Sol 2 began with more natural beauty – this time in the form of a sunrise that congregated the entire crew around the hab’s upstairs eastern window. Said sun – while small and pallid – stayed visible through the day.
The crew conducted two separate EVAs. The first of these was a practice run to test the deployment of an environmental sensor package. It began as a test of the sensor package itself, which decided it didn’t want to initiate.
This was followed by a more successful second EVA, which sought to test the mobility and traction of Steve’s bespoke rover (current name: "Johan") on different sediments and slopes (up to fifteen degrees). While the limited duration of the EVA prevented testing on all surface materials, the drone performed consistently well. Further EVAs with this drone will likely build on today’s results to explore more surfaces and expanded parameters. On a less serious note, watching Marstronauts operate a tracked rover on faux-Martian soil through the habitat porthole was also really, really special. Congrats to Steve for achieving a lifetime dream.
These EVAs also spawned a useful conversation in the hab about comms jargon and protocol – especially the nuances (or lack thereof) between terms like “copy”, “acknowledge”, “confirm”, “Roger Roger”, and everyone’s favourite: “ten-four”. At one point, we even glimpsed an Unidentified Wheeled Object (spectators who slowed down to watch our second EVA).
Most critically of all, our breadmaking enterprise reached new heights with a stunning herbed loaf from Rob. In combination with some rehydrated butter and Vegemite, it made yesterday’s berry obsession old news. We performed some further culinary experiments, with varying degrees of success.
Highlights of the day: BREAD, rover, morbid anecdotes about aeronautical disasters and animal attacks, Scotty’s 3D visualisation of the habitat’s surrounds, Commandrew’s pun barrage, AC/DC in the Greenhab, Clare’s bolognaise.
Lowlights of the day: Food tins with jagged edges (can opener must be aligned vertically!), our first minor laceration (see last point), mysterious habitat power loss, UWO incursion.
– Alexander Tobal, Crew 291