February 24, 2018
SOL 6 - Crew 189 : Broken down in the desert
Journalist report, 02/24/18: Broken down in the desert
It was even harder today to wake Louis up than on previous morning. While we should have started our sport session at 7am, we could not wake him up until 7.10am. Laurent even had to play some hard music through his door to achieve that. But after two quite light days,
things were going to get serious once more! We were nonetheless a bit late to go on our EVA, planned at 9am. Louis and Gabriel on the ATVs, and Benoît and I on rover Deimos, were the ones to go today. We first stopped at our experiments zone in order to collect the first
data from the LOAC and the MegaARES, about which I will talk more precisely respectively tomorrow and on the next Sunday. In the meantime, Benoît evaluated his localisation experiment, which is supposed to give him the distance to a point we are looking for,
according to his departure position and the distance he travelled since. It was yet kind of unsuccessful, and he tried to fix it for a while by walking in straight line in different directions, which made him look somehow like Captain Jack Sparrow and his compass.
After having collected the last data, it was time for us to go on exploration, this time a bit further than we were used to. No need to say that the landscape we discovered as perfectly outstanding. Surrounded by a distant snowy mountain peak, by dunes of small pale yellow
stones looking like a sand desert, and by typical red rock plates, some much different landscapes in such a small region, we would almost think we were taken in the last Zelda game. Yet, the region was still not out of surprises, as we could find multiples stuffs laying on
the ground: old seashells, quartz and other minerals, enabling Benoît to start of collections with the ones he found beautiful. After having taken some photos of these magic places, it was time to go back home: Louis and I rode the rover, and Benoît and Gabriel took each one
an ATV. However, during the return trip, Deimos started to gradually slow down, until it almost stopped in a climb, forcing Gabriel, Benoît to get down of our vehicles and to push it up with our bare hands. In the meantime, Louis at first, then I, loosed all communications, as our
walkie-talkies started not working. Louis imposed a 10 minutes break; in case of a motor overheating.
After that, the rover seemed to run well, yet only 30 seconds later it suffered the same problem again. Commander Louis took the decision to leave the rover: Gabriel and Benoît would go to the Hab, come back with two rovers and bring us home.
After a long 25 minutes wait, they finally arrived with both rovers, and led us to the station. The EVA, planned for 3 hours, finally lasted 40 minutes more. As our oxygen supplies are planned for 4 hours, we were only 20 minutes from running out of it. The afternoon was quite more peaceful. Whereas Benoît believed to have taken pictures of sunspots, the analysis revealed that they were only stains on the telescope. We then went on our daily session of “Keep talking and nobody explodes”, yet everything did not work as planned. Some simple instructions were indeed revealed to be false. Nothing more was needed to spread the rumor that some manuals have purposely been filled with false information. To be continued! Finally, there will not be any bread tonight: Gabriel has indeed mistaken the gluten for the yeast, leading to an indescribable outcome. Tomorrow will be our first day off; it is time for a lie-in for everyone!
Alexandre Martin, Crew 189 Journalist