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MDRS 164 Journalist Report 02/03/2016

Sol 10. Today was « space for the eyes » day. Two sols before the end of the simulation, we put science apart for a few moments and took a little part the day for ourselves :

- We woke up at 4 a.m. to observe the late night sky at the Musk Observatory. We had previously observed Jupiter and Orion, but Saturn, Mars and the Moon only raise late at night. The sky was as beautiful as before, showing details unimaginable to people that never left the big city and letting us amazed for a long time before we started to feel sleepiness. 

- Once again, morning EVA was dedicated to exploration of the area East from the Hab, and after having driven a full loop to North Pinto Hills yesterday, we finally made it to Candor Chasma and Stacy’s Cake, a canyon previously explored during MDRS 151 and nicknamed by Association Planète Mars. The view was breathtaking, and we spent a long time exploring it -for geology purpose, of course.

- We spent the beginning of the afternoon hanging our national flags on the hooks near the main airlock and posing in front of them wearing our fancy space suits. There is no harm in doing a little Public Relation ! (and by « public relation », I mean having girls liking our pictures on Facebook).

But we did not forget to do a little science (recordings during the EVA and repair of backpacks) today. Science should be both pleasant and useful. I think that what perfectly synthesize what space science should be is the motto of the CNES, the French space agency : « De l’espace pour la Terre » (« Space for Earth »). Space engineering is not only about sending rockets and satellites in the sky, but also about developing useful technologies to be used on Earth. We have our heads in the sky, but our feet remain on the solid ground !

Camille Gontier, Crew Journalist MDRS 164