Journalist report, 02/20/18: First scientific and gastronomic hitches
Our first own made bread prepared by Victoria was welcomed after such a long day we had. Though it was somehow a bit compact, it was yet tasty, and with some strawberry jam it made a nice dessert! After having filled our stomachs, it was yet time to go to sleep, to prepare for the second day of mission.
And sleeping early was crucial, as today’s sport beginning time was 7am … Some of our fellow crew members wore their nicest outfits : Benoît put on his shirt of Paris Saint-Germain, while Gabriel chosed the winning combo : fitted black shirt and (very) fitted flashy yellow legging. However, the sport session was shortened for the ones who would go on EVA: Gabriel, Jérémy, Benoît and Commander Victoria were the ones to go out this morning. The EVA followed the purpose of the last one: it was now time to place the measurement instruments, after having chosen the location, according to our observations of the previous day.
However, everything did not work as we expected. The team took a lot more time to be ready than they thought, as they had a lot of material to bring on the rover. The team first went placing the instrument of Jérémy’s experiment, the LOAC. Though it was perfectly working in the Hab, it did not give any result on the outside. After a small check, the team realized the alimentation was broken, and that they had to bring back the LOAC to the station to fix it. The second instrument, Gabriel’s MegaARES, took almost 2 hours to the team to be placed. Gabriel had indeed some issues with his helmet, which started to be covered by fog: he was blinded, and had thus to give instructions to the others members of the EVA team, which was not an easy thing to do. The team learned that some tasks which were usually easy became nearly impossible wearing a spacesuit: to tighten a lonely screw took the team over half an hour, yet they finally succeeded with the help of a perfect teamwork. At the same time in the Hab, Louis wanted to follow Victoria’s example in baking new bread. However, he realized later that he did not put the ingredients in good quantities (especially because of American cooking units, which Louis was not happy to be forced to use).
After the team got back in the station, Jérémy was happy to find 3 red cherry tomatoes in the GreenHab : our first fresh products from there. Those were not really large (especially the one we named Victoria), yet it did not reduce our satisfaction. The afternoon was slower: Benoît learned to play French game “coinche”, but he and Jérémy lost nonetheless in a large way against Louis and Victoria. As we reached the middle of the afternoon, Louis’ bread was finally ready. Yet, even though it looked at first more like a Martian rock than like a French baguette, it was quite comestible after all. It was then time for Gabriel and Jérémy to launch their human factors experiments. However, they suffered some software issues, and so were not able to make their first tries today: these will so normally begin tomorrow. These missed tries conclude a day full of small issues, yet things will certainly get better as soon as tomorrow!
Alexandre Martin, Crew 189 Journalist