Journalist Report – February 22nd

Crew 222 Journalist Report 22Feb2020
Author: Marie Bochard, Crew Journalist
Sol 6
Title: Rainy day

In the prevision of rain, Benjamin and I went on EVA this morning to change the MegaARES’ battery in the hope that it will last for two days. We were very efficient, and after only 30 minutes we were back in the Hab.

Bleuenn took the time today to start her experiment “music for plants”,
in continuation of a similar experiment the crew 206 did last year. The
goal is to study the influence of music on plants’ ability to resist UV
radiation. This radiation will be very problematic on Mars if the
habitats are on the surface of the planet, hence the need to find ways
to protect or enhance the plants’ resistance.

Special sounds can inhibit genes that code for UV protection, hence the music (of course, it is a series of notes, not actual songs!). In 50 Petri dishes, she planted more than 500 watercress seeds, a plant that resembles salad.

Crew 223 will continue the experiment, so we are hoping to see promising results!

As the weather forecasted, this afternoon it began to rain. Thankfully,
it won’t rain on Mars…

We all kept quiet during the relaxation session, and we heard nothing
but the sound of raindrops falling on the roof. For those of us who live
in the city, it never gets this quiet and peaceful. We really feel cut
off from civilization, and it’s a great feeling. Not having to worry
about looking at our phones for messages or news is relaxing. We only have to communicate between ourselves, and speaking face to face is much nicer than waiting alone behind a phone.

Today my inspiration goes towards poetry. Rain is very poetic, and I
wanted to transmit that through Haikus. Haikus are Japanese poems
written with a simple rule for the number of syllables in each verse: 5
– 7 – 5.

Raindrops fall in peace
Nature always has her way
Keeping us quiet

Breathing in and out
Looking out the small window
Red sand in the rain

Standing in the rain
Nothing matters like you do
Alone with your thoughts