Journalist Report – May 2nd

Crew 261 Journalist Report 01-05-2023

Author: Kris Davidson, Crew Journalist

For early settlers on Mars, there will be a surreal juxtaposition permeating every moment: the staggering responsibility and honor of being among the first humans on Mars, and the unyielding banality of critical daily chores. The extensive list of tasks that fill each Sol is a humbling reminder that even in this far-flung world, life will remain tethered to the mundane.

For Transatlantic Mars 261, these contrasting realities have begun to take hold. Before the EVA on Sol 2, Julien Villa-Massone (Crew Engineer) prepared and checked all the spacesuits — a repetitive task that on Mars could have life or death consequences. EVA 2 was led by James Burk (Commander) with Audrey Derobertmasure (HSO), Erin Kennedy (Crew Robotics Engineer), and Kris Davidson (Crew Journalist) to Marble Ritual for completion of crew training. Safe in the well-maintained spacesuits, the analog astronauts completed the training practice while enjoying an EVA filled with novelty and gentle wonder.

Back at the hab, the crew went about their projects, experiments, and chores. In the morning, and following the EVA, Derobertmasure (HSO) captured biometrics for the cardiovascular aging study. Cécile Renaud (Greenhab Officer) continued work on the biological preparation of spirulina for the photobioreactor experiment, alongside Julien Villa-Massone (Crew Engineer) who attended to the mechanical and programming elements of the device. In the afternoon, Villa-Massone (Crew Engineer) added the EVA Map, a satellite tracking function to the crew website (, for the dual purposes of increasing crew safety while also creating real-time location markers for points of interest. Kennedy (Crew Robotics Engineer) continued programming and assembly of the Atmosphinder wind rover for upcoming EVA testing. Aline Decadi (Executive Officer) worked in the solar observatory to image the sun for education and outreach purposes. Burk (Crew Commander) continued work with the file server and technical set up for the Mars VR mapping work to be completed on an upcoming EVA.

Dinner featured fresh cucumbers, harvested from the greenhab by Renaud (Greenhab Officer). This precious fruit served as an important reminder, relevant to both Earth and Mars: even in the most inhospitable environments, life finds a way to persevere, and the simplest of pleasures can hold profound significance.

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