Journalist Report – December 22nd


 Journalist Report

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.

The post-training briefing was punctuated by some energetic (and welcome) pounces from

the crew trainer's puppy. Maybe it's the isolation speaking, but I think dogs are even

cuter on Mars. After all the hard work and excitement, we finally got a moment to

stop and breathe, and then we splintered off to fulfill our personal duties.

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

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