Author: Trevor Jahn, Technology Officer
Matthew Eby and Trevor Jahn surveyed the conditions outside from the observatory on a chilly December 8th, 2022. Frost was still in the air, and shimmering ice crystals could be seen hiding behind the white dome of the Science Habitat and beneath the dark blue solar arrays. It had snowed the morning before, and today the crew needed to know if the ground was safe enough to walk for an EVA either in the morning or afternoon. The ground continued to give way as the two precariously tried to kept their balance through the tunnels, and their outdoor boots slipped on the loose muddy ground. The two men concluded conditions would be best in the early afternoon for the crew’s only EVA of the day. Matt, Kristine, and Allison, emerged from the airlock around noon, and went about their work. Today was a special day, as the crew was tasked with launching a weather balloon. Helium tanks hissed, computer logs beeped, and drone propellers buzzed as the crew worked quickly to fill the balloon, check the logs, position their equipment, and prepared their flying drone for documentation. The moment of culmination finally arrived and Kristine let go of the balloon and payload Matt had worked so hard to make and prepare. The balloon raced upwards towards the Jetstream, too fast for the drone to keep up with, and eventually reached speeds over 100 mph before being brought down by design somewhere in the Colorado Mountains, leaving a mystery and future adventure for next year, when some of the crew might try and find the payload.
The rest of the day saw the crew being productive taking Mirror Sample observations in the Science Dome, proactively finishing chores around the Crew Habitat, and working on reports, before taking in the sights of the orange full moon over the East horizon before bed.