Mars Rover

We apologize for the inconvenience, but the Mars Rover attraction is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. Mark Watney’s video logs from the Hab have overwhelmed the servers, so things are a bit of a mess. We’ve been able to put together transcripts of the video logs, and we also have the onboard audio from his recent NAV outings… but we’re not sure about the chronology of any of them. Maybe you can investigate the situation and see if you can answer this question: What’s causing the problems with our communications and with Watney’s botanical efforts?

hex grid on Mars

Same audio as above, linked for handy download:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Video Log Transcripts

For today’s NAV outing, I just did a straight run from one corner of the hexagon across to the opposite corner. Easy. I was wondering WTF should I do to mark the spaces? Then I thought hey that’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which is almost a nice set. Let’s change that W to Waltz and we’ve got three representatives of what I put down on the map. Just to be nice I’ll give you the word lengths: 8 and 5. Good enough?

I can’t believe Lewis. Can she actually like all that disco music? I mean, I’m glad she brought some music at all, but disco? All I did today was drive the NAV around in a tiny little circle with disco music in my head. Disco music. Disco music. Disco music. Ugh, make it stop!

Living without you, [humming] [humming], this empty house seems so cold. Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me up here. Just a simple outing in the NAV today.

Now that the crater is fully mapped out, I’m done with the NAV and can start on the deployment plan for the hydro stations. Each hydro station can irrigate the space it’s on and one additional grid space in each direction. There’s a beast hiding in the crater. I’ll start with hydro stations on the head and tail of that beast, and then place the remaining 17 stations such that I irrigate the most possible grid spaces without any spot getting hit more than once. That should do the trick.

OK, I’ll admit that some of Lewis’s songs are growing on me a little bit. There are a couple that really fit my situation here quite nicely. Maybe I’ll adopt those as my rallying songs. Anyway, I actually made two recon outings today, with those two songs playing in the NAV. It could have been worse.

Outing one is complete. Today I did a nice perimeter circuit and just cruised around the outer edge of the hexagon. I labeled each edge with a word, starting at a corner. But I’m not gonna just tell you the words—where’s the fun in that? We’ll play a little game. Fair warning: there might be singing. Ready? Oh, wait, I forgot to mention: I’m not telling you the words in any particular order. You’ll have to figure that part out. And some words reach the next corner, but not all of them. You’ll be fine. All right, here we go. Remember that show with the people stranded in a crazy place after a plane crash? Yeah, that’s how I feel up here. So let’s go with the guy that created that show. The one you’ve heard of. Meanwhile, when I look at the crater walls, I swear they must be a mile high, like that city back on Earth. The one in the United States. You know, as in… United States, [humming], Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru. Something something something Portugal, [humming], [humming], Denmark and Spain. Love that one. Finally, you know that old Western show with the guy named Hoss? That’s the last one. Got it? Cool.

This is Mark Watney logging in from the Hab. NASA wants me to start work on growing food on this rock, but the atmosphere is too thin to hold enough moisture to get my potatoes to grow, and last time I checked I need food to stay alive. Luckily I’m the best botanist on the planet, so I’ve got some ideas. I’m going to get out of the Hab and take the NAV on a series of recon outings to map out the crater. I’ll label each grid space with a letter to make things easier. The crater makes a really nice hexagon, so I’ll start by calling the six corners Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Foxtrot starting at the north tip and going around the horn clockwise. I should be able to cover a good chunk of the crater with each outing. I’m estimating it’ll take me 7 trips out in the NAV to fully map the space.

Today was a long one. I just kept spiraling around and around, because my head was spinning. I got my first incoming message in weeks today. It was short, but I think it’s good news? Anyway, here’s what it says: NOT ALL ON YOU. NASA’S TESTING THEIR COMPUTATIONS. That’s good, right? That means they’re going to come get me, right? Right?