Journalist Report – January 9th

Journalist Report

Nicole Chan, Crew 290 Journalist


Sol 2

The crew began the day with great optimism. From last night’s stargazing behind the Musk observatory, many of us were left in awe with the amount of stars we were able to see under the clear Martian skies. We all marveled at the way our eyes were able to pick up on the impressive Milky Way band located directly overhead. As a life-long city dweller myself, I had never seen such a sight before and was left speechless (aside from the intermittent “wows”) for minutes after my eyes adjusted. Many of my crewmates were also experiencing their first times under such a clear and dark sky filled with stars. Though cold, we all thought the sight was well worth our venture into the darkness and hope for continued clear skies in the coming nights.

This was a great prelude to our Sol 2, which had 2 EVAs and our first set of exercise countermeasures in store for us. (It’s a very fulfilling schedule indeed!) At the first meal of the day, we revisited the simple yet timeless breakfast of oatmeal with freeze-dried fruits. This time, Anna (Crew Engineer) has discovered the joy of peanut butter which I predict will be added to our crew’s breakfast repertoire on future Sols. Promptly after, EVA #2 crew began suiting up in the lower Hab. This crew consisted of the Executive Commander (Rebecca McCallin), GreenHab Officer (Ben Kazimer), and Crew Journalist (Nicole Chan). This EVA, like EVA #1, was to complete training at Marble Ritual. It was an overall success! We took the rest of the allotted EVA time to survey and document the surrounding area. While Rebecca and Ben proceeded to examine and collect rock specimens of interest, I practiced making field sketches with pen and paper in EVA gear. Upon retrieving the pen from the science equipment bag, I realized that the pen had run out of ink unfortunately. The crew will make sure this will not happen in future EVAs but it was good practice for maneuvering the objects and retrieving them from the bag. With the Commander (Madelyn Hoying) serving as CAPCOM on this EVA, we continued the remainder of the EVA with more sampling and geological observations and visual documentation before heading back to the Hab.

In the meantime, the Crew Scientist (Anja Sheppard) has been preparing for our afternoon EVA #3 where she and Madelyn will be taking REMI to the Hab’s surrounding area to confirm system operations and collect some initial data. Soon thereafter, Ben, who was juggling multiple roles on this Sol, dutifully started cooking up our lunch, a very delicious butter noodles with alfredo sauce and rehydrated peas and cauliflower. As always, it was very delicious and many crewmembers asked for seconds (and thirds). With that, our EVA 3 crew (Madelyn, Anja, and REMI) began suiting up while Ben managed CAPCOM and Executive Officer (Rebecca McCallin) and Anna headed to the ScienceDome to continue setting up the mission science equipment.

Things went well on EVA 3 except for an identified and recoverable hiccup with REMI. The EVA crew was still able to practice maneuvering REMI in the field and survey areas of interest for future EVAs. We are excited to continue seeing REMI in action during our mission! In the ScienceDome, Rebecca and Anna worked hard to troubleshoot the pH meters and salinity probe to get ready for our geological sample tests. Checking in on the plant babies, Ben harvested some dill (our crew’s first harvest!) and recorded promising growth on the tomatoes (special shoutout to #4 and #9!).

Currently, Anja is cooking up taco bowls with our beloved canned chickpeas. It’ll be an exciting first taste of chickpeas for Rebecca, which are a fan favorite amongst the rest of the crew. Overall the mission is going well despite some science hiccups as the crew continues to find solutions, just like future Martians will have to do. As we wrap up Sol 2, we all look forward to what tomorrow will bring.

Photo of the Day: 290-01_09_2024 anja with REMI.JPG

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