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It was a windy, cast iron day on Mars.  During the morning briefing it was decided to film a proof of concept video for our new de-fogging technique; Commander Stoltz and Engineer Cocchiara will do this as part of their morning EVA.  Other morning goals involve completing our boundary and geology surveys, and, for those of us who remain inside, tidying the Hab and making a nutritious lunch.  We’re all beginning to come into the home stretch of our personal projects, and the last days of our mission are in sight.  We ate the last bag of potato chips days ago.

After lunch (beef stew and mashed potatoes, thanks HSO Giammona!) and a bit of decompression, Crew 159 took some holiday pictures out by the Observatory— for which purpose, Engineer Cocchiara revealed her secret stash of festive hats.  AstroEngineer Stoltz then handed the rotating Commandership over to me; HSO Giammona became XO, and will be the last Commander of Crew 159.

The afternoon’s tasks included taking a thorough inventory of food and supplies for the next crew, as well as preparations for AstroEngineer Stoltz’s first attempt to take detailed night sky photos through the telescope.  He’s finished re-writing the Musk Observatory Quick Guide, and hopefully will return to MDRS this summer to re-shoot an operations video with Peter Detterline.  XO Giammona discovered that the ISS digipeater was offline during his first attempt to send a APRS beacon, so is looking forward to the next flyover (this evening during CAPCOM).  With luck and clear skies, we will have some incredible photos to share tomorrow.

In other news, we watched the Spike Jones film HER last night; technical & ethical considerations of AI development have been consistent fodder for conversation.  Lots of chatting here on Mars.