Crew 272 Journalist Report 1-11-2023
Author: Kenny Pritchard, Crew Journalist
Title: Kissing Hab Ridge
We set off Arly’s CO2/air quality monitor early this morning thanks to breathing exercises led by Kshitij — Anulom, Vilom, and Pranayama, which had the entire crew huffing and puffing (and blowing our noses in between exercises). After the breathing exercises, we engaged in some yoga asans including Shav-asan (corpse-pose), which felt fitting considering the unfortunate quantity of sim-deaths to this point. For breakfast, Madelyn revisited the crew-approved egg casserole recipe from a previous sol. Due to an intense Martian dust storm and some unfavorable ground conditions, one of our two planned EVAs was cancelled today, but four lucky Martians still got to feel fresh air (or at least EVA-suit air) when a new plan was set.
With veteran experience in gearing up for EVA, Adriana, Madelyn, Megan, and Kshitij were out of the Hab in no time, and they followed a road northwest to reach an overlook called Hab Ridge. From this Ridge, they were able to overlook the Hab. Compared to Kissing Camel, this is nomenclature I can get behind! The trip was an exploratory EVA which the crew completed entirely on foot, employing their best map-reading skills to tirelessly traverse the tricky terrain (or masterfully maneuver the merciless ‘marrain?’). Along the way, they happened upon some Gryphaea fossils or ‘devil’s toenails’ – extinct oysters from several hundred million years ago. I reckon they collected enough for a hearty seafood dinner, but nobody seemed to have the appetite for it. From the top of Hab Ridge, the EVA crew had a great view of the Hab (as I mentioned) and the surrounding topography. They got some great pictures from the vantage point and a better navigational understanding of the area, and Adriana will use this practice to plan out the final EVAs for her research.
Once again among the Hab-rats, I took some video documentation of our crew and the Hab to be compiled later. Mason toiled away at fixing the air circulation system in EVA suit #7, to great success! On-site repairs are highly preferable to service shipments back to the manufacturer, which can take years to return. Arly packed out to the Science Dome to clean off petrified wood and other samples she’d gathered, then set to preparing a popular baked-feta pasta recipe from TikTok. With only two full sols remaining before we depart from MDRS, home is on everyone’s minds! Until then, we will make the most of the time we have here.