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Expedition One Diary

by Australian Crewmember Jonathan Clarke

Yeah, know, yesterday was supposed to be the last entry, but so much happened last night and today I thought I would write another one. Overnight the main generator caught fire and had to be shut down. Whether it wore out or had been damaged by the electrical discharges yesterday will not been known until the postmortem. But it was exciting for the engineers who shut down the engine, extinguished the fire, disconnected the propane tanks, and fired up the emergency generator. The hab was never in danger though. I slept through it all. In the morning cleaned out the lab and packed up. Then had constant power outages and could not understand why until we discovered that someone and fired up the incinolet - a no-no on emergency power. Must be one of the newbies.

Shannon and I left at 11 for the 12 hr drive to San Diego, where I am writing this. Much like Sydney to Melbourne but with more traffic. However the scenery in the first half was wonderful, parts were like the Snowy Mt high country or the central plateau of Tasmania, others like the Flinders Ranges, but all on a much grander vertical scale. All very beautiful with patchy snow. The last half was boring. Why are American country towns and cities so ugly?

It was a strange and pleasant experience to have a proper shower and use a flush toilet. Tomorrow I am off the Houston for the 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, where I am giving a paper on Mound springs (especially Dalhousie) as mars analogues with Carol Stoker. A result from research in the Jarntimara expedition in 2001. Then I am going to Ames to talk about Jarntimara and Mars Oz. Then HOME to the family. This time it is really good-bye (until next time!).

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