Sol Summary – July 19th
Written by Jon Clarke
Today is our last day getting the FMARS hab shipshape for our mission. We have been doing tasks like fetching water, using the incinerator, getting the pumps and power as operational as possible, and finishing tidying away.
Paul and I spent several hours installing his data loggers in the patterned ground just below the hab, perched on the rim of Haughton impact crater. These features make the small scale landscape a good analogue for the martian Arctic as seen by the Phoenix lander. We dug trenches down to permafrost, which was less than 50 cm down. We also examined the melt water flowing across the ground from the remnant snow packs and other landforms typical of the Arctic landscape, some of which are also found on Mars.
Tomorrow we go into simulation mode. So today we started the sim, doing EVAs in suits and going outside without suits only for essential engineering tasks otherwise – collecting water, burning rubbish, starting the generator. In addition each EVA team is escorted by someone not in a suit carrying a shotgun, in case of bears.