Nicole Chan, Crew 290 Journalist
The Sol began with sunny and clear skies, which was a great sign to carry out EVA 11 which had been postponed from yesterday. With the smell of cinnamon rolls warming up in the oven, the crew got ready for the day around the dining table. Madelyn (Melon) sat down with the crew to go over the EVA logistics before Anja (Freebee), Ben (Funk), and Anna (Roots) began to suit up. After strapping in REMI at the back of the rover, the crew headed out to the region around White Rock Canyon and Aonia Terra. The goal is to perform a final sample collection for MADMEN goals while REMI explores the new terrain at Aonia Terra. Melon served as CAPCOM and gave the crew support in the site search and targeting process.
Learning from previous EVAs, the crew brought a hammer and chisel to handle the harder rock terrain that was expected. These tools came in handy and saved the crew a lot of trouble when collecting the subsurface samples at three- and six-inches depth. From the CAPCOM interactions, it sounded like the preliminary field tests produced results that correspond to the geological studies that Melon had talked about in the EVA briefing. The crew took many awesome photos of the site and had fun scaling the hills as they scouted the area. It seems like a running theme on our mission so far: no matter how tiring EVAs are or how much work we have to do, we do what is needed to stay on schedule and have fun at the same time. I often found myself inspired by the crew’s ingenuity and perseverance to find solutions whenever unexpected issues arose.
In the late afternoon, the crew, led by Rebecca (Chopper) worked on imaging the incubated soil samples and measuring their pH. We planned to maximize the science output we can get before leaving for Earth on Sol 13. With our last soil sample collection completed today, we’ll be spending today and tomorrow checking for changes in the samples’ pH measurements. There have already been some interesting things happening in the microfluidic devices captured under the microscope!
Photo of the Day: 290-01_18_2024 martian explorers.jpeg