Journalist Report – February 10th

Sol 10: A day in a Martian’s life – What do we do every day on Mars?

Author : Pierre Fabre

Hi everyone welcome back! Today is a special report! I am going to describe the best I can what we do on a typical day (or Sol) on Mars! I hope you will enjoy this format !

7:10 – You wake up in your small individual room and turn on the light. On Mars you don’t stay in bed chilling on your phone because your HSO is waiting for you downstairs for the morning workout and moreover as there is no internet there is nothing to do on your phone. So, you get up and put on your sport clothes. You leave your room and say good morning to your crewmates who are little by little joining you at the upper deck. You hydrate a powder orange juice and drink it to give you some energy for the workout. Then you go downstairs where Julie is already installing the mats on the floor and taking care of the music.

7:30 – The workout starts. Some are still sleepy and some others like Julie are already full of energy! You start by a warmup with some running on the spot, jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks

Then you start the real workout:

-Legs: squats, squat holds, squat jumps, lunges, burpees… (I’m not going to lie, those exercises hurt but it kind of feels good after)

-Abs and back: crunches, knee to elbow, heels touching, superman, plank, flutter kicks

-Upper body: curl ups with resistance bands and push-ups

-Sometimes you also do some cardio training like air boxing

Then you stretch for a while. You stay with Julie to clean the lower deck while Marion goes to the GreenHab to water the plants and the others go up to start preparing the breakfast. You are lucky, your Commander likes to prepare pancakes for everyone.

8:00 – Breakfast! Everyone has their routine for breakfast. Some eat cereals, others pancakes or oats. You talk with your crewmates about the workout and about the incoming day and in the meantime, you complete the questionnaire about sleep for Marion’s experiment.

8:40 – Breakfast ends. You clean the table with your crewmates and go back to your room to prepare for the day.

9:00 – EVA briefing! The big map of the MDRS is on the table and the EVA leader of the day explains the destination, the objectives, who is your buddy, which rover you will take, who will be the HabCom and finally the timeline of the EVA.

9:10 – The briefing is over and you go to the lower deck with the others to suit up, test your radio, put your EVA shoes on, put what will be needed for the EVA in the airlock and go through the checklist with the HabCom.

9:25 – You step into the airlock with your crewmates. Then you wait 5 minutes until the depressurisation is over. Sometimes your HabCom puts some music in the radio, it makes the waiting funnier.

9:30 – Your HabCom gives the green light, you step out of the airlock, you are outside, on Mars. The EVA can start. You go to the rover you’ve been assigned to and give the battery data of the rover to the HabCom.

The EVA can be an exploration EVA (like the one at the Moons or at Candor Chasma) or an EVA related to an experiment like the one we did today at North Ridge for the drone mapping experiment. By the way, it was really cool and I think I definitely broke the record of number of ascents of North Ridge in 1 hour!

For the sake of storytelling, let’s stay you leaves the station for a 3 hours and a half long exploration EVA.

In the meantime, those who stay at the Hab monitor the temperature in the GreenHab and open the door if it is too warm in it. They also work on their experiments, perform tasks for human factors experiments or start writing their reports. If the journalist is there, he can also take that opportunity to interview the other crew member. They also have to cook something good for lunch to feed the starving explorers.

12:55 – You come back with your crewmates from the long but incredible exploration EVA! Your back hurts a little, you are thirsty, tired and you smell bad but you are so happy because it was an amazing EVA and you can’t wait to tell everything you saw to your crewmates who stayed at the Hab. You ask your HabCom the permission to enter the airlock and finally step into it for pressurisation.

13:00 – Pressurisation is over. You enter the lower deck and your crewmates help you take off your spacesuit and you start telling them about the EVA even if you still have your helmets and they can’t hear a word of what you say. Then you go upstairs where it smells so good thanks to your wonderful crewmates.

13:10 – Debriefing and lunch. The EVA leader does a short debriefing about what went well and what didn’t. Every member of the EVA including you gives a short summary of how they felt and then the crew can finally start to eat! You thank a thousand times the cooks for their job in between two stories of the EVA you just did.

14:00 – The kitchen is being cleaned and you are answering another questionnaire for another human factors experiment. This time the experiment comes from the University of Bourgogne and the questionnaires are between 5 and 15 minutes long. When it is done, you take a break on the couch to talk with your crewmates while others, tired by the EVA, take a short nap in their room.

15:00 – Start of the afternoon’s activities.

These can change a lot depending on the day.

Sometimes, if it is your turn, you will have to perform some tasks for a human factor experiment. Today, it was TELEOP and the experiment created by the University of Lorraine (with the famous « shapes test » which is currently my number one nightmare).

If not, you will be able to work on your experiments or do the job related to your role. On a typical day, on our crew:

-François goes to the RAM to repair things (like our spacesuits) or helps other crew members on their experiments.

-Maxime goes to the Musk Observatory to observe the Sun or stay in the Hab to create beautiful pictures from observations made with a telescope in New Mexico.

-Marion goes to the GreenHab to take care of the plants or to the Science Dome for the Aquapad experiment.

-Julie take care of the spirulina and soja in the GreenHab or goes to the Science Dome to recycle our water.

-Clément manage our planning for the next days or takes and photoshops pictures.

-And I, work on my drone experiment or start writing the report you are currently reading.

18:00 – Relaxation break! After an afternoon of hard work, your HSO organise a relaxation session. You sit on the upper deck’s floor with your crewmates and Julie guides the session while your eyes are closed and you think to nothing but your breathing.

18:30 – Reports time! You write your report for the day and the EVA request for tomorrow because you will be the EVA leader. Some crewmates are also writing their reports while others are debating next to Clement’s laptop on which photos to choose for today. Your journalist is in his room trying to find inspiration to finish his report in time.

19:00 – Beginning of the communication window. One person is behind the laptop exchanging with the MDRS staff and sending the reports. We also send them our questions and doubts. We start to receive their answers and their feedbacks on our reports and pictures. In the meantime, you start to cook a delicious recipe with one of your crewmates!

20:00 – Most of the reports are already sent (sometimes the journalist report takes a little bit longer) and you start to enjoy your dinner! Everyone congratulates you for the food. The person in charge of the communication window keeps an eye on the laptop in case we receive an email

21:00 – End of the communication window. You help your crewmates clean the kitchen while your journalist is translating his report in French for the website and the families.

21:30 – You sit at the table with your crewmates on which Julie is preparing a team-building game. You play, you try to cheat, you laugh and before you realise it, an hour has passed.

22:30 – You say good night to your crewmates and go to bed, tired by your amazing day on Mars. You need to sleep because tomorrow will be another unique day on Mars and moreover, it will be your first time as an EVA leader! You fall asleep really quick and start dreaming about what you saw during this Sol 10…