Journalist Report – March 6th

SOL 17: Here comes the Sun!

“Then I am happy. And there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars.” – The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The rescheduled EVA disrupted our routine today. Indeed, we are used to performing EVAs in the morning. But today, to solve 3D map’s errors and do photogrammetry again to Candor Chasma, Yves, Mathurin, and Leo chose to go out when the Sun was at its highest point, to avoid having too much shadow in the drone’s pictures. The EVA was performed between 10 A.M and 2 P.M. The Crew was warmer than usual in their suits! However, they think that they will be able to generate a better 3D map than the previous one, thanks to the strategy they followed on site. Yves started to sort the pictures this afternoon, trying to keep some pictures from the previous EVA. He will let the software process the new photos, and we will use the new 3D map tomorrow to prepare the next EVA!

During the EVA, Léa, Marie, Lise and I stayed inside the station. We were very efficient too! While I was in contact (as HabCom) with Yves, the EVA Leader, Lise improved the code to read our Core Data sets, recorded by the impedance meter every morning. Her objective is to make the code as robust as possible, to enable future crews to use it as well, and compare our data to theirs. Meanwhile, Marie worked on AMI’s deployment, now mostly operational. We now have the final version of the software, enabling us to simulate the station’s power management and to simulate sensor anomalies that we need to check in the modules placed in “warning” mode. These anomalies can get worse and become an emergency, forcing us to apply an emergency EVA protocol. The last good news of the day concerns Léa, our Crew astronomer. Deprived of the Solar Observatory since the beginning of the mission because of a malfunction, it was fixed this morning, so she could perform her first solar observations! She was very happy, but she could only observe our star for a few hours this morning, because of the afternoon’s cloud coverage… The Crew hopes for the Martian weather to be merciful so she can continue her astronomy project, focusing on sunspot detection, and on evaluating their speed and direction.

For lunch, we cooked carbonara pasta. Thinking about it, we didn’t use all the carbonara pastas’ ingredients. No bacon, no “crème fraiche”. Indeed, we don’t have all these ingredients in our dehydrated food, but we found a great alternative that we use in a lot of our meals… Bechamel! We became professionals of the recipe with dehydrated food! It is always delicious, but we are starting to miss earthly food, we all dream of eating good ‘Schokobons’!

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