Crew 201 Journalist Report – 23DEC2018
The Martian Chronicles
[SOL 8] – (Not) any given Sunday
A good day to spend with family and friends is Sunday. A nice cookout on the backyard is always a good idea. In Mexico, going to visit a museum is very common, because most of them are open for free on Sundays. And what about a nice picnic? It doesn’t matter what you do, the important thing is to spend the day surrounded by people you care. Like spending the afternoon with your crewmates on the station’s observatory watching the sun through the solar telescope. Pretty average Sunday, right?
MDRS Crew 201 – MEx-1
Wait what? How can this be? It’s been a week since we landed on the red planet and we can yet grab a break in our daily lives. A lot of things have happened since then, quite a few if you ask me. Weather is getting a bit cold, lower clouds in the morning and night and to us it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Mars. It’s exciting we’ll celebrate it more than 50 million kilometers away from home and family! But no spoilers for now; we’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Not every day is exploration day, many things have to be done at home for station keeping. Sweeping the Martian dust off our modules is key for health and safety, so we swept every module, airlock and floor in the station. Nothing brings the best of the crew than cleaning and singing and our lead rapper Chilpo did his thing while we worked around our home. Reconstituted chicken fried rice was up for dinner today and the taste was very similar to what you could imagine Mars China Town could ever taste like.
The afternoon had a fantastic group activity: Solar Observations at Musk Observatory. Federico, our in house astronomer, had great patience and went over the regular procedures to observe our Sun. The Sun you see from Earth is the same we look from Mars which makes living in this Solar System a little more romantic. We pointed the telescope and the corona of the Sun was at sight. When living at another planet that is not shielded like Earth we need to know the behavior of the Sun and we may need to hide from its eruptions.
Continuous learning is also key for survival in another planet. While our communications were installed before arrival, upgrades are always needed to maintain a state-of-the-art system at the hab. With this all being said, the crew today learned more in depth how satellite communications work. Satellite access, frequencies, power and gain are key topics needed in order to upgrade our communications network and by knowing the basics the crew is ready to upgrade this and other habitats that we may inhabit in the future.
Sundays on Earth: we clean, we enjoy ourselves and learn. Why not do the same while on Mars? Sol Ocho was if not the most exciting day in our Mars travels it sure was fantastic family time.
MEx-1 continuará informando.
Walter A. Calles & Genaro Grajeda, MDRS Crew 201 Co-Journalists