Sol Summary – January 6th

Crew 186 Sol 6 Summary Report 06JAN2018

Sol 6

Summary Title: The Shared Mythos of Mars

Author’s name: Max Fagin

Mission Status: Enjoying our first day of light duty and the chance to catch up on our individual work.

Sol Activity Summary: As grad students, soon to be grad students or recently escaped grad students, one of our greatest pleasures is to sleep in. And today we did just that, in celebration of reaching the midpoint of our 13 sol mission. We woke on our own schedule, and enjoyed a brunch of scrambled eggs and french toast. We recommend a new standing policy be implemented on Mars missions: AHTBMR, aka, “Always Have The Bread Maker Running”.

A passing comment about Game of Thrones (which GreenHab officer Mark Gee had finished reading that morning) became an engaging discussion about authorial intent and the discernment of canon in fictional universes, over the course of 2 hours spanned such topics as the Star Wars Holiday Special, Ender’s Game, the Bible, and literary theorist Roland Barthes’ essay “Death of the Author”. In the course of the discussion, I was reminded of a remarkable question that only future Mars colonization will answer: How will future Martians view our current stories about Mars and the people who live there? Will characters like John Carter, Sax Russell, Rebecca Sherman, Mark Watney and Bobbie Draper become modern myths to the new Martians? The exploration of Mars is the first instance of humans building a culture on top of a preexisting shared mythology in fiction. Will future Martians adopt that existing mythology as their own, or will they decide to make unto themselves a new one?

We spent the rest of day relaxing around the hab, tending to our own experiments in the science dome and in GreenHab, and driving the NorCal Mars Society Rover around the hab (the rover was confronted by a 4 legged alien that retreated as soon as the rover advanced towards them. Photo of it is in the journalist report, awaiting identification). After sunset, sleet started to fall, and we settled in for a nice dinner and game night, featuring a custom card game designed for our mission by our Crew Journalist, Justin Mansell. The rules of “Mars Quest” are coming in a separate email if you want to follow along at home!

Look Ahead Plan: The sleet has made the ground icy around the hab, and even though the weather for tomorrow is forecasted to be clear, we won’t do an EVA if the ground is icy. But if conditions permit, we plan to revisit the region North East of Maxwell Montes that we visited on EVA 3, as we believe we have found a walking route on the topo maps that would allow us to enter the mouth of the canyon from the south, and access the stratified layers we could previously only photograph from the canyon’s west rim.

Anomalies in work: None (generator and water consumption issues believed to be resolved).

Weather: 2C, light sleet, overcast

Crew Physical Status: Healthy

EVA: None.

Reports to be filed: Sol Summary, Operations Report, Journalist Report, Greenhab Report, Astronomy Report, EVA Request

Support Requested: None

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