Sick on Mars

As our mission began its second week, I started feeling under the weather. I have a sore throat and low energy level. I think I caught a bug from a fellow crewmember who had similar symptoms for a few of days last week. Living in close quarters with a group of people, this is to be expected.

Since yesterday was Sunday, we opted to go light on the science and do a recreational EVA to summit Olympus Mons. That's a big hill not far from the Hab. The real Olympus Mons is on Mars and is the biggest volcano in the solar system. There's even an award for the first person to climb it. Normally I wouldn't have missed an EVA like this, but due to my not feeling well, I skipped it and stayed in the Hab as the field party's CapCom (which we call "HabCom"). Kiri and Mike did great jobs describing the EVA in their blog posts. Check out the highlight video from the EVA below:



Today's high temperature approached 50°F, but the snow is still with us. It's been 7 days of consecutive snow here. I guess this is good training for a polar Mars expedition. Most of us spent the day in the Hab working on our own projects. Kiri continued developing her photo geolocation code. Carla worked on documentation for the mission. Darrel assembled the camera and transmitter for his RC plane. I spent most of the day testing the geophysics equipment and planning for the upcoming seismic experiment.

Luis wanted to collect some biological samples from a cave environment, so he and Mike embarked on an EVA find a cave discovered by a previous crew. They didn't find the cave, but they were still able to study the geology and collect biological samples at Half Circle Ridge instead. At 24.3 kilometers, this was our crew's longest EVA yet.


We enjoyed pesto salami pasta with pine nuts and cheddar biscuits tonight. Carla even made oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert. Today was my turn for a shower, but instead of the normal Hab shower, I volunteered to be the first guinea pig for Darrel's recycling shower. I'm proud to admit that only needed about 1.5 gallons for my shower.  Darrel and Luis are analyzing cultures of water collected from my shower to see how well filtering cleans the water for reuse.

For full details on the past couple of days of our mission, check out the links below:

Sol 8 (Jan 31)Sol 9 (Feb 1)
Crew Blog Post

Mike's Blog Post

All Daily Reports

EVA 14 slideshow
Crew Blog Post

Mike's Blog Post

All Daily Reports

EVA 15 slideshow



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2 comments:

Laksen Sirimanne said...

Hi Brian,
Sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Hope you will feel better soon. Double up on the Vitamin C's. I think we left a huge bottle at the Hab. On that note, how is the weather? Does the forcast call for improvement.

Yes, I am reading all of your blogs (89, yours and Mike's) as well as the crew reports. James asked me to join the engineering team as well.

Have a great mission and congratulations to all of you for everything that you have accomplished even with the bad weather. Looks like the Hab is in great shape.

Take care,
Laksen

brian said...

Thanks, Laksen. The weather has been warming for the past few days, and much of the snow has melted. By the time we leave on Saturday it may just be snow free.