February 26th, 2020
Sol 10 – Crew 222: Pale white dot
Today’s EVA team headed North to the Ridge by foot. They found a way up the hill and had a long walk back to the Hab. It was fun seeing them in the distance from a Hab window! They looked like tiny ants walking along the edge. Seeing the white Hab from far away was impressive: it’s the only man-made building in the visible region around us. It feels like we are alone in the universe. During the climb, what struck them the most was the red, unfertile sand that really looks like Martian soil. There are no animals to be seen, and the few plants that grow don’t look like a sustainable life form.
After lunch, Eishi showed us his solar observatory. He calibrated the telescope, and we could see clearly the Sun in the visor! Unluckily, we are right in the middle of the “low activity” period of the sun, so all we saw was a giant red ball. The red comes from the filters that allow us to look directly at the Sun, without them it would burn our retina instantly. In a few years, Astronomers will be able to see prominences, sun spots, or even flares and filaments! Judging from the photos on the manual, it looks impressive. We might come back in 5 years to see it with our own eyes!
Valentin and I almost finished working on his LCVG on his afternoon. We finished joining together and waterproofing the tubes through which the cold water will run. The whole system works well, and we found no leak! Tomorrow, we will test it out and see if the suit truly makes a difference when outside on EVA.
We only have a few days left here, and we really feel like we have grown up during our time here. Our organization improved, we all get along great, and we have created a routine that suits all. It will be very strange to face the real world again.
Author: Marie Bochard, Crew Journalist