Sol 18 – End clap
Author: Nicolas Wattelle
That’s it, we’re preparing to definitely leave this beautiful red planet… It is a mix of many different emotions: joy, sadness, the first impulses of nostalgia even if we have not yet taken off …
The day was dedicated to tidying up. First, for the trip outside, the morning outing was meant to dismount our external devices. In order, MegaAres, PurpleAir, LOAC, weather station, and HF antenna. It was a last EVA strangely filled with emotions: we carried out rotations throughout the mission to ensure their maintenance, for us it was inked in the routine; yet this morning we removed everything and tomorrow we will no longer have this daily appointment. So, we took advantage of it, the weather was good, we took a few last photos in our suits… Our goodbyes to the Martian ground that we have been walking on for the last 3 weeks.
Then it was the time to clean the Hab, to prepare the field for the next crew who will take over on Sunday. Our personal and work affairs, the sports equipment… It is true that, at the end of these three weeks of mission, our stuff was a little scattered all over the Hab: we used to the maximum the space which was dedicated to us.
At each device dismounted, it was an opportunity for us to remember the moments we spent here. Experiments in the ScienceDome, the few remaining plantations in the GreenHab, the radio set up in the Lower Deck… Some activities went well during this journey, others did not work, sometimes we know the reasons, sometimes not… This is the game of sim. We will have the opportunity to go over all this once back on Earth, but whatever it is we are getting out of here happy with the mission as a whole, and the group is more united than ever by all these adventures: We have lived together on Mars for 3 weeks!
PS: To prove to you that the weather was good, take a look at today’s Sun’s picture taken by our astronomer Marine. The observation conditions were really nice: you can spot Sun flares on the surface!