For the past ten days, we have been living in sim, on Mars. Tomorrow we leave sim, which means we go back to Earth. It also means we won’t get to spend 3 minutes dancing in the airlock every time we go on an EVA. We won’t get to do a photo shoot every time we put on our spacesuits. But we will finally get to use our Earth Return Vehicle
(ERV) to go into town for food and supplies.
All of us have dreamed about this moment, for well, the last ten days.
Thinking about the first thing we’d do once we’re back. Some of us want to go hiking, exploring; some of us want to go outside at night and watch the stars; and others just want a good ol’ burger and milkshake. For me, I just want to run outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, and feel the wind against my face.
Together as a crew, we've made significant accomplishments in the past two weeks. We designed and constructed a 7th crew room in our Habitat so that seven people can finally sleep soundly in their own personal space. We mapped out the entire Habitat and green house in a 3D immersive experience and made much of it available online for the public. We have done the prep work for an official study of how meditation and yoga can benefit astronauts in isolation. And our scientists have carefully collected datasets from all over our surroundings to expose the underlying makeup of the ground beneath us.
But it’s not over just yet. It will only be the beginning of a long journey for us. We have worked on several research and outreach projects during our time here. Some have been released along the way or in the next few days, but the rest of them will trickle out in the months to come. Hopefully, if we get selected as the Mars Arctic 365 crew, we will spend months training for the expedition of a lifetime.
Of course if that happens, we’ll get to spend a whole year with each other where the fun will never end.
So stick around and see what else we have in store for you guys. For now, here is a local news report about our crew and our mission to inhabit the arctic for 365 days: