Journalist Report – February 17th

Crew 222 Journalist Report 17Feb2020
Author: Marie Bochard, Crew Journalist
Sol 1
Title: Problem-solving

Here on Mars, every small problem can take incredible proportions. Consider this: what if one life-support system fails? The entire mission is at stake, so everyone has to chip in and help repair the problem. Thankfully, this rarely happens, but minor problems still occur.

This morning was our first EVA, and there were two important experiments to get ready. The LOAC is used to measure air particles, which will be necessary to analyze the atmosphere on Mars, and the weather station can help predict dust storms that will be frequent on the red planet. Both experiments were assembled before leaving the Hab, because when we are on EVA we wear big gloves that really impair on our ability to manipulate tools. Once the setup was done, the four crew members leaving for EVA got ready in their spacesuits. These backpacks are designed specifically to enable humans to walk on Martian soil even though the environment is hostile: there is no oxygen on the surface of Mars, so us humans cannot breathe. This is an example of a life-support system that can need repair, since we cannot leave the station without it!

After a (very) spicy lunch, it was time for everyone to focus on their experiments. Valentin, the engineer, was tasked with finding a way to power a data collector for the weather station. This proved to be more difficult than we thought: after trying to solder batteries together to provide enough power to the data collector, which took us a few hours, we settled on using a powerbank. Problem-solving isn’t always about trying to make an idea work, it’s also about finding new ideas, and today was a proof for that.

Enough problems for now, today was also filled with crew moments. Meals are always a great way of communicating between us, since we all eat together. There moments are crucial for crew cohesion, because we are going to be living together for two weeks, so being honest and understanding everyone’s concern is fundamental. Cohesion is about sharing our favorite moments from every day, but also about making sure everyone feels at home and is their best self.

As the day winds down, we are all happy to smell the delicious blueberry tart that Bleuenn baked this afternoon. This has been an incredible first sim day, and we are looking forward to tomorrow!