Crew Journalist Adeniyi Adebayo
Life on Mars is like a box of chocolates, you never what you’ll get. SOL 8 came with lots of lessons for all crew members. It was Captain MacBook’s (Mahbubur Rahman) first-ever EVA. He was joined by Comrade Lenin(Mikhail Khmelik) and Captain Marmot (Veronika Shtyengardt). They went on a mission to test the robot. The EVA team reported unsatisfactory results from the tests - a first for our EVA activities. Comrade Lenin learnt that his robot is not as robust as he had hoped and spent the afternoon working with co-crew engineer, Captain MacBook on ways to improve the stability of the robotic system.
Lunch was pasta made by crew commander. After lunch, we worked on our mid-rotation video. While shooting the video, we grappled with a generalization bias. While we had two people in the airlock, we forgot about decompression because this activity was initially only associated with EVAs. Crew astronomer, Captain Marmot noticed this and pointed it out. This observation led to a productive conversation around SIM rules and the psychological effect of seeing Mars like the Earth. Without a large empirical data, it is of course very difficult to make conclusions. However, our crew feels with Mars having similar features like the Earth, there is a temptation to relax safety measures. Our HSO (Officer Natik) took us all through the safety rules once again and we discussed hypothetical situations that we had never considered earlier. We evaluated these situations including what actions should be taken by individual crew members. One hypothetical situation we discussed was what would we do in case of technical faults with our decompression airlock. Our engineering crew came up with a scheme that will fix the problem in about two hours. We thought of alternative ways to keep the HAB isolated using improvised materials. It was a wonderful intellectual activity for all of us.
The day ended with dinner and board games. A very good day on Mars.