Sol 3 – Think like a Martian, Act like a Martian
Marge Lipton, Crew Journalist
After morning yoga and tai chi loosened us up, the first EVA
commenced. Suits were donned, earpieces inserted, radios turned on and
turned in to the correct channel, and suits were fastened with duct
tape at the wrist to keep any Martian air from touching our skin.
EVA #1 was comprised of James, Max, Shannon, and Jim. Before heading
out to Pooh’s Corner, a walk away from the Hab, they checked
engineering, and took photos. Then they split into two groups, two
people took a detour to the Rock Garden, the other two went directly
to Poohs’ Corner. When they all reached that destination they called
in to Hab Com in to find out how much time was left and decided to
come back to base, get a rover and head west for their remaining time.
MISTAKE! When they eventually came back to base, even though the
commander had agreed to their extra excursion, they learned an
important lesson. Think like a Martian, act like a Martian. What that
means is that if you’re given a mission, and you’ve completed it,
don’t take on unnecessary risk. Astronauts on the space station don’t
walk over to the other side when they’ve finished a task just because
they want to. But how are we going to learn if we don’t make mistakes?
Paraphrasing Neil Armstrong in the movie First Man, “Better to fail on
earth than on Mars.” But because our mission is basically about
mapping what needs to be captured in Virtual Reality, that part was a
The next group, Susan, Robert, Sacha, Jim and Marge went out after
lunch to Pooh’s Corner. The protocol is to suit up, gather in the
airlock until being given permission by Hab Com to egress. Our mission
was a success as we wandered around the beautiful Martian surface on
the lookout for interesting rocks and dinosaur bones.
The spacesuit makers, Max and Robert, debriefed us afterwards to hear
what suggestions we had for making them better. Since we’re a photo
mission, besides the comfort and fogginess of some helmets,
consideration was given to where VR and 360 cameras as well as other
paraphernalia could possibly be placed.
Engineering monitored our life supporting equipment. The marvelous HAL
(Habitat Activity Lexica) monitor went down. It’s comprised of various
modules keeping track of crew activity and is in the process of being
And later tonight we’re having that discussion on the moral dimensions
of space travel. Stay tuned!