Journalist Report – December 6th

Sol: 9
Author: Barbara Braun, Health and Safety Officer
Title: Big Buttes

Our time on Mars is starting to run short! The crew counted the remaining days last night, and was astonished to discover that we had only a handful of opportunities left for final data collection. Today, an EVA crew of XO Alli Taylor, HSO Barbara Braun, and Tech Officer Trevor Jahn embarked on a morning data-gathering session with the photogrammetry drone, which students in a northern Virginia elementary school have named “Vixl.” After four flights over many of the features of our local Martian area, the team packed up the drone and examined the area on foot before returning to the Hab to crunch data. The imagery will be used to create 3D maps for augmented-reality exploration.

Next, an afternoon crew consisting of Commander Kristine Ferrone, Green Hab Officer Matt Eby, and Crew Engineer Ashley Kowalski drove a pair of rovers to Barrainca Butte to take radiation measurements in the area and conduct more regolith sampling. The crew also tested out ham radio communications back to the Hab. After returning to the Hab, Matt prepared an afternoon snack for the crew involving lots of chocolate and peanut butter, before conducting a dry-run of the weather balloon launch scheduled for Thursday. The three ham radio operators on the crew have been enjoying testing out the Hab’s ham radio equipment, and have received transmissions from around the world. We have not yet received confirmation of any of our transmissions, but we plan to keep trying!

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