As the morning began and the crew slowly woke up and emerged from their cabins, there was a palpable anticipation in the air. The explorer capsule was on its way from Earth, with our first visitors since we landed on Mars. An unexpected solar storm delayed the capsule’s scheduled landing on Mars, and had to remain in orbit for a little more than an hour before executing a safe landing on the red planet. As mentioned in yesterday’s entry, Amanda Wills a journalist for Mashable and her photographer will be staying on Mars until tomorrow morning to observe us in our daily activities and learn more about our research.
As soon as they landed, they immediately wanted to get a tour of the Hab which we were glad to give them, especially after having spent so much time ensuring it looked absolutely pristine! Once our engineer explained to them the intricacies and subtleties of our systems, we all regrouped to the main living area, and discussed the multiple research ventures currently happening here, on Mars. After which, a couple crewmembers took them onto a regular walking EVA to let them experience firsthand what being an astronaut on Mars really is like. Upon their return, they observed us making lunch using a variety of dehydrated and condensed foods. A practice that is quite different from cooking a meal back on Earth. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing personal interviews about our individual responsibilities and involvement on the crew. This was a great opportunity for the crew to recollect and laugh about the events of the past week, as well as re-center themselves and relax.
In parallel to all this, our engineer was hard at work, as usual, this time replacing our generator and dealing with a failing furnace. As of this report our furnace cannot stay on for more than ten minutes at a time and is incapable of blowing hot air. We might have a long and cold night in front of us, however, we are all remaining positive and will have to wait until our evening communications with Mission Support before being able to attempt any repairs. They should be able to consult with various experts and hopefully offer a solution before our communications window closes.
Just another day, here, on the Red Planet.