We conducted our first EVA using the ATV’s today. We had two waypoints selected to meet the needs of
two on-going crew projects, Alexandre’s SSLP program and my own geological research. The EVA team
left the airlock at 1010 and after performing daily engineering system checks, departed on the ATV’s
to the north.
The first waypoint was an alluvial fan just off the ATV trail and about 1.1 km from the Hab. It was
a geologically important target of interest for my own research and provided a testing ground for
the second set of field trials for the SSLP research. The next waypoint was to be at the
intersection of the road and Tank Wash, nearly 3 km from the Hab. We reached a bend in the road that
overlooked a cliff descending into the wash and held back from driving further. We were positioned
in a radio shadow with the Hab that prohibited reliable communications and so after taking 5 minutes
to explore the area, Anastasiya and myself proceeded to a nearby hill to act as a relay for Ian and
The hill provided additional targets of interest while Ian and Claude-Michel collected biological samples for Paul Sokoloff’s research. We returned to the Hab at 1240 to a pizza lunch prepared by Paul S. which was greatly appreciated by the away team. The crew spent the remainder of the day cataloguing samples and doing lab work. I think it is agreed among us all that it was not only a
productive EVA but a productive day as a whole.
The crew is looking forward to another ATV-based EVA tomorrow which will implement new communication and check-in procedures to allow for contact with the Hab but enable flexibility in being able to travel a larger distance to gather geological and biological samples. Two weeks on Mars seems hardly
long enough to explore all of the areas we wish to see!