Journalist Report – January 5th

Sara Paule, Crew 289 Journalist & Executive Officer
Sol 12
We ended sim at 10 am this morning but our work didn’t stop. CO Adriana and HSO Gabe went off an adventure to ensure transportation for the crew while the rest of the crew started cleaning, packing up, and prepping the habitat for the next crew. This included cleaning the buildings further afield (the RAM, the Science Dome, and the GreenHab) as well as the main living space. We also swabbed down the rovers! We will finish up our cleaning – sweeping, mopping, and bathroom wipe downs – early tomorrow morning before we depart back for our homes. Yet again, we are thankful to have had fantastic weather throughout the mission. It has made our clean up mostly mud-free.
Despite it being a partial sol, today was not free of research. Eshaana (GEO) finished collecting her last set of data for her mini-agrivoltaic farm and then disassembled the whole set up. We gained a new crewmate today when Riya completed the build on her air quality sensor, Russell! Riya also removed all the plants in her hydroponics set up, collected imaging, and figured out how to work the camera on the microscope to collect pictures of the plant cells. The root strength on her stress-free plants is noticeably improved over those treated with hydrogen peroxide (simulating the effects of radiation.) Everyone also completed synopses of their research for submission to MDRS.
We also ate through our (very limited) leftovers and kept ourselves motivated through our work with some treats from Earth including masala chai.
Tomorrow, we depart. Our memories of Mars will be filled with unforgettable moments – unique meals, amazing sights, funny conversations, and more. Serving as a Purdue astronaut has been an honor.
This is Crew 289 signing off from Mars. See you back on Earth in a few days’ time.

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