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04-03-2015 Journalist & Photography Report

Entry from last night’s activities after the COMM WINDOW (04-02-2015):

Last night’s dinner was amazing.  Karen made extra-spicy breakfast enchiladas and excellent caramel pie with ginger snaps crust for dessert.  Following clean-up and CAPCOM, the crew played cards while conversing about random subjects.  We rounded out the day with a session of meditation, before retiring to our staterooms.


We decided as a team that we would enjoy a nice breakfast together. Karen made blueberry and apple cinnamon pancakes, eggs, and bacon.  The rest of the team cleaned up and we verified that everyone understood the plan of the day.

Luis, Lori, and Liz worked on the engineering checklist. Lori donned Sam’s test helmet with positive results. Feedback was provided through a survey Sam put together. Luis has yet to experience the test helmet but is looking forward to the test Saturday morning. Karen, Luis, and Sam set out on today’s EVA in order to test Karen’s repeater. Although the repeater has intermittently worked in the hab, there has been limited success when deployed in the field. Karen will continue her awesome research back on Earth.

While the EVA team was out, Lori and Liz interpreted Lori’s research data. Lori has been able to move ahead with her research analysis and began to put together graphs and tables that she will display on a Scholar’s Day poster presentation later this month.  I cooked lunch, which consisted of Mac-n-Cheese, carrots, and spinach. When the EVA team arrived, we ate lunch together.  The crew also had some leftovers of Karen’s pie from the previous night.  It was still absolutely delicious. She has been unofficially nominated as the best MDRS cook.

We relaxed this afternoon to some extent, working on our various projects and getting ready for the next news crew to visit MDRS tomorrow morning.  They made great strides wrapping up their projects before we head back to Earth.  We’re realizing that we have to leave soon, and we have mixed emotions about that.

I volunteered to cook dinner, and Liz offered to help.  We decided to “kick it old-school” and went back in time to try a Shepard’s Pie recipe left by Christina from Crew 101, recorded in the MDRS Cookbook back on 03-17-2011.  It is clear that they ate well!  We added fresh biscuits and assorted veggies to round out our meal.  Karen has decided that she will be surprising the team with another dessert. If her previous work is any indication, it will not disappoint.  After dinner, Luis washed the dishes and the rest of the team cleaned common areas.

Tonight, we’re going to pack, make sure we’re ready for the news crew, and welcome our Crew 152B relief to Mars.  We’ll be happy to see our Texas friends as we hand over the keys to the planet.  We’re also going to watch a movie and celebrate our experience with Karen’s second to final dessert.  We’re also going to plan the meal and dessert we’ll make and share with the next crew, which we understand is a tradition.  Tonight is the first night that lends itself well to astronomy work.  If we aren’t too tired, we’ll try and learn something new and experience the amazing the night sky.  We’re all excited to see our pets, families and friends (I am told in that order!).  I will report on these activities in tomorrow’s Journalist report.

Liz selected today’s quote:
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”  ~ Winston Churchill
Day Five is now in the Mars Chronicles.
“Journalist-in-Training” Luis Munoz &

Drew Canham
Journalist, Photographer, Astronomer and Commander-in-Training

(Note: Luis: well done on your first Journalist Report!)