Journalist Report by Victoria LaBarre
This morning our crew was ecstatic to discover that Shannon had gone ahead and brought a Port-a-Potty for us to use the pipes underneath the Hab had been completely disconnected by a previous crew, rendering our sewage system completely useless. (We have worked out a system of discarding waste in bags and dumping them outside in the trash cans by the engineering airlock before Shannon brought us the Port-a-Potty. Exaggeration or not, there has never been a group of people so excited to receive a Port-a-Potty in the history of all mankind.
Soon after the crew broke in the Port-a-Potty, the first half of the crew went out for our first EVA. This EVA is the second half of the Geology EVA that had been cut short due to the NPR journalist’s presence and will also give our geologist a second chance to measure the height of the Little Canyon.
The two crew members working on the robot took the gearboxes off the wheels and adjusted the robot to prepare for our afternoon EVA where our crew will test the strength and dexterity of the robotic arm by picking up different sized rocks out near Cow Patty field. The robot was only able to pick up one rock due to damage from riding in the back or the rover and will need to be fixed before testing it again. The rock picked up by the robotic arm was taken back to the Hab to be weighed in the lab afterward.
The half of the crew out on EVA was excited to return to a working clock in the airlock. Our geologist/health and safety officer’s, Caleb Li, project to make a fully functioning clock was successful, and he installed the clock on the side of the front door airlock for the EVA crew members to use.
While one-half of the crew was out on EVA, our microbiologist began and finished the gram stain process for the bacterial samples taken previously and attempted to use the microscope.
After returning to the Hab, the crew gathered around our greenhouse officer’s bike generator project and watched as one of our crew members rode it so fast that he reached the 50 calories burned mark in 3 minutes.
After dinner, the crew spent a few hours helping coming up with a marketing plan to promote MDRS at our community college, McLennan Community College.