Crew 281 Journalist Report 24 May 2023
By: Rachel Jones
Sol 10 We’ve Achieved Zen.
Sol 10 started with an EVA. Ana and I went outside to checkup on my HF antenna. Due to the rain and the winds, I wanted to ensure my coax connection hadn’t gotten wet or damaged. While I would have liked to have driven the ground spike in further, KC hypothesized that there was a layer of caliche below the surface, and I wouldn’t be able to get the spike in further. After we checked on the antenna, we attempted to do another series of medical drone deployments. Unfortunately, the winds picked up and made it unsafe for flying. We had to abort that segment of our EVA mission. The final part of the EVA had us take another visual inspection of the outside of the facility. This was a very realistic simulation of a task that might be completed at least once a week on Mars. There were some debates within the crew on how often and whether it should be a human or a drone that conducted those safety observations.
After the EVA, I, of course, had to get on the air and ensure the operation of the radio. I could listen in to a veterans’ hospital net in CA, and then I made four successful contacts within the OM International Sideband Society net. I made contacts in CA, AL, and FL.
For lunch today, Ritu made broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole. It was absolutely amazing. I am constantly impressed by the ingenuity of our crew. Together, we have combined cultures, backgrounds, and flavors to make a creative and dynamic (mostly) vegetarian meal plan.
This afternoon many of us took a moment to relax and reflect upon our time here thus far. We are working on our various papers, reports, and research. Ana and Ritu worked with KC to plan their long EVA for tomorrow. Megan spent time in the GreenHab tending plants and harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers, and chives for tonight’s dinner.
Tonight, we are having pizza made from scratch. Megan and Ritu spent 2 hours working on pizza dough. Then, we rehydrated and supplemented the GreenHab veggies to make individual pizzas. After dinner, I got back on the radio and made 5 more contacts from AR, MO, and PA.
T-minus two sols to go, till our days are filled with cleaning, and then the team blasts back to Earth.