Hannah Blackburn, Crew 219 Lead Science Officer
Return to the Red Planet
The Martian landscape is cold, dusty, and rusty red. My new home is the polar opposite of the tropical and lushly vegetated campus of Florida Tech, and yet I feel just as at home. Waking up in my cozy bunk felt like I never left Mars at all. I almost expected to sit down for breakfast with the other members of Crew 205, but it has been a year since we were the only known inhabitants of the red planet. Now, my crew is number 219, and we have our own adventure to begin.
I am the Lead Science Officer of Crew 219, so my main responsibility is to help my crewmates with their research. Today we went on two EVAs to collect regolith samples for our biological remediation experiment. All eight of us now have boot prints on the surface of Mars, at least until the next dust storm wipes them away. So far the weather has been acceptable for EVAs, but the sky has not been clear enough to take astronomy data. We are all looking forward to seeing the stars above the Martian mountains.
As I am writing this, I am enjoying the sights and smells of the GreenHab. We picked some sage for dinner, and the scent alone is making me hungry. I can’t wait to share a pot of soup with my crew and relax together after our day of hard work. Maybe we’ll watch a movie to celebrate our first sol on the red planet. It’s a little on the nose, but I’m thinking The Martian.