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At two hours of the beginning of our sim, the morale of the team is
extremely good, and we all are overwhelmed with enthusiasm and
happiness. I mean, we have been waiting for the beginning of this
mission for one year (and even two for Jérémy and I) : after one year
of clerical work, scientific preparation, answering questions like «
are you going to get dressed as a Martian ?» (I almost responded that
I was planning to bring green makeup and an antenna made out from a
hanger), physical preparation, a 30 hours plane trip, and a road trip
in the desert listening to nothing but terrible rock on the radio (to
be fair, I was expecting a Josh Hommes’s « Song For The Deaf » spirit
original soundtrack) : we finally made it.

Nothing to do with the anxiety and the darkness surrounding the take
off of Tintin’s rocket in « On a marché sur la Lune », nor with the
dark premonitions of the crew’s family prior to the departure of
Saturn V in « Apollo 13 » (1) : as we are ready to enter a two-weeks
long Mars-analog mission, we mostly feel related to Jules Verne’s
characters before the launch of Columbia, their enthusiasm, and their
feeling that all what they went through before this moment was just a
small step towards the realization of a great achievement.

We are overwhelmed with the desire to make this mission a success, to
gather reliable and promising data for further analysis, and to come
home not only with a personal feeling of satisfaction, but also with
the certitude that our experimental results and simulation data will
serve the greater good of Martian exploration. « We won’t go gentle
into that good night… »

« Celui qui survivra à cette journée
Et rentrera sauf chez lui
Se dressera sur la pointe des pieds
Quand on nommera ce jour. »
(Shakespeare, Richard III)

Camille Gontier, Crew Journalist MDRS 164

(1) : and let alone with « Armageddon » : our two-years long
scientific preparation has nothing to do with the spirit of this
movie, which is ridden with scientific errors and inaccuracies. First
of them : Ben Affleck making out with Liv Tyler. I mean, come on !