Journalist Report – January 30th

Get a lode of this
EVA 1 went out to the area near Marble Ritual, just east of the MDRS, where Steve tested his rover’s mobility in a more ‘natural’ setting across irregular terrain typical of the Martian landscape. He also experimented with the maximum inclines and declines it could traverse (most of the time we found the rover was limited by wheel traction rather than power) and conducted some further tests with its integrated spectrometer, including a panorama and additional material spectrification samples. Clare spent the time doing ‘exogeoconservation’ work – i.e., recreating past conservation imagery to assess geomorphological changes of the terrain over time (several decades in this instance). Somewhere along the line, we stumbled upon some sought-after petrified wood samples.
EVA 2 went out a lot further… i.e., as far as the rovers could physically take them along Cow Dung Road before they hit 55% battery charge (the designated point of no return). They walked the rest of the way to “White Moon”, about 4km due north of the hab and west of Tharsis Montes, where they searched for more gypsum deposits. They found plenty. There was initially some intent to scout for evaporite deposits as well, but that was abandoned in favour of gypsum recovery. Scott also dipped his toes into ‘celestial navigation’ – i.e., using his theodolite app to get bearings of terrain features relative to the sun, for future reference.
Rob spent more time in the observatory. Although the sun was a little fuzzier today, he managed to fully process an image (and troubleshoot the process).
As for the food component of this report: today’s menu consisted of garlic-cheese scones (pronounced ‘skonn’ thanks), cornbread, jambalaya (I only learned about this today and can’t provide much additional context, but can confirm it was a rice-meat meal that tasted great), and a salad, containing (among other things) a self-grown radish and delicately dressed by Clare’s proprietary/improvised secret sauce.
Highlights of the day: Gypsum motherlode, petrified wood, a radish (and soon, cucumber) from the Greenhab, Martian antelopes.
Lowlights of the day: Multiple power outages, misidentified anhydrites (by someone several decades ago), another UWO (the third in as many days), Clare hasn’t watched Aliens, Terminator 1/2, Contact, The Thing (1984) or Jurassic Park.
– Alexander Tobal, Crew 291

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