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1124-JournalistsReport

Journalist's Report
11/24/14
Anastasiya Stepanova

I have written about the beautiful landscape around MDRS, but never about the station itself. Everyone in the crew expected a much smaller station and a much bigger observatory. In reality it was all the way around. It is 100 square meters cylindrical building with two floors made from fiber glass and steel. Electricity provided by diesel generator, cooking stove and heater by propane, which we need to keep eye on every day. There are two exits, but all with Air Lock system. One is main entrance and another is engineering backdoor. Usually the second Air Lock is used to leave stuff to be used for hab maintenance while in EVA. The EVA crew goes out from main Air Lock and when needed, goes to engineering Air Lock for the equipment. This way, the main Air Lock is not cluttered up, which leaves more space, since it is very tight when four of us in space suits stay there for a five minute of decompression. As soon as you get pass the entrance there is EVA preparation room which is: suits, gloves, boots storage, radio charging, back pack and helmet rack. Biology and geology laboratory takes most of space on the first floor. It is bright and well stocked: two microscopes, hot spot, many fans and variety of other equipment. On the first floor also there are a toilet and a bathroom, which we hardly use because we limit water consumption. We take navy shower once a week and baby wipes every day. I thought it would be the hardest part for me, but it felt strangely comfortable. Whereas back at home if you don’t take shower for few days, you feel quiet bad. Guess it is all in our mind. Steep wooden ladder leads to the living quarter. Living space is our everything. Here we have our little cozy six bedrooms, kitchen, working desks and dining area. The whole station is painted in white and blue colors which remind me of my room back at home. It has also some similarity with a space station and maybe that is why I feel so comfortable at MDRS. Most of the aspects in the hab are well thought out, but as any thing in life, there are no limits for perfection. Apart from the station, there are two separate little buildings: the observatory and the GreenHab. The observatory has a Celestron 14-inch CGE 1400 telescope donated by Celestron company. Unfortunately we couldn’t use it due to special training program done before coming to the station. The GreenHab now has only grass and lettuce to harvest, but in the future, it would be amazing to grow some vegetables and fruits. Dehydrated food tastes surprisingly good, but we all miss fresh crunchy vegetables. This is my brief description of our new home that became a whole world to us.