Ben Durkee, Crew 218 Journalist
I swear these morning workouts get more and more intense every day. Sitting up has now become an ordeal, and don’t even get me started on descending our glorified ladder of a staircase. I feel like a 21-year-old going on octogenarian – perhaps we age faster on Mars? I may have to request some dentures in the next cargo resupply craft sent from Earth…
In spite of our body aches, we spent a good chunk of time today sweeping the snow from our inter-Habitat tunnels again. We still haven’t been able to locate that pesky leak that’s allowing the precipitation in. I suspect it is the Martian mouse from Sol 04 trying to take us out one by one. We haven’t been able to track him down, yet, but have affectionately named him Marvin.
It’s very interesting the way the mind wanders when given the time and space to do so.
“When Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson studies his family history, is it considered genealogy or geology?”
This is the question Pat (the crew geologist) and I pondered over lunch. After involving the rest of the crew in our whirlwind debate, the general consensus became the latter, but we welcome outside opinions on the matter.
After discussing our philosophical quandary, the curtain of clouds parted for the first time in days to reveal unfettered, unfiltered sunlight. Not only does this imply the most snow melting power we’ve had yet, but it also means the sun was finally ripe for observation. Cesare rushed out to the observatory to carpe this rare diem.
Once he had methodically set up all of the instrumentation, he invited us in individually to join in his observation. Eventually my turn rolled around, and I removed my glasses and peered into the gauntlet of mirrors and lenses. We fiddled with the knobs until I got a view of the sun. Circular, as expected. A bit more adjustment yielded better focus, and I was able to watch the surface of the sun subtly pulsate and squirm, like a colossal heart of nuclear fusion.
Cesare spent some time adjusting machinery and software far beyond in an attempt to capture some solar activity. We weren’t able to observe any sun spots or granulation, but in hindsight that may be a blessing considering Mars’s lack of shielding against such radioactive tumult.
The sun soon escaped our grasp and retreated behind the horizon, so we too retreated to the Hab. A dash of Smash Bros. to wind down, a pinch of pepper on our dinner, and the evening had escaped us in a similar fashion. We’ve a cold night ahead of us, but hopefully the sun will return unobstructed to thaw our Martian landscape. If the stars align, we may even be able to go on EVA tomorrow and launch our scientific discoveries into full swing. Fingers crossed!