Journalist Report – January 3rd

MDRS Crew 202, Journalist Report

Sol 5 – 01/03/2018

Name the space movie (or show) given the following quote. Answer at the end of the Report:

So, yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson, and it’s not because we wear skirts. It’s because we wear glasses. Have a good day.

Update on the Great Generator Crisis of Crew 202. It was not in fact the generator, but the power system itself. The main controller’s personality took on a Hal 2000 fashion, trying to freeze us inside of our own home. I am happy to report that our wonderful MDRS Director and Assistant Director have diagnosed the issue and we are no longer in low power mode. Today, we can use the oven again.

Day to day life on Mars is a semi-structured routine. You wake up at 7:30 am to a crew selected song. This morning was “Pina Coladas”, a drink which the crew enjoys, none of which is on Mars. At 8:30 am, we start a yoga/stretching/dynamic exercise session, traditionally led by our Engineer, who is a rowing champion back in her former role at Purdue, and our Executive Officer, who, after the mission, will return to Earth to resume his role as an Army drill sergeant. Once our blood is pumping, breakfast is started by two crew members while the others plan and prepare for the day’s activities. This morning’s breakfast was led by our Geologist and assisted by myself. With a box of oats, dehydrated apples, a hefty spoonful of brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon, the crew enjoyed a bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal that rivaled even the best Quaker Oat packets (obviously the dinosaur eggs flavor). The majority of our agendas will involve an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) with 3-4 crew members. Suit up at 10 am. In the airlock by 11 am, and away the crew goes to make a dent into their Martian research.

The Engineer, the Executive Officer, and myself traveled to an area commonly called “The Kissing Camels”. It is these huge hills with brilliant stripes of oranges, reds, and yellows whose sides turn into cliffs and extend in a semi-circle around a plain. Our mission today: Collect various rocks and boulders for our Geologist to analyze, gather radioactive data across the area, and spit in a cup upon our return for a stress study. On a future Mars mission, we anticipate the crew would be trained to identify different rock formations as geological studies are of great interest in Martian research. This is not a future mission and no one on the EVA is a geologist. We had a briefing with our Geologist and our Commander, who was the Geologist on a previous mission, on what to look for in the rocks, all of the different textures, colors, and strengths. They were interested in “fine coarse” shale, sand found near former riverbeds, and different colored boulders, specifically red/brown and green/blue. These objectives seemed easy enough until you start questioning your very understanding of colors. Is this rock truly red? Is this the green our Geologist was talking about? What even is Blue? At one point, we simply switched to the method “This rock looks interesting”, threw it in a Ziploc sampling bag, and continued on our way. Thankfully, our Geologist appeared pleased with our haul.

The Health and Safety Officer (HSO), Geologist, and Commander spent the day making progress on individual research projects. The HSO has been working like a machine in the green habitat. He’s busy prepping his 10 day germination and growth research, sterilizing dishes and hydroponically planting his microgreens. Hydroponics means no soil which is ideal for a Martian environment where the soil may not be suitable for growing and it is a long way to ship from Earth! Our Geologist is continuing a MDRS study from 2014 and is preparing for an EVA tomorrow to collect additional geological samples. Our Commander is commanding, keeping the ship running, and ensuring everyone has what they need, to do what they need to do. With the success of the power being restored and the progress being made on our ambitious research goals, the crew morale is high on our sixth mission day.

Tonight, we settled into a gumbo dinner and plan to indulge in a pineapple upside down cake made from our Mars friendly ingredients. Baking is strange when everything needs to be re-hydrated. It creates an odd spongy texture, but the flavor is still delicious and sweet.

Here at MDRS, we are far from civilization. The closest town is only populated by ~200 people and 30 minutes down an off-road trail through plains and mountains. In our Great Generator Crisis, the low power mode forced us to turn off all unnecessary electricity. The Green Habitat, the Science Dome, and the majority of lights in the Habitat were all shut down to conserve power. This brief inconvenience turned into a beautiful accident by the moonless sky that appeared above us. I’ve never seen so many stars in all their varying brightness and depths. Even the milky way was unveiled, as if someone took a paint brush of white paint from one side of the horizon, across the highest point in the sky, to the other behind the mountains in the distance. It. Was. Breathtaking. It makes us wonder, what night sky will future Martians see from their base? Will they gaze at Earth with as much wonderment and excitement as we view Mars, shining a subdued red in the night? When we gaze at the constellations, viewable from both planets, will future Martians feel comforted or homesick?

Movie (or Show) Answer: Hidden Figures

Journalist Report – January 2nd

MDRS Crew 202

Journalist Report

Sol 4 – 01/02/2018

Name the space movie (or show) given the following quote. Answer at the end of the Report:

If we ain’t out of here in ten minutes, we won’t need no rockets to fly through space!

Rejoice! For today, we broke into the Nutella jar, knowing the Great Nutella Crisis of Crew 202 has been resolved by reserves from our wonderful Executive officer. This morning, we carefully spread the Nutella on delicate crepes and topped the dish with a berry syrup made from dehydrated strawberries and blueberries and a dash of sugar. It was a wonderfully sweet start to the morning.

After fueling up, the crew prepared for their first long-duration Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). The Commander, Executive Officer, Engineer, and I were to trek to an area near the Pleiades Road to investigate geological sites and collect rock samples. We’re in the depths of winter and our EVA suits must protect us from -4 degrees Celsius (i.e. ~25 degrees Fahrenheit); therefore, preparing to shove our heads through the goldfish bowl helmet is a lengthy process.

Each of us bundles up in two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, the flight suit… the flight suit’s zipper is nearly bursting at the seams… our hiking boots, gloves, the radio, the microphone to the radio, the bandana over our mouth to prevent fogging up the helmet and hold the microphone in place, and finally the EVA suit carrying our life support systems.

The EVA suit alone weighs approximately 20 – 25 pounds, similar to the weight of a small dog or 104 blueberry muffins. There are two straps around your shoulders and two straps across your chest to support the military grade frame against your back. This may not seem like an enormous weight, but after 3 hours of hiking, it’s amazing the muscles you discover in your back that you never knew were there!

As a Martian, you must stand in the airlock for 5 minutes to allow for depressurization before exiting the habitat. Here are a few suggestions to fill your time during the wait: Charades, Hangman, 20 Questions, and/or Tic, Tac, Toe. Our Executive Officer is the reigning champion of 20 Questions, but it is still early in the mission.

Our geological sites of interest required a 15-minute rover expedition and a 1-mile hike. The drive nearly froze our fingers, but the hike quickly warmed them up again nearly to the point of sweating. Note to future astronauts: triple tie your shoes before going on an EVA. You cannot reach your boots when there is a giant glass dome limiting your reach, not to mention I cannot touch my toes to begin with. You will be forced to waddle in shame to another crew member, attempt to throw your foot on a rover tire, and have them tie your shoes. Like a kindergartener.

The day was beautiful. The sun was shining, the sky was clear and a vibrant blue, and the snow sparkled rainbows as we drove across the Martian landscape. Our geological site used to be an ocean millions of years ago. The evidence of its waters could be seen in the orange hues of brittle rock, beige slabs of clay, and patches of sand. Smooth rocks spotted the hills, as we arrived at our plateau and found some ideal boulders and pebbles to spectra and thermal image before moving onto the next site. With our bag of rocks so large Charlie Brown would be jealous, we “Mars walked” all the way back to our rovers. Mars has 1/3rd of Earth’s gravity and the Moon only has 1/6th.

This means you’re not quite skipping and leaping on Mars, but you’re not walking normally either. You simply have some extra bounce in your step, doubled by the excitement of the crew. Our lovely crew members working CapCom from home base prepared heated bread and warm tea for our return, ending the main excitement of the day… Or so we thought.

The setting: a casual card game between two crew members. Another laid out on the couch reading a book, silently enjoying a sci-fi world outside of our own. When all of a sudden, a flicker. The lights dimmed and brightened… dimmed and brightened… The radio static could be heard at the press of the director’s thumb. There’s an anomaly with the power generator. There were attempts to diagnose the issue, but the sun was dropping quickly and the cold is a greater threat than the malfunctioning generator. It would have to wait til the morning.

We prepared our home to enter low power mode. With 63% of power remaining, the habitat should stay powered through the night. And so, the Great Generator Crisis of Crew 202 began. It’s headlamps and flashlights until we settle in for the night. On the Red Planet, power is essential for survival. It provides heat. It pumps the water. It preserves our food. We wait to see what new personality tomorrow will bring.

Movie (or Show) Answer: Alien

Journalist Report Dec 31st

MDRS Crew 202, Journalist Report

Sol 2 – 12/31/2018

Name the space movie given the following quote. Answer at the end of the Report:

Now, this is important. Once the battery is removed, everything is gonna slam into emergency mode. Once we have it, we gotta move quickly, so you definitely need to get that last… Or we could just get it first and improvise!

Today’s the day! The snow is falling! And we are officially starting the Sim! The sun rose with the symphonic sounds of the Apollo 13 soundtrack echoing through the habitat. It may be the last day of the year, but it is the first day of real Mars living for our crew. Through the white noise of the water pump, crew “singing” (a.k.a. snoring), and the occasional bumps in the night of members discovering different walls and corners surrounding their bed, the crew awoke refreshed and ready. Sleep was especially important last night. Today, the entire crew would perform their first Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs).

The day began with sweeping and shoveling of snow on the porches, tunnels, and solar arrays of our home. This proved fruitless as it snowed again in the afternoon, but at least we were safe from ice for the first few hours. This was followed by our last MDRS training session on how to drive the rovers. Now the real work begins, but what does a “full simulation” entail? Full simulation includes limited communication with the outside world, standing in an air lock for 5 minutes to depressurize the entryway when exiting the habitat, and donning our suits anytime we leave the safety of the habitat. Essentially, it’s continually asking the question “Is this something that would be done on Mars?”.

The EVAs were a wonderful learning opportunity as we explored the capabilities of the rovers and tested the comfort of the suits. Flurries melted onto our helmets as we traversed the “Marble Ritual” landscape. Each member danced among the painted, hanging bunt pans, miraculously not hitting any of the poles with our limited vision in the clunky space suits. We found a rock with holes that looked like a smiley face, crunched over clay and dirt to test the GoPros on the expansive mountain landscape, and quickly returned to the warmth and comfort of the habitat. The crew is as green as can be with only one veteran Martian on board, but we are also excited, hard-working, and determined to make the most of our time on Mars as we learn the ins and outs of performing an EVA.

If you thought the Great Nutella Crisis of Crew 202 was traumatic, you haven’t heard of the even GREATER Tea Kettle Crisis of Crew 202. Today the tea kettle broke… leaving us to boil water on the stove like pilgrims. It’s a true tragedy here on Mars, but I think the crew will power through it.

An exciting end to an exciting day as the crew prepares to celebrate New Years Eve on the Red Planet. The commander is cooking baked ziti which intoxicates the room with smells of tomato, basil, and garlic. It is almost as powerful as the aroma of chocolate brownies by our Crew Engineer emanating from the toaster oven. As we prepare the 2019 tiaras, blow on the noise makers, and pull the tab on poppers, we reflect on the previous year and the new year to come. The meetings, preparations, and packing that has brought us to this moment as a new crew family, and the incredible adventure that awaits us in the new year. When midnight on Earth strikes at 0.5317 Martian years, we will hold our loved ones on the pale blue dot in our thoughts and wish everyone back on our first home a Happy New Year.

Movie Answer: Guardians of the Galaxy

Journalist Report – December 30th

MDRS Crew 202

Journalist Report

Sol 1 – 12/30/2018

Name the space movie given the following quote. Answer at the end of the Report:

United States astronauts train for years. You have twelve days.

First and foremost, we would like to thank Crew 201 for their hospitality in introducing us to our new home! We had a wonderful evening with our new friends and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Our first couple days on Mars have been filled with training. Safety, Sim, Science, Media. A few important takeaways included: EVA suits – treat your life support systems with care, Green Hab – fresh food is essential for happiness, treat them with care, Habitat – our new home is not only a place to work, but a place to live… treat it with care. After going through the initial day of training, we encountered our first crisis: The Great Nutella Crisis of Crew 202. Our commander could not initially find the Nutella jar we had been promised. What else were we going to spread on our fresh made bread? What other spread was going to provide enough energy and cheer in the morning to sustain us through the day? Thankfully, we found it. Unfortunately, it was the standard size of Nutella. A jar our six crewed team could easily scarf down in one breakfast. Rationing will be tough, but it is a reality when living on the Red Planet. The sweet hazelnut spread will be a treat savored, and sorely missed once gone.

The second day, we woke up to send off Crew 201 back to Earth and to their loved ones. Our first sunrise on Mars was breathtaking. Watching it rise above the red plateaus and rolling hills, glistening over the snow, was an incredible sight to see and so began our takeover of the habitat. Breakfast was casual with the crew’s selection of oatmeal and cereal. Turns out, fake milk is better left to the later, more desperate days of the mission. We have several organizations and individuals to thank for launching us on this mission, so part of the day was spent suited up and taking photos to send upon our return. This was the first time our entire crew was suited up, ready for action. Our family photo is all smiles, and they’ll only grow when the real Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) begin!

We are blessed with a bread machine on Mars. The French bread today had a warm, crunchy crust and a soft, fluffy interior. It was delightfully paired with re-hydrated butter and olive oil. We are mostly likely to run out of flour quicker than anything else as this becomes a daily ritual.

As the crew sits down for our first dinner, we are left with the testimony that “Everything on Mars has a personality”. We are fresh, optimistic, and looking forward to exploring the personalities of our new home and our new planet!

Movie Answer: Armageddon

Journalist Report – December 29th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 28DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 14] – Whatever it takes

Our Martian mission is coming to an end and with it the adventure of a lifetime. It comes as no surprise that all the hard work has paid well. We turn back to reflect to life before Mars and what comes next to each one of us. We are explorers and today we have moved a step further into a larger world of exploration. Into reaching the stars and going where none has boldly gone before.

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

Space has been the final frontier for the latter days of humankind and we have had the chance to go where only a few have seen before. We are called Martians and we are a family who takes care of each other and looks after whoever is coming after you. Today MEx-1 received the next explorers that will take care of our home: Martian Makers. They will carry on some of our experiments and will continue the dreams of so many that have visited the station before us.

Yesterday before bed, we had the time to bond as a team and reflect on the ups and downs of our mission. We had the chance to look back and understand the challenges that will come after we get back to Earth and how will our lives change. We came as a crew and we leave as a family.

Our last day on Mars was as you would expect a last day at a home would be. We cleaned the rooms, we cleared all the shelves, we shoveled Martian snow and we worked to receive a new crew at our base. We had the place ready for the next explorers to begin their adventure like Crew 200 did for us. A brief tour of the hab, life support systems check, report check and all of the regular tasks done at the station. It was a hard moment because we knew our time was about to pass.

We are now readying our way back to Earth, our ship is refueling and our spirits are high. We are coming back home as Martians and we are preparing ourselves for longer missions, harder activities, more training and to do all what is needed to get back to Mars and support the idea of becoming a multiplanetary species.

We will work hard. We will teach the people about the stars. We will prepare the next generation of explorers to go larger lengths than what we have done in our first mission. We will do whatever it takes to get back to Mars and continue exploring.

Ad Astra!

MEx-1 continuará.

Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Journalist Report – December 28th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 28DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 13] – To the Stars through hardships

It is said that the hardest lessons for a human being come after they have gone through a hardship whatever it might be. Our history of exploration has come at great costs and hard lessons. Some lessons are costly, destroying several million dollar state of the art equipment; some lessons are grave, killing a quite a few; some lessons are demanding, permanently affecting oneself and others. Expanding humankind to the stars without risk and without hardships is impossible to believe and thus, sometimes a brave few have to go to hardships so others may follow the path.

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

Our mission days are rapidly coming to an end. We are starting to look back and remember the long path that we worked to get to Mars. While on Mars, we have a new set of challenges and setbacks that made the crew use all their wit to solve the problems we have encountered: from a frozen pipe to the complete loss of a resupply mission that was coming with experiments for the station. This hardships are lessons learned that will in fact help us find a balance to what the next Exploration Mission (MEx – 2) will have to work with before making it to Mars.

This days at the station we have been actively making an autonomous rover that later will serve the purpose of building a larger one that will support the crew on exploration missions. This rover, printed in Mars, has been a real challenge. Weather conditions in the different modules have not been ideal for our printer and we have had parts that have collapsed right after they are done. Engineering has been working day and night to figure the best way to solve the issues and have it working before leaving the planet. It has been through rather elegant solution approaches that we have had the skill to overcome this issues and finalize every part of the rover.

We have reflected upon ourselves what space exploration means to us and why did we decided to come to Mars. For the crew, this dream started during childhood where we realized the stars hold a meaning to us and to humanity. How to get there? How to explore? How to pave the way for others to continue our work and make our species go where no other living thing has ever imagined? We have fought through hardships to be here. Whether it be people not believing in us to ridiculing the idea that exploration is part of our needs and space is our next frontier. Looking back to this we understand that the path taking us to the Red Planet has been challenging and exciting; that every crew member has supported a part of the mission and that whatever the future holds for us back on Earth will only be the next step to get back to the stars. To our stars.

Dear reader, this chronicles, mean to reflect our view of the adventure of a lifetime. The passion of a group and the support of families and friends who have cheered every single one of the crew members to the point that we feel much love on everything we do. Hardships then, to us, look like another step in our learning experience; another lesson for us to teach the next generation and most of all; they are part of our personal growth to take the best of us and make a better Earth for humans and all the beings that live on the beautiful blue planet.

We will go boldly to the stars through any hardship in our way. Because all the knowledge of our existence and essence comes from the stars themselves.

Ad Astra Per Aspera!

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Journalist Report – December 27th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 27DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 12] – Mars, the white planet

Mars is still a mystery for us in many ways. First probes, orbiters and landers were sent from earth to the red planet as early as the mid-60s. There are lots of things that we don’t know about our nearest planet. And there are lots of things that we’ve discovered over the past decades that we could’ve never imagined! Mars and the Earth are different in so many ways. But there are some similarities on both planets as well. For example… did you know that there is snow on Mars?

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

We are almost reaching the end of our adventure, and the red planet has one or two more surprises for us. Something that we haven’t talked about is the location of our mission. We know that the Earth and Mars are very different planets. However, there are a couple of things in which they can be very similar. For example, we can find big mountains on both of them. And, believe it or not, we can see snow on the north and south poles of both planets as well. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? Well, that was a big surprise for us too! And that’s why we decided to land on the Martian South Pole, in a place known as “Schmidt Crater”. And today, during our morning activities on the HAB, we experienced something amazing and unexpected. Something that Mission Control informed us that only had a 10% chances of actually happening: snow!

It’s hard to imagine a white Martian landscape. We are used to think about Mars as the Red Planet. But let me ensure you, dear reader, that this place has more exciting surprises to offer. It all started just after having breakfast. We didn’t schedule any EVAs for today, and we planned to do some video recordings all around the HAB. On the middle of those activities, we realized that the temperature started to drop pretty quickly. This was not the first time it happened, so we really didn’t care about that. Then, the first weird thing happened; our crew engineer tried to pump some water from the external (static) to the internal (loft) one. And… it was not working. After some troubleshooting, we found out that the water pipes were frozen! To be honest, we got worried about that situation, because our internal water supply was running low at that time. And trust me on this one! Water is something you don’t want to have trouble with (especially when you have six human beings living under the same roof). Fortunately, the crew managed to work with the pipes defroster in order to get things running again. Thank you, engineering!

In the meantime, we started to work on the video shootings mentioned earlier. We suited up, prepared some interesting topics we wanted to cover, and walked through the connecting tunnels from the main HAB to the Musk Observatory. It was freezing in there! Colder than ever before. It got nearly impossible to keep recording. We were just about to pick our stuff and get back to the HAB… when we saw how those tiny and white snowflakes started to fall, little by little, all over the Martian landscape. That was unbelievable! And amazingly beautiful to see. Our beloved red panorama started to change just in front of our eyes. Mars decided to share with us an experience we never thought to have. It was a lovely reminder of home, indeed. A beautiful image that none of us will never forget.

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Walter A. Calles Glass, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Journalist Report – December 26th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 26DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 11] – Friendship across the stars.

As far as we are concerned, we are alone in the universe. Earth is the only planet where life of any kind exists. Our home is unique in any and all ways. In Earth, we look up to the stars and our neighboring planets wondering if other species exist and if they are anything like us if they love or have meaningful friendships. We humans, when we look up to the sky and search, as sent in the last message to Voyager 1, we offer our universe friendship across the stars. We shout to the universe YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

As crew members, we have been strengthening different skills that we already had. Learning what our strength and weaknesses are an important part of making a successful mission. As friends, we have had the chance to keep on learning more of each one of us and what makes us special. United crews make life easier on the desolated planet Mars. We are fortunate to be surrounded by friends in the most inhospitable location for humans in the universe and that is what makes our trip so special.

Today, we had the opportunity to record a few videos of the activities we perform on the hab. This we will send back to Earth for other explorers that are interested in joining us in our adventures on the red planet and hopefully interest the younger generations to study Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics which are key for the survival of Earth and humans across the universe. Every team member was able to support this opportunity and was happy to contribute with their experience that many at home will enjoy.

Oh, by the way, our in-hab chef was nice enough to make quesadillas to remember our planning nights back at home. We remember the first Mexican astronaut, Neri Vela, who pushed for having tortillas in space. I am sure that he would be proud to know that we are thinking of his near earth tortillas while having a delicious Mars made meal.

Having your ties to home is a good way to maintain the spirits up. New traditions at our new home make up for fantastic stories.

We are closing in on some of the experiments, the rover making with the 3D printer is at picking up speed and should be done in the next rotation. The tools for a special shipment have been completed and we are very eager to work with some of the last of our experiments before having to leave the base.

We are counting up our Martian sols. Rotations come quickly and our time together is coming up soon. Sharing meals, enjoying work and learning from Mars will help us to teach the future generation of Martians what to expect and how to deal with it as a team and as friends.

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Journalist Report Dec 25th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 25DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 10] – 50 years later…

50 years ago, three brave astronauts witnessed, for the first time in humankind history, one of the most amazing and breathtaking events of space exploration: the “Earthrisig”. On December 25th 1968, Apollo 8 crewmembers Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders spent Christmas inside their tiny Command Module… flying around the Moon. One of the greatest milestones of the Apollo program was accomplished that Christmas day; the path to land on the surface of the Moon was traced that day… what an amazing time to remember them, isn’t it?

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

Christmas day has been definitely different for all of us this year. Spending the holidays on Mars is something that none of us expected. However, we couldn’t be happier right now. We’ve been here for 10 days, only 5 more to take-off back to Earth; to re-unite with all our beloved ones. Maybe nothing much has changed since we left. But let me ensure you, dear reader, that we have. I mean… how can you be the same after this experience?

There’s an interesting phenomenon that some astronauts have reported after their spaceflights known as “The Overview Effect”. It’s a change in consciousness caused by the observation of the Earth from outer space, realizing that we’re an entire species living in the same “pale blue dot” in the universe, where the boundaries between nations just vanish in front of our eyes… and makes us realize that we all share a special place among the stars.

During our time, Mars has become the final frontier for human exploration. For our parents (or grandparents) that frontier used to be the Moon. It’s been 50 years since we managed to send the first manned crew all the way to our closest celestial body. And it was on Christmas day, when the Apollo 8 crew made history by becoming the first human beings to travel that far from our home planet. Astronauts Borman, Anders and Lovell set the road that would take us to the Moon less than a year after their mission. And today, we dedicate this entry to those real life heroes. Ordinary people, like you and me, dear reader, that decided to become extraordinary in the most unique and fearless way.

During their mission, the Apollo 8 crew also witnessed an Earthrising. What is that? Well… imagine yourself looking at sunrise on the horizon during a beautiful morning. Beautiful picture, right? Now, replace the horizon with the far edge of the Moon; and the sun is not rising. It is the Earth instead. That was, without a doubt, one of the greatest events in human history. Today, the MEx-1 crewmembers remember this moment with excitement. 50 years later, the only thing we can say to those who took us to the stars and beyond is… thank you. Thank you for being our inspiration. Thank you for giving us hope. Thank you for making us believe. Merry Christmas, planet Earth!

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Walter A. Calles Glass, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist

Journalist Report – December 24th

Crew 201 Journalist Report – 24DEC2018

The Martian Chronicles

[SOL 8] – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
There’ll be much mistletoing,
and hearts will be glowing,
when loved ones are near.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year"

MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1

Back on Earth, we celebrate Christmas Eve with our families and loved ones. Traditionally we get together and have dinner, share presents and remember the best times of this year. We remember those who passed before us, and how their memories are still with us.

These moments we cherish the most, feel warmth in our hearts and try to make them last forever. In Mars, it could not be any different, we got together to make a tree out of cardboard, paint a few decorations (Thank you Commander Ilaria!) and bring memories all together.

Work today, aside from our holiday, there were several pre-dinner adventures. Some level of success has been shown in the Green Hab experiment where local soil is being used as a testbed for future crop growing. So far, 3 of the 10 different soil combinations have germinated radish. Can you imagine? We have our very first Mars Organically grown Radish! Well, maybe not us but Crew 202 will which to us is quite a fantastic moment.

An extended EVA was performed to the southeast of the Hab where Juan Carlos and Chilpo were working on artificial vision and camera testing for the rover. Traverse to the location was performed on the rover Curiosity but the road was complex and they missed their exit by a few kilometers and had to turn back to the North Pinto Hills.

After completing a walk of around 2 miles some strange footprints were found along the road. Strange noises were heard around the EVA location and the footprints, strange for an inhabited planet, seemed to be from a known earth species that travel with an old man in a red suit. Santa Claus and Rudolph, was that you?

Jokes aside, our Christmas Eve has been fantastic. We miss our families, but in our new home, the warmth of the season is felt by every crewmember.

From the Crew-201 stationed in Mars, we want to wish you all ¡Feliz Navidad!

MEx-1 continuará informando.

Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalist