Journalist Report – April 20th

Crew 297 – Janus 1 Journalist – David Laude

As the Martian sun slowly cast its crimson glow over the horizon, the crew of the Janus 1 awoke to the start of another extraordinary day amidst the barren yet captivating landscape of the Red Planet. With near ideal weather conditions, the EVA team departed the Hab at 9:08 AM and mounted their all electric rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity. The EVA participants were Pawel Sawicki (Commander), Sarah Lamm (Geologist), Matthew Lynch (Engineer), Matthew Storch (Executive Officer and EVA Team Leader)

Team leader Matt S. remarked in detail: "We first did another seek for the NPS Project, by traveling to the coordinates specified by Mission Support, and searching a 300 m radius for the NPS. We then evaluated the robot, excavated a site for placement of the NPS, and explored the surrounding region for geological purposes."

"Crew obtained the NPS search coordinates and proceeded to the search area, which was near the Candor Chasma. We stopped just off Cow Dung road and proceeded on foot along the Gateway to Candor, to conduct the search. The crew split into 2 teams that straddled a ravine. Matt Lynch quickly spotted the NPS and we retrieved it and returned to the rovers. We then proceeded north along Cow Dung Road to Galileo Road and headed east on Galileo until we reached the turnaround limit on battery power. The turnaround point was not deemed suitable for the other mission objectives, so we started to return along Galileo road, stopping twice to evaluate possible sites to cover the remaining mission objectives. Once a suitable location was found, Pawel and Matt S set up the robot, while Matt L scouted for suitable nearby excavation sites and Sarah conducted geological studies of the area. The robot had problems connecting to its network and there was not much we could do in the field to address the problem, so we had to abandon that objective for today. All four EVA crew members then joined the excavation effort, using a variety of tools and working in shifts. In the end we were able to excavate deep enough to properly bury the NPS, but finished just in time to return from the EVA with a suitable time margin. Excavation was much more difficult than in the first location, with the regolith removal rate being about one half of what it was in the first excavation, despite having 4 crew members to work this excavation vs. 2 for the previous one."

Meanwhile, at the Hab, Dave was preparing his first scone with blueberries mix for the oven. Despite the use of freeze dried foods for most of the ingredients, the scones came out of the oven in fine shape and satisfying taste. The fine shape was like a flower pedal.

Today’s featured crew member is Pawel. In his biography he notes that he "is currently a New Shepard Crew Capsule Test Engineer at Blue Origin, where he is responsible for the successful and safe execution and on-time completion of several major launch vehicle tests and pre-flight checks. At Blue Origin, he is also a volunteer Emergency Response Team member. Pawel earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where his doctoral research involved computationally investigating amelioration techniques for plasma-induced radio wave blackout, which has historically plagued hypersonic vehicles. Pawel had also obtained an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from New York University. Pawel’s career has also included stints of varying capacities at NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center."

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