Commander Report – January 23rd

Commander’s report Sol 8
Michaela Musilova
 “My daughter is on Mars and I have not heard from her in days. I am worried”. Such was the complaint my father made to his doctor a few sols ago. It is true. As soon as I arrived on Mars I plunged straight into my new life here, so much so that I disconnected almost completely from my life back on Earth. In a way it was so liberating. Suddenly, all the concerns and problems of your job, relationships and generally every day life issues are hundreds of millions of kilometres away. You start to feel like you’re living another life, perhaps even starting from a fresh slate.
Only checking my emails brings me back to the harsh reality back on Earth. Each email account has gotten into the hundreds of unread emails. I would not even check them to spare me that pain of feeling extremely behind on everything. However, we have to communicate with Mission Support back on Earth every night for two hours, who help us with any of our problems on Mars. We also have to send them reports about all of our activities on Mars for the given day and get approval for our planned activities for the next day. Mission Support is in many ways like a parent, watching over us. But at a distance and unable to help us immediately should something bad happen.
Indeed, we are all alone on Mars. Even the aliens have backed down again and have hidden themselves into the hills. We have to be able to survive on our own no matter what the circumstances. We have only been here for just over a week and we have had the “joy” of experiencing quite a selection of interesting circumstances. Our very first few days revolved around a battle with a malfunctioning toilet, forcing us to use our imagination to the maximum. You see, it was a bit of a catch 22. We have very limited amounts of water here with us, but in order to make the toilet function again we need to flush it repeatedly during the day…
Then came the multiple alien invasions, followed by a snow storm and now a leaking water pipe. The past day has been particularly entertaining, as the water pipe started to leak even faster, our communication with Earth dropped during the crucial two-hour Mission Support window and then very strong Martian winds have been ravaging our small colony. Luckily, no big damage has been made so far. Let’s just hope that Mars will stop fighting our presence here so persistently. We are grateful our “parent” is trying to guide us from afar and we hope that we will solve our urgent problems soon.
While worrying about surviving on Mars may sound like a rough battle and quite the mission by itself, we have our hands full with many other activities and responsibilities here. As my crew’s commander, I have to make sure everything is running smoothly in our Martian colony, everyone is doing their job/research and that we all get along. I am pleased to say that this has been going really well so far. All my crewmates have been actively involved in their research/outreach projects, despite all of the distractions Mars is throwing upon us. Everything from 3D printing, geological studies to growing spinach through my Slovakian students’ experiment is going very well. We are all also having a great time here, whether it’s doing our chores, writing reports to going on EVAs together and enjoying our culture nights. Last night was my Slovakian culture night and we had a blast.
So yes, I do live my new life on Mars fully. So much so that I forget about my life back on Earth. I of course do not forget my loved ones, friends and family. Similarly, I am very grateful to the wonderful support that I have had from my followers around the world. I think about you all regularly, but just like my many work problems that are awaiting me and spamming my mailboxes, you are just too many million miles away now and I have to learn to live without you while I am here. The more I will be grateful to be with you all again once my journey back to Earth will begin.
Take care for now Earthlings, until we meet back on Terra once again.