But we didn't just climb this mountain, we lugged a 60 pound 30 kilogram field spectrometer with us all the way to the top. At times we had to leapfrog the spectrometer up the slope between us - all the while hanging onto a mountaineering ax due to the crumbly nature of the ground. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and totally worth it.
Did I mention we had a laptop with us? And not the rugged kind either.
Dozens of meters below and nearly a kilometer away we watched as Kavya and Jorge practiced communicating with hand signals between each other and the little rover. Chris and Humberto stayed inside, acting as CAPCOM and controlling it via a live video feed. With minimal practice the hand signals proved to be extremely useful for communicating non-verbally and long distance. NASA friends take note, I'll be posting a guide to them so you can take a look and compare them with your own (which we have not looked at yet).
Due to a Mars Society restriction, we were were only allowed one ATV for our trek to the mountain, but we made it work and finished our EVA early despite our grueling list of objectives.
While unlikely to be implemented on Space Station EVAs, two teams of two, working on different objectives within eyesight of each other is proving to be an extremely efficient method to accomplish our tasks. And once our individual tasks are complete we can help each other.
So we'll finish up our mammoth EVA day with dinner and a movie. After we reentered the Hab Kavya and Chris walked us though some yoga, and it was a wonderful thing. This might seem goofy to people: "You should be doing science!" But if the people are are happy, the science is better, and our morale is excellent - despite there being dust everywhere.
Executive Officer / Acting Commander