Journalist Report – March 2nd

SOL 13: Winds in the East, Mist coming in

“So, once again, the world had demonstrated its many languages: the desert only moments ago had been endless and free, and now it was an impenetrable wall.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

When we woke up, the Crew heard loud wind gusts against the Hab’s walls. But we were not surprised: we were advised yesterday that today’s weather wouldn’t be nice. This is why we rescheduled the EVA to the morning, even though it was initially planned for the afternoon. Originally, this EVA was designed to be an easy EVA, just to change batteries of the atmospheric instruments. But, with the wind speed and the rain announced, we had no other choice than to retrieve some instruments in the station, and protect others from the wind. LOAC was loaded in the back of Curiosity rover, brought back to the station, and the Field Mill packed with foams and duct tape in case the mast tips over and breaks because of the wind gusts. We heard the wind blowing harder and harder throughout the day, and we were glad to know the atmospheric instruments were safe.

Winds didn’t stop blowing all day, wind gusts even blew open and nearly broke our principal airlock’s door. Once the problem was solved, winds damaged a part of the connecting tunnels which enable us to go from one module to another. We evacuated the Science Dome right before the tunnels became dangerous to move through, and decided to close it off for the time being. While the Crew was working in the Hab in the afternoon, we were glad to be comfortable inside the station, instead of outside on an EVA as initially planned!

We had some other little issues during the morning, especially with the experiments led by high school students. The plants we were growing with them were nearly dead… But we found solutions to still have data for this experiment! Léa also tried all morning to fix the 3D printer, which could be useful for plenty of applications. She has been working on it for various Sols, dealing with each problem, one after the other. Today, she found some solutions, but she thinks it will be complicated to make it work…

For lunch, we wanted to innovate for our dehydrated meals by cooking a quiche, with homemade dough. We were afraid to leave the table still hungry, so we made a large quantity of it. A very large quantity! We were unable to finish it entirely, and nobody felt hungry all afternoon!

Just before the meal, Leo showed us the mid-rotation video, which he finished editing earlier. We were all very happy to see a summary of the first half of our mission. Indeed, today, Sol 13, marks the halfway point of our mission on Mars! We can say that this mid-mission Sol was memorable and quite eventful for the Crew!

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