Nicole Chan, Crew 290 Journalist
Today we got back into our normal routine. With an EVA planned this afternoon, the crew started the day with some slices of bread from yesterday. We all remarked that it was a bit more moist than previous iterations, making the bread softer and nicer to eat. With some raspberry jam and peanut butter, the crew had a wonderful breakfast and got to work. Rebecca (Chopper) began transferring knowledge of the pH meter from yesterday’s ScienceDome session. Madelyn (Melon) used the time to check geological guides for suitable sampling sites around the region of Kissing Camel Ridge, the destination of today’s EVA.
The crew suited up around 1200 and went on a rover ride to the Ridge. We all had fun donning our new and improved flight suits with our Project MADMEN mission patches! (It was a great bonding activity and yet another first for me which was super exciting.) They noted plenty of worthy sites to sample on the way there, so they made notes to CAPCOM, which is managed by Anna (Roots). Many pictures of hills with multicolored layers of deposits followed. As they settled on a site, the EVA crew, Melon, Anja (Freebee), and Ben (Funk), began the multi-step site processing. Melon and Funk focused on collecting soil samples and taking various measurements at the site (pH, temperature, ATP, etc.). Freebee collected more radar samples of interesting terrain with REMI. After returning to the Hab, Chopper went to the ScienceDome to process those samples to keep the data consistent.
Today also saw the continuation of Roots’ study of the crew’s glove dexterity. We were tasked with grabbing and changing our hold on various small objects (washers, nuts, caps, and screws) with and without gloves. Additionally, we also tied and untied a series of knots. It was a fun challenge and we’re all glad to participate in the study for Roots. The most impressive factor is that she had developed the protocols for this study (as well as the materials to carry out the tests) all during our rotation. Talk about resourcefulness! We look forward to the results from this dexterity study. Our frustrations during the tests also informed us of possible changes to our EVA equipment and gear to make the manual manipulation more efficient.
We all enjoy getting back into the groove of things at the station. Although our days are busy and sometimes tiring, we work productively and wind down in team-bonding activities at night. Speaking of, we had a great time learning more about each other during last night’s powerpoint presentations. We covered a span of topics and had many laughs. I look forward to more of these night time conversations as we come closer together as a crew.
Photo of the Day: 290-01_15_2024 science rocks.JPG