Today was more of the same - wake up, breakfast, extra-vehicular activity, you know how it is. Today was the last EVA with the ATVs. Tomorrow will be our final EVA of the mission and will be on foot. It will have two parts. The first will involve taking some more images with the rover, and the second part will be a hike to take some images and video for outreach purposes. It will be the biggest EVA yet, with five out of seven of the crew outside on the Martian surface at the same time!
Airlock music has become a regular feature of our pressurize/depressurize cycles. Five minutes trapped in a restrictive spacesuit, within a confined space can be a bit of a challenge without some distraction. The airlock music has been an interesting mix of genres including dance music, rock, bossanova, and even freestyle hip-hop courtesy of our Executive Officer, Renee Garifi. The music gets piped over the radio into the headsets that we wear under our EVA helmets, much the same as Steve Zissou does for his crew of the Belafonte prior to a scuba diving expedition. Today it was Alt-J and Lindsey Stirling – a dubstep violinist!
Actually, Alt-J have been on high rotation on Hab FM. The radios have been a lot of fun. They have a voice activated mode which we have been using, but it often cuts out the first word. We have mitigated this by starting each transmission with a trigger word, usually “TRANSMIT!” You also have to speak really loudly in order to trigger it. I just hope that I am able to get out of the habit of doing it before I get back to my regular life –”Good morning sir, what kind of coffee can I get you today?” “TRANSMIT! A GRANDE LATTE, OVER.”
Tomorrow is likely to be my final journalist report! I’ve had a lot of fun writing them, and I hope you guys have enjoyed reading them and learning a little about the research we’ve been doing here, as well as MDRS and analogue studies generally.