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Journalist Report


Victor Luo

Sometimes when you’re fully prepared, all the conditions are prime, and everything is smooth sailing, that’s when Mars throws you a curveball.  Yesterday was that day.  The toilet clogged, the water pump broke, we leaked the airlock, and we ran out of internet.

But today, let’s reflect on all the fun and unique activities we’ve done so far.  Every day, we gather at least three times at the food table to have our meals together and talk about the day.  We also spend three times a day planning and making these meals.  With our limited ingredients, we have to get pretty crafty with our cooking.

Some of the most memorable meals include spam and tuna sushi, hand/foot-made udon noodles, and personal pizzas with dehydrated tomato powder, mozzarella cheese, and various states of hydrated meats.  It’s amazing what you can make with a pinch of creativity.

Of course our daily Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) are a blast.

Suiting up in a spacesuit and going outdoors to explore the new world around us is a thrilling addition to every day.  Getting to ride an ATV for transportation is the icing on the cake.

Starting the day with yoga and ending with meditation bookends the day quite nicely.  Yoga wakes me up in the morning and meditation sets my mind at ease before bedtime.  It’s also helped me maintain control over my breathing during my EVAs.  We were also introduced to Heidi’s army exercise regime.  That and all the walking from the EVAs is keeping the crew pretty fit and healthy.

This crew has also set a good example of documenting their time here.

Besides our detailed plans and schedules, we have also collected a nice set of images, videos, and 3D scans to really make our mark at MDRS.  We have reached out to media and students around the world and our work will live on in their hearts and minds.

For pure entertainment, we’ve had movie night together, played Mongolian card games for arbitrary status and rewards, and learned Japanese calligraphy from Yusuke.  And then there’s Tony.  As our spirit animal and team mascot, he has shown us how to be light-hearted and joyful during any and all situations.

Every day, there are moments that you capture and remember forever.

As a crew, we have unclogged our own waste, constructed a living quarter from scratch, and fixed just about everything that could break inside our Habitat.  These might be stressful times for some, but we are hardened veterans at this point.  If there’s anything else Mars would like to throw at us, I say, bring it on!