EVA Report – January 8th

EVA # 5
Author: Arly Black
Purpose of EVA: 1) Further hike into Candor Chasma to continue documenting paleoflow indicators, specifically looking for more trough cross-bedding documented during EVA 4. 2) Drone scouting of Candor Chasma.
Start time: 11:03 AM
End time: 2:22 PM
Narrative: We started off our mission on time and in high spirits. The dad jokes were flying, and comms were on fire (in the best way- both channels 1 and 2). However, after exiting the Hab, both Mason and Megan experienced comms issues – likely due to the harsh radiation of the Martian environment – and had to reenter the Hab to replace them. Twas not a good start for the M’s. The A’s, however, were sitting pretty in Curiosity, ready to get the EVA rolling. Around 11:20 AM, the EVA truly began. As we made our way towards Cow Dung Road, we had a surprise alien encounter. Two individuals of an unidentified species (Adriana believed them to be elusive Kombucha-brewers) and their spaceship were blocking one of the routes onto Cow Dung, but we did our best not to interact with the foreign species and went around them. Crisis averted. We then drove north on Cow Dung Road, past Marble Ridge, around Pooh’s Corner and arrived at Gateway to Candor. We parked our rovers and hid our keys extra carefully given the proximity of those pesky aliens.
We began our expedition through Gateway to Candor and immediately stopped to look at rocks. Adriana has given us all rock-fever (at least I think that’s what those night sweats are) and we are about it. As we made our way into Candor Chasma, Adriana noted some trough cross-bedding, i.e. preservation of paleoflow in the rock, which was a huge success for the EVA. She observed that it was dipping in the same direction as yesterday’s measurements, which was marvelous. She also found lenses of sandstone, indicative of lateral accretion, and got a lithologic description of the sandstone that contained the bedding. Megan was by her side photographing the formations, while Arly applied her PhD level note taking skills to the task of recording her findings. Meanwhile, Mason did some scouting ahead with his trusty drone to find us other interesting areas in the Chasma to explore and helped us navigate the region. We continued to all find exciting, interesting, shiny, and smooth rocks and Adriana found some metamorphic samples that she will attempt to identify, as well as determine how it was transported to Candor Chasma. We were all enthralled by the beauty of the area and kept pushing further in. The most joyful moment of the EVA, and perhaps of the entire MDRS experience, occurred when Adriana found a baby stuck in the sand on the trail – a 20 lb hunk of petrified wood baby. She decided then and there that she had to adopt it at any cost, and we all took turns hacking away (gently, of course) at it to free it from its sandy prison. We walked a little further after that but decided to head back to the rovers in order to make it back to the Hab in time for our scheduled return time (and to feed the wailing baby). Adriana walked the entire way cradling her beautiful and heavy wood/rock baby. Now to find a way to take it back with her to Indiana – carry it in a blanket on the plane?
Destination: Candor Chasma
Coordinates (use UTM WGS 84): N523000, E4251300 (Candor Chasma)
Participants: Adriana Brown (Crew Geologist), Megan Rush (HSO), Mason Kuhn (Crew Engineer), Arly Black (XO and Crew Scientist)
Road(s) and routes per MDRS Map: Drove on Cow Dung Road until Gateway to Candor and parked the rovers. Walked on foot through the Gateway to Candor into Candor Chasma. Scouted with the drone to extend the range of footage further through Candor Chasma as we hiked. Hiked about a mile into Candor Chasma. Returned on foot through Gateway to Candor to the rovers. Drove back to the hab via Cow Dung Road. See route in the attached image.
Mode of travel: Driving and walking

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