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Sol Summary – November 3rd

November 3, 2016

Sol #35 – Our Day Outdoors

This morning our crew spilt into two parts. Alex and Claude-Michel visited the UK Space Agency camp a few kilometres down the road and then they were invited to watch the Germans in the next camp, (the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und-Raumfahrt) change the battery on their incredible leggy spider rover. The rest of the crew continued the second day of our science operations trial in a remote canyon north of the hab.

It’s a non-sim day, (one of the few on this mission), where we don’t use tanks and space suits when we leave the hab. Today, we looked a bit more like escapees from Guantanamo than Martian astronauts but we are very comfortable in our orange overalls.

To get to the field site we walked along a well-exposed stream channel to a large area about 500 metres square, part-surrounded by cliffs of lovely salmon pink, dark rust red,
brown and cream, the colours of the Morrison Formation. Immediately we could see that our working environment today is so ancient and so amazingly Mars-like, that in terms of science, we could spend a lifetime doing Mars analogue research there. It’s really true when people say words are not enough and they never are.

Without spacesuits, we began the science field work while our biologist PI Shannon Rupert took her own notes and kept time and track of our movements. Anastasiya Stepanova again was our documentary film maker for the day. Within the time constraints, we were aiming to get the maximum science return and a complete overview of the geology out of simulation. As we began, our biologist PI Shannon Rupert took her own notes and kept time and track of our movements. Fossils and petrified logs were so abundant that geologist Jon Clarke spent most of his time half way up a cliff. It’s was a beautiful day here in the desert and it felt good to experience the warmth of the sun and the breeze on our skin. One of the reasons we love Mars is because we appreciate our planet Earth.

Annalea Beattie