Saturday 26th October
After travelling the world the team members finally assemble and meet each other, mostly for the first time, at the Days Inn in Grand Junction Colorado. We spend an afternoon buying all those last minute things we require for 2 or 4 weeks in the wilderness. And incidentally get to know each other.
We are a good team: Dianne the nutritionist, Andrew the geologist, Sandy the IT and generalist, and our Commander Guy, the heritage consultant. Unfortunately the 5th person we were expecting had a medical withdrawal and couldn’t make it. Luckily Shannon was able to donate one of her interns to the team, David who studies mechatronics at the National University of Colombia.
That afternoon we drive the 2 ½ hours to Hanksville. There we meet up with Shannon in the hot and dusty little, but strangely attractive town. This is at the Rock Shop run by one Cathy, a funky little place with a vast array of geological specimens, especially dinosaur coprolites!
Finally we drive to the MDRS down a dusty little track winding around barren hillocks and crazy shaped rocks, turn a corner, and there it is: the Mars habitat.
We spend the rest of the time shifting supplies into the Hab and tidying things up.
After a knock-up meal, we collapse into bed, each with our tiny but lovable “stateroom”.