Journalist Report – Mar 31st

Journalist Report

Date: March 31, 2019

Author: Erika Rydberg

Crew 208 Reporting for Duty on Mars

Today we experienced our first full day as a crew, we were very excited to have five people on board for this journey and experience – Amanda, David, Julielynn, Dean and myself, Erika. We began the day with a shared breakfast of cereal, dried fruit, our preferred caffeinated beverages, and of course water, as one must never forget plenty of water in this dry environment. We surely expend more energy than we even realize on a daily basis with the work and exploring the vast landscapes around MDRS, and water is key to sustaining our activity and our well-being. Our community building has begun as we’ve started to share cooking duties and the adventures of cooking with the various unique supplies of our home. You can do a lot with a little kitchen expertise: we’ve had soup, pasta with pork and tomato sauce and beans and rice today, we’re lucky to have curious cooks in our crew. Over our delicious food today conversation was bountiful and we started the day with a fantastic conversation about space, becoming an astronaut, and the future ahead for some of the new companies creating opportunities to visit space.

One of our 3D printers continued progressing smoothly making a 3D map of MDRS first thing this morning. We’re happy to have some of our machinery working well in this complex dry environment.

For the three new members to the Hab at 10:00 sharp we reported to be trained on driving our rovers and the process of EVAs and we went on a small trip to experience more of the vast and curious landscapes we find ourselves in. The geology and landscape is incredible, one moment you’re looking at mounds of varying red, green and black land and then in the next moment, we’ve found a deep vast canyon. Upon returning from we took a quick crew “dronie” (a selfie with a drone), and then we were able to try on and use our space suits for the first time and attempt to see what it is like to maneuver first of all our bodies and then second of all our rovers while existing within a complex suit. On one hand, the suit feels cumbersome, but on another, the suit provides comfort through both safety and protection.

Julielynn greeted graduate students from Northern Arizona University and brought them through a tour of the Hab and MDRS. The rest of Crew 208 meanwhile, ran through some of our duties. We then adventured out again in our rovers for one last trip of fresh air and some more drone flying. One of our rovers got a bit stuck on the way back, but with the help of a tow, we were able to return safe and sound to our home, the Hab ready to see what lies ahead.