Journalist Report – February 24th

SOL 6 : A One in a Hundred Crew

“You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.” – The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This morning, waking up was rough for everyone, tiredness started to appear within the Crew! But everything works well, Lise prepared a core muscles workout session to refuel our energy for the day. Yves, Marie, and Lise performed an EVA this morning. Their goal was to solve the field mill’s problems we had during the last EVA, and to change atmospheric instrument’s batteries. Thanks to Crew members, the field mill is now fixed, but it is not collecting data yet. It will be a mission for the next EVA Crew, we already have an idea of how to launch it! From the outside, Marie also set down the drone in front of the Science Dome’s window. That way, when they were out in the Martian atmosphere, Mathurin was following them, piloting the drone from the inside of the Science Dome. This way, he could capture some images of Crew members on EVA and test the drone’s photogrammetry settings. Thanks to drone’s taken photos, we can generate 3D maps of the desert. It will be useful for future EVAs next week, in which photogrammetry will be the main purpose!

Before lunch, a lot of Crew members were working together in the Hab, while Yves was teaching me on how to use the EchoFinder tool, so that I could perform ultrasounds on Marie. We enjoyed once again a MELiSSA meal for lunch: a pasta gratin with vegetables and béchamel. These meals have a huge positive impact on the Crew’s mood, and as Leo said: “We eat better on Mars than we do on Earth!”. After lunch, everyone took a break. Some Crew members tried to rest by taking a nap, others read. This break at the beginning of the afternoon enabled us to be more efficient during the rest of the day.

In fact this afternoon, Yves and Mathurin started to work on photogrammetry, thanks to the drone’s taken images of the morning. They generated maps and located the places they want to perform photogrammetry for the next EVAs. With these 3D maps and regular 2D maps, we will compare performances of two teams which will try to find checkpoints. During this time, Leo helped Lise to set up some of the “anchors” which record our position for the Orbital Architecture experiment. They are spread all around the station, and linked to the sensors we wear, but some of them seemed to malfunction. In the Upper Deck, Léa read documentation to train herself on astrophotography. Indeed, her astronomy project was about the Sun, but the station’s solar observatory is damaged and not in service… She works a lot to be able to use the other observatory and to take pictures of celestial objects. At the end of the day, we allowed ourselves to take a break to end our last day of the week working on scientific experiments. Is it during these breaks that we feel how much our Crew is united and get along well together. Each one of us is very happy to spend time with the Crew, and we share a lot of activities and talks. This makes our life in the station very pleasant and isolation less difficult to endure!

Journalist Report – February 25th

SOL 7: “Carpe Diem”

“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Today it’s Sunday at the MDRS! The day started a bit later than usual: we woke up at 8:30 instead of 6:45! The daily workout session was longer too: we enjoyed a one-hour session with lots of cardio exercises, to get us in shape for the day. For breakfast, Mathurin and Yves cooked pancakes for the Crew. They were delicious, and we ate so many of them with maple syrup that we decided to avoid lunch and just have brunch!

Then, Sunday means clean-up! Since we arrived at the station, we had not taken the time to fully clean the Hab. This morning, we cleaned up all the tables, countertops, and cooking utensils. We keep a close watch on our water consumption every day, and we are very careful not to waste water, even during cleaning. Léa vacuumed, after struggling to make it work. After a week, the floor was dirty… But now, everything is clean and well tidied up for next week, and this has given the Crew a real boost! Finally, we erased the white bord we used to track our daily task, now that they’re implemented in the AMI interface. That way, we could write quotes on it, like “Carpe Diem”!

During the afternoon, we enjoyed some downtime, not forgetting some essential tasks: Yves collected data for all the experiments we performed during the week, and some Crew members took cognitive tests for the Orbital Architecture experiment. But we made sure everyone was well rested, whether it was reading, or knitting, or crocheting, or making a puzzle and listening to music… The mood is great for this first Sunday on Mars!

Journalist Report – February 26th

SOL 8: Who run the Hab? Girls!

« The boy felt jealous of the freedom of the wind, and saw that he could have the same freedom. There was nothing to hold him back except himself. » – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

This morning the first EVA of photogrammetry took place. Particularity: it was a 100% masculine EVA! All the boys went out on the Martian atmosphere, letting the Hab free for the four girls of the Crew. Outside, Mathurin piloted the drone and took photos of North Ridge with it, to later generate a 3D map of the site during the data handling session that they did this afternoon. Winds blew this morning; the drone could hardly take off. As the HabCom of the EVA, I told them information every 10 minutes about wind speed thanks to our weather station, installed during a previous EVA. In the Hab, girls were working on experiments: Marie was dealing with the AMI interface, Léa kept training on astrophotography, Lise watered the GreenHab’s plants while Mathurin was out of the station and, as I said, I was HabCom for the boy’s EVA. Despite it all, we were very happy to get the Crew reunited at the end of the morning.

During the afternoon, Yves finished teaching the Crew about the EchoFinder experiment, by teaching Leo and Léa. Now, everyone can perform ultrasounds on Marie and knows how to use the experiment’s software. At each session, we are searching for five organs, like the carotid for example, helped by augmented reality and artificial intelligence to take good quality images of the organs. Operators of the experiment take notes about remarks they want to share with the researchers for them to perfect the software, in order for it to be used one day during space missions.

Finally, Lise retrieved last week’s data for the Orbital Architecture experiment. This experiment, which was brought to the ISS three weeks before the beginning of our mission, aims to study the impact of the station’s architecture and environment on the analog astronauts. We perform three cognitive assessments per Crew member per week in different modules, we wear location tracking sensors and polars to measure our heart rate. The results of the tests, of the location tracking sensors, and of questionnaires that we fill enable the researcher from the University of KTH to analyze our performances!

Journalist Report – February 21st

SOL 3: Story of an EVA

“He had decided, the night before, that he would be as much an adventurer as the ones he had admired in books.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

In the morning of Sol 3, The ambient concentration is almost palpable. We know that today, we’ll have a lot of work: we are going out on an EVA in the Martian atmosphere to deploy the atmospheric instruments. The experiment will provide data to researchers about the atmosphere, concentration and size of particles in the air, and electric field. The instruments are fragile and difficult to build. This is a high stakes EVA. We gather in the Upper Deck. The seven of us are seated around the table, listening to Léa, the EVA leader. She sent an EVA request yesterday during our Coms Window, approved by Mission Support. She takes us through every step of the EVA. Leo and I, who are part of the EVA Crew, are listening carefully to what we’ll have to do. Mathurin will be our HabCom: he’ll stay in the station, and we will be communicating with him throughout the EVA to make sure we don’t forget any steps of the deployment. Lise, Yves and Marie are here too, their help might be useful in case a problem occurs.

Once the explanations are understood by everybody, we go down to the Lower Deck. The EVA starts in 30 minutes, and we must equip three astronauts. We’re going to use Suits number 2,5 and 6. They are checked to see if there are no and if they are powered. This morning, after our daily sport session, we decided to wear warm and comfortable clothes. Over them, we put on our black space suits, protecting us from the hostile Martian atmosphere. We are helped by the rest of the crew to get equipped. There are a lot of steps, they are all very important: we want to be as protected as possible outside of our base. Marie is helping me put on my harness, useful to store and maintain a radio and a location tracker. On my right, I see that Yves has already equipped Léa with her full COMS kit. Each Crew member has one kit, containing all the necessary equipment to communicate while being on an EVA. It has a radio, a microphone, a headband to keep the microphone in place, and a wipe to clean our helmets. Nearby, Lise has just finished equipping Leo with Suit 5, well secured and resembling a large backpack, and she’s putting his helmet on just after cleaning it. When it is well adjusted, she closes the helmet. We are all three equipped the same way, a pair of gloves hermetically closing our equipment for the next three hours. Mathurin and the three astronauts test communications, and Mathurin informs Mission Support of the beginning of the EVA; the countdown has officially started.

Even though we’re aware of the importance of the mission and well-focused to succeed, the mood is still joyful. With the first aid kit, water and all the required equipment, we’re heading towards the airlock. We are happy to perform this EVA together, after such a long preparation. We’re communicating with our HabCom through radio, in English. After five minutes of depressurization, we can go out and tread the Martian soil. We drive slowly with two rovers, loaded with the atmospheric instruments, to go to the chosen deployment site.

Once we arrive on the site, we take out all the equipment from the trunk of the rovers. There are two instruments, and a lot of steps to deploy each one. Leo and Léa are screwing the supporting rods together, I am maintaining the mast. We spend 30 minutes on the first screw. With gloves and suits, everything is slower and harder, small pieces kept falling from our hands. For the next screws, we are a bit faster. The first instrument, Mega Ares, is deployed. We try to sink fixations in the ground, to make Mega Ares resistant to Martian winds. But we have a problem: Martian soil is way harder than we thought… At each step, we keep the HabCom informed of what we’re doing. Then, when the supporting rods are finally in place, we move towards the second instrument, LOAC. This time, we just have to fix it to the ground, but it is not working well… We choose to prevent LOAC from falling thanks to rocks that we found nearby. Everything seems well attached, we make some tests on the instruments, and everything is nominal. We take a picture to send to researchers during the COMMS window. We are very happy, the pressure starts to slowly alleviate. We had no problems, or few, to which we found solutions thanks to good teamwork. We drive back with our rovers towards the station.

During the five minutes of the recompression in the airlock, I smile behind my helmet, proud and glad of how well the EVA went. We join the rest of the Crew, waiting impatiently on the other side of the airlock door. They all have a huge smile on their faces, and they are welcoming us back with a little bit of food and water, we appreciate it a lot. They help us to take off our equipment, we eat. This EVA was long and challenging, with precise and technical actions to perform. We are exhausted but we laugh while recounting our misadventures. We debrief all together while eating a ratatouille cooked for lunch. Proud, happy, relieved: the day can continue with calmer activities, like the successful setup of the AMI platform!

Journalist Report – February 22nd

SOL 4: First clouds upon the Crew

“Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful.” – The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Each morning when we wake up, we take what we call “Core Data”. These measurements are diverse: we weigh ourselves with an impedance meter, which records a large data spectrum such as weight, the detail of muscular weight and fat weight, an electrocardiogram, and others. We also record our tension and corporal temperature. Oximetry data are taken with an oximeter, placed at the finger’s tip. While we take a turn on each measurement device, we fill sleep questionnaires and time perception tests on our computers. The aim is to record these Core data all along the mission, to then provide them to researchers who conduct human factor studies. There are seven of us in the station, and we all must take all the measurements, so the recording takes a little bit of time. But, at this point, we are starting to get used to the procedure and to be very efficient: we managed to take all the measurements and to fill our questionnaires in less than 20 minutes!

After that, what’s better than another deployment EVA for the atmospheric instruments? Leo and Léa went on the EVA with Lise to deploy the last two instruments: a weather station and a field mill. Combined to LOAC and Mega Ares, deployed yesterday, these instruments will provide complete and precise data regarding the atmosphere and electric field. As part of the study, the CNRS researchers are interested in the earth’s desert. For us, participating in this study is interesting both for the scientific purpose and for the Martian life simulation, giving us opportunities to perform EVAs. This atmospheric physics’ experiment was brought to the station for several years by other ISAE-SUPAERO MDRS Crews, so researchers can record a large amount of data, necessary to their scientific publications. The deployment did not go as well as yesterday… Indeed, due to strong rays from the Sun on Mars, some of the devices’ electric cables melted… After three and a half hours of EVA, our astronauts came back to the station, even though the problem wasn’t solved.

Just before the end of re-pressurization of the airlock, one of the EVA team members noticed that their ventilation system was not working nominally. They quickly asked to take off their helmet, and the sim was broken for safety purposes. The accumulation of expired CO2 in their helmet caused them difficulty to breathe. The entire crew reacted to the situation perfectly; we called Mission Support and provided all the correct first aid. Mathurin checked their oximetry level, which was back to normal after their difficulties. Once the situation was under control, Leo and Marie performed measurements on the ventilation battery and noticed that the battery level had dropped below 9V… We will make sure that the problem does not occur again by testing every suit to identify the ones that might be faulty. Everything is back to normal, even though we were all a bit shaken, and the affected EVA team member felt much better during the afternoon.

During the afternoon, each Crew member worked on their experiments, Mathurin took care of the GreenHab and three astronauts performed the “Tilt” experiment, provided by the Neuroergonomy department of our school. The objective is to test the way we control a little shuttle which must pass obstacles, whether we are seated or laid down. We are testing two different points of view: third or first person. The aim is to study our perception and our orientation. Every Crew member will participate in this experiment, with one session per week and per person during the entire mission.

Journalist Report – February 23rd

SOL 5: Science is our AMI*

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” -The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Today, we started to use the AMI software, Anomaly Monitoring Interface, which was developed by former MDRS SUPAERO Crew members. Thanks to that, we simulate the time used for technical management of the station. Indeed, in the International Space Station, astronauts are reserving half of their time on reparation and maintenance operations of different station’s systems. AMI enables us to reinforce our simulation, allocating time in our schedule to virtually manage our station in the Martian desert. How does it work? On the interface, we can virtually follow our energetic consumption in real time, activate systems in each module like scientific equipment, heat activation, … For example, if Yves goes to the Science Dome to turn an experiment on, we can switch them all in the software and AMI calculates our energetic consumption by lowering the battery level. Our purpose is to simulate our real energetic consumption, so we can optimize it. Energy is a precious resource on Mars (like on Earth!). Every station’s module is linked to the interface: the Hab, the place we live; the RAM, our repairing facility; the Science Dome where we perform experiments; the Observatory and the GreenHab. The software can alert the Crew if an anomaly occurs. They can be minor, and resolved quickly, or deteriorate emergencies such as module depressurization! Regarding simulation, this interface enables us to really dive into conditions closer as possible as the real space mission conditions. We want to ameliorate the software, pass it from Crew to Crew, and, at the end, correlate our reaction times to our physiological sensors ‘data.

During lunch, Mathurin and Leo called us to eat after cooking an excellent meal for two hours. We all left our computers where, for some of us, we had been working all morning. Others came back from different modules. On the Upper Deck’s table, we installed the meal. We ate vegetable pancakes, cooked thanks to the MELiSSA activity, an ESA project, whose aim is to study how much time we need to prepare our meals with real vegetables! We’re aiming to prepare three MELiSSA meals per week. It was a pleasant time because we didn’t eat dehydrated food for once! After enjoying all our delicious pancakes, we continued working during the afternoon.

A lot of Crew members went to the Science Dome this afternoon! Indeed, we have a lot of our experiments set up there. Léa, Marie, Lise and Mathurin performed their first session of the Neuroergonomy experiment. They alternatively laid down on the ground or sat down in front of their computers. Mathurin worked on the settings of AI4U, an artificial intelligence designed to help astronauts in their everyday life. Finally, Marie was once again the patient for ultrasounds, due to the EchoFinder experiment. It might happen often during our mission: she’s the only subject of the experiment, and we all need to try the software various times on her!

*AMI means “friend” in French

Journalist Report – February 16th

Sol 12: Life on Mars

Well, it’s the final sol for Crew Mangalyatri, and my goodness did Mars put on a gorgeous sunrise for us today! Today, all our sadness about leaving has been replaced with panic about cleaning the research station for the incoming Crew 293. But we didn’t bother worrying until after breakfast. It was another day for pancakes, and Daniel wisely suggested putting choc-chips in them. Good idea!

Once breakfast was complete, the cleaning began. First with the Science Dome, GreenHab, and RAM, and then the Hab itself. I have to say, the place is looking great! We blast off from Mars and back to Earth at 1200. That is to say, we break sim and can go about our lives as we normally would on Earth, e.g., not worrying about airlocks, being able to go outside without our EVA suits on, and being able to access the phone/internet outside of comms hours. Our plan once we break sim is to have lunch and then play tourist in the area and look at some more geology (woohoo, rocks!), before coming back for the night and doing our final cleaning tomorrow.

In lieu of anything particularly interesting happening today, I’m going to ask all the Mangalyatris what their favourite moment of this mission has been and to include their favourite photo from our time at MDRS.

Annalea (Commander): She has two! Which I guess I’ll allow as she’s the Commander. Her first is when she saw the dehydrated mango in the kitchen cupboard, which she then proceeded to eat most of. Annalea’s next favourite moment was decompressing in the airlock, wearing the EVA suit for the first EVA.

Aditya (XO & Crew Astronomer): Playing cards, specifically the first UNO game, which went on for AT LEAST 10 rounds and got sillier and sillier each round, resulting in a lot of laughter and a lot more of us saying “just one more round” and “I just want to win ONE game”.

Bharti (Crew Geologist): As a geologist, I have come across benchmarks many a time, but I don’t know why this feels certainly emotional as I was saying I am not that emotional currently when the mission is getting over but on the last EVA looking at the benchmark reminded me that someone before us put it there and this land has been explored many a time which may be or may not be the case for Mars. Either I’ll be one of the few geologists who will map and survey the Martian land, and maybe we will put it there. Or maybe we will go out after some people and see a similar benchmark on Mars. I don’t know if that makes sense at all, or I was just emotional for a very brief period of time. But yeah, here it is, the benchmark.

Mehnaz (GreenHab Officer): When we went to Candor Chasma, and we hiked there inside the canyon and the rough driving on the rover. Also, she said when I (Clare) make nice pancakes in the morning, and every time in the morning she wants something sweet, she wakes up to the smell of me making pancakes. How sweet of her to say!

Rajvi (Crew Engineer): The drive back from Candor Chasma in the EVA suit and the view of the Henry Mountains on that drive back. They were so beautiful covered in snow, and appeared so big and close, but at the same time, they were so different from our immediate surrounding landscape. Rajvi thought it might be a bumpy ride on the way back, but it wasn’t, instead, it was just a breathtaking moment. She said that it was really hard to pick a favourite moment, because everything was so good, and she loved it here. She also has a last-minute add of working on the space suits.

Daniel (Crew Biologist): Daniel’s favourite moment was the first time that DNA was successfully extracted from a collected sample, with attached annotated gel image to see. This was from the first sampling EVA, and while DNA was only obtained from one other soil sample out of 9 other samples, this was a great start and allowed the project to move forward.

Me, Clare (Crew Journalist): My time in the Science Dome. I painted in there with Annalea while Daniel did microbiology experiments. I taught Rajvi about testing for carbonates with vinegar and about breaking rocks while Daniel did his microbiology experiments and Annalea painted. I learned about said microbiology experiments from Daniel and learned how to pipette, pour a gel for gel electrophoresis, learned to prepare a DNA ladder, and learned that I was bad a shaking the tubes which contained samples and small beads to break the cells and extract DNA in lieu of a vortex. The Science Dome was a meeting of minds and a confluence of disciplines that I’ll miss in my everyday life.

So long, and thanks for all the fish,

Clare Fletcher (292 Mangalyatri Journalist)

Journalist Report – February 18th

SOL 0: Into familiar unknowns

“This wasn’t a strange place; it was a new one.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Finally, Crew 293 has landed on Mars! The seven of us have arrived on the Red Planet. After an entire year of preparation and challenges, our interstellar space shuttle driven by Mathurin our Botanist and Lise our HSO made us step on our new habitat for the next four weeks. The travel was joyful and sunny in empty space!

As we arrived at the Mars Desert Research Station, we were truly amazed to finally see the station that we had dreamt of. We had a strong emotion upon seeing our future home, and we met Ben Stanley, the site manager. We spent the rest of the day being taught about how the station works. Ben explained to us details about the Upper Deck, where our rooms and kitchen are. No fight for the rooms, they are all small and look the same… Marie, our commander, has the privilege to have a window in her room, with a unique view on Mars! Then, we visited the Lower Deck, and the different station’s modules: the RAM, that Leo began to tame as our Crew Engineer; the GreenHab, realm of Mathurin; the Science Dome for out Crew Scientist Yves, and finally the Observatory, in which Léa will perform her Astronomy project! We finished off the day by preparing the EVA training, to learn how to use our EVA equipment. We will use it tomorrow for our two first training EVAs!

Despite all the hard work, we could benefit from the hot Martian sun rays, and we took some photos outside as we have not entered the simulation yet. Indeed, tomorrow we’ll close the station’s door and officially enter the Martian life simulation. Then, we’ll be authorized to go out with spacesuits and equipment only!

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!

Journalist Report – February 20th

SOL 2: Slowly settling down

“The boy understood intuitively what he meant, even without ever having set foot in the desert before. Whenever he saw the sea, or a fire, he fell silent, impressed by their elemental force.” – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

This morning, during our daily workout, we turned our eyes towards the round window of the Hab Upper Deck. In the distance, the rounded Martian hill of Phobos Peak was like a cutout printed against a perfectly red sky. We let ourselves get temporarily lost in this empty vastness of Mars, and we realized the landscape’s beauty. We are far away from Earth, but we are so lucky that our eyes can gaze upon such an incredible and unique sight. Happy to be together and peaceful thanks to this view, our sports session was beneficial for all of us, and the Sol could start!

This morning, I assisted Yves and Marie in the Science Dome in performing the first session of the EchoFinder experiment. In this experiment from CNES, the French Space Agency, we perform ultrasounds with the help of an AI and virtual reality. The objective is to capture good quality images of pre-defined organs, to see if untrained astronauts could use ultrasound imaging to keep track of their health. That way, during a space mission, astronauts can be autonomous in recording images, and doctors on Earth can analyze them correctly. For our mission, Marie is the subject on which we can perform ultrasounds. Yves, who is the Crew member responsible for this experiment, is the first operator. He set up the software and hardware; it always takes more time when it’s the first try! He managed to ultrasound our commander’s carotid, guided by QR Cubes and the AI in identifying the right position for the ultrasound probe. Meanwhile, all the Crew members continued working to set up the other experiments, and especially the deployment of environmental sensors and “anchors” so our position in the station is known throughout the day. Several of them must be in each module, so it is very precise! We are also very proud to announce that the building of the atmospheric instruments is now completed! It was one of the big challenges of the first days of the mission. They will be deployed outside the station tomorrow during an EVA!

For lunch, Léa and Lise cooked for us! They tried to tame the Hab’s bread making machine by preparing the first bread of our mission! In the end, the bread is almost cubic, but very tasty! For the meal, they concocted a couscous with vegetables. It has a marvelous smell, very pleasant for the rest of us working in the Hab! Hard to believe that this food was dehydrated in a tin can a few hours before!

Following yesterday’s EVA, during which we gathered samples of Mars’ soil, we planted the seeds for the Seeds of Mars outreach experiment. There is one pot of Martian soil, and one of regular earthly soil, in which cress seeds will grow during the next four weeks. The objective of the experiment, entirely designed by high school students, is to compare how plants grow in different types of soil. We are very excited to see the results!

Tonight, the Martian winds are blowing… The sky is getting darker, and all Crew members are hoping for better weather tomorrow for the atmospheric instruments deployment EVA!

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