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EVA Narrative – December 9th

December 9, 2016

Here is an EVA narrative for the last EVA of the mission.


Jon Clarke


Sanjerooni Butte

Today we went on our last EVA.  Anushree, Alex and I took the Phobos Rover and a quad bike out to the north west to the area known as “The Moon”, above hab ridge and on the way to Skyline rim.  Alex wanted to carry out one last test of his astronaut user interface.   It was a crisp morning, puddles were frozen and the air was very still.  The temperature according to SUIt was one degree above zero.

Alexandre – walking on the Moon

It was a rather happy-sad experience.  It’s always good to be on EVA in such majestic surroundings.  But there are still features to see, things we could visit, but for which we have no more time.  The MDRS area is so diverse and complex that even after 12 weeks we have ony started to scratch the surface.  In fact, even though I have clocked up 20 weeks at MDRS  over the course of four crews, I have not seen it all.

Something for next time

We were able to enjoy the view from the lookout known as Widows Peak.  The view included Skyline Rim, Factory Butte, our old friends the Henry Mountains and the San Rafael Swell to the north.  I thought I could even see Wild Horse Mesa, which we drove past the other day on the way to Little Wild Horse Canyon.

Anushree contemplating the unknown

Low batteries in the SUIt and the rover forced us to end the EVA sooner than we would have liked.  On the way home we made one last stop to look at a magnificent cluster of orange lichen colonies, along with the more usual black lichens.  There were even some bright green ones, which are quite rare. Our next EVA will be in the Arctic where, ironically, it may not be as cold.  This is the Mars 160 EVA crew signing off – until next time!

There are always more lichens to study!