Journalist Report – February 7th

Sol 3: Food, glorious food! Wind, horrible wind!
The crew had a slow morning today, thinking about our research and doing a few maintenance jobs around the Hab, various domes, and tunnels. We were all feeling a little anxious about the weather and what that would mean for the EVA we had planned for this afternoon. It wasn’t long before we decided that being in the tunnels during the high winds was both unpleasant and dangerous in the thin Martian atmosphere.
To take our mind off the possibility of the afternoon’s EVA getting postponed due to high winds, we cooked aloo sandwiches. And lots of them! It was a real team effort, with everyone taking part in the preparation, tasting, and actual cooking (and of course eating!) of these warm and comforting spiced mashed potato sandwiches. As we all ate, we discussed reality TV, what “going on a spiritual journey” means, and more serious topics of politics and religion.
By 1330 we decided to radio back to Mission Support and say that we would postpone our EVA until tomorrow, and Mission Support had recommended that we do this if the wind didn’t die down. It was just too windy to be out and about on rovers and in space suits. We’d all gotten sick of hearing the wind howling around the Hab, but not being able to see any sign of said wind when we looked outside.
So, we all settled in for an afternoon of reading and researching. Three Mangalyatris went to the Science Dome – one preparing for his forthcoming biological experiments, and the other two to look at, draw, and paint gypsum and chert as part of Annalea’s research. Our GreenHab Officer enjoyed the warmer temperatures in the GreenHab while taking care of our plants and coming to grips with her research about how different conditions affect plant germination and growth. She also harvested some radish, basil, and coriander – what a treat for dinner tonight!
Once all the day’s tasks were over, our evening became one of cooking, report writing, and continued research. All our cooking is keeping spirits up while hoping for the weather to calm down. Plus, it fuels all our important research! We’re writing and researching as our yoghurt sets, our chickpeas soak, and our paratha dough rests. After a full day of inside work, the Mangalyatri crew is looking forward to getting out on an EVA. But perhaps we are even more looking forward to a post-comms window board game or cards.
Hoping for better weather and the same quality of food,
Clare Fletcher (292 Mangalyatri Journalist)

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