Journalist Report – December 21st

Journalist Report
Ben Durkee, Crew 236 Journalist

Sol 02

Today was one of those days where the windmills turn just a little bit slower. Contrary to yesterday, we had no EVAs planned. So instead of focusing on breaking out of the Hab, we could focus on breaking it in.

And we learned a lot about the old girl. We learned that if you think you’re drinking enough water, you’re not. The air here is synthesized but it still has the humidity of the arid Martian desert. We learned to be more careful walking up the stairs, lest you smack your knee with the force of a thousand suns. And by "we," I mean "I." I’ve made some blunders.

We also learned that our heater problem was mostly user error, and that the loft – my room – is just perpetually cold. As soon as I’m done writing, I’ll be burrowing into a mega-chrysalis of my own design in the hopes that tomorrow I emerge a beautiful (cozy) Martian butterfly. I’m not sure how the clumsiest member of the crew ended up with the room that requires a ladder to get into, but so be it! Martian boys make do.

In the vacuum left by EVA slots, we found a lot of personal time. Time we could dedicate to personal research (watching Vladimir singlehandedly tape measure the inside of the Habitat) or personal enrichment (power naps). We’re all still figuring out where we work best, but we got a lot done in our first bottle episode of many. I’m currently writing this from the comfort of the GreenHab, my eyes burnt violet from the nighttime growth LEDs.

The plants make great writing buddies! They laugh at my jokes just as much as the crew, and talk a lot less. Plus, they graced us with some gifts today: a carrot and a cucumber! It’s only Sol 02 so the yearning for fresh food hasn’t hit us just yet, but it’s nice to know the GreenHab is a solid safety net.

All in all, it’s been a day of learning experiences, productive downtime, and bountiful harvests.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some important cocooning to attend to.