Journalist Report – January 23th

Journalist Report #6by: Felipe Torres – Crew Scientist

Sol 6

Today’s morning started a little earlier than usual… We were expecting some visit from Earth, specifically from Japan, from a journalist and a photographer who were interested in coming to MDRS to have a close approach to the Martian experience.

As per crew policies, the first crew member to wake up starts cooking breakfast. So, I started cooking some scrambled eggs for the crew. At the beginning this was a not so easy task as we were learning how to use our dehydrated ingredients, but at this point, it is our go to breakfast for the mornings, along with some oatmeal and some fruit. Could it even get healthier?

Last night, we had all decided that this morning we would empty the toilet tank since it was already getting full and it was starting to smell bad. So right after breakfast our crew engineer and HSO went to the Hab’s lower deck to get that figured out. While they were doing this, the rest of the crew members were cleaning and disinfecting all common spaces of the Hab.

Right when we were finishing our cleaning duties, at around 8:50am we received a communication from Atila, letting us know that our visitors had arrived.

After pressurization for five minutes, the Japanese journalists came into the Hab. We gave them a tour of all the facilities, Hab, Green Hab, Science Dome and RAM. We came upstairs and we all introduced ourselves and told them a little of our backgrounds.

At around 10:20 am we started getting ready for our EVA, checking radios, GPS, jumping in our spacesuits and making sure we had everything ready for our EVA.

It was a long walk and hike to Hab Ridge, but it was really satisfying. Along with Maria and Yael, we were surprised by the small invertebrate fossils we found. There were just so many of them and that made us think about the marine life that took place here many ages ago, and for a couple seconds we felt that we were in the middle of the ocean bottom.

The Japanese journalists were following us all the time while taking pictures of us. I think we did a great job as models; they were really happy with the pictures they took and were very grateful.

By 1:15pm it was time to finish our EVA and to head back home. We were really hungry and contacted our crew at the Hab and asked them to please have some spaghetti with Bolognese sauce ready for us. And guess what, we were all on the same page because without even telling them they had already cooked lunch and it was exactly what we were asking for.

We got to the Hab right on time for lunch. We were all exhausted from carrying the suits on our backs for almost three hours, so as quickly as we could, we took our spacesuits off, cleaned our helmets and plugged in the suits to their corresponding chargers.

After lunch, we all sat down with the Japanese journalists and during an hour, we were part of a fascinating interview; we answered some questions and had a great time talking about space travel, space industry, our dreams and our purposes in life.

The journalists left the Hab at 4:00pm and we were all really happy from having that visit, as it demonstrated the interest they had for our Colombian crew and in general, for the Colombian space industry.

To end the day, we baked a delicious tray of Space Brownies! It’s never too much when it comes to some chocolate. It was the reward for such a long and productive day.

Great day on Mars. We are really happy and excited for what is to come…