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Sol Journal for October 10th

October 10, 2016

On the field

My first EVA in the new space suit and on ATV. Beautiful morning, no clouds, mild weather – just perfect! Four of us started the ATV’s and hit the road scouting the tracks. We have to identify important sights of the desert for biological and geological field research. Ten minutes after the start my ATV just stopped. I checked the fuel tank, there was still some petrol but as Yusuke said, not enough to continue the trip. We were lucky to be not far from the habitat, so Jon and Clade-Michel went to pick up small fuel tank to refill my ATV and add some to the three others. It was a good lesson to always double check all the systems. Yusuke and I were left in the desert, waiting for Martian help. What to do? Since the sight was not interesting in terms of geology and biology samples, we decided to test new suits! Move differently and give a load to see the convenience and usability of the space suits. They weight almost 13 kg. Bending, walking, climbing was harder but you can get used to it by keeping in athletic form. The helmet is so precise: no fogging, clear view of the anything in front of you.

Finally, the help arrived and my ATV was ready to hit the road again. We were driving slow, so could adjust to the new suits. The landscape was changing the colors, from red Martian dunes to white lunar hills. We planned to do three stops for the search of the lichens diversity. I never stop being surprised at what a beautiful masterpiece nature can create. Who would thought that lichens can be so attractive? Yellow, black, white and purple living organisms that we often don’t consider to be alive.

Four hours passed so quickly and we headed to the station. Thirsty, tired but happy!