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Morning song: Dreams by The Cranberries. (By the way, a sol is a Martian day, which is 24 hours and 39 minutes.)

Two engineers and a geologist walk into a crater…

Today we made it to Patterned Ground. Caleb was in sim with Andrew and I was on bear watch. We took a southerly route and chanced the mud and it worked out. It was a moderately rough ride over the rocks for a total of 4 hours. It’s hard to describe the area, the ground was shaped like continuous wide flat moguls of dirt. The humps of dirt came up to your thigh and were covered with a cracked pattern. When viewed from above, the moguls look like cracks themselves and are part of even larger humps, and so on. These ground pattern formations are massive, you can walk in the troughs between them where algae, moss, and arctic flowers grow. Small plants of burnt reds, purples, and neon green make the place unreal. There is a little more life in this area, like birds and bugs. I saw a Red Knot for the first time in my life. They are common to this area when breeding, but migrate to the southern coast of the US and middle America.

You know in the alien movies where the character’s radio malfunctions and they show the walkie talkie screen flashing with all the lights and whatnot and you’re like “yeah ok the screenwriter doesn’t know what a broken walkie talkie looks like”, well I’m sorry for thinking that because that is EXACTLY what happened to my radio and the other two weren’t nearby to see it. It beeped once so I pulled it out to look at it and it was going crazy, flashing, the whole screen and all the LCD images were flickering. I couldn’t transmit or receive and none of the buttons did anything. I turned it off and on and it was normal again just like that. I swear it happened exactly like that, I’m not lying. I just checked and I GOT IT ON VIDEO. I’ll have to upload it sometime. It was weird and it couldn’t have happened any other way. It hasn’t happened since.

Anyway I got the chance to splice some wires to repair two space suit battery chargers, which is the reason I’m here after all. I really enjoy fixing things. We reinstalled a ventilation fan that we had swapped for a larger one while we were cleaning. When we removed the large fan, we didn’t put the small one back and it started to get humid and our AQI meter was telling us we had too much CO2 in the hab. This fan fixed the issue very quickly. I rigged a deep cycle marine battery that was here with a car inverter to allow the fan to run at night when the generators are off.

I was outside all day yesterday and today. I’m hoping I get a full day tomorrow to work on the engineering shop.

While we were out on our EVA, I was surprised by a lone boulder on the side of a mountain deep into our journey. We were two hours away from the hab and far into the crater. It is bigger than a house. There were no other rocks around it anywhere near that size and it looks like it was just placed there one day, but it has been there for eons. I’ve named it the Lorstone, because it is beautiful and stunning and breathtaking. It’s as official a name as it can be, on our map, the only one of its kind.

2 thoughts on “Sol 3”

  1. Do polar bears travel alone or in a pack? Your descriptions are so detailed that I feel a part of them. Lorstone is a beautiful tribute.❤️

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