Journalist Report – April 29th

Sol: 05
Summary Title: Sweet Emotions
Author: Sarah Treadwell, Crew Journalist

Today is Sol 05 here at the Mars Desert Research Station. It was another day with an EVA consisting of Commander Marc, Mapping Tech Benny, and Engineer Sergii. This was one of the longer and further tests of the new radio system thus far, and we are pleased to report that it is working in even the most challenging of areas.

With challenges comes rewards and for our EVA team today they certainly had that. To say the views they were treated to were stunning may be an understatement. The landscape here is dramatic and the emotions and reactions the crew returned with was that of awe and gratitude. Upon return, commander Marc removed his helmet and reported that he now could die a happy man.

Back at the station, the rest of us took turns operating as Capcom and preparing lunch. We also watched the maps and tracked the direction our EVA crew was heading. Mapping tech Isai flexed his culinary skills and made tortillas from scratch for lunch, which we made into chicken quesadillas. Needless to say, now no one is very hungry for dinner.

I’m noticing that this time is causing many of us to have time to reflect on where we currently are in our lives professionally, and where we would like to direct that going forward. It’s a familiar feeling for me and I often find that experiences like this give me some breathing room to process a wide range of ideas and emotions.

This experience has certainly for me highlighted how spotlight our emotions can be here as there is no place to completely bury them. We are all surrounded by people whom we haven’t ever met in person before arriving. Personally, I started this mission with some pretty low moments and now came back up with some pretty high moments. It’s unusual to have so much vulnerability without much rapport, which really is a challenge that really any randomly selected collaborative group must overcome.

Humans are undeniably sloppy, emotional, and prone to making mistakes. But we are also cognitive, intelligent, and inquisitive. All the puzzle pieces that make us who we are don’t have to be perfect. We simply must strive to do our best, help others, and enjoy our brief blip of moment of being alive.

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”