Crew 272 Journalist Report 1-9-2023 Sol: 8
Author: Kenny Pritchard, Crew Journalist
Title: Gift Camel
Rejuvenated and well-rested from the previous sol, we began this morning observing a serene, colorful sunrise from the wide window in the Science Dome. Actually, I began the morning by slamming my head into the ceiling while trying to turn off the alarm in my space-conscious room, but that doesn’t sound as good. I threw together some chocolate chip pancakes for the crew after our regular stretching session, and we were all set to go. Adriana covered a brief overview of the EVA as usual, which was planned to be a simple trip to Kissing Camel Ridge to collect geologic samples, observe ancient flow regimes, and test out some more drone scouting.
Kshitij, Mason, Adriana, and I started suiting up for our EVA about a half hour before the planned departure time. Typically, the whole crew heads down to the lower deck to help prepare. The suits are bulky and much easier to don with a helping hand. We gathered all of the equipment we needed, performed radio checks to make sure we’d be able to communicate clearly, adjusted our suit straps as necessary, and stepped into the airlock to prebreathe. Mission Support has presented us with new headsets courtesy of a recent interplanetary cargo shipment, and they worked great! A brief rover drive led us to Kissing Camel Ridge, where we found a surplus of interesting rocks, minerals, fossils, and paleoflow indicators, but a shocking lack of kissing camels. We’re pretty sure we know which formations earned it that name, but it’s still hard to see… Maybe if you squint… Mason did his usual business with the drone and scouted out locations for search & rescue tests he’ll attempt to run in the coming sols. Adriana collected more samples and found some useful info for her research. Kshitij supported Mason’s drone efforts, and I picked up an oversized pocketful of the petrified wood chunks that littered the ground in that area. We finished our objectives and made it back to the Hab with time to spare!
In the GreenHab, Madelyn is in an important phase of her research. She’s pulled some samples of her sprouts to analyze how quickly they’ll wilt after being harvested – part of her investigation is to test claims that the fertilizer she uses will promote longevity and better shelf-life in the plants. She’s also planning for her ultimate harvest on Sol 11 when she will conclude her data collection here at MDRS. Megan was unfortunately forced to scrap a failed hammer print (Pima the 3d printer is a fickle contraption), but luckily, she has already finished printing two others that will be sufficient for the field-testing in a few sols. Lastly, Arly introduced a mid-mission component of her cognitive survey which identifies major contributors to workload on EVA. Because my making breakfast this morning was a schedule adjustment, I also happen to be on dinner tonight, but the crew is generously sparing me from double duty by taking a chunk out of our leftovers instead. Or maybe they just don’t want to eat more of my food? I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth! Or… a gift camel?