Crew 281 Journalist Report 22 May 2023
By: Rachel Jones
Sol 8, Getting Our Procedures Straight.
It’s Sol 8, and things are starting to feel like clockwork. Everyone knows I’ll ask them if they have water, if they’ve been drinking water, if they brought extra water, etc. etc. etc. Our EVA of Ana, Ritu, and KC went to Pooh’s Corner test to perform the last scan line and take aerial footage. Our Crew has taken over 950 measurements of rock hardness with the Equotip and Schmidt Hammer. The crew has the system down to a point where neither the slightly damp ground nor the poor band signal interfered with the mission.
Lunch today, prepared by Ritu, was Tofu Thai Curry and white rice. I spent my lunchtime hour trying to check into the Old Man International Sideband Society’s (OMISS) daily net. For those not into amateur radio, a “net” is traditionally an on-the-air gathering. I was on 20 meters and could barely be heard. I plan to try again tomorrow and see if I can get through. You can check them out on www.omiss.net.
After lunch, the great hair-washing experiment commenced. Our goal was to use as little water as possible. We averaged about 3/4s of a gallon per person. We then reused the hair-washing water to top off and flush the toilet system. From cooking to basic chores, we like to make every drop count. After my hair was washed, Megan our impromptu stylist, put it up in a French braid.
The afternoon sent everyone off to their various tasks. I collaborated with various radio operators to try and diagnose my radio set up to be clearer. KC and Ritu constructed a new on-EVA drone transportation system so that the drone could be carried in a ready-to-be-deployed configuration (gloves make it hard to do in the field). Ana and Ritu then planned out tomorrow’s EVA. Megan took care of the GreenHab and her chocolate plants. The chocolate plants are starting to sprout now.
Dinner tonight was up to me. For all those of you that have waited with bated breath to learn what-all is involved in cooking at MDRS, wait no longer. Given the variety of options we had, I chose to make a MDRS version of stamppotten, a potato and vegetable dish. First, I gathered the various vegetables I wanted to include. Each ingredient had a different amount of time it needed to rehydrate. I put about two tablespoons of the first two ingredients (carrot flakes and cheese gratings) in a large bowl and added warm water. They needed 15 mins to rehydrate. Five minutes later, I added the next two veggies (onion flakes and peppers bits). Then 5 minutes later I added the last two ingredients (spinach flakes and butter powder). On the stove, I put in
2 cups of the instant mashed potatoes mix, salt, garlic, and some of the rehydrated milk mix. Then I added the hydrated vegetables (along with the excess water) into the potatoes and brought it to a quick boil. I think it turned out fantastic.
Feeling full and happy, I bid you all ado for tonight.