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0201-JournalistReport

Crew 162 Journalist Report Sol 09
February 1st, 2016
Carmen Felix

We woke up today with three inches (approx. 8 cm) of snow outside the hab!
Looking through the window, we could see nothing but white- it was just
beautiful. Although it was freezing outside, the heater inside the hab
works perfectly fine and we have been warm and comfortable the whole time.

We didn’t have any EVA planned, but we did Engineering checks as we do
everyday. The ATVs were covered in snow and we cleared them off. Our Crew
Engineer also tested two to have a status in expectation of tomorrow’s
visit. Yes, tomorrow we will have a spaceship arriving to our hab, with one
crew photographer who is going to spend the entire day with us. It will be
nice having a new face around, and I am looking forward to learning some
professional photography tips.

The day unfolded normally. We worked in our projects, and we had a nice
surprise when we saw that the cabbage in the greenhab tent is sprouting! We
have cabbage on Mars!!!

We also finished our mid-rotation video and finalize another video for ISU.
We have been enjoying having music and Star Trek episodes in the background
as we work. The environment in the team is peaceful and cooperative.

While we looked outside the window, we thought about the Concordia Station
in Antarctica, where people make research in a very extreme environment
where temperatures can be as low as -80 Celcius. Although their station is
bigger than MDRS, we feel we are currently in a similar situation as them,
we have snow everywhere and activities outside the hab, especially wearing
a spacesuit, are not easy. One of the main differences between Concordia
Station and MDRS, is that at MDRS the winter doesn’t last as long as in
Antarctica. People doing research in the Concordia Station need to go
through a nine-month period of winter and darkness with no way to go in or
out of the area. We are fortunate that even if we have snow now, we also
have sunlight and the opportunity of doing some basic exercise inside the
hab. We are all taking our vitamins to stay as healthy as possible during
our rotation.

Nine days into our mission! Greetings from Mars!