FMARS-15 Crew Journalist Report 24-07-2023

 In Journalist Report

Crew Journalist Report – Sol 1: Preparing the Hab

By D. Terry Trevino

Devon Island, Arctic – It’s Sol one on Devon Island, and Crew 15 is embracing the challenges and excitement of rehabilitating the research station owned and operated by The Mars Society. The commanding officer, Andrew Wheeler, reminded us this morning that we are a team of five, standing united on this remote and desolate outpost. Our mission here echoes the spirit of exploration from Commander Wheeler’s era, and today, as the sun traversed over the icy horizon to its morning location, we couldn’t help but feel a connection to humanity’s audacious journeys to the stars.

After a hearty breakfast that would make any astronaut envious, we began our day’s work. Our commanding officer had meticulously planned the tasks for the day, ensuring everything ran smoothly. From cleaning the spacesuits and practicing Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) to learning the delicate art of donning and doffing our analog space suits, the crew was eager to tackle every challenge.

We have developed a camaraderie with the generators that keep this place humming with life. Affectionately named Genny, Bambi, Rachel, and Colin, each generator has its quirks, reminding us that even the machines on this distant isle have a story to tell. Unfortunately, during the evening meal prep, we encountered a fuel line leak in Genny, a casualty of six years of battling the harsh Arctic elements. But our resourceful crew engineer lead, Caleb Pool, and his skilled companion, Andy Greco, are already hard at work resolving the issue. Caleb worked diligently throughout the day, repairing the analog space suits.

The science team, led by the brilliant Chief Science Officer, Ms. Olivia Drayson, and the versatile XO and Mission Scientist, Mr. Terry Trevino, embarked on a mission to collect water from the creek below the HMP landing strip. Water is life; here, it’s a precious resource we must cherish. Commander Wheeler expressed concern over the creek’s decreasing water levels, a reminder that even the most stable elements can be fickle in this Arctic landscape.

For lunch, we indulged in rehydrated soup mixed with creek water from the previous day and enjoyed a delicacy we affectionately dubbed “luncheon meat,” which, despite its humble name, warmed our spirits and provided much-needed sustenance. The best part of our lunch was the freshly baked British bread that CSO Drayson threw together. So tasty!

As we ventured into the afternoon, the crew took a moment to practice meditation, which is essential for maintaining our mental well-being in this isolated environment. Our Garmin watches kept a keen eye on our heart rate variability, ensuring we find harmony amidst the solitude.

One of our paramount tasks is monitoring Hab CO2 levels, as ensuring our living space remains safe and breathable is critical for a successful mission. Safety is always at the forefront of our minds.

As the day winds down, we take a moment to look ahead to the challenges that await us. Our experienced crew is well-prepared to face whatever anomalies and surprises the Arctic may throw our way. While we haven’t embarked on any EVAs yet, we eagerly anticipate the day we’ll step out into this Martian-like terrain.

The physical health of the crew is excellent, with only minor scrapes and muscle strains from the hard work we’ve accomplished over the past nine days. We remain vigilant about our well-being, knowing that we depend on each other for our success.

We conclude our first sol on Devon Island, knowing we have many more adventures ahead. The support of The Mars Society has been invaluable, and we look forward to sharing our discoveries and experiences with them as we continue to rehabilitate and explore this remote outpost.

Signing off from the Red Planet simulation on Devon Island,

D. Terry Trevino

Crew Journalist, Crew 15