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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.
Mesas & buttes characterise this part of Utah
Vegetation is sparse.
The MarsSkin analogue suits stand out in the landscape.