Sol Summary – December 29th

Sol: 5
Summary Title: Sol Five: E.L.F. is alive!
Author’s Name: Adriana Brown
Mission Status: Nominal
Sol Activity Status:
Crew 289 awoke to greet sol 5 at 7:30 AM in our Martian abode. Breakfast was by Nathan (ENG) who prepared a giant vat of oatmeal with various sweet toppings. After morning comms with Purdue Mission Control, the EVA crew consisting of Nathan, Adi (SCI), Riya (GHO), and Gabe (HSO) set out at 10:30 AM to conduct further LiDAR scans. The first scan took place on the MDRS campus and the second at Hab Ridge. Both scans utilized two methods: Adi flying the drone with a LiDAR equipped phone mounted to it (utilizing his soon-to-be-patented rubber band method) and Riya on the ground with an elevated phone mount. This was also the first EVA without a CO/XO, and we are proud to report they performed like champs! Once our comms window opens, they will be able to process a 3D reconstruction of their sites, including our Home Sweet Hab.
Meanwhile, Adriana (CO), Sara (XO), and Eshaana (GEO) remained at the Hab, preparing potato gratin with a rehydrated sour cream, lemon pepper, and GreenHab-dill sauce. Once the EVA crew returned, the team sat down to a pleasant and starchy lunch filled with conversation around Eshaana’s creative questions (our Crew Geologist loves to get morbidly existential!). Then, as usual, the team dispersed to continue independent research. Riya went to the GreenHab to water the plants and then the Science Dome to check on her hydroponics set up (spoiler alert: they’re sprouting!) and test the soil pH. Nathan and Adi jammed out on the lower deck, working on their sensors and E.L.F. (and their Coldplay karaoke), respectively. Excitingly, E.L.F. has received his new batteries and has all the power of a kid in a candy store. They grow up so fast! Adriana spent some time in the Science Dome organizing her samples and notes and set up her experiment testing carbonate percent weight with a few samples (sand, silt, and a bentonite from Hab Ridge) collected so far. On the upper deck, Sara continued working on her project coding past MDRS reports and Eshaana troubleshooted her mini farm sensors and drew up a schematic of the farm set up. Gabe is gearing up to complete the day’s swabbing to monitor dust accumulation in the Hab.
Tonight, Adriana is preparing one of her specialities: enchiladas! The crew appears to be excited, which means the culinary stakes are higher than ever. The crew is also planning out their necessary EVAs and data to wrap up the end of the first half of the mission before our rest day on Sunday. The team is functioning as a well-oiled machine (as evidenced by our faster EVA prep times and increased data collection!), and I am confident the sol will end with the standard late night kitchen table conversations, characterized by more laughter than actual talking.
Look Ahead Plan: EVA #7 to test robotic capabilities and EVA #8 to sample a sediment section on Hab RIdge
Anomalies in work: None
Weather: Sunny and clear
Crew Physical Status: Nominal
EVA: LiDAR scanning manually and using the drone during EVA #6 to campus/Hab Ridge
Reports to be filed: Journalist Report, Greenhab Report, Operations Report, Sol Summary, Astronomy Report, Photos, EVA report, EVA request
Support Requested: None

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