Journalist Report – December 12th

Lipi Roy, Crew 288 Journalist
Sol 02

Hab-Com to EVA Crew: Radio Check. Do you copy? EVA Crew to Hab-Com: Yes, we copy. And on we went, exploring the terrain around Marble Ritual, marveling at the exquisite geological patterns, wondering what it would be to explore the actual Mars…
Our first day on the red planet began to the calming beats of the interstellar theme song, subtly reminding us that it was finally the day to put our space suits on!
After a simple yet filling oatmeal breakfast cooked by Ryan (GHO), I and Jilian (HSO) went to help him in the Greenhab. As we helped plant peas and rosemary, we couldn’t help but admire how much our microgreens had grown overnight. In hopes of harvesting at least a few tomatoes before the end of our rotation, Ryan tried using the newly found exceptional instrument to enhance chances of fruit bearing – ‘the pollinator’. Sadly, it seemed the pollinator wasn’t too happy with the tomato plants because it gave up as soon as Ryan brought it close to the plant. Don’t worry, Ryan. We’ll charge it and try again tomorrow!
Meanwhile, Jesus took his stats final exam (yes guys, life happens!) under the “watchful” eye of our commander. It was also the time when we finally understood what no-internet feels like, when the first comms window closed at sharp 9. To no one’s surprise, it does not feel good. Guess it was up to us now to make the most of our “off-the-grid” life.
And we did! Next came the most exciting part – our FIRST EVAs! What did that feel like? I’d say – the wonder of exploration, feeling like an ‘almost’ astronaut and the spectacular geological features were more than enough to make up for five very long minutes of depressurization. I personally got the privilege of a Geology 101 class from Hunter and Riley, our geology experts. What can I say? Rocks rock!
We realized how the most mundane of tasks became quite challenging with the EVA suits on, like bending down to pick a rock, taking a selfie, or just getting into the rover. Right, Hunter? I learnt that I needed to secure my headset better with my hat; can’t risk losing communication on Mars!
The afternoon was spent relaxing for most of us, especially for Ryan who managed to get a quick nap after a mouse disrupted his sleep last night. Hang in there, Ryan. You’ll catch the mouse! Meanwhile, Jesus worked on soldering AA batteries to help with the experiments of the following crew.
Jilian’s scrumptious Mujadara for dinner was a cherry on the top of our wonderful day. A night of boardgames and Hunter’s funfetti cake awaits!

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