Nicole Chan, Crew 290 Journalist
This morning, the crew made staggered entrances to the kitchen to enjoy some cookies and bread made by Anja (Freebee) last night. With today’s EVA 6 being our longest yet, our EVA crew, Madelyn (Melon), Anna (Roots), and Freebee began preparing for their adventure to Vallaris Marineris. This region has promising geological features that Melon hoped to target, from evidence of river flow in the area. The rest of the crew did our best to help feed them (with Freebee’s tasty risotto from last night) and suit up before departing from the Hab at 1255. The goal of this EVA is to collect samples from two sites of interest for MADMEN science objectives while Freebee is to drive REMI around those sites to collect more radar data.
At the base, Ben (Funk) was responsible for CAPCOM while Rebecca provided scientific field test support for the EVA crew. I (PODO) experimented with the pH probe to determine the electrical charge buildup that is necessary for accurate pH measurements on field tests. Currently, its metal panels require 5 minutes of charge buildup to get an accurate reading of the buffers we have on hand. Although this was not the expected measurement protocol, it has been a great workaround for the pH meter issues we had during the initial setup period.
The EVA crew ended up collecting samples at the mouth of the Tharsis Montes riverbed. They were even able to find fossils! While they performed ATP field measurements and salinity tests of the soil, the crew also collected plenty of interesting rocks for analysis. The most worthy of note amongst those is the gypsum-resembling rock. It’ll be analyzed and properly categorized under the microscope in the coming days. Overall, it was a great success! We congratulated the EVA crew at their return and are super excited to “dig into” (ba-dum-tsh) the samples they collected. Today we also got the chance to image the microfluidic devices with the Sol 3 and found bacteria in them! Very exciting indeed. (To be fair, we’re all in a very excited mood right now particularly while we’re smelling the tasty Chana Aloo that Funk is cooking up.)
Looking ahead, we have another long EVA tomorrow that will target sites at Candor Chasma. With a rover ride included, we can’t wait to bring back some sick samples to the crew. We’ll keep you posted!
Photo of the Day: 290-01_12_2024 in da valley.JPG