Sol Summary – December 26th

Sol: 2
Summary Title: Sol Two: Much to do
Author’s Name: Adriana Brown
Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Status:
Sol 2 began with the crew rising at 7:30 AM to another brilliant Martian sunrise. Gabe (HSO) made blueberry pancakes with Sara (XO) in an advisory role. Because they recycled the water used to rehydrate the blueberries, the pancakes also turned out thoroughly blue. Speaking of recycling water, Sara used yesterday’s pasta water as a base for her risotto’s vegetable broth, which turned out great! Sometimes, conserving water on Mars leads to some extra tasty results. After pancakes, the crew communicated with our Analog Mission Control Center at Purdue University. Even with delays between Mars and Earth, it was heartwarming to hear holiday wishes from our friends at BoilerCom and know we have a support system back on Earth for our research needs.
Soon after, the first EVA crew suited up for the second training EVA to Marble Ritual. Adriana (CO), Nathan (ENG), and Riya (HSO) took a short jaunt up Cow Dung Road and found petrified wood samples and several trace fossils (worm burrows). The first EVA crew returned and with a short transition period, helped the second EVA crew suit up for our first non-training EVA. Sara, Gabe, Riya, and Aditya (SCI) ventured to Pooh’s corner with three objectives: use the drone to scout Candor Chasma for suitability of future origami robotics testing, test the drone’s abilities to transport cargo (a lightweight box attached with fishing wire to the drone, containing a small Lego creature named "Gerald"), and to take LiDAR scans of the area near Pooh’s Corner. The EVA crew successfully completed all objectives and returned to the Hab with drone footage of Candor Chasma, rock samples that will be used to assess the weight-carrying capacity of the drone (for future robotics experiments), and 179 LiDAR scans.
While half the crew worked at Pooh’s Corner, the remaining members at the Hab prepared lunch and worked on research. Eshaana (GEO) set up her mini-farm for her agrivoltaics research in the GreenHab while Nathan and Adriana monitored comms and prepared lunch. The EVA crew came upstairs to a massive pan of stir fry, which featured four different dehydrated vegetables and GreenHab produce to keep the crew strong and healthy. After lunch, Adriana and Eshaana discussed the plan for the next geologic EVA and the crew members dispersed around the Hab to continue their research. Nathan successfully set up his air quality sensors, Aditya worked on the electronics of his robot E.L.F. (I can hear happy robot noises from the lower deck at time of writing this report, so it appears to be going well), and Riya harvested plants in the GreenHab and helped Eshaana plant seeds in her mini farm, which is now ready for monitoring! Sara downloaded today’s EVA footage and videos from her GoPro and Gabe prepared to process his photos of the Crab Nebula from last night.
As the crew settled in for the evening, Adriana and Nathan calculated a water-use budget, and Sara figured out how to reduce her photo size for future journalist reports. Tonight’s dinner will feature leftover stir fry (it was a really massive batch) given a new life through Eshaana and Adi’s addition of Thai curry. As our distant sun sets on sol two, the crew reflects on the first few days of Martian life and our newfound routine. It is truly a wonderful opportunity to be here during this time.
Look Ahead Plan: Geologic EVA tomorrow to gather bivalve fossils, all other members continuing research (Aditya working on robot, Eshaana monitoring mini-farm, Gabe processing images and swabbing the lower deck for dust particles, Nathan working on sensors and checking the accuracy of sensor logs, Sara administering surveys and processing photos, Riya continuing work in the GreenHab, Adriana washing and cataloging samples)
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: Cold, clear, and sunny
Crew Physical Status: Nominal
EVA: training EVA #2 to Marble Ritual, EVA #3 to Pooh’s Corner
Reports to be filed: Journalist Report, Greenhab Report, Operations Report, Sol Summary, Astronomy Report, Photos, Mission Summary Report
Support Requested: None

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