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Expedition One Diary

by Australian Crewmember Jonathan Clarke


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15th
After a good night's sleep in the hab we had a slow start, while waiting to the last 6 expeditioners to arrive. The weather is very mild and the well heated hab is almost hot. Explored the hab environs - an incredible barren red, green and white landscape of eroded sandstone ridges and clay hills with large mesas in the background and behind them all the snow covered heights of the Henry Mountains to the south. Doing research in this environment is going to be quite something. Despite its alieness, it has familiar features to other deserts I have studied in Australia and Chile. Surely Mars will offer a similar mix of the familiar and the strange. After the others arrived we spent the afternoon we started training ourselves in the operation of the hab systems, the ATV's (as quadcycles are known here), and various items of equipment. I sent up the geological equipment, especially the PIMA (portable infrared mineral analyser) loaned to us by the manufacturer Integrated Spectronics of Sydney, in the laboratory on the lower deck of the hab. Everything is a bit chaotic, but we are showing signs of shaking things down into a routine and a team already. Meal times, with 14 people eating in a space designed for 6, is an adventure. Answering nature's call, with the choice of a recycling toilet (liquids only), incinterating toilet (solids only). and a portapotty outside, another one. Everyone up very late that night, especially James my roommate, working on final preparations for tomorrow.

The Diarist at Work
Mesas & buttes characterise this part of Utah
View of the Hab
Vegetation is sparse.
Marsskin analogue suits stand out in the landscape.
The MarsSkin analogue suits stand out in the landscape.

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