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Commander Report 

Susan Jewell

SOL 6 - Logdate: 0012052015

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 terrforma 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 porridge and freeze-dried bacon bits to wandering the Martian desert donning our spacesuits during a medical EVA and UAV scouting mission. 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 and facing the early pioneers of any “New World”.  Travelling vast distances and traversing “unknown” terrain is really like a “walking blind man hoping to find the light” but with determination and courage. Dangers 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 arises.  What if we ran out of oxygen far from the safety of the Hab? During the EVA the crew team experienced  lack of water and fatigue as the Sun’s rays strengthened over the dessert landscape, and we felt our body temperatures  rise to uncomfortable levels and perspiration fogging our helmets and dripping down the sides blocking our visibility.  In an instant second, a nanosecond to be exact, the anxiety of suffocation and possible death blazed across our thoughts and reminded us how easy you can die on Mars. Humans are fragile and vulnerable “Beings” and we have much to learn if we are to become true Martian settlers. 

Back at the hab life was focused on the daily chores of house-keeping, constant cleaning, daily routine checks on life support systems, engineering maintenance, water conservation.  Around the dinner table we bonded as a “family unit” cooking and eating together 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 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.

 Ad Astra!