Author: Trevor Jahn, Technology Officer
December 3, 2022, and Sol 6 on Mars, the Mars Desert Research Station Crew awoke to anticipation, as they prepared for their two furthest EVAs yet. Breakfast was a delicious combination of sourdough bread with various toppings ranging from honey, butter, olive oil, and chocolate spread, but not all at once of course. With the smell of eucalyptus coming from the humidifier the crew brought from home, the Crew Habitat filled with its sweet aroma. The crew passed health checkouts with flying colors after breakfast, and began preparation for their first EVA.
Allison Taylor, Kristine Ferrone, and Ashley Kowalski departed the Airlock at 9:01 am, and continued via crew rover along Cow Dung Road to the Special Region North of Gateway to Lith, where they would search for regolith samples, took radiation measurements, and scouted out future drone flight locations. The morning EVA crew had limited coms with IVA as they past Gateway to Condor along Cow Dung Road, and the EVA crew switched coms to channel two for local communication. IVA took the opportunity to discuss what they would do to plan a rescue in the event the EVA crew did not make contact at the end of their EVA window.
Shortly after EVA Crew 1’s arrival back inside the Crew Habitat, the afternoon EVA Crew began preparation, and exited the airlock at 1:01 pm, proceeded along Cow Dung Road, heading North in Crew Rover Curiosity. The EVA Crew consisted of Matthew Eby and Barbra Braun. They maintained communication with IVA, which was operated by Trevor Jahn, until nearly reached Galileo Road, when communication was no longer possible. IVA continued to attempt 15 min check-ins with the EVA crew, but the EVA crew was able to successfully send “all is well” communications over satellite transponder. The EVA crew made their way back to the marked location from the morning EVA, and continued to collect regolith samples as a follow up to the morning’s EVA sample collection, and collected samples at a second point of interest, before returning to the airlock at 2:53 pm.
Crew 269 was very tired after the end of their first week on mission, but continued to work on various things around the crew habitat throughout the day, and made time to drink hot coco and listen to holiday music to get in the holiday spirit as the calendar progressed into December only a few days prior. The crew bundled up in blankets in protest to the December cold night air, and the sound of busy keyboards could be heard throughout the habitat as the clock ticked closer to dinner time and as the conclusion of Sol 6 rapidly approached, the wind continued to howl across the barren cold landscape of the Martian surface, only inches beyond the thin white walls of Crew 269’s temporary home.