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1203-JournalistsReport

Journalist Report

12/03/2014

Susan Jewell

 

Living On Mars…

 

It has been another extra-ordinary day for this crew of brave Martian adventurers. So far, our brief experience here on the Martian terrain reminds us life can be filled with moments of joy, laughter, and beauty, mixed with the mundane activities of daily chores and routine work. In fact, most of the time, living on Mars is very much like life back on Terraforma, but without the luxury of a “life-giving”

oxygen-rich atmosphere which most Earthlings take for granted, the familiarity of family and friends, and the comforts and safety of “home” where we were born.

 

Indeed, we were reminded of such differences as the day passed from waking up to a lovely rehydrated breakfast consisting of reconstituted egg powder and freeze-dried bacon bits to wandering the Martian desert donning our spacesuits during a geological terrain scouting EVA.

Today, we were reminded of the many dangers humans will have to face living on Mars, even the possibility of death. That is the hard fact and reality of space exploration facing early pioneers of any “New World”.  Travelling vast distances and traversing unknown terrain is like a blind man trying to find the light, but we’ve got determination and courage.

 

Dangers are abound inside and outside the safety of the Hab; crews will have to deal with the challenges of limited access to immediate medical care should an emergency arise.  What if we ran out of oxygen far from the reaches of the Hab? During the EVA, the crew team experienced fatigue as the Sun’s rays strengthened over the desert landscape.  With the lack of water, we felt our body temperatures rise steadily with perspiration fogging our helmets and dripping down the sides, decreasing our visibility.  In a fraction of a second, the thought of suffocation and possible death flashed across our minds and reminded us how we are at the whim of the planet. Humans are fragile and vulnerable beings and we have much to learn if we are to become true Martian settlers.  This is why we are here.

 

Back at the Hab, life was focused on the daily chores of house-keeping, constant cleaning, routine checks on life support systems, engineering maintenance, water conservation, and growing food in the GreenHab.  Around the dinner table, we bonded as a family unit, cooking and eating together, the room filled with laughter, jokes, and interesting conversations and anecdotes about our lives back on Earth.

This is the time we enjoy as a crew because it reminds us that this is our new family, these are our new friends, and this is the moment for openness, trust, and respect.

 

So…what is it like Living on Mars? Well, let’s just say there is never a dull day here. There is always something new to learn, something beautiful to see, and something sublime to create. What we are doing here is to forge a new existence…a possible New World for Humanity….Why? Because why not? We are, in fact, the Martians.