Journalist Report – March 8th

Crew 206 – 03/08/2019

Sol 12

Authors : Aurélien Mure, Astronomer and Executive Officier and Benjamin
Auzou, Journalist

"The Hab, our shelter"

After the incident of the weather station, we gave a second life and
role to the LOAC : the study of the air inside the Hab. Our goal is to
monitor the particles inside the Hab and compare with the data outside
the Hab. For its first hour of data collecting in the Hab, we submit the
LOAC to a massive particles number. As a matter of fact we cleaned the
Hab and so we raised a lot of dust from the ground. At the precise time
we wrote that report, the wind and the rain are threatening us; and we
are here, confined but above all protected in the Hab. We took advantage
of that day inside the Hab to precise our water monitoring. We spent a
lot of time evaluating the average volume of a flush in order to reduce
our unmeasured water volume.

As a crew fond of Escape Games, we played one before the mission as team
building, and it was a great success. Indeed, the crew has wonderful
skills to escape a room. Unfortunately, the Hab is not an Escape room
and we are here for 21 sols rather than an hour. Confinement is one of
the most interesting aspects of the simulation. It has many sneaky
impacts on every member of the crew. For example it is likely to have
some desires that we do not have in our everyday lives. We all really
wish to go for a hike with our parents, our friends although this is not
something we are used to do. Everybody is used to live far from his
relatives but when they miss us, we know that with a phone call, a train
ticket or a trip by car we can see them or talk to them in a couple of
hours. Here we are confined and isolated. It changes also our perception
of time. It is clear that the days are running really fast as we are in
our routine but we all have the strong impression that we are here for a
long time, not only two weeks. The moments in the day when we face
boredom feel much longer than they usually do. At our entry in the
station our motivation and will were extremely strong and even if we
enjoy the mission the little routine is slowly consuming our will to
begin new experiments or measures. The EVAs are a special moment. Even
if with the Simulation we can’t breathe the fresh air directly it is
satisfying to be able to walk out of the 8m of diameter Hab. As the
landscape is wonderful the EVAs are source of energy for every crew
member. As the wind is blowing around the station these days we are not
asking for EVAs as the Simulation is our first purpose. Indeed Martian
astronauts won’t go out if there is any risk outside so we decided to
stay in the Hab, maybe until Monday. Some of us can enjoy a small extra
space because of their role. In fact, Norbert can relax in the GreenHab,
Gaspard can work alone in the RAM and I (Aurélien) can observe the sun
in the Musk Observatory. Some of us also have activities to spend time :
books, mobile games, knitting, Rubik’s cube. We are spending our days
together, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm so I want to remind the title of
yesterday’s Journalist Report, it is great to be an ‘unflappable crew’.