Log entry: sol 21
I have returned to the Hab from the excursion to NJ, it was a successful mission but had to fight off 130kph gusts which made the Delaware and Tydings bridges treacherous. I was panicked about ice all day. When we left the hab it was a balmy 7C, there was also light mist and wet roads. I monitored the temp closely throughout the day and by 18:00 it was down to -1C. During the return trek I watched the decrease at a rate of about -1/30min. By the time we returned to Montgomeria Countialia it was a brisk -7C. Even tightly bundled on the quick EVA from Rover 1 to the hab that cold is biting. I made it in checked on Hab systems and crew members who had remained, then promptly turned on a monitor for updated for mission control in Kansas City. They were having some issues there, but the director of Patriot Missions is they guy you want with the ball when you are down by 4 w/ 1min to go!
Later that evening I was asked if I want to view the eclipse I am sure it was stunning, I had tremendous views of the giant Wolf/Blood moon most of the 325 km journey from Lakeawoodi Crater. By that time it was -10C and I was exhausted, another EVA in the frigid temps was the last thing I needed.
I woke this morning at 06:00 to even more arctic temps (-13C) and the Hab more arid than the Atacmam Desert. The Hab has one humidifier on the main environmental control system this drips warm water on a filter media in the path of the heater forced air. It is set to the max 36% but really does not actually put more H2O into the air... it just kinda barely replaces the humidity that the function of the system naturally removes. We have a large capacity supplemental system located on another level of the Hab, it has 2x 10.4L water tanks that must be refilled manually. Even set to MAX output, "F-9" it can barely keep humidity levels in the living quarters above 30%. Also I like the "9" corresponds to >90 decibels. What?! Oh I thought you said something...
I refilled both tanks last night after the OT win back at Mission control, and by 08:00 the right side tank was completely empty again. I might have to resort to making some soup! Another quirk of the supplemental climate control equipment, it threw an error code of "C F" , I checked the systems manuals and it turns out this means Change Filter. Filters are supposed to last 2-3 month but near constant operation on MAX output might be eating into that longevity. I checked it though and it seems fine, my guess is that there is no actual sensor for a dirty filter, the error code is likely just timed to run duration. Sure enough after a hard reset of the system no code! That should buy us another month with any sacrifice of air quality and only minimal strain on the system. We are also rapidly depleting our supply of hemp cream. Better tell AMZN to add those to the "cart" for the next resupply mission.
I managed to get my butt out of my bunk and suited up to venture out again into the glacial landscape for a meeting with other team representatives. Rover 1 started up fine but I could hear her frame groaning over the first few bumps as the metal tried to warm up. Needless to say further EVAs today will be severely limited. Fortunately we have some Hab maintenance projects and a full crew to tackle them to keep us busy, if there are completed there is always digital media. I suspect it will be a slow sol.
*Credit to style goes to Andy Weir who wrote The Martian. One of THE BEST books. I am re-reading it now (3x time) with my 12yo.