Journalist Report – November 21th

Sol: 8
Title: Just Another Martian Monday
Author: Izabela Shopova, Crew Journalist
The weekend is over and our second week on Mars begins fast-paced and busy. We get up at 7, skip breakfast (we all feel that the social isolation and the challenges of our new environment have made us crave, cook and eat too much food) and start our morning operations meeting – what have we achieved so far, what are our goals for the rest of the mission and what are we doing today. The meeting is followed by another informative and inspiring to tears training session with Commander Jennie – this time on the topic of crisis response. We all spend some time filling in our various emotions study forms, yogurt evaluation questions, journals and calendars, before jumping straight into a VR First Aid training session – our challenge today is to practice immobilizing and securing a broken finger with whatever materials we have at hand in the Hab. It is only 10 AM and we are so deep into our working routine – watering plants, testing astronauts’ diet app, collecting feedback, adding info to our daily reports, planning dinner meals, doing dishes, studying and uploading photos.

The one hour of scheduled break before lunch comes as a relief. It is just what we all need to wind down after a busy morning. The lucky 3 crewmates who have taken over the responsibilities for our Paros can cuddle the adorable balls of fur. The rest of us who no longer have access to the cute robots are trying to keep busy and pretend we don’t envy them.

The afternoon was all about the planned 2-and-a-half-hour EVA. 3 of our crew members went on an EVA to the Sea of Shells with ‘Cury’ and ‘Oppy’. Back at the Hab we had two long hours after they went out of comms range, waiting anxiously to hear the familiar call signal again. Meanwhile, the crew engineer Judy worked on preparing the mechanical arm Pleiades anchor for a carry capacity test tomorrow.

The sunset found us debriefing over cups of hot chocolate, the EVA crew still buzzing with the energy and excitement of their experience in the field. More reports and assessments writing, photo uploading, Paro cuddling, studying, planning, ‘combat showers’ and food preparation filled in our time till dinner.

Pizza, oven-baked chips and a fresh salad – we are eating better than some kings!

And we have new pillows! Everyone on Mars is happy tonight.

Thank you Mission support.

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