Journalist Report – February 14th

Author: Maria Grulich

Title: Love, Bacon and Cookies – It’s Valentine’s Day

Today is a very special day for the crew! It’s the start of the leadership rotation and also it is Valentine’s Day!

The crew has prepared some cookies and our new commander and XO, Dave and Nathan prepared everyone a breakfast of eggs and bacon as a surprise for the crew. After watching The Martian last night, the crew is thinking on how Matt Damon solved the persistent problems with living on Mars. Now the crew is thinking how to germinate potatoes here!

Currently our most valuable resource is data. We solved the water problem by changing the way we clean dishes, so we are on one refill a day. Regarding the data, we still have to investigate the anomaly.

Today only one EVA was planned with the objective of flying the drone for the first time. The preparation went smoothly since we have fixed and inventoried the EVA suits. The crew composed of Natalia (GHO), Daniel (HSO), Veronica (ENG) and Maria (Media) stepped out at 1030 and the weather was cloudy, but stable with a slight wind. Directly after leaving the Hab, the drone was tested to see how it performs and it worked fine. After a couple of tests flights, it was decided to keep moving to a higher altitude to take pictures with the drone from there. After 10 more minutes in the weather conditions changed and it was decided to abort the EVA. It seems like the North Ridge is our curse. 3 EVAs planned there and three cancelations. The crew is still very determined to explore the North Ridge during this rotation.

After the short EVA, the crew found themselves with some free time which gave us the opportunity to exchange our Secret Cupid gifts. Every crew member brought a small gift for another crew member and it was exciting to see who picked whom and it was accompanied with heart shaped Martian cookies.

Today also gave time to start for the video project as well as the detailed categorization and analysis of the rock samples. On one of the rocks that was brought back from Candor Chasma, a skeleton was found. It is probably a skeleton from a scorpion which is a really interesting finding.

Tomorrow, there will be time for more indoor activities and outreach activities.

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