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Journalist Report
Elizabeth Howell

Being a Marstronaut requires so many different skills that aren't obvious at first. Hiking experience would definitely be a plus, as I am learning quickly here at MDRS. But with help from my other crew members, I am learning the safest techniques for getting up and down hills.
Our purpose is not to hike for hiking's sake, but to get to the areas where interesting geological and biological activity occurred. Up the slope we climbed were shells, possible evidence of hydrothermal vents and a geologic story that showed millions of years of history written in the rock.
The biggest challenge is working with limited time and limited resources as we do our scientific work. But as our crew gets deeper into the mission, I can see us relying more on each other. We learn of our respective strengths and weaknesses, and work to shore up the weak parts while taking advantage of the stronger parts. Maybe somebody does the heaviest hiking, but then others take the pictures. It's a great way to even up the workload here on Mars.