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1119-JournalistsReport

Journalist's Report

11/19/2014

Anastasiya Stepanova

“Your decompression has finished. You are free to exit the hab.”

“Roger that.”

10 AM - crew 143 started the EVA. Alexandre Mangeot needed three people for his research work, which is about how fast beginners can learn the soil sampling in space suit. Those guinea pigs were Claude-Michel Laroche, Ian Silversides and me (Anastasiya Stepanova). Geologist Paul Knightly supposed to tell us just basic information: dig in soil core sample, put soil into plastic bag, specify the depth and put your name on. He was not allowed to tell us more, since Alexandre wanted to see how we progress from scratch. At the same time we had on our left hands the sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure and pulse before and after the experiment. This way we can see the connection between new assignment and body reaction to it. How this study can be useful on Mars? It is unlikely that all "marsonautes" will be geo- or (exo) bio-logists. For those who will not be initially trained for soil sampling, it would be efficient to be able to perform such a task to rise the chances to examine marsian soil by increasing  amount of samples brought for analysis. Therefore needed a proper learning program and this experiment should determine how it should be taught. We are looking forward to find out the results by the end of this mission and we have no idea how badly we performed today.

Soil sampling didn’t take much time so we headed to explore surroundings. As always I was searching for meteorites, but only empty food can stacked to my magnet stick. As my astronomy mentor said, I have to walk 400 km to find my first meteorite. I would need many MDRS missions for that!

The fan in my space suite worked perfectly today. I had low level of humidity and no fog. But also this was due to the new adjustment in my helmet made by Paul Sokoloff. He put inside my helmet silica gel, which is used in everyday life as a desiccant to control local humidity to avoid spoilage or degradation of some goods. Other crew member didn’t have this upgrade and also fans didn’t work at full capacity. By the end of EVA they couldn’t see much through misted glass of the helmet. Amazing how little thing can change the level of comfort and safety. Tomorrow will be new day and new little or big discoveries!