Journalist Report 20 May 2017
Prepared by Janet Biggs, Crew Co-Journalist
Last night, we had clear skies and not too much wind. I was eager to get out in the Musk Observatory. A two-star alignment is needed to orient the telescope. Charlie joined me and we opened the dome, set up for the first star alignment, and began rotating the dome into position … when the battery died. As planetary luck would have it, the battery Charlie and I swapped in yesterday also died. Hope to get it working as there are supposed to be clear skies again tonight!
We were all up pretty late last night, Cassie taking photos with her 4 x 5 camera, Juan projecting cool shapes and patterns onto the Hab, and even Avishek fought his jet lag and stayed up working on a new Green Hab design that will have a section simulating Mar’s atmosphere.
I woke up super early to contact Astronomy Support since we had run out of our internet data allotment last night. I decided to stay up since I was scheduled for the morning EVA at 8 am. 8 came and went and no sign movement … not even a mousetranaut or killer Martian moth. We all have the same alarm tone on our phones, which has caused morning chaos and confusion. Not this morning. All alarms were ringing, and no one was waking.
We finally got out the airlock around 9am. Juan, Avishek, and I were on EVA. Juan has been making beautiful drawings in his sketch book. I asked if I could film him drawing out in the Martian landscape. We struck off for a hill behind the Hab with a good view. Juan and Avishek climbed the hill and Juan settled in to draw. Avishek assisted him, taping down the paper when the Martian winds picked up. Plein Martian air drawing! I once watched an artist paint in the Arctic with snow and sleet falling and now I’ve watched someone draw in a full spacesuit on Mars. Art exists everywhere!
Juan was still working on his drawing when I finished filming. I found a hill of my own and sat down to wait. Even with less gravity here on Mars, our air-circulating packs can feel pretty heavy and the Martian sun is hot. I was singing a medley of Bowie songs to myself (as I mentioned, no one can hear you inside a helmet) starting with Major Tom, Heroes, and of course Life on Mars. David Bowie was truly a man who fell to Earth … probably from Mars. Once back at the Hab, Juan showed me the drawing of our station he had made and also a little drawing of me sitting on Mars, singing in my helmet. They are delicate gems, produce on Mars.
We may be out of Red Lobster cheese biscuits, but we have mastered rehydrated grilled cheese sandwiches!!! After lunch, the winds picked up and the game of Catan came out again. Our crew’s true colors are coming out. Mars may not have oceans, but sharks … all of them! Especially our commander!
Tonight’s EVA is Cassie, Avishek, and Juan, heading to White Moon by ATV. Charlie is trying his hand at rehydrated meatballs on spaghetti … and I’m taking a shower!!!!
Crew 181 Daily Summary Report
May 20th, 2017
MDRS Daily Summary Report for SOL 7
Summary Title: Third Quarter Effect in Full Effect
Mission Status: Now that all crew members are accustomed to one another, we are feeling the third-quarter effect and getting antsy for upcoming days.
Sol Activity Summary: After a late night at the observatory, only one crew member woke up in time for the scheduled morning EVA. Therefore, the EVA start time was pushed by one hour. Regardless, it was successful for everyone a part of it. Cassandra made breakfast (French toast) for everyone. Janet and Charlie continued to troubleshoot the observatory (with much success).
With the loss of honorary crew member Olly and the stressful events of this upcoming week, we seem to know each other well enough now to realize when idiosyncrasies are driving us crazy. Just a few days ago, the second floor of the Hab seemed like the place to hang out. Now people have settled in different areas – the first floor, the science lab – to work on their individual projects. We will try to work together to gain back some of our crew collaboration time. I hope this isn’t the first signs of the third quarter effect. We are only to the half way mark!
Afternoon was filled with writing, photo editing, and Settlers of Catan. Evening EVA was great in the sunset light, making the landscape a greater saturation of reds than we thought possible. We are now all settling in, the smell of Janet and Charlie’s dinner permeating the second floor.
Look Ahead Plan: More observatory work is in the talks. We are submitting an EVA request for tomorrow. We are gearing up (slowly) for our Martian shipment of Ozzy and Jack Osbourne on Monday (we may be out of sim for the day and reports may be coming in late.) We are also disheartened by Avishek having to leave the mission early to return back to PhD work on Earth (also on Monday.)
Anomalies In Work: None at the current time.
Weather: Bright, sunny, lower than average temperature.
Crew Physical Status: Everyone is okay.
EVA: One EVA took place around the Hab, the other took place at White Moon.
Reports to be Filed: journalist report, engineering report, EVA report, and EVA request.
Support Requested: None at the current time.
Prepared by Cassandra
Commander, Crew 181