Journalist Report – May 18th

Journalist Report 16 May 2017

Prepared by Janet Biggs, Crew Co-Journalist

Sol 5


After our pep talk from Dr. Shannon and our own crew heart to heart yesterday, we woke up with a renewed sense of purpose … and then settled into our usual spots around the Hab living quarters to read and write (perhaps a bit deflated when we discovered that there are no more Red Lobster biscuits).  While we are all completely committed to our individual projects, it is hard not to feel like you’re waiting for the next EVA.  The EVAs are so extraordinary and incredible!  But for now, there’s are pancakes!!!

Ok, pancakes are gone so back to what I was saying … We’ve been talking about the trajectory of our mission, what we want to accomplish, and also about the third quarter effect.  Applicable to sports games, academia, marriage, and even Mars, you come in bursting with enthusiasm and then about two thirds of the way through it starts to feel like work.  Happily, we are nowhere close to the third quarter yet so we are enjoying our Martian honeymoon. 

Because our crew is heavy on the arts, ground support is allowing us to schedule two EVAs today so we get more time out in the Martian landscape to film, shoot, and draw.  But for now, we are over the moon as we just received our mission patches!!!  We have had temporary patches until now.  It seems that there was a manufacturing delay on earth, and then the time to travel to Mars (Mars seems to be a new delivery destination for UPS), but they’re here and they’re super cool!  

More pancakes … got to go!

OK, back.  Our morning EVA was Cassie, Juan, and Avishek.  They struck off on foot at 11:00 for URC South Site.   The EVA was scheduled until 12:30.   By the time they got back, they were soaked and exhausted. Inside the spacesuits, Mars was hot today!  After lots of hydration and lunch all three EVA crewmembers tucked into their staterooms for naps.

Before she crashed, Cassie showed us some images of the University Rover Competition that’s held here at MRDS and run by the Mars Society.  Teams from all over the world put their rover designs through their paces, including obstacle courses and bringing tools to an astronaut, to picking up a fuel can and refilling another rover.  Some crashed and burned (literally), but most rolled to the challenge.  The designs and

We have a MRDS schedule posted that shows EVA times and our chores rotation (including days off which means a day with a shower!!!  Although still no hot water).  While half the crew slept, the rest of us, did dishes, swept, and mopped.  Martian dust gets into everything so you’ve got to keep on top of it.

We just got back from my first EVA on ATVs.  It is the most fun I’ve ever had … and serious research of course … but the most fun!!!  Just incredible to be in full suit (no one can hear you when you’re yelling YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH in shear joy) in this most beautiful Martian landscape, as the light changes and we turn from the sun.  A memory to hold forever!