Sol 9 - Artistic day
Today was not our best science day, but as the crew journalist I was ecstatic: the day was beautiful, lights were perfect, and I was able to shoot a lot of amazing photos. My day started by a “wake up, the sunrise is beautiful!”, and it was. But it was only the beginning.
I was today’s EVA leader. The only ground experiment which was needing results at the moment was the balloon, and wind was blowing too fast to let us deploy it. Anyway, we started the EVA by tracking the best spot to attach it to the ground, in order to let it fly for an entire day. We already expected to find it north from hab, not far from it, to be able to check it from the station. It went fine and we quickly found a great spot, far enough from rocks and hills, to hang it. We marked it and left. In fact, before we left, I was able to shoot a panoramic view of my teammates in front of the station, under a beautiful morning sky.
Then we checked as usual our seismometer, which had moved by the way, and needed to be repositioned. Then we went to White Rock canyon. The place was beautiful too, especially under such a sun. We shot here official photos, with the French flag, and with the school banner, to thank them for making this possible, and give them media to share about the project. Another nice shot. We left to be on time to the station. Before coming back, we stopped another time to shoot a new panoramic view in front of the hab, just to be sure that we will get a good one. Another nice shot. We ended up struggling to inflate the ATVs tires, this being the first time we did it.
The afternoon was quieter. I worked on the morning shots, on the video to come, on interviews, on my reports, as usual. Everybody was busy, depending on their tasks. To end this day properly, the sunset was absolutely stunning. For the whole day, strong wind and clouds have been forming beautiful landscapes, but I clearly was not prepared for this one. I received a call on the walkie-talkie from Xavier, who was working on the science dome, asking me to look out by the window. When I saw it, I immediately joined him, to shoot my last picture of the day, trying to picture as well as possible this stunning view. Another one.
The station at noon
Panorama from the science dom
To conclude, I did not talk a lot about my EVA leader role. It includes quite a few responsibilities. You must check timings, decide when to stick to the plan, when to improvise, where to go, ensure that everybody is following you, and the others have to follow your lead. It seems like a dictatorship, and it is quite true. But this is the only system that allows a crew that cannot communicate very accurately, and that has limited time, to be efficient, and to stick together.
There will be no EVA tomorrow, as the weather is bad, too windy to work with the balloon, and also because everybody needs to work on his own a bit. This day is necessary in everyone’s opinion. It will allow us to rest a bit, and to go on with our tasks more efficiently.