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Last night the crew got informed by Mission Support about the fifty-five year first human exploration of space anniversary and we decided to celebrate it using the telescope. Several celestial bodies were observed by the crew members. It was a beautiful night out there with clear sky and calm wind. The list of objects observed during the night included: the Moon, Jupiter, and some bright stars such as Sirius, Polaris, Vega, Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Spica, and Arcturus.

Although today’s temperature was slightly higher than previous days, the day here on Mars has been beautiful with a spectacular blue sky. All six crewmembers were up by 0700 local time as requested by the crew Commander the night before. The crew enjoyed some music a la Villarroel. Some Guns n’ Roses, Aerosmith, Green Day, U2, UB40, Queen, and Red Hot Chili Peppers melodies were carefully selected to offer a harmonious environment during breakfast time. The crew enjoyed together pancakes during that time. A few minutes after breakfast, a group consisting of Hartman, Canham, and Villarroel was sent out to Candor Chasma for a second attempt of looking for the presence of water.

While during this effort, as the first one few days ago, the presence of water was not detected, the crew found the presence of moisture in some areas by Candor Chasma. It was noticed after digging into the sand in the bottom of the chasma. Also, the presence of moisture was observed underneath some rocks. Results are promising and further research regarding this topic has to be done.

After 2 hours 30 minutes, by noon (Martian time) the expediters returned to the Hab. All six crewmembers enjoyed lunch together. Lunch was prepared by Commander Rucker and it consisted of creamy chicken (dehydrated of course) veggie soup and fresh baked cookies for dessert.

At about 1330, local time, a group consisted of LaBarre, Beechner, and Hartman went out of the hab to complete the daily engineering routine as well as to take some needed measurements for Beechner’s project. Part of the afternoon was used by the crew members to work on their independent projects. Both Beechner and Hartman have been made great progress on their 3D Virtual Reality projects. On the other hand, LaBarre seems to be close to solving the rover’s battery/charger issue soon. Once this issue is completely solved she will move towards the next step, which is testing the robot on the challenging Martian terrain. We all are excited about it.

According to the green house officer, tomatoes, radishes, and green onions look healthy and doing well.

As usual, dinner time was used to spend time together and discuss tomorrow’s plans. The crew is planning to watch a movie tonight.

Otsmar J. Villarroel. Commander-in-training/Astronomer/Journalist Crew 167B