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201-JournalistReport

Journalist Report
02/01/2014
Prepared by Tereza Pultarova

How would you explains snow on Mars? Crew 135 arrives 

It’s been a busy few days, or actually, busy few weeks for members of Crew 135. Barely two weeks 
before our departure our most prolific idea generator Vratislav had to cancel his participation in 
the Crew 135 mission due to serious family issues. At a very last minute, cameraman Filip jumped 
aboard, which means our crew will be a bit stronger in the media department. Hopefully, we won’t 
lack in others. 

Vratislav offered to support us remotely, as an astronaut left behind in a station in Martian orbit. 
He would help with computer simulations and modelling. 

Coming over from three continents, we all managed to make it to Grand Junction during Friday 
afternoon despite a powerful snowstorm in Denver. On Saturday morning, most of us still struggling 
with jet-lag, we set out towards Hanksville and the station, making several filming stops along the 
way. 

Our filming crew was a little bit concerned seeing the snow around Grand Junction – how would you 
actually explain snow on Mars? Several ideas were proposed by our crew members – the base is in 
Martian polar regions or the snow could actually be frozen carbon dioxide. 

After the morning phone call with MDRS director Shannon, we agreed we would try to stick to the 
simulation as much as possible including food – with one small adjustment. As we have a very skilled 
green hab officer aboard, who actually plans to grow lettuce in the greenhouse, we could pretend we 
have already grown something and buy some Mars-recommended vegetables to give the crew a source of 
vitamin C and some fresh fibre. 

We made one last stop in Hanksville to pick up our food supplies and buy some tomatoes, lettuce and 
carrots. 

The complicated part came surprisingly at the very end, we took a wrong dirt road towards the 
station and were a little bit surprised to see how much mud we are supposed to get through to get to 
the habitat. We soon found out we must have made a mistake and returned to the road and found the 
right turn. 

When the white structure of the Mars Desert Research Station suddenly emerged from within the red 
sandstone Mars-like rocks, we felt relieved. 

The air-lock of the habitat opened and there came Crew 134 members, already nervous about our 
slightly delayed departure. 

We unloaded our car, filled to the brim with luggage and food-filled bags. We took a tour around the 
habitat. Some tension occurred when it came to the bed-rooms – everyone wanted a bed-room with a 
desk – but there were only two available. The commander had to intervene and resolve the deadlock.