Crew 272 Journalist Report 1-12-2023
Author: Kenny Pritchard, Crew Journalist
Title: Cowboys on Mars
A balanced breakfast of coffee, cookies, and cinnamon rolls baked by Mason set us up for an efficient and exciting sol. It was kind of him to cook for us after we literally woke him up to tell him the septic tank needed flushing. Megan led us in stretches, which, as the sols go on, only seem to get harder. Adriana wrapped up the morning routine with an overview of the EVA plans.
After finishing preparations and enjoying Mason’s performance of some classic Mitch Hedberg jokes in the airlock, Arly, Adriana, Megan, and I took a brief rover ride to a location called Cowboy Corner. Yeehaw! We tied up our horses, secured our hats, kicked our spurs in the dust, and allotted upon exploring the area. The crew collected some ace-high geologic samples as we trekked around the base of a large mound. Along the way, Adriana documented paleoflow indicators in the formations we passed, which she will compare to the data collected at Kissing Camel Ridge. Unfortunately, her rock hammer broke all to pieces out of nowhere! Megan had the foresight to bring along some 3d-printed replacements, which were additively manufactured back at the Hab in a pinch. Although these plastic hammers struggled a bit to shatter harder stones, they were real handy for digging and prying soft sediment. Once we had our fill of hiking about the alien formations and taking in views of the big rock candy mountains in the distance, we burnt the breeze back to camp, where the rest of the crew was hard at work.
Kshitij roamed among different parts of the Hab today, filming outreach videos for his YouTube channel. Space outreach is important to promote interest and inspire the next generation of Martians! We’ll be filming more videos tomorrow to answer questions sent in by K-12 students. For Madelyn, this sol was defined by a final harvest and data collection of her research greens, with which Mason assisted. She meticulously measured the sprout length, leaf length, volume, and mass of hundreds of her daikon radish samples – this data can be later investigated to compare the performance of differently treated plants. After data collection was finished, the crew performed a blind taste test of both fertilized and unfertilized samples. We rated them on factors including vibrance, crispness, and even spiciness! Ultimately, the crew preferred the fertilized radishes, much to Madelyn’s relief. For dinner we’ll supplement our fresh radishes with Aloo Gobhi (a spicy vegetable dish) made by Kshitij. We lack both Aloo and Gobhi in our food stores, but we trust in our commander to come up with a good Martian solution. We’ll see what happens – tomorrow marks the last sol of our simulation!