WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2001, 22.15 hours

Location: Arkaroola
Written by: Jennifer Laing

Perfect day weather-wise - like a dream. The morning Mount Painter tour is spectacular. The four wheel drives take us first to Mount Gee, for a photostop. It's rough and rugged territory, ringed with mountain tops, and a wild ride. Great fun but not for those prone to motion sickness. As Bond would say, "Shaken, not stirred."

Matilda demonstrates an Australian-made PIMA machine, used for analysing geological samples, and which could be a great asset on a mission to Mars.

Jason interviewed by BBC Radio. Even they know about us! So much for being remote.

Afternoon is taken up with presentations by Jason and Graham on the HOP vehicle, and robotic arm, while James W talks about his work on spacesuit technology using mechanical counter-pressure.

Dinner is in the hall flanking our rooms, and then more discussions post-dinner. Everyone is buoyant and looking forward to getting down to the main business of the trip tomorrow - selecting the most suitable site for a Mars research facility, and creating a science/engineering plan.