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The Arctic Poppy

The Crew’s Return

20231014 I guess I’ve never truly known what a total-body workout is. I’ve done workout routines labeled as such, but I must have lacked the correct motivation to really push myself. The only plane off the island waiting for you just over the hill is the best motivation to haul everything inside, seal it up,… Read More »The Crew’s Return

Departing the Station

20230818 Not long after we returned, I ran into a problem with this website creating posts. It was displaying a preprocessing error that took me over a week to correct. Sorry for the delay. I left off just as we had decided that we would have to leave the hab at that same time as… Read More »Departing the Station

Sol 7 and End of Sim

20230731 The charters have changed our flight off the island due to a combination of weather, pilot duty rest, and fuel availability. Lots to do in a compressed schedule so we’ve had to triage the critical items and get them done carefully and not rush. We’ll get things wrapped up and I’ll have more information… Read More »Sol 7 and End of Sim

Sol 6

20230729 Morning Song: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. I went on another EVA today, EVA #5. We ventured about half the distance as the last one and we were looking for what might be an ancient hydrothermal vent. These vents exist all over the world right now at the bottom of the ocean. What is… Read More »Sol 6

Hab Lessons 3

20230728 Another alarm went off this morning, but I didn’t hear it. It woke up half the crew around 6am and Olivia went out to see what it was. It was a low voltage alarm. A long high-pitched tone. The kind of alarm like on an automobile inverter so it doesn’t drain your car battery.… Read More »Hab Lessons 3

Sol 5

20230728 Morning song: Open Your Heart by The Human League. We have no EVA planned for today. We will be fetching water, continuing to repair, and writing reports. Olivia, Terry, and Andrew will be analyzing the samples they recovered from the prior EVAs. The Mars Society is posting a lot of our photos and it’s… Read More »Sol 5

Sol 4

20230727 Morning song: Ain’t Too Proud To Beg by The Temptations. The morning songs are chosen by the crew and we play them at breakfast. Today I did get to stay in the hab and got a lot of work done getting the engineer shop in order. I have a Gopro set up for timelapse… Read More »Sol 4

Sol 3

20230726 Morning song: Dreams by The Cranberries. (By the way, a sol is a Martian day, which is 24 hours and 39 minutes.) Two engineers and a geologist walk into a crater… Today we made it to Patterned Ground. Caleb was in sim with Andrew and I was on bear watch. We took a southerly… Read More »Sol 3

Sol 2

20230725 Morning song: Black and Blue Birds by Dave Matthews Band. Today was my first Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). Andrew and I donned space suit simulators, which are the basic space suits in the hab when we aren’t testing new equipment. They are made of common material and equipment you can get at a hardware… Read More »Sol 2

Sol 1

20230724 Morning song: Good Morning Starshine by Oliver. Today is our first day in simulation. Following the rules of our simulation is important to researching what types of equipment, procedures, and technology will work best on Mars. It also helps explore the psychological aspects of a long-duration mission. For example, we can’t leave the hab… Read More »Sol 1

Hab lessons 2

20230723 Another alarm went off today. This time it was later in the morning when everyone was in the common area outside our rooms. We were eating breakfast. It was the breakfast that caused the alarm. We have an air quality index meter and it was rising along with the pancakes we were making. There… Read More »Hab lessons 2

Day 9 Pre-sim

20230723 Today sucked. They can’t all be gems. Even on a fancy vacation you might have some bad days. We didn’t get to do the things we wanted, we had to do things we didn’t want to do. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow we’re supposed to go into our simulation starting in the morning. When… Read More »Day 9 Pre-sim

Day 8 Pre-sim

20230722 We didn’t get through the items we need to so we are delaying the sim for a day. I’m really pushing to complete the things we need to get the science started. There is water pooling on the floor near the main airlock. It isn’t much and it appears to be coming from some… Read More »Day 8 Pre-sim

Hab lessons 1

20230721 It’s late Friday night and I’m in my bed, I’ve unpacked nearly everything and the room is lit with battery powered string lights that I brought and some that Terry brought for everyone. It gets cold when we aren’t moving around and have settled down for the evening so I have a few layers… Read More »Hab lessons 1

Day 7 Pre-sim

20230721 Tomorrow we plan to start our simulated mission at noon. This means if we need anything outside, we need to don a space suit, wait time to pressurize and depressurize the airlock, and follow procedures for sequencing doors, collecting samples, and all other operations (except fetching water). If we take our glove off to… Read More »Day 7 Pre-sim

Day 6 Pre-sim

20230720 It is clear how much energy it takes to bake a loaf of bread when you have to control the only source of energy. Our wind turbine works when it’s windy, but the weather has been good for us and bad for producing energy, so we’ve had to rely on the diesel fuel which… Read More »Day 6 Pre-sim

Day 5 Pre-sim

20230719 It’s hard to believe 5 days have gone by. But we’ve done so much. We have fresh baked bread from our bread maker, although we have repurposed the lab as the kitchen. The status of all the ATVs and generators is known, we have built a list of engineering parts and supplies that we… Read More »Day 5 Pre-sim

Day 3 and 4 Pre-sim

20230718 Catching up by a day. It is currently the end of Tuesday (1am Wednesday). Day 3 I slept horribly and I’m uncomfortable, my right knee wont bend as far as the left but it’s all still pretty cool. I began by going to the airstrip to get the last barrels of fuel with Caleb.… Read More »Day 3 and 4 Pre-sim

Day 2 Pre-sim

20230717 The second day started with no set time, Andrew had us get the sleep we needed. We made some pancakes with Canadian maple syrup and instant coffee. It was more of the same for the next 14 hours. Lots of hard work getting the equipment and gear situated outside while making our way further… Read More »Day 2 Pre-sim

Day 1 Pre-sim

20230716 Before our simulated mission, we will clean and prepare the habitat. In Resolute at the Narwhal Inn on Friday, I got up at 6:30 and packed, breakfast at 7:30. I had oatmeal and a little egg, potato, and one bacon strip plus coffee. It’s difficult to eat a lot but I know I’ll need… Read More »Day 1 Pre-sim

Yellowknife to Resolute

20230714 I’m working quickly as I have to get to sleep, forgive grammar and spelling. Another good night’s sleep Thursday night. We removed the packaging from the items we bought and packed them as efficiently as we could while ensuring weight and safety (hazardous materials) were accounted for. We woke at 630 and got on… Read More »Yellowknife to Resolute

The crew meets

20230713 Throughout the day Wednesday we were able to sneak in a few naps here and there to catch up from the 3 hours of sleep we got the night before. We went around to pick up some of the final items and things we decided at the last minute sounded like a good idea… Read More »The crew meets

Traveling to Yellowknife

20230712 Caleb and I departed last evening from SeaTac airport for a short hop to Vancouver. There were delays throughout the day in Canada and our flight to Yellowknife was delayed by an hour. After some shuffling of our bags around to get them below 50lbs, it was uneventful to Yellowknife save an interesting sight.… Read More »Traveling to Yellowknife

Do we have food?

20230711 Walmart canceled our food order. Hmm, why did they do that? That was a fun email to read in bed this morning. lt says availability is often the reason for orders to be canceled, but I have a hard time believing they are out of so many different items. Terry was supposed to pick… Read More »Do we have food?

2 Days away

20230709 Monday – Terry arrives in Yellowknife. Tuesday – Terry gathers supplies, Caleb and Andy arrive in Yellowknife at midnight. Wednesday 11am – all gear and food must be staged for the cargo flight, Oliva and Andrew arrive that afternoon, after the flight departs. Thursday – we spread out Andrew and Olivia’s gear among the… Read More »2 Days away

The delay’s ripple effect

20230706 has caused more challenges than I anticipated, even with all our planning. Whenever we think a decision is final, something new pops up that causes a few others to shuffle around. It reminds me of playing with a Rubik’s Cube. I was never good at it, I could get a few colors to line… Read More »The delay’s ripple effect

Departure Delayed

20230628 update The availability of the flights north puts our new departure date at July 11th with a put-in to the crater of July 15th. Based on the conversations with the Canadian government, their deadline for getting us the permit is the 15th and we’ll assume they wont get it to us earlier to risk… Read More »Departure Delayed

Gear list

20230623 Did you know there’s a page of this website dedicated to my gear? See the link in the menu under “About”. Gear, equipment, and food have been the subject of most of the prep work and communication for this mission. Hours of discussion on what kinds of tents to bring, which foods will work… Read More »Gear list

One week to go

20230618 Things have been accelerating since the crew met up in Seattle. We’ve started daily meetings to complete the last open items and equipment has started to show up at my house. Some of this equipment is less expensive to carry on the plane, while other items have simply been unavailable in northern Canada. Some… Read More »One week to go

Gather Your Crew

20230609 We had our first in-person meeting with most of the crew today in the Redmond Space District. Having worked with each other remotely for months, we seamlessly got to work reviewing equipment information and mission plans. We poured over some detailed topographical maps of the Haughton Crater and discussed points of interest that we… Read More »Gather Your Crew

Crew members outside the FMARS Hab.

Sciency Background Stuff

20230524 What is The Mars Society? The Mars Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. Established by Dr. Robert Zubrin and others in 1998, the group works to educate the public, the media, and the government on the benefits of… Read More »Sciency Background Stuff

Are you ready

…to explore our Solar System? 20230515 Something truly groundbreaking is in the works. In the next few years, you and I are going to witness a fellow human leave Earth and permanently make Mars their home. Other vast space exploration efforts have already been made, of course. We’ve seen moon landings, the construction and expansion… Read More »Are you ready