Commander’s Report – February 5th

Commander‘s Report
Prepared by: Mamatha Maheshwarappa
Sol: 07
Earth Date: 02.05.2017
“Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes it meaningful”
Firstly, I would like raise a toast to Team Planeteers for having completed the first half of the mission very successfully. Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) has become our home and we are now a family sharing our happiness, frustrations, knowledge, memories and experiences in this journey. Our regular day is a mixture of work and fun as it is essential to keep up the team spirit and motivation – we concentrate on technical work when the day is too young and then move towards documentation in the afternoon followed by a relaxed evening where we watch movies, share humorous incidents and celebrations. The most memorable part that I would like treasure forever is my birthday celebration here at MDRS. The team had planned ahead and got together to make my day so special even on Mars –  I would like to applaud their effort for preparing cake in the midnight by Master Chef Sneha Velayudhan and Arpan Vasanth and decorating the Hab with balloons by Saroj Kumar and Sai Arun Dharmik, thank you once again guys!!!

Another unique and the most exciting activity at MDRS is to gear up in a spacesuit as the atmosphere on Mars is harsh and one cannot leave the Hab without a spacesuit. Our suits are our personal spaceship, responsible for keeping us alive. Without a spacesuit our lungs would rupture, ear drums would burst, our saliva and tears would boil. Within 10-14 seconds we would lose consciousness. Trust me, nothing in a spacesuit is that easy – trying to understand and articulate what we are seeing, to find analogies for an experience that is so unique. The Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) is incredibly physically taxing. We have carried out several EVAs over the last week and each one has been a unique experience that includes huge learning curve not only for our mission but also for future human Mars missions.

Life on Mars is never easy, one thing that remains unchanged is the number of challenges we face every day with limited resources but what has changed is our attitude of looking at these problems. As the days pass by, we are becoming accustomed to these problems and we work in a constructive and collaborative way to resolve the issues, which has helped us maintain the same or more enthusiasm than that we had before our mission.