Today all seeds for the first plant growth project (regolith "cooked" or not, and/or synthetic urine,
starter or both) were planted, except for the "cooked" regolith as we had to prepare more of it. The last
seeds are planned to be planted this evening.
Given the drop in outside temperature, we had to slightly increase the
power of the mural heater and the area on the side of it remained 25 +/- 4 all night and day.
If conditions remain that way we might just leave cyanobacterial cultures there, otherwise we will arrange a
heated, light-permissive compartment with what we have here (Jean and Nick, thanks for your suggestions).
I took part in the crew's first in-sim EVA. This was an opportunity for me to load all my sampling
equipment on ATVs and to try instruments with the suit. It was too late in the day for the crew to stop so
that I can take samples and record sites' parameters, but I worked on the process allowing me to move my
instruments in and out of the bags, and to use them, while wearing the suit. Things are working fine and
no major difficulties are expected in future sampling EVAs, besides the fact that handling takes more time
when wearing suits than in regular Earthling's clothes.
A few basic tips that can be useful to future crew biologists and other field scientists: thinking about
the order of use when packing instruments; running a 20-cm-ish string around the zipper tab's hole and
closing both extremities (making a loop that you can grab to pull the tab and open the zipper); using
pincers to grab little things and push buttons; pre-printing a table with blank cases to write down data
on the field (little to write with gloves, nothing forgotten); clipping the printed sheet on a sheet
holder; and taking into account, when planning, the fact that gloves make all handling steps longer
(especially in the beginning, with no practice). I will probably come with more tips after my sampling
EVAs, based on the issues I will have to deal with.