Journalist Report 07 Apr 2016
The crew made use of some downtime after the Comm window close last night and played a game of Dixit. Afterwards, Crew Astronomer Clayton found that viewing conditions were favorable so crew members took turns observing stars Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Arcturus as well as the planet Jupiter.
This made for a late night. The crew was slow to rise this morning, but everyone was up by 0700 local time. Crew Executive Officer Overman provided the music for coffee and breakfast.
Shortly thereafter, crew members Sansom, Clayton, and Stanford embarked on EVA #7 to conduct a Rock Mass Rating on a rock outcrop not far from the Hab. The Rock Mass Rating EVA is important for scouting suitable places for caves or tunnels, which can provide long-term shelter from conditions like weather, and radiation on Mars.
Crew members Andreas, Beechner, and Overman performed maintenance on a Primary Life Support System and returned it to mission ready status.
Upon EVA #7’s return, a lunch of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, and peas was served.
After lunch, crew members Beechneer, Andreas, and Overman conducted EVA #8 to further assess the suitability of the location previously investigated in the first EVA.
Crew Engineer Beechner took more laser measurements of the Hab and worked some more with the 3D printer.
Crew Biologist Stanford completed the microbiology experiments. Noticeable staph colonies were found on the agar plates cultured from swabs taken on a Hab mattress, the stair rail, kitchen table, and helmet. Enteric bacteria was also had found on the agar plate cultured from the stair rail sample. A fungal colony was also clearly observable on the plate with the swab samples taken from the bread-maker.
The crew is managing fatigue with afternoon naps. Sleep quality may not be that good since nearly all crew members took a nap this afternoon. Despite this, spirits remain high and the crew looks forward to upcoming research experiments.
Clark Overman, Crew Journalist, MDRS 167A