Journalist Report – June 20th
Written by Anastasia Stepanova
The Beginning of the End
Hello there from the crew Mars 160! Many of you have been following our trip to Mars here on Earth, but for those who read it for the first time, here is the story. In 2013 Mars Society announced the call for volunteers for one year Mars Analogue mission at Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station. In 2014 three teams of six and seven people were chosen to spend two weeks at Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. In 2015 based on two weeks isolation experience seven lucky future Martians were chosen. But as time passed and conditions changed Mars Society decided to make the mission even more unique and transformed one year simulation into twin missions: 80 days on hot desert of Utah and 80 days in cold desert of Arctic. In the fall of 2016, the Mars 160 crew started the three month Mars analogue mission at Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Those 80 days passed fast and slow at the same time changed every crewmember in its own way. They were full of joy, hard work, discoveries, pleasant routine and
sometimes struggles. We became one big Martian family! After a five month break back in our home countries, we gathered together again for
one last mission in July 2017! Now it supposed to be 60 days at Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station at Devon Island, Canada. Due to
weather conditions, the crew waited at Resolute (the closest outpost of civilization to Devon Island) for almost a month. Today, when in
USA it is Space day, we are starting our final stage of Mars 160 simulation. The Mars 160 crew consist of:
- Alexandre Mangeot – crew commander (France)
- Yusuke Murakami – crew executive officer (Japan)
- Jonathan Clarke – crew geologist (Australia)
- Claude-Michel Laroche – crew engineer in MDRS (Canada)
- Paul Knightly – crew geologist in Flashline Arctic station (USA)
- Annalea Beattie – crew artist and writer in MDRS (Australia)
- Anushree Srivastava – crew biologist (India)
- Shannon Rupert – back-up crew (USA) [ed: also Principal Investigator of the Mission]
And let me introduce myself, as I will be your ears, eyes and soul of this journey to Mars: Anastasia Stepanova – crew journalist (Russia).
It is easy to be confused, but not all crew members participated in both simulations. Right now, here on Arctic Mars, you will see six space wanderers Alexandre, Yusuke, Jon, Paul, Anushree, and Anastasia.
We are happy to start our journey but sad to realize that it is the beginning of the end.