As we prepare for breakfast, we decide on which Rovers we would like
to take on today’s EVA. I look out the window. The rovers are gone. I
suppose the robots are using them…
So change of plans. We have to do a walking EVA. Well, THEY do. It’s
my turn to do HabCom!I’ve been looking forward to this. Not because I
don’t like to walk around in a clunky spacesuit (I’d be on the wrong
planet if I did), but because I can get a different perspective as an
observer and director. I get Antoine and Lindsay set up with their
gloves and comms, squirming around their ECLSS backpacks. I allow them
to enter the airlock and begin depressurization. I look above through
the window to see them walk down the balcony and off to Phobos Peak.
It’s a rather boring HabCom. All of the places the team went to had at
least comprehend-able connection, though I suppose it is good to know
where we still have great coverage. I’m happy with my team, conducting
another successful mission.
The day is spreading by, the days are moving faster. Is tomorrow
Thursday? Is it really that close? I think of my home, my parents
eager to see me for Christmas. My friends who are done with finals and
can finally hang out. I feel the crisp chill of a Texas winter. It was
a distant thought only a few days ago, but now it’s nearly tangible.
I wonder if I will ever be here again. If this moment on the dusty
planet will be my last.
Even more pressing, I wonder if my work here will make a difference.
“You are clear to enter the airlock”
An abrupt wind storm sweeps the region. The tunnels that connect the
secure building are shaking. Antoine goes out to fix it. Realizing the
severity, he calls for help. Lindsay starts to put on her coat. Do I
go? Should I stay? What if the tunnel rips apart and I’m the only one
alive? I end up following them after a few minutes. The wind is strong
and rattling the whole structure. We make the decision to come back
inside, it’d be better to wait the storm than be so vulnerable.
Mars is not safe. There are people back home depending on our sense of
precaution and protocol to come back home. Moments like these make me
think of the real scenario, if I can make the calls to make sure that
Sometimes, I hope Mars will be boring.