Journalist Report – February 19th

SOL 1: Crew 293 first steps on Mars, welcome to the magnificent Red Planet!

"I wonder," he said, "whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again . . . Look at my planet. It is right there above us. But how far away it is!" – The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

First wake-up, very early, for Crew 293! We immediately started to take our daily health measurements (tension, temperature…), and then had our very first sports session, specially designed for us by our HSO Lise. It will be our morning routine from now on! Now comes the very solemn and long-awaited moment… the closing of the airlock door! After taking our last crew photos, we entered the air lock, and officially entered this station that is now our only safe livable home on Mars!

No time to lose: we have two EVAs to conduct so that every Crew member is well trained! I equipped myself to go out first with Leo, Léa and Mathurin. We discovered all the sensations of an extra-vehicular activity: wearing a spacesuit, having a helmet, communicating by radio… We are delighted to see the Red Planet through the glass of our helmets. Leo and Léa were on the lookout for the place they want to place the atmospheric instruments, which will be deployed during a future EVA. These instruments will collect data about air particles and the electric field during the entire mission. During this time, with Mathurin, we did some sample collection for one of our outreach experiments. Some high school students near Toulouse in France gave us the responsibility to answer the question: is it possible to grow plants in Martian soil, like in the movie The Martian? The first step of this experiment is now completed, we will plant the seeds tomorrow and see the results at the end of the mission! This afternoon, during their own training EVA, Marie, Lise, and Yves tested their equipment and trained for movements we’ll have to do during EVAs. They even had a little time to explore the landscape surrounding us.

We all took time to set up the experiments we’ll perform during the next four weeks. Lise was installing all the required elements for Orbital Architecture; for example, we are all wearing sensors, and she’s scattering different electronic “anchors” around the station to be able to know our location in the different modules of the station. Mathurin, with Léa’s help, took care and made inventory in the GreenHab. We also started to build the atmospheric instruments, to make it easier during the deployment EVA. Everyone is very busy, the excitement of the beginning of the mission and the deployment of all our equipment create a joyful and stimulating atmosphere within the station!

We already understand that we’ll have to get used to our new life on Mars. Here, we must respect new rules, such as waiting for pressure equalization in the air locks when we move from one module to another. We must also get used to our dehydrated food (even though some of us already shown some impressive talent to make everything taste really good!). We also must live in tiny space without hurting each other … Simulation will give us interesting challenges, but at dusk on this first Sol, I think I can say that our Crew is more ready and motivated than ever to make life on this planet pleasant and productive!

Copyright © The Mars Society. All rights reserved. | Main Site