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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 anymore without going through the suit up and pressurization procedures prior to opening the doors (except to fetch water). The hab is big enough such that the 5 of us can remove ourselves from one another for the most part if we need to, but otherwise we’d better get along. We are subject to experimentation – we have been wearing our stress monitors for almost 2 months and we’ll be doing guided breathing 3 times every day as part of the research.

We have to adhere to the lightspeed distance between Earth and Mars while in sim, for communication. The speed of light is PAINFULLY SLOW. Light leisurely crawls across the universe at a snail’s pace. Generations of humans are born, live their lives, and die, repeating, while light makes its nonchalant saunter across the expanse. I have to wait 19 minutes after I receive a text or email to reply so as to simulate the time delay between the planets at their current positions. Humanity will never become a starfaring civilization until we solve the lightspeed problem.

Breakfast is cereal and an egg scramble with rehydrated bell peppers, leeks, and bacon bits. Lunch is spam sandwiches and soup. Dinner is spaghetti bolognese. We watched The Martian, of course.

I got the chance to tackle the shop on the first floor. We had been using it as best we could for the past week and a half, but it needs cleaning and organizing. Decades of use by folks who do not have fabrication and tool use as their primary vocation has left it in poor shape. Among the worst offenses are 7 electrical baseboard heaters (we can’t have heaters….we only have one generator at a time and for a few hours each day – they will be removed and given away), a French-made garden hose handle with no garden hose nor plumbing for a hose, 200 feet of electrical lead that was hidden in the ceiling above the toilet, and things stored in cardboard boxes. I have big plans for this shop, it’s going to be much better.

Tomorrow I’ll get to go on an EVA to explore the crater!

2 thoughts on “Sol 1”

  1. As I read your blog, I am amazed at the amount of trash and useless items that are there. I do my best to recycle and compost, but to think of the huge amount of trash that is created on an uninhabited island that has only had 15 missions makes me realize that I need to do a better job!

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