Posted in Dome sweet dome

Some time away from home

Martha and I got to spend the day outside, we did science, we sun-tanned, we took a few lovely walks around the neighborhood, and I got to see how it would feel if I suddenly weight 200 lbs.

So first things first, no I did not just gain 60 lbs for fun.  This EVA was to test the feasibility of long duration EVAs in the MX-C suits that we have, aka the White Suits.  We recently got our second suit, it has red accents instead of blue, and Martha and I went out in them to do some science with a field spec (measures reflectance of light from rock samples to see what is in them… I think) and see how long we could last without a battery dying, or either of us needing to go to the bathroom.

Me in the new MX-C suit, Shelly
Me in the new MX-C suit, Shelly

So first off let me introduce the suits: Phil, who you all know from past blogs, is blue and Shelly is red.  Yes, I’m super proud of having come up with names that so properly reflect the suit’s purposes!

Phil is a bit smaller that Shelly, but that’s quite common for many species other than our own.  The skeleton of each is a backpack frame and the parachute pants are a quark of simulated pressurization as well as a statement on how much style you can put into a mock space suit.  As for circulation, these bad-boys each come with a 4 gallon cooling reservoir that gets filled with ice water and pumped through a vest that is basically a network of tubes.  Respiration comes in the form of 5 major air hoses, one for each leg and arm and one for the helmet.  The helmet one is super important and basically controls how much physical exertion you can do because if you’re breathing rate increases past a certain threshold things can get a little PANIC-y and no one wants that, trust me.

So Martha and I did science, which was fun and exciting seeing as it has been a while since we got to play around with equipment we don’t fully understand.  And whats better, it gave us the opportunity for some really cool photos of science, WOOOO!

Mars Science, look at us go!
Mars Science, look at us go!
Check out all our science!
Check out all our science!

Also, pictures of me using science as props for a James Bond-y picture, more WOOOO!

Call me Step, Two-Step *pew pew* (thats the noise a ray gun makes)
Call me Step, Two-Step *pew pew* (that’s the noise a ray gun makes)

Since we were doing science at semi-specific solar incidence angles,  we had some time to kill between “zenith” and “high” and decided to get some cool pictures taken of us (Thanks Neil), go for a walk, do a foot race (Hahaha Space Race!), and mostly just sitting around trying to keep the weight of our space suit worlds off our shoulders and getting a little sun!

Martha and I resting after a nice walk around the neightborhood
Martha and I resting after a nice walk around the neightborhood

And of course, photos of our epic Red vs Blue “space race”

the epic battle of RED vs BLUE rages on Mars with a footrace!
the epic battle of RED vs BLUE rages on Mars with a footrace!
Hey, I had 25lbs on Martha, lets see you try running with that :)
Hey, I had 25lbs on Martha, lets see you try running with that 🙂
Martha won our "Space Race"
Martha won our “Space Race”

So I lost, but Martha was a very gracious winner!

Re-reading the post I did about my first venture with Phil (DONT PANIC), I realize that I have come quite a ways from who I was when all of this started.  Most of you have taken this journey with me and for that I’d like to say thanks.  I know that as things draw to a close I’ll get busier and busier so while I’m thinking about it, and procrastinating on writing reports, here it is:

Readers near and far
All the adventures we’ve had
Bring smiles joy and love

Thanks for staying tuned in and lets see how irritating it can be posting to Facebook and Twitter 😉

❤ always,
Two-Step

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