EVA 15, your point of view on mars

I haven’t quite finished the latest mushroom piece I was talking about a post or two ago (soon though!) but I did go on a spiffy little EVA to help Christiane do some of her science with a few other lava nauts and thought…why don’t I bring my camera along inside my suit instead? That idea led to this blog post, my first EVA with you guys tagging along in first person view. Now you can see what we see! As you’ll quickly find, the previous pictures of grandiose lava fields and amazing mountain views can be somewhat muddied by the suits we wear. It’s not like the movies where the astronauts have these perfect, crystalline masks that make everything they look at seem HD. We have wonky plastic face plates and sheets that are full of scratches and distortions. Prepare yourself, for an EVA in first person!

As you can see here, I got dressed first and I'm waiting for the rest of the group to hurry it up and get in here so we can begin decompression! I can test my radio while I'm in here, but normally you just hang out doing nothing. Notice the lack of clarity?
As you can see here, I got dressed first and I’m waiting for the rest of the group to hurry it up and get in here so we can begin decompression! I can test my radio while I’m in here, but normally you just hang out doing nothing. Notice the lack of clarity?

As we start every EVA, we began this one with chilling for 5 minutes in a little closed “Airlock” that’s really just the nook we keep our boots in and connects the habitat to the shipping container full of food. This lets us pretend that they’re sucking all the air out of the room so we can go outside without a dramatic fwwooosh! of air sucking us out the door like you see in all the sci fi movies. Though that would be awesome. Over the multiple times we’ve been killing time in here we’ve danced salsa (very hard in suits), made lots of faces at each other, and clipped our suits together with the attached clasps so that we’re clomping around like a hideous hazmat beast. You can tell we have short attention spans right? It’s just 5 minutes! Can’t take it man.

Christiane likes to rock out the MX-C suit, which is a lot more difficult to put on, but also has a slightly clearer helmet and an LCG. That's liquid cooling garmet, and basically means she has a shirt that circulates cold water all over. It's so much better than the crappy little fans in my suit. So hot!
Christiane likes to rock out the MX-C suit, which is a lot more difficult to put on, but also has a slightly clearer helmet and an LCG. That’s liquid cooling garmet, and basically means she has a shirt that circulates cold water through itself. It’s so much better than the crappy little fans in my suit. So hot!

Once we got outside, we played around a bit taking pictures for Space Week, and this other thing we found called Why Space Matters. Essentially you take a picture of yourself doing something related to space in any way you can imagine, and can send that in with a little quote about why that matters in some way. Andrzej took a picture of himself by the solar arrays and said something to the effect of “Because of improved power systems”, technology that’s used a lot in space and is pushed forward by space exploration. Easy right? Mine was more architecturally themed, of course, and I made one that is…included below!

Space matters because we have extreme environments everywhere, including all over Earth. We need practice and training to understand how to best let people survive in harsh conditions. Carmel took this one with her camera, so it's not a crappy “inside my suit” picture.
Space matters because we have extreme environments everywhere, including all over Earth. We need practice and training to understand how to best let people survive in harsh conditions. Carmel took this one with her camera, so it’s not a crappy “inside my suit” picture.

Then we got on with the EVA, which was digging around a bunch and getting rock samples, a few other things but essentially proprietary research I’m not allowed to talk about. Mysterious right? That was a great deal of the time allotted for our work, and while we’d planned to check out some skylights on a few lava tubes we know are nearby, we were outa time! Booooo. So we began to head back…

Ah drat we don't have time to explore, must head back to the airlock I suppose, no fun...
Ah drat we don’t have time to explore, must head back to the airlock I suppose, no fun…

Eventually Habcom managed to harangue us back into the airlock and make us stand still for five minutes again, to simulate the re-pressurization that allows us to come back inside. Bored man! But since I had my camera on me, I could snap one last blurry picture of Andrzej and Christiane and then chill out flipping through pictures. We really gotta get some elevator music in there or something. Oh and no matter what the temptation, don’t let yourself fart, it just…has nowhere to go man, you’ll regret it. You won’t get to go inside early even if you have a gas attack, so just hold it. 

Andrzej likes to rock out and Christiane likes to look on like a Terminator waiting for her next target. Dun dun dunnn
Andrzej likes to rock out and Christiane likes to look on like a Terminator waiting for her next target. Dun dun dunnn

And then we finally got back inside and out of our sweaty suits, cleaned things up, and had a lunch of ham and cheese crepes courtesy of Cyprien. Lot of C’s in that sentence, phew! This was a pretty short adventure, just outside, play around and dig some holes, two hours of science stuff and enjoying being able to walk more than 20 feet in a straight line for once. Hopefully you guys enjoyed seeing what it is we see, which it turns out is not much, And be glad that you didn’t have to sweat so much it felt like Louisiana in your pants just to get these pictures. Those suits are hot!

Hopefully next post will be an artsy one, and I’ll get to show you guys the finished 1-Up Mushroom, looking forward to it!

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