Journalist Report – March 7th

Crew 206 – 03/07/2019

Sol 11

Author: Benjamin Auzou, Journalist

“An unflappable crew”

This mission in the MDRS is far from a long calm river, outside the Hab with the weather that changes everyday and also inside the Hab with the disagreements that can happen or with the experiments issues. However we are always acting like a crew and manage to tackle all situations. As a matter of fact, we are working together for more than one year and we are able to evolve together, understand each other’s point of vue or limits. And above all the mission is working so well because we have a good communication and ability to be serious, but more importantly fun and humour have an essential role in our relationships. Indeed life under confinement is easier, and cohesion is improved when the crew can put things in order with laugh.

After the perturbed comms window of yesterday, we played cards. Jérémy, Aurélien, Norbert and I played Monopoly Deal, our new favorite game of the mission, while Gaspard and Cerise were in a furious game of “Crapette rapide”. Gaspard won all the games, he is as fast at crapette as he is lucky at Monopoly.

For Cerise’s birthday, we had a king’s breakfast, lunch and diner : pancakes, cheddar biscuits with garlic and herbs butter, chicken curry, chocolate cake, mixed salad, pastas with fresh pesto. The rest of the crew prepared a wonderful present for Cerise. With that colorful clutch bag she will be a real fashion trendsetter when she will get back to Paris..

We walked out on EVA to rescue our fallen experiment, the LOAC and the weather station. Arriving next to it with the rovers, we evaluated the damages : a strong wind lifted one foot of the tripod from the ground. After placing the station safe back in the engineering airlock we started our complete check of the MDRS to prepare it for the strong winds to come. We fixed all the tarps of the tunnels. Tomorrow and Saturday, the area will be hit by gale force winds. We are ready for that.

Journalist Report – March 5th

Crew 206 – 03/05/2019

Sol 9

Author: Benjamin Auzou, Journalist

“Martian Wild Life”

Second day of our second week here in the MDRS, also the return of the routine ! We began the day with our sport session and yesterday and today, we all broke our records of the previous week. We are on the way to the roof of the Olympus (Mons).

After climbing the slopes of the western area of the Hab, the EVA team of the day walked along Hab Ridge. Aurélien, Norbert and Jérémy were the last crewmembers that never went here, after Cerise, Gaspard and I explored this zone last week. On their walk around the area, they spotted three strange animals. Under the surprise of that discovery, they didn’t manage to identify the species.
Jérémy took advantage of the view up there to shoot the whole landscape in order to create a panoramic view from the ridge. Such places are perfect for photo passionates like him, the colors and the relief of the day and the clear and pure sky of the night are beautiful to capture. The result is wonderful, a large picture of the Hab and the landscape around it : 170 MB of red dust and blue sky.

After three days of hard time trying to finish the Mars puzzle, Cerise, Gaspard and I finally managed to assemble the thousand pieces and we wrote our crew name with Crews 198, 203 and 205 at the back of the puzzle. When we added the last piece to it, an exclamation of joy echoed in the Hab. Crew 207 and following crews, we challenge you to assemble the puzzle during your rotation !

In the afternoon, the Green-Hab was musical ! Indeed Norbert continued his experiment on the influence of music and frequencies on plants resistance under radiations. We’re waiting for his first results that will certainly fall in the last days of the mission.

This night will mark the mid-mission milestone for us. As we turn in the second part of this extraordinary adventure, the crew is still holding strong together, and seeing the end of this journey coming both excites and frightens us.

Journalist Report – March 4th

Crew 206 – 03/04/2019

Sol 8

Author: Benjamin Auzou, Journalist

“Marsquake”

A seism hit the station’s area in the morning. This one wasn’t a big one, about 4.6 magnitude, and nobody in the Hab felt it. However it was the biggest one in the area since 1985. We are all safe and the station is intact, our mission can continue !

What an occasion to speak about InSight mission that landed on Mars in November 2018 and which is now collecting data on Mars seismic activity. This mission is the result of the collaboration of the Unites States and Europe under the same scientific goal : listen to the heart of Mars. Between the launch and the landing of InSight, our crew and our association worked with Mid-School and High-School students on popularization of space exploration and science. We visited more than 20 schools in our French region to explain them why and how we are doing science on Mars and above all to give them the will and the desire to study Science.

Today was also a special day for our crew : Aurélien’s birthday. For the occasion in our plates : a risotto with tomatoes, a blueberries cake, a mysterious drink with blueberries and cinnamon, and more baguettes. This is the first birthday of the mission, in a few days Cerise will also celebrate her 22th birthday. What a luck to spend a birthday on an other planet !

We also began the tests in real conditions of our simulation spacesuit prototype. The EVA has been planned this afternoon because of the mud outside in the morning. Norbert was the brave of the day and worn the suit for 45 minutes. This EVA had the purpose to clarify the advantages and the issues of the spacesuit in order to improve the system. This was a success, what an achievement to finally see our SpaceSuit in its natural habitat !

Journalist Report – March 03rd

Crew 206 – 03/03/2019

Sol 7

Author: Benjamin Auzou, Journalist

"Martian Sol-Off"

For our first day-off of the mission, we played cards, begin to complete the Mars puzzle of the MDRS. But above all we spend a lot of time in the kitchen: Gaspard and Aurélien prepared pancakes for breakfast, Jérémy and Cerise baked French baguettes, and Aurélien and I cooked a gratin dauphinois (potatoes cooked in cream and cheese baked in the oven). All that was bettered by the basil leafs brought by Norbert from the Green-Hab.

Outside the Hab, the weather changed all along the day. After a sunny morning and a rainy noon, the afternoon was shared between grey clouds and hail. Even if it wasn’t Mars-like, the sound of rain and hail on the Habs roof was relaxing. In the same time our furious Monopoly Deal games were the great activity of the afternoon, even if Gaspard’s luck with cards drawing killed the competition.

This day-off is for us the occasion to present you the results of our water monitoring. We are counting the water we use in different categories: drinking, cooking, dishes, hygiene, flushes and Green-Hab. Thanks to that we managed to reduce our consumption and realized a precise monitoring. We measured in average 88% of our water consumption and classified that in the categories for each sol spend in the MDRS.

Today we recharged our batteries for the week to come that will be busy between the first tests our own simulation spacesuit and the follow-up of the human factors experiments.

More than one third of our mission is done, this first week was balanced between the first marks in the station, the first scientific experiments but also the first difficulties. As in all space missions, we are facing difficulties and we are led to adapt ourselves and react with what we have here in the station. More than ever, we are feeling that we make science evolve in the right way to Mars.

Journalist Report – March 2nd

Crew 206 – 03/02/2019

Sol 6

Author: Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

"Telehope"

The return of the rain kept us inside the Hab for the morning. So we decided to clean both the lower and upper deck. The sand and the dust of the desert are our enemies, these particles are everywhere here and difficult to remove, but with courage, and a vigorous vacuum cleaner, we managed to make the Hab almost brand-new.

Cerise prepared us a bunch of cookies for the dessert. Even if she found that the cookies were "different from those she cook at home", they were delicious!

The afternoon marked the return of the hope for the experiment TELEOP. The digital version is still unavailable because of the loss of the computer’s charger, but Jérémy managed to correct the connection issues of the rover. We all drove the rover under heart monitoring.

This is the second time this experiment is performed here in the MDRS by ISAE-SUPAERO crews; it has also been developed by Simon Bouriat, Health and Safety Officer of MDRS 175 in the Lunares station (Poland) in 2018. This is a special experiment for us and our association. It’s pleasant to see the rover run again and we’re waiting for a charger to continue the digital experiment.

Tomorrow is our first day-off, no EVA, no experiments. We will use this free time to reorganize the Hab and realize cohesion activities, like playing cards or board games.

This is a tradition of ISAE-SUPAERO crews, like for the astronauts in the ISS, Sundays are off. We consider that this free time is indispensable to the success of such missions, psychology and human factors are important. Astronauts need this time for themselves and for crew cohesion.

Journalist Report – March 1st

Crew 206 – 03/01/2019

Sol 5

Author: Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

"Music, Music"

The goal of the EVA of the morning was to climb to Hab Ridge to reach
Hab View North and enjoy a nice view on the station. With Cerise and
Gaspard, we faced the muddy slopes during an hour before reaching our goal.
The landscape up there was fantastic; every quarter turn I made around
me was the discovery of a new landscape, a new universe. I was
travelling from round and eroded rocks to sharp buttes, from an abrupt
plateau that reminded me of Monument Valley to a snowy mountain. That
was like if this place had been a draft for the creation of geologic
richness and diversity of this planet.

Since the beginning of our mission, music has a precious role, in
musical ambiance for life moments, sport sessions or experiments, to
relax before going to sleep or just to spend time and have fun. Everyone
shares its favorite playlist, its favorite music style.

We offer you a musical selection, composed of six songs, one for each of
us, that we listened, discovered or rediscovered during the beginning of
the mission.

-Come Together, The Beatles
"This music has the power to give me back energy even in fatigue
moments, so that it’s difficult for me to not singing. It’s a perfect
song to resist fatigue or boredom moments, but really for my crewmates’
ears."

-Papa loves Mambo, Perry Como
"Listened during reports writing, this song was relaxing and catchy for
the crew, that was a good moment for me and the rest of the team!"

-Mr Brightside, The Killers
"This song represents the beginning of my adventure in loving english
rock, as it is the first song I actually recall loving. I remember with
remarkable details the first time I heard it in my brother’s room when I
was 6. Mr Brightside was played randomly yesterday evening in the
playlist of an other crew member."

– Contact, Daft Punk
"When I listen to this music, it feels like I am with the astronauts, on
their way to space. It gives me goose bumps listening to the beats and
to the rocket taking off, but also thinking of what they’ve achieved."

– Sleepless Nights, FM Attack
"This title moves me to another place temporarily, on a sunny beach or
on the shore of a calm and peaceful lake. It helps me concentrate, find
energy and motivation to work on any task. Even for a short time, it
helps me continue for a while."

– Banana Pancakes, Jack Johnson
"For some reason, this song never fails to remind me of our little trips
to the beach in family when I was a kid. Playing it during the mission,
so far away from those moments, made me feel almost at home again, and
as always, it also filled me with happiness and good memories."

Journalist Report – February 28th

Crew 206 – 02/28/2019

Sol 4

Author: Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

"What the hell on Earth is going on?”

On their way to White Rock Canyon, the EVA team stumbled upon a Coke bottle. In the middle of a Martian hiking, Norbert, Jérémy, Aurélien, and Cerise are sent back on Earth.

The planet is endangered, with limited resources, and we continue to pollute and threaten her, even if we are all aware of the danger. Here in the MDRS, we are monitoring our water consumption, our trashes and our energy consumption. For now 4 days we have been following a simple, but healthy and sustainable way of life. We realized that our habits are greedy on resources, on water, on energy. And that it is not so complicated to change and adopt better ones. Even if we want to send humans to Mars, or to the Moon, Earth is and will stay our cradle and our home and we all have the duty to protect her!

Countries have the duty to adopt laws to promote ecology and sustainable development, companies have the duty to use wisely their energies and resources, and at our scale with have the duty to adopt a sustainable way of life. We all have this duty for us, for our children and for all humanity.

In the same time in the Hab, Gaspard and I choose to prepare a surprise olive bread for the crew’s lunch. Unfortunately, that first try was very different from the texture of French baguettes, but everybody loved the taste and it was a huge pleasure to feel a little bit like in France.

After lunch, everybody in the Hab chose to take a nap before the beginning of the human factors experiments. Sadly, both versions of TELEOP experiment failed today: the little rover faced connection issues and the computer of the digital version ran out of battery, with a broken charger. This experiment matters a lot for all of us, especially for Jérémy and the rest of the afternoon was very difficult for us.

The good news of the day came from Cerise’s water monitoring. Yesterday, the results seemed threatening. After an exchange with the research team, the comparison database that she was using was the one dedicated to space, and to Thomas Pesquet’s Aquapad experiment on the ISS. With the correct database, the water quality is not perfect, but safe to drink and not infected.

After the disappointment of the afternoon, we all need a distraction. For that, Norbert brought us some fresh carrots from the Green-Hab for the dinner and we decided to watch an episode of Nat Geo’s Mars TV show.

Journalist Report – February 27th

Crew 206 – 02/27/2019

Sol 3

Author : Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

"Martian Excursion"

We are born to explore; since the dawn of humanity, humans never stopped
to explore new places. The first humans settled to all five continents,
the navigators of the XVth century sailed all seas, the astronauts of
the XXth century flew to space. Today was an exploration day on Mars !
The team of the EVA (Aurélien, Norbert, Gaspard and I) rode the rovers
to the Moons area. We walked about an hour on the muddy and slippery
slopes of the White and Grey Moons, following the steps of Norbert, our
scout of the day, under the wise supervision of the EVA leader Aurélien.

To avoid fatigue after lunch, I visited Norbert in the Green-Hab and
helped him taking care of radishes and carrots while some others were
taking a nap. Back in the Hab, Aurélien was waiting for us all to show
us his first night observation : Orion’s Nebula.

This afternoon we tested our own analog spacesuit in the MDRS for the
first time. This project was born in September 2017, when we first heard
about the MDRS and decided to apply to a rotation. We worked since that
moment on the conception and fabrication of this spacesuit. That’s why
we are happy to see this project concretise here. The prototype is far
from what we expected but we are focused on our goal to take some of us
in EVA with this suit and we will make all changes and adjustments
needed to reach it.

Today we had the first results of our strict water monitoring. And this
is a huge improvement compared to the monitoring of crew 189, the last
mission of ISAE-SUPAERO students. For Sol 2, the total consumption is
77.4 liters. The Green-Hab is the first source of consumption with 41%,
then come drinking water with 25%, the flushes with 13%, cooking water
and dishes water with 5% and 6%. The last 8% are unmeasured and come
from leaks or flushes volume uncertainties. In comparison, the average
unmeasured water for crew 189 was 37% of total consumption.

For more than a year, we worked together on the preparation of this
mission. We passed through happy and bad moments, funny talks and long
crisis meetings. But now we are here, on Mars, and we are like a family,
forged by our common passion for space exploration, our interventions
with young students and this mission. What we are achieving now is
exciting and fulfilling !

Journalist Report – February 26th

Crew 206 – 02/26/2019

Sol 2

Author : Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

“La Vie En Rouge”

At the precise moment my feet touched the Martian ground, and my eyes raised up to the sky, the time was liked stopped in front of me. There are incredible places that challenge our imagination, with their shapes, their reliefs, their colors. The Martian desert I had the chance to admire this morning is one of those. In front of this marvelous theater, I wish I had the talent of Picasso, Monet or Turner to capture
that precise moment, that sky, that landscape only a painting can give back the magnificence.

But this EVA had above all a scientific goal: deploy the LOAC (an aerosol counter) and the weather station. It was my first EVA, along with Cerise, Jérémy and Gaspard, on the rovers Curiosity and Opportunity. Quite funny that not so long ago, in 2018, they were the only two active “beings” at the surface of Mars.

Aurélien, HabCom of the day, helped us to spend the five minutes of the depressurization with a musical ambiance: La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf. The words to describe this day came directly to me: La Vie en Rouge.
After the concentration and the rigor of the EVA, a surprise were waiting for us inside: a pizza crust prepared by Aurélien, while Norbert was bringing his harvest : basil, sage and parsley, in order to give a providential freshness to the meal. We shared two pizzas that we named Verde and Roja. Aurélien and Norbert logically take the head of the Martian food contest.

Then the afternoon was the first one of a routine that will last all through the mission with both human factors experiments: rover driving and virtual reality.

The Sun is falling down on Mars, giving its last colors to the landscape, before putting it in obscurity and let the stars shine in the pure sky. I glance at the horizon, keeping that moment in my memory for ever, today, I walked on Mars.

Journalist Report – February 26th

Crew 206 – 02/26/2019

Sol 2

Author : Auzou Benjamin, Journalist

“La Vie En Rouge”

At the precise moment my feet touched the Martian ground, and my eyes raised up to the sky, the time was liked stopped in front of me. There are incredible places that challenge our imagination, with their shapes, their reliefs, their colors. The Martian desert I had the chance to admire this morning is one of those. In front of this marvelous theater, I the talent of Picasso, Monet or Turner to capture that precise moment, that sky, that landscape only a painting can give back the magnificence.

But this EVA had above all a scientific goal: deploy the LOAC (an aerosol counter) and the weather station. It was my first EVA, along with Cerise, Jérémy and Gaspard, on the rovers Curiosity and Opportunity. Quite funny that not so long ago, in 2018, they were the only two active “beings” at the surface of Mars.

Aurélien, HabCom of the day, helped us to spend the five minutes of the depressurization with a musical ambiance: La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf. The words to describe this day came directly to me: La Vie en Rouge.
After the concentration and the rigor of the EVA, a surprise were waiting for us inside: a pizza crust prepared by Aurélien, while Norbert was bringing his harvest : basil, soy and parsley, in order to give a providential freshness to the meal. We shared two pizzas that we named Verde and Roja. Aurélien and Norbert logically take the head of the Martian food contest.

Then the afternoon was the first one of a routine that will last all through the mission with both human factors experiments: rover driving and virtual reality.

The Sun is falling down on Mars, giving its last colors to the landscape, before putting it in obscurity and let the stars shine in the pure sky. I glance at the horizon, keeping that moment in my memory for ever, today, I walked on Mars.