Crew 271 Sol 4 Journalist Report 22-12-2022
Author’s name: Helen Eifert, Crew Geologist
Title: Marcaroni & Spectroscopy
Our first full day on Mars was eventful, extra emphasis on the EV. In the morning, Guariniello and Eifert conducted a nearby EVA north of the Hab for Eifert’s research project. Using a high-tech watering can, we executed the exciting task of watching dirt dry. I estimate this to be about 10% more invigorating than watching paint dry. Granted, on Mars it is actually called regolith and not dirt, but I fear the use of fancy terminology may oversell it. Between measurements, we leisured in our EVA suits, read books, and sketched the landscape. The real excitement will be in the analysis of the squiggly line outputs gathered by our efforts. In fancy terms, we call this spectroscopy, but that may undersell the excitement. Some technical difficulties cut our first EVA short, providing enough time for some lunch and work in the Hab before heading out for a second EVA.
As the martian temperatures continued to rise, Guariniello and Eifert suited up a second time, this time joined by Koasaar and Grete. For our second EVA, the IMARS crew endeavored south of the Hab to Barrainca Butte in the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers. We did indeed touch the butte. Here, we found much more compositional variability in the geology and gathered hand samples for Cesare’s research. Much like our morning EVA tasks, these samples will be returned to the Hab to dry in an oven. More squiggly lines, repeat.
Speaking of squiggly lines, it wasn’t rigatoni, fusilli, or farfalle, but elbow macaroni promptly prepared for dinner by our commander Marc. To satiate the hungry bellies of four astronauts, Macaroni a la Marc or marcaroni, came chock full of cheese, vegetables, and tuna. Yes, mama Guariniello, not only did Cesare eat Mac & Cheese with fish, but he added extra parma on top. The shelf stable parmesan at that. We’ll be sure to promptly remove his Italian flag from his flight suit. Our MVP commander baked another fresh loaf of bread with dinner even after tolerating our comm chatter all day. Last night, Marc even treated us to photos from his winter over at the South Pole and today our ears were graced with the sounds of the South Pole’s Broke Dick Blues Band, Levesque lead vocals. An evening meal that truly tickled all the senses.
Before I close out my account, I would be remiss to not mention the hard work back on Earth by Shannon to get our generator back to nominal, with the station support of our HSO and crew engineer, Sergii. Without it, we wouldn’t have our inflatable holiday baby Yoda. Priorities.