Crew 201 Journalist Report – 25DEC2018
The Martian Chronicles
[SOL 10] – 50 years later…
50 years ago, three brave astronauts witnessed, for the first time in humankind history, one of the most amazing and breathtaking events of space exploration: the “Earthrisig”. On December 25th 1968, Apollo 8 crewmembers Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders spent Christmas inside their tiny Command Module… flying around the Moon. One of the greatest milestones of the Apollo program was accomplished that Christmas day; the path to land on the surface of the Moon was traced that day… what an amazing time to remember them, isn’t it?
MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1
Christmas day has been definitely different for all of us this year. Spending the holidays on Mars is something that none of us expected. However, we couldn’t be happier right now. We’ve been here for 10 days, only 5 more to take-off back to Earth; to re-unite with all our beloved ones. Maybe nothing much has changed since we left. But let me ensure you, dear reader, that we have. I mean… how can you be the same after this experience?
There’s an interesting phenomenon that some astronauts have reported after their spaceflights known as “The Overview Effect”. It’s a change in consciousness caused by the observation of the Earth from outer space, realizing that we’re an entire species living in the same “pale blue dot” in the universe, where the boundaries between nations just vanish in front of our eyes… and makes us realize that we all share a special place among the stars.
During our time, Mars has become the final frontier for human exploration. For our parents (or grandparents) that frontier used to be the Moon. It’s been 50 years since we managed to send the first manned crew all the way to our closest celestial body. And it was on Christmas day, when the Apollo 8 crew made history by becoming the first human beings to travel that far from our home planet. Astronauts Borman, Anders and Lovell set the road that would take us to the Moon less than a year after their mission. And today, we dedicate this entry to those real life heroes. Ordinary people, like you and me, dear reader, that decided to become extraordinary in the most unique and fearless way.
During their mission, the Apollo 8 crew also witnessed an Earthrising. What is that? Well… imagine yourself looking at sunrise on the horizon during a beautiful morning. Beautiful picture, right? Now, replace the horizon with the far edge of the Moon; and the sun is not rising. It is the Earth instead. That was, without a doubt, one of the greatest events in human history. Today, the MEx-1 crewmembers remember this moment with excitement. 50 years later, the only thing we can say to those who took us to the stars and beyond is… thank you. Thank you for being our inspiration. Thank you for giving us hope. Thank you for making us believe. Merry Christmas, planet Earth!
MEx-1 continuará informando.
Walter A. Calles Glass, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist