Journalist report, 02/20/17 – Sol 8: First shower.
Today’s EVA was led by Mouadh, followed by Arthur, Louis, and Xavier. They left at 9:00, refilled the water tank, checked the seismometer, and went to White Rock canyon to explore it. The weather was once again foggy, but it was clearing when they left. The seismometer had moved a bit, because of the rain from the past few days, making the ground softer. Having picked up the USB key full of data, they went back to their rovers and went to the canyon. It was very wet in there. Louis took beautiful photos from above, before Xavier’s backpack stopped blowing air (due to a bad reload as we discovered after). He was almost blind, and more important, suffocating if we were on Mars. That is why, to respect the simulation constraints, they applied a common protocol in diving: Arthur shared one of his pipes with him, on the way back, forcing them to move as Siamese twins. The EVA stopped thirty minutes earlier because of this failure, but the good point was the quick reaction of the team.
This afternoon, we did for the first time another sport session I brought from my rower’s training, to keep the crew fit. Then, I had my first shower after eight days. We managed to save water as much as possible and Xavier and I were the last two ones having had none. We were trusting last crew’s recommendation about it, that was: “take a minimum number of showers”. But now that we are monitoring more precisely our water consumption, the conclusion was clear: it was ridiculous, as a (quick) shower uses less water than a flush… So that one represents around 3% of one day consumption, while flushing represents between 35% and 40%.
Anyway, I now am clean, and already motivated for the next 11 sols that remain! We already have great plans for the following ones, and I am not in a hurry to leave. I will lead tomorrow’s EVA for the first time, which goal will be to find a place to deploy the balloon for a whole day.
Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175