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EVA Narrative – November 19th

November 19, 2016


Jon Clarke



Annalea thinking about where to set up the next hypolith study site.

Annalea and I this afternoon went on a short EVA to complete some tasks left over from yesterday.  These were all to do with sampling and documenting hypoliths.  The site as an interesting one, located on an active fan with gravels eroded from the higher parts of the landscape being deposited in pebbly lobes.


Alluvial fan in Google Earth imagery

It’s challenging documenting hypoliths in the field, and uncomfortable work while wearing the suits.  Neck strain is considerable, and it is painstaking and tedious.  The return is only evident in the statistical variation in abundances across the landscape, which requires analysis back in the hab.  We may not look for hypoliths on Mars, although the microenvironments that hypoliths live in also exist there, but doing this kind of detailed field work, despite the limitations of working in suits, is essential for understanding what astronauts will be able to accomplish there.


The barren surface of the fan, the pebbles sheltering many hypolith colonies

The site proved exceptionally rich in hypoliths compared to other locations we have seen. So now, as we process and compare the data, we must think of possible explanations and test them.  Only then will we know if we have enough data and a coherent story for publication.