomorrow that keep us anchored to our mission. Tomorrow, we will participate in the first Mars-to-Mars (M2M) Video Link. We will virtually celebrate Space Week together with the AARG-1 crew, who are located at the other station on Mars, UND ILMAH. We Areonauts have been kind and supportive to each other, with engaging conversations each day. Still, we are eager for this event, because it will break our routine and expand our fishbowl population from four to eight – even if just for one hour!
Weather: Sunny, cloudy, and warm.
Crew Physical Status: All crew nominal.
Reports to be filed: Science, Photo, Sol, Journalist, GreenHab, Operations
Support Requested: None