Well my cholesterol levels are back to normal thanks to a hearty bowl of de-hydrated Texas Barbecue Chicken and beans. It was a long day and a lot of things were accomplished. It's always good to start the day on time, unless of course you wake up late. This morning, our schedule didn't matter to me. I got the best nights rest since I've been here and I wasn't getting out of bed until I needed to do something. Luckily my iPhone alarm didn't go off and wake me up this morning. Upon waking up, I realized why it never went off, it fell in the middle of the night and traveled eight feet until it knocked into the concrete floor. I remember an old Batman cartoon, where Two-Face is sitting in a chair unable to sleep because he's worrying about "The Bat", Batman whispers in his ear "How much is a good nights sleep really worth?" I haven't tried to turn my phone on because I don't want to know if it's working. I can tell you this, you can use a good nights sleep on mars; the phone won't do you too much good.
I'm going to share a secret with you. I'm planning some excursions that others in my crew are unaware of. First, next time I see the Zen Master, DG, I'm going to give him some money and have him head to town and buy me some steaks. I found a BBQ grill in the Antartic Pile and I found some lawn chairs in the hab. One might ask, what to do with lawn chairs, steaks, and a BBQ grill on Mars?
I reached my third summit in five days. Diego and myself climbed Olympic Mons today. I did my part this morning to contribute to Diego's "EVA Suit Constraint Study." I had to go out and log plants and take pictures and samples of each plant in a full space suit. This was not fun, just really annoying and time consuming. After we were finished I convinced Diego that we should gather some geological samples from the mesa" over there". That mesa happened to be Olympic Mons. I didn’t want to gather geological samples. Don’t get me wrong I like looking at rocks and I can appreciate the history, but in my eyes this experience is as much an adventure as it is research. I wanted to climb the tallest thing I could see, not to stop there and feel accomplished, but because it is only from higher ground that I can see where I want to go. I told you before, I'm going to climb the "Great Mesa." This climb was another step in that direction. I was able to find a rover path to the Great Mesa; now I knew it could be done.
This is my devious plan. I'm going to load a bag with some steaks, charcoal, and ice. Whoever is with me will help pack the grill and lawn chairs. Then we take the rovers and follow the path to the edge of the Great Mesa. It is too steep a slope to scale where the trail ends. We must then head north two kilometers and start climbing there. Once we reach the top it's a three kilometer trek to the top. Once we hit the summit, we will geo-tag the location with pictures on google earth. Then its time for the grand finale. We take out the lawn chairs, fire up the grill, and have some good eatin' on top of the largest peak on Mars, The Great Mesa.
Shh… you cant tell anyone about my plans. I don’t think NASA would approve of me spending my time this way after they flew me 36 million miles.
After I thought up my grand scheme, I had to actually do some work. We had to finish the design of the radio telescope, which we did. We have to move and elevate the power combiner between the two single dipole antennas. This will allow the antenna to be adjustable, so that other crews can view both the Sun and Jupiter over the coming years.
I was dead tired as the day wore on. I decided not to partake in the geological expedition. Instead I stayed at the hab and used the microscopes to analyze some of the rocks I have collected since I've been here. I found a few pieces of flint, one of which looks as if it was used as a cutting tool sometime ago. I also examined some pumice which was part of an explosive volcanic eruption within fifty miles of the hab. The lava rock is pretty cool, I found some quartz crystals and blue-green algae on the pumice. It's amazing that anything lives out here.
All in all it was a good day, the food was good, the sleep was good, and we still have power. The main accomplishment was finding a way to the top of the Great Mesa. It will be done.
See ya on the other side,