“Shoot, I forgot the [insert essential everyday living supply]” could
ruin your day on Earth, but on Mars, this could ruin your entire
mission. This is why for us, planning is an essential part of our
day. So what actually goes on in the day of a Martian? Well, I’m
glad you asked.
Every morning starts bright and early with a healthy dose of yoga and
exercise administered by our lovely Health+Safety Officer Susan
Jewell. This is usually followed by a quick breakfast and a brief
overview of the day. If weather permits, we’ll begin to execute our
planned Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) of the day. Usually a crew of
three including Victor the crew engineer will suit up in the finest
gear Mars has to offer and set out for the day. Meanwhile, the rest
of the crew is toiling away at lunch and household maintenance
Each EVA mission differs, some are focused on geophysical and
biological site evaluations, others on scouting and acquisition of
imagery and telemetry for science and outreach. Regardless of the
task, we try to plan out every minute of the activity. Because we
only have time for one EVA a day, we usually try to spend around two
hours out there to maximize our science acquisition. Assuming all
goes well and no malfunctions or unexpected events occur, we lumber
home to the Hab where a warm stove of food offerings are presented to
the tired EVA crew.
After the meal, we have a debrief of the EVA events and immediately
create action items for the lessons learned. When all our food is
digested and the dishes are clean, we’ll begin writing our daily
reports and working on our crew tasks, such as building a new crew
room for the Hab. Some people take advantage of this time to sneak in
a nap or two.
Before you know it, its dinner time and two chefs of the day will
prepare a nutritious meal with the most decadent dehydrated
ingredients. We reminisce about the good ol’ days on Earth and joke
about misgivings and limitations of the present situation. When the
clock strikes 7pm MST, communication channels to Earth open up and we
spend the next two hours communicating with mission control on the
ground. This critical time allow us to exchange our reports and
requests for the day and discuss future EVA expeditions.
We wrap up the night with a bit of peaceful group meditation, and then
whatever time we have left is up to us. Catching up on work, writing
in our diaries, or turning in “early” for bed.
Now that you know how we live on Mars, do you think you’ve got what it
takes to be part of our crew?