Crew 184 Journalist Report
12 December 2017
Title Going Further, than Ever Before
Narrative As we are adapting to the Martian day and transitioning from Earth time we are currently staying longer awake and are getting up a little later. I was quite energetic and woke even up before my alarm clock. That gave me the chance to film everyone coming out of their sleeping chamber, which are aligned in a little row next to one another.
Because we sleep longer now we went right on an EVA to Matryoshka Site number five after breakfast. Science Officer Trivedi took the lead, while Doctor Sczepaniak was still very sleepy. As he is anyway quite stoic and monosyllabic we were wondering if he is sleepwalking. I personally thought we have to reanimate him right there in the pre-breathing chamber. But we better leave that to the Doc. Wait a minute…
Today I actually wanted to take the ATV to drive by myself, but as we didn’t put this in the EVA request we had to follow protocol and postpone my personal Martian roadtrip desire to another day. Already in the past days it is one of the hardest challenges to pinpoint the exact spot of our Matryoshka sites as we have to compare the over view satellite pictures to the reality beneath our feet. To complicate things even more two crewmembers of this Mars mission are European and use the metric system instead of the imperial one. So you not only have to be a good a good geologists and pathfinder to master these tasks, but also a mathematician.
As so we took quite an interesting detour, which took us further north on Mars, then ever before. Around the site of the yellow moon we took our rover on a little rollercoaster. Facing a mountain comb we went up and down heavy slopes. The ATV could manage without problems but we were really careful with our rover. When we reached a every high elevation we faced an insane downfall.
We decided to check our geo position again, to make sure, that it was the right site. The ride down and the following climb would be too intense, considering it might not even be the spot we were supposed to be at. And after a short reassessment we realized, that we were a bit too far west from our exploartaion site. We turned and reached our final destination, the meaningful beige moon, shortly after.
While the Doc was seemingly still sleeping Science Officer Trivedi got very much excited looking at three elevations following shortly after one another. Let’s call them the three hills of the beige moon. Trivedi climbed on the peak of each of them and really dug deep for chemically pure probes of rocks. He got completed dusted and had to remove his pilot suit, after his return to the hab.
While on site he collected strange orange rocks and was fascinated by white shimmering stones further down north. When we went there we discovered that these rocks looked somewhat similar to quartz-stones and reflected the sun light to us. We collected the samples and will to analyze them in the hab lab.
I used this remote spot to make an interview with the Doc, who was still sleepy, but in a very pleasant Zen mode. As he is a man of faith we talked about the question, if the God the humans believe in, is also looking over us Martians? He surely believed so and is poised, that his heroic efforts on the red planet will possibly lead others to come to Mars and to find God here as well.
Maybe a higher force was already looking over us, when we returned to the base. We quickly felt, that the rover was a bit slower than usually and that there was a sensation, if someone was slightly pushing the break. We observed the vehicle superficially, but couldn’t find anything. We blamed it on the dirt and hoped it will fall off. As we continued I noticed that our trustful rover was losing battery level by the minute, which we never noticed before. Within a short period it dropped from 60% to 40%, which made me really worry.
Fortunately the habitat was already on the horizon and we literally slowly turned into the final lane. By then the battery was down to thirty percent and was more or less only crouching to it’s final parking spot. I was getting out of the rover to release it from weight, but I swear the chocolate cake of First Officer Randazzo yesterday night couldn’t have been the problem.
We made it home and will assess the battery problem of the rover tomorrow at sun light. As we have a massive arsenal of vehicles we will definitely be fine and I am sure our handy crew engineer will take care of the faulty one.
Personal Logbook It was great getting out again and Mars didn’t disappoint us once again. The weather is always great here and the sun strong. For me as photographer the conditions are perfect so far.
It was also inspiring to see new horizons and landscapes once again and to have purpose. When I am stuck in the habitat I sometimes feel a bit if I would lose time.
I think my experiments with the new helmet are completed and it works very good. Nonetheless I will step back to the original helmet, to feel the experience of the other crewmembers had in the past days.
Thank you very much for your help and attention.
Willie Schumann, Journalist, Crew 184