MDRS Crew 188 Journalist Report 09FEB2018
“Every Sol, our soul expands”.
Sol 12: Authors’ Name: Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, Artist-in-Residence
We Crew 188 have all participated in EVA research experiments and scouting exercises, initiated in workshop and research activities, partaken in movement and reflective pursuits, cultural and culinary exchange, and interviews and candid conversations. Unintended outcomes informed an adaptation of Maslow’s human needs for future life on Mars, numerous operational recommendations and feedback documents, a range of education and public outreach activities, and the anticipated science, arts, humanities and engineering data collection for localized and on-going research. We have also been actively engaged in social media for the purpose of learning, discovering, sharing and promoting interdisciplinary exploration and Earth analogues to contribute a critical cultural and aesthetic suite of responses to the MDRS experience, but have we learned what it takes?
As the night falls, and we watch the ISS above us in the night sky, we connect our journey to the six astronauts currently in space, to the lives of those who have so generously and courageously expanded our capacity for imagination and daring through selfless research and discovery. While we are in no position to compare, we remain humbled, and inspired, in our pursuit of our dreams to be among those who contribute to space exploration. We took time out from our professional lives to come to MDRS to live day-to-day life as early Mars settlers. We navigated the terrain of the desert analogue environment and the simulation conditions. We worked as a crew. We discovered each other and reflected on aspects of our selves and our suitability for the tasks through our engagement with the daily operational and environmental challenges. More importantly, we cared for each other. We cared for the habitat and the landscape. We cared for those who came here before us, and those who are on their way: the future analogue crews and support teams. We remembered that in coming together for peaceful and united purpose, that we can accomplish small things in great ways, and great things in seemingly insignificant ways. We supplemented each other’s weaknesses and complemented each other’s strengths, and gained new perspectives through our transfer and exchange of values and experiences. We discovered what systems and approaches worked effortlessly on Mars and what took immense energy, insight, courage, patience and tact to overcome, or live with. We imagined, created, dreamed and put into action that which inspired our heartfelt curiosities and professional interests. As our cheesy Crew 188 fridge affirmation said, “Every Sol, our soul expands”.
I want to wish the in-coming Crew 189 every success and take this opportunity to personally thank the amazing people who make up Crew 188: Dr. Ryan Kobrick (KOB1), Renee Garifi (Llama Llama Ding Dong), Zac Trolley (Boltz/Bootz), Julia De Marines (Jules Verne), and Tatsunari Tomiyama (Tom Cat). I think the world of you all, and could not have imagined a better crew to explore the red plains with. Thanks also to the Mars Society Operations and Mission Support for their on-going support of our mission. A part of MDRS will be with us always.
Dr. Sarah Jane Pell (Bubbles/SJ), Journalist in Residence, Crew 188.
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Dr. Sarah Jane Pell
TED Fellow 2010, Australia Council Fellow 2016, Gifted Citizen 2016
The ‘Performing Astronautics: following the Body’s Natural Edge into the Abyss of Space’ project is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body http://www.artistastronaut.com
Artist, Occupational Diver, Keynote Speaker, Researcher, Simulation Astronaut http://www.sarahjanepell.com