Journalist Report – February 22nd

Sol 1 – Searching for a routine, or almost…

Author: Nicolas Wattelle

Yesterday was the day of the firsts, now we need to move on, to evolve, to become real analog martionauts. Although we have not discovered everything yet, things are becoming familiar to us.

We all woke up at 6:45am, in order to be ready for the sport session at 7 am. Our first one together! Valentine had prepared a cardio training, which felt a bit rough to all of us, but we will say that it is normal for a first session (Crew 240 reported similar feelings in Pierre’s -the journalist- report a month ago…).

Anyway, this was a good cohesion moment, a great way to begin the day!

Then, the breakfast was in some sort similar to the previous day, carefully prepared by two members of the crew. It was a hearty meal for the four-brand new martionauts who had to prepare for the challenge of the day: the first crew EVA.

This one had multiples objectives: first, to get used to the suits, the communication protocol, the crew member buddy system… It may seem like it is obviously easy but, be aware that this is not the case, even for people who mentally prepared for a year. Second, to check the status of the atmospheric experiment left on the field by Crew 240: the weather station, the LOAC (an amazing aerosol meter), the electric field mill… There, we had some surprises, and we could not do all of what was planned for this phase of today’s EVA. However, we will put things back in order in the coming days. Last, to do a first on-field trial of the Hololens. I was chosen to wear the glasses (during all the outing) for Augmented Reality (AR) testing. But it did not go well. The glasses fell slowly during the EVA, so much that when this phase began, I was almost half blind… I had to let them completely fall around my neck to get my vision back and we shortened the EVA. Note for the future tests: prepare a better mounting to keep the glasses on. A case to follow!

Lunches are always discussion moments. We speak about a lot of things, such as our “old” terrestrial life or our new Martian life. But lately, the food rationing topic came back frequently: we have three weeks’ worth of food already in the station but how do we manage to correctly feed everyone without being too drastic or too neglecting? On top of that, how to make it taste good every day? Some of us are more likely to be cook than others (guess what, that would not be me…), so they lead the discussion about this puzzle (and I thank them a lot!).

The afternoon was quite similar to the previous one. Everyone was focused on personal experiments in different rooms of the station: ScienceDome, GreenHab, upper and lower deck of the Hab… And it went well!

As the crew journalist, I would like you, dear reader, to come to the backstage of the mission with me, and discover more about my mates I am living this journey with. To give you this glimpse, some days, I may ask some of them what are their thoughts about different subjects. My question of the day is:

Why are you here?

Mathéo did not hesitate for a second, he clearly wants to make a first step into astronauts’ life. He took this MDRS mission as an opportunity to get closer to his dream.

To Marine, research is part of her life, and she aims to make a living out of it. This project is a concrete and original way to get a first step into research, so she has get involved in it!

Léa also has a particularly clear idea of her motivations. The operational aspect of crewed flights is what she is keen on, and analogs are an efficient way to understand the full scope of it!

Elena wants to work in human spaceflight, and in order to be a good an engineer and designer, one must think as an astronaut, and she is taking this mission as an opportunity to walk in astronauts shoes!