Sol Summary – July 23rd
Written by Jon Clarke
Sol 4 (or 84)
The weather on the fourth sol of the second half of the Mars 160 mission improved slightly today, but not by much. Almost no rain, but wind gusts estimated by our experience weather observers as being up to 80 kph.
Inside the hab we have our own weather system. The lower deck is much colder than the upper deck, and we even have “rain”. Condensation drips from the ceiling and runs down to walls. We are hoping for drier weather inside and outside.
In the morning Anushree, Anastasiya, and Yusuke fetched water and the in afternoon Alex, Paul, and Yusuke did an out of sim EVA across the crater bottom. In our view the conditions were too windy to allow people to walk safely while wearing the suits. They walked over 5.4 km and successful scouted further into the crater. The interior of the crater is still very wet, only the creek beds appear to provide potential quad bike access at present. While on their EVA the team took the opportunity to obtain 3-D images of polygon features.
Inside the hab we monitored the progress of the EVA team over the radio and visually through the telephoto lens. Radio communications quality is excellent, much better than at MDRS, irrespective of whether the EVA teams are in view or hidden behind ridges or in creek beds.
Hopefully the wind will drop tomorrow, and we can return to suited EVAs. Either way our plan is to do geological scouting. Would this be an issue on Mars? Probably not. While martian winds can be strong, their force is relatively low because of the very low atmospheric density. So impact on martian EVAs should be small.