Crew 220 (MDRS) Journalist Report 31Jan2020
Author: Connie Delisle, Crew Journalist
Title: The Art and Science of Life on Mars
We arose today knowing it was the last opportunity to experience an MEVA and to complete science and research projects here on Mars. Despite heightened awareness of the need to focus on the Mission while keeping in mind the impeding work to return to Earth, attention waned in preparation of the MEVA and made the start more challenging than expected.
Today’s lessons reinforced that life’s snags can also be the best of teachers. As MEVA team leader I faced unfamiliar decisions, taking longer than anticipated to figure out how to deal with a communications issue. As this was rectified, the crew was able to recover its stride going into the Search and Rescue/Medical Evacuation exercise confidently. I felt that the team shifted into a smoother operational rhythm for the remainder of the MEVA. Successfully finding, treating and evacuating the fallen astronaut seemed to build confidence and familiarity – perhaps we were being guided by the XO Svensøy’s words of last evening – to challenge ourselves and not to try to be perfect – embrace failing. We added more complexity into the exercise scenario by aborting the compression cycle to bring a patient to MAU Station, rerouting to MDRS and in doing so, having a crew member play the role of an injured SAR personnel. Although focused and appreciating the seriousness of treating injuries on Mars, many crew members reported feeling excited and stimulated in being able to creatively adapt as they had learned in their professions on Earth.
Following lunch MAU and MDRS enjoyed lunch together as well as shared personal reflections. It was heart-warming to hear the level of appreciation from each and to know that free will exists to make connections with crew mates going forward.
So the saying goes – All good things come to end [Ref: Geoffrey Chaucer, 1300s]. This came to mind last night and it seemed destined for use in closing this last journalist report. Chaucer’s words serve as much as reminder that the time at MDRS is ending. However, it has also created a beginning – to embrace and accept that everything going forward is temporary. That as Commander Hanacek offered at lunch, the power is within each us to design our own destiny. In my words, it means to sort through one’s own “garbadges”, truly claim what is real, true and authentic; retire and return negative programming to sources where it may have come; to speak for oneself and let others own their own ‘stuff’.
With that, leaving Mars then isn’t an end. It marks a continuation to explore on Earth, the circularity and impermanence of life itself.
Until we rendezvous again,
Connie Delisle, PhD, MDRS Journalist Crew 220