Journalist Report – December 9th

NASA Spaceward Bound UT
9-13 December
Submitted by: Teresa Hislop, Crew Journalist

Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS)
Sol One

We learned how to be Martians. It’s simple really. Stay inside. Suit
up when going outside. Or die. And we don’t want anyone to die.

Sol One and MDRS Crew 217 is already a well-functioning team. “I
know you all will exceed expectations,” our Commander confidently
predicted.

Team members:

Crew Commander: Shannon
Executive Officer: Atila
Health and Safety Officer: Jen
Crew Engineer: Hope
Greenhouse Officer: Cynthia
Crew Journalist: Teresa
Crew Scientists: Kevin and Ann

We are the 217th crew to occupy MDRS and the first cadre of NASA
Spaceward Bound UT (NSBU) teachers. NSBU is the result of a NASA grant, written to give UT teachers (and vicariously their students) a Mars-like experience. We are NSBU pioneers.

Welcome to Mars!

MDRS is one of only two permanent Mars simulation stations in the
world; the other one is in the Arctic. It is the only station that
allows analog astronauts to do independent research. While we are
here, we will research halophiles, pothole ecosystems, and green
sediment formations.

Today, Sol One, was our last day on Earth; Tuesday through Thursday we will engage in a full simulation experience. While in sim, water is limited–550 gallons per 2-week mission– but energy is not.

After discussing regulations–like no TP in the toilets and separate
burnable trash from non-burnable– and responsibilities–like
submitting nightly reports and getting COM approval for all excursions, we explored Lith Canyon, licked fossil bones, and collected a few gypsum samples.

Dinner, writing bios, and to bed. The sun will come up tomorrow…ON MARS!!!