Journalist Report Dec 31st

MDRS Crew 202, Journalist Report

Sol 2 – 12/31/2018

Name the space movie given the following quote. Answer at the end of the Report:

Now, this is important. Once the battery is removed, everything is gonna slam into emergency mode. Once we have it, we gotta move quickly, so you definitely need to get that last… Or we could just get it first and improvise!

Today’s the day! The snow is falling! And we are officially starting the Sim! The sun rose with the symphonic sounds of the Apollo 13 soundtrack echoing through the habitat. It may be the last day of the year, but it is the first day of real Mars living for our crew. Through the white noise of the water pump, crew “singing” (a.k.a. snoring), and the occasional bumps in the night of members discovering different walls and corners surrounding their bed, the crew awoke refreshed and ready. Sleep was especially important last night. Today, the entire crew would perform their first Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs).

The day began with sweeping and shoveling of snow on the porches, tunnels, and solar arrays of our home. This proved fruitless as it snowed again in the afternoon, but at least we were safe from ice for the first few hours. This was followed by our last MDRS training session on how to drive the rovers. Now the real work begins, but what does a “full simulation” entail? Full simulation includes limited communication with the outside world, standing in an air lock for 5 minutes to depressurize the entryway when exiting the habitat, and donning our suits anytime we leave the safety of the habitat. Essentially, it’s continually asking the question “Is this something that would be done on Mars?”.

The EVAs were a wonderful learning opportunity as we explored the capabilities of the rovers and tested the comfort of the suits. Flurries melted onto our helmets as we traversed the “Marble Ritual” landscape. Each member danced among the painted, hanging bunt pans, miraculously not hitting any of the poles with our limited vision in the clunky space suits. We found a rock with holes that looked like a smiley face, crunched over clay and dirt to test the GoPros on the expansive mountain landscape, and quickly returned to the warmth and comfort of the habitat. The crew is as green as can be with only one veteran Martian on board, but we are also excited, hard-working, and determined to make the most of our time on Mars as we learn the ins and outs of performing an EVA.

If you thought the Great Nutella Crisis of Crew 202 was traumatic, you haven’t heard of the even GREATER Tea Kettle Crisis of Crew 202. Today the tea kettle broke… leaving us to boil water on the stove like pilgrims. It’s a true tragedy here on Mars, but I think the crew will power through it.

An exciting end to an exciting day as the crew prepares to celebrate New Years Eve on the Red Planet. The commander is cooking baked ziti which intoxicates the room with smells of tomato, basil, and garlic. It is almost as powerful as the aroma of chocolate brownies by our Crew Engineer emanating from the toaster oven. As we prepare the 2019 tiaras, blow on the noise makers, and pull the tab on poppers, we reflect on the previous year and the new year to come. The meetings, preparations, and packing that has brought us to this moment as a new crew family, and the incredible adventure that awaits us in the new year. When midnight on Earth strikes at 0.5317 Martian years, we will hold our loved ones on the pale blue dot in our thoughts and wish everyone back on our first home a Happy New Year.

Movie Answer: Guardians of the Galaxy

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