MARS DESERT RESEARCH STATION

Journalist Report – May 10th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 10 2017

MDRS Sol 12 update

Weird and lazy sol. It rained the whole morning and our EVA was cancelled. It has been the least Martian sol to date. When we imagine water on the surface of Mars, we think of almost unnoticeable streams, not a creek of centimeters wide with water pouring from sky. Okay, maybe once we started terraforming it. Anyways, it was fun to see the dry landscape become so damp.

Since we were trapped inside the hab for almost the complete sol, we spent most of our time writing, reading, playing cards, cooking a Mexican dish called esquite and talking about Harry Potter. It has been the least Martian sol to date, remember? Later we talked about other stuff like evolutionary psychology and politics.

Finally we planned activities for tomorrow and a movie for tonight. One of the crew members has Europa Report in his computer so we will probably watch that soon-to-be science fiction classic. Okay, maybe it is not the least Martian sol to date.

Journalist Report – May 9th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 9 2017

MDRS Sol 11 update

Everything is back to normal. The sim was reinitiated and we continued with our usual duties. Crew Engineer Gabriel Caballero worked with his rover, Grennhab Officer Camilo Reyes researched in the greenhab, and EVA Officer Yair Piña planned his next experiment measuring radiation.

All of us worked in our responsibilities and sat around the table to have lunch and talk about the usual topics, i.e.: how to use system theory and game theory to reduce the corruption levels endemic in all human societies.

After lunch we had visitors. Two journalists from the Autonomous National University of México – UNAM came to interview our EVA Officer; they were really friendly and brought presents for him. Then a small party was formed and left the hab in order to take pictures and collect lichens in the nearby area. 

Journalist Report – May 8th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 8 2017

MDRS Sol 10 update

Our crew member is alive! We are seriously considering calling him the latino Mark Watney. Just kidding, his accident was not that serious and we have never left him behind. Thankfully he is back with the rest of the crew and we are together again. We even baked bread to celebrate.

From our perspective the sol started very early, the dawns at the MDRS are a beautiful thing to see. The two crew members that stayed at the MDRS had to do all the work of six people. It was not a fun morning. Even out of simulation, cleaning, cooking, and cleaning again is a bit tedious. We have a high morale; though, so we did it singing Soda Stereo.

Later during the sol when the rest of the team came back, we were relieved to see everything was fine. We ate our bread caked without yeast and then we went with Shannon to the place of the accident. The ATV is ok; however the rover needs a bit of a fixing. We towed the rover with the help of a local and then we headed back to the station before it started to rain.

Journalist Report – May 6th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 6 2017

MDRS Sol 8 update

Eventful day even when there was no programmed EVAs. The sol started very early with the loud voices of EVA Officer Yair Piña and Greenhab Engineer Camili Reyes talking by internet with friends from Russia. The initial rush of happiness of Yair was then followed by an intense feeling of drowsiness, thou.

The rest of the morning was boring for the mission journalist, he had to clean the hab and wash an Olympus Mons of dishes. Once he was done, he grabbed a cup of coffee and he sat to talk with the rest of the crew about history. As usual the conversation was extremely interesting, there are a lot of things we don’t know about each other’s country history.

Almost immediately after a delicious lunch, the crew was surprised by a strong lighting that hit too close to the base. Coordination with Dr. Shannon Rupert led to taking safety measures till the possible electric storm passed. We took advantage of the “time off” and talked about this scenario in real life and we thought it would be scary as hell.

Then we all proceeded to do our duties and started writing reports with a noisy sand storm as a background.

Journalist Report – May 5th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 5 2017

MDRS Sol 7 update

The morning started with lambada. Part of the Latin-American culture is dancing so the crew members began moving their bodies when Commander Corrales played the old Brazilian song “Chorando Se Foi” with her laptop.

After breakfast we had a long conversation about the future of space exploration in latinamerican countries. We would like to promote and eventually create the Agencia Espacial Latinoamericana – AEL (Latin-American Space Agency). However we have to overcome a lot of political and economic difficulties.

Later we had a short EVA to place petri dishes in the nearby hill, and the heat was so intense that it suffocated one of the crew members so bad he almost fainted. That’s why we decide it to cancel the programmed EVA. We instead talked a lot about the history of our countries and culture. It is always very enlightening to share a good conversation with very intelligent people.

Finally the mission journalist went outside again with the Crew Engineer in order to briefly test his rover and take pictures for his journal article.

Journalist Report – May 4th

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 4 2017

MDRS Sol 6 update

Part of The Mars Society Mission is to communicate and promote the exploration on Mars. That’s why we welcomed the producer of the documentary Hijos de las Estrellas (Son of Stars), who came to film a chapter with us.

We have spent almost the whole day filming, taking pictures and “performing” for the documentary, which is about the space exploration in Latinoamerica. Most of the attention was directed to the Commander and the EVA Officer, thou. The rest of us were simple extras.

Just kidding, it was fun. We had the chance to talk about our projects and the things that we’re more passionate about. We had a very good time and we even invited them lunch. We are looking forward to seeing the documentary on TV, YouTube or Netflix. 

Journalist Report – May 3rd

Crew 180 Mission Journalist 3rd May 2017

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 3 2017

MDRS Sol 5 update

After breakfast, Commander Corrales and Crew Engineer Caballero took advantage of the morning reviews of the generator and installed the microgravity machine outside the hab. The goal was to synthesize nanoparticles in a radiation environment.

In the meantime the rest of the crew had a conversation where they shared their views on the isolation effects on humans in space exploration and they got to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter as long as they had Colombian coffee. In fact, the delicious beverage did its work on the crew’s brain and they agreed to create a small windmill to generate electricity.

After the formal EVA, the crew had lunch and everyone went to their labs to work on their experiment. The mission journalist interviewed Commander Corrales and they had the chance to talk about what is like to be in the MDRS.

Journalist Report – May 2nd

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 2 2017

MDRS Sol 4 update

The sol started very early in the morning. We established a strict schedule of having breakfast, lunch and dinner together so we can get to know each other deeply; so far it’s working perfectly: tosol, we shared thoughts about the current situation in our countries and how corruption harms our economies.

Also each of all us started working in our researches. For example Greenhab Engineer Reyes went to the greenhab and started growing his “uchuvas” (Physalis peruviana); Commander Corrales started recognizing her lab and Crew Engineer Caballero also worked with his rover. By the way, he mentioned a funny anecdote of how security at airports mistakenly took his little robot as a dangerous device.

Later we had an EVA to scout close by places, get used to the suits and vehicles, and take pictures. What we didn’t know is that Health Officer Valencia had a surprise test for us. He made us think he was feeling unwell and we had to evacuate him right away. We were worried for him and we were relieved when we found out it was all set up. Now we are back at the hab having a conversation about our day.

Journalist Report – May 1st

Prepared by Victor Roman, Crew Journalist

Date May 1st 2017

MDRS Sol 3 update

Busy sol, the simulation officially started. During the morning, after breakfast, Shannon came and gave us the final information about the life here, many anecdotes that will help us to understand more closely how life might be in the MDRS.

After that, Commander Corrales, EVA officer Piña and Greenhab engineer Reyes took the first EVA. The rest of the crew helped them to put the suits and helmets on. It looked heavy and difficult to carry on the whole time… later on we realized that it was indeed heavy and hard when we had to go out and the welcome school children that visited us.

Hosting children was fun. They asked a lot of questions about our work and the simulation. We enjoyed answering them. Later we had lunch and talked about our lives: what we expect about this experience, why we are doing this and personal anecdotes. The stories and motivations are inspiring, we all agree that we are working toward a goal greater than ourselves: taking humans to Mars.

Journalist Report – April 27th

Prepared by: Dana Levin, Crew Journalist
   Date: 27Apr2017
   MDRS Sol  Day 3 update:

Once again we had a day of crisis. There is certainly no chance that these were planned ahead of time though, we must just simply be a horribly unlucky crew. After breakfast several crew members remained sore after Sarah “Connors” nightly physical condition beating. For this reason we elected to split the expedition into two teams. One would stay in the hab to conduct some just in time training on Star City operations and Sleep physiology while the other would perform a survey of a nearby area with poor satellite imagery. However the habitat teams day of rest was not to be…

An alert from Mission Control threw the team into action. A hasty rescue was planned and the science objectives had to be abandoned to deal with the emergency. While the day was long, the team performed admirably and managed to recover all field equipment, prevent horrific injuries and ultimately finish the science objectives including recovering a rare Martian dessert from the desert to complete tonights dinner. The post EVA debrief and clean up was also a long day, but in the end the day was endorsed with such phrases as “I had moments of sheer terror” and “I feel like I won the golden ticket” along with “I am securing VDs package” and even included a disco dance on the Martian surface to ensure a fellow crewmember’s health. We even found a secret message written in stones behind the habitat in an area which we shall dub Lemur Point. We are thrilled to have had another shipment of water last night which will certainly be enough to see us through our mission. However, we discovered that sanitation ops without a functional water heater in 50F weather is far less pleasant than one might expect. It might even rival living with nine uncleaned people in a sealed habitat for a week in terms of pleasantness. 

We are now settling down to eat dinner as a crew, and prepare for our discussion of intercultural issues in spaceflight and plan our intra-crew video competition. Looking forward to tomorrow’s experiences and what new disasters the sunrise may bring…