FMARS-15 Commander Report 26-07-2023
Author: Andrew Wheeler, Commander, FMARS-15
Weather: Clear skies, sunny. Wind cold, strong to moderate easing into the afternoon. Temperature single digits to low teens Celsius.
Repairs to the EVA suits continue. There are now four clean and repaired suits available for work outside the hab along with three operational helmet and backpack combinations. Two suits are small sizes with the other two large sizes. Only one pair of the boots available for use actually fit the crew so the remainder have been placed in storage. Three battery chargers have also been made operational to keep the backpacks ready for on demand use.
With only one EVA scheduled and approved for today, the crew split into two teams. The samples collected during EVA 2’s traverse from yesterday required preparation for immediate inspection and longer term analyses. The team from that EVA carried out these tasks and the separate science report will detail the preliminary observations. Meanwhile, the EVA 1 team were allotted more time to try a different route to visit the patterned ground investigated by previous science teams, as their previous effort had been thwarted by extremely rough terrain and time constraints. EVA 3 were able to reach the patterned ground location and make observations. The area was quite dry at the surface and biological samples were collected. Adjacent, a shallow flowing stream enabled further samples to be obtained.
Nearby to this area, a mystery object observed by the 2017 crew and unable to be visited, was within easy access and was identified as an automated weather/monitoring station. It appeared to be capable of being operational apart from the fact that the probable main data cable had been chewed through by something with very sharp teeth.
Back inside the hab, efforts at de-cluttering the engineering area continued.
There is now a rhythm to our daily routine and even though we cannot predict when the generator will run out of fuel or when the header tank will reach the “fill me now” level, someone is always there to do the chore when that moment arrives and interruptions are minimized.