Ben Durkee, Crew 218 Journalist
Waking up on Mars for the first time is a starkly humbling experience. You emerge from
your personal oven labeled "Crew Quarters" for some fresh (synthesized) air. After
taking a few breaths you realize that that very air is a privilege afforded to you by
the tin can that surrounds you. The tin can that is now your home for the foreseeable
Once we had all shaken the sleep from our eyes, we began haphazardly assembling
breakfast for ourselves. Jonathan demonstrated his prowess in the kitchen right off
the bat. His potion was an assembly of dehydrated eggs - the most foul abomination
I have ever seen and smelled - and dehydrated milk and butter - tied for second
place. Yet against all odds, he whipped up some mighty fine scrambled eggs in a
process I can only describe as culinary sorcery. I look forward to seeing (and
tasting) more of such magic in the coming weeks!
After breakfast, Shefali and I got drafted to dispose of some heavy stones outside of
the Hab (which I'm still convinced was a form of clandestine physical training). After
our rugged rock repositioning, we were given a full tour of the Hab. It was on this tour
that we discovered the presence of an uninvited GreenHab guest. We suspect there is
some kind of Martian rodent that has been chomping on our precious strawberry sprouts!
We've laid a trap in the GreenHab, and will hopefully meet the extraterrestrial
culprit very soon...
In the shadow of the trapping excitement, we began our actual training. This featured a
rotation of Rover and ATV training, followed by training on the EVA suits. There's a
unique comedic value to the notion that it took equally long to teach us how to put a
suit on as it did to teach us how to operate two separate motor vehicles. We are
professionals, we swear.
As the sun retires behind the Martian landscape, we too begin to wind down our
activities. A big day tomorrow calls for some good rest tonight. Generously, the
rotation of Mars offers us an extra 37 minutes to work with every day. I
believe tonight that implies 37 more minutes of well-deserved sleep. Tomorrow, we face
our first true Martian day equipped with the know-how and acuity to kick this planet's