Journalist Report – February 22nd

Journalist report, 02/22/17 – Sol 10: Rest day.

Today’s objective was simple: there was none. We have been on the station for 10 days without any real break, and we all needed some time to rest and go on our tasks efficiently. Today’s weather was supposed to be bad, so that we did not plan any EVA. It was absolutely not the case, the weather being great, with a strong wind that almost wrecked our wall, but we stuck to the plan, and stayed at home for the whole day.

The rhythm was cooler, it was time for me to form Mouâdh and Xavier to a popular French card game called “la coinche”. I spent most of my day working on the mid-rotation video, supposed to sum up the first half of our mission. I would like to release it in a few days, and it also interests the French website of the Huffington Post. Xavier spent a long time in the dome, understanding the station power system, -using solar panels along with a thermic generator, to reload batteries- to document it for the next crews. Almost every one of us took a nap in the afternoon, to regenerate after ten days waking up early.

As there is no real fresh news today, I would like to talk about something I only mentioned since we arrived: food. We have to restrain a little to match our supplies. We have almost everything lyophilised, but in different quantities, so that we try to monitor it precisely. We guys are a bit hungry even after the meals, so that we had to find tricks to avoid going mad and rush into the snacks drawer at 4:00 pm or at 11:00 pm. We mostly have sporting habits, so that we eat quite a lot while in France, but here we must limit our dietary intakes because of the little physical activity we have. We found two solutions: we have a quite decent amount of starch, so that the hungry ones can add up a little rice or pasta at the end of a meal. We also are in America, so that there is A LOT of snacks in the kitchen contrary to what we are accustomed to. We spent the first days eating frosting paste, peanuts and different strange meals at various hours, but we quickly realised that if we did not want to gain 15 kg, we will have to find another way to feel satiated. This is where comes our second solution, hiding in the snacks drawer too: popcorn. It is very easy to store because of its size being popped, has almost zero intakes if eaten without anything else, and takes a ridiculously huge amount of volume in your stomach…

To end with, I have to mention our last anecdote, from yesterday night. Xavier was refilling the water tank in the loft, over the rooms, before he left, completely forgetting why he went up. It’s only hearing the water falling out of it that he rushed back to stop it and clean it up. This is only 5 minutes later that we heard Victoria from inside her room saying: “guys it’s raining in there”. Not sure that it helps in team building…


Louis MANGIN, crew journalist MDRS 175