It snowed this morning! I woke up early to make a morning surprise, cinnamon buns and hot cocoa, and was more surprised myself to see Mars covered in white. Engineer Cocchiara and I postponed our morning EVA until the afternoon to give the sky time to clear, and used the morning for personal business instead. Everyone has been writing their Mission Summaries; today is our last day in sim. Before lunch, I handed the Command over to James Giammona, and we had a lengthy holiday photoshoot. Then… we broke out the snacks that we had been hiding from ourselves and played a few rounds of personality-probing games.
The snow had evaporated by early afternoon. Enginner Cocchiara and I suited up and went out, leaving Commander Giammona as HABCOM and AstroEngineer Stoltz as chef, picking our way across the northern perimeter of radio contact towards the Skyline Rim. The wind picked up, and though it was the coldest I’ve been at MDRS, the views were among the most sublime. It’s something rare to know that you are the only ones for miles, with the wind scouring your back and an occasional friendly crackle over the walkie-talkie for company.
And that was the last EVA for Crew 159! Our work now is to write our final reports, clean the Hab thoroughly and assist our replacements in taking occupancy tomorrow afternoon. Our shuttles back to Earth will depart the day after tomorrow. We’ll continue to enjoy each others company until then.