March 8th, 2019
Sol 12: The Hab, our shelter
After the incident of the weather station, we gave a second life and role to the LOAC : the study of the air inside the Hab. Our goal is to monitor the particles inside the Hab and compare with the data outside the Hab. For its first hour of data collecting in the Hab, we submit the LOAC to a massive particles number. As a matter of fact we cleaned the Hab and so we raised a lot of dust from the ground. At the precise time we wrote that report, the wind and the rain are threatening us; and we are here, confined but above all protected in the Hab. We took advantage of that day inside the Hab to precise our water monitoring. We spent a lot of time evaluating the average volume of a flush in order to reduce our unmeasured water volume.
As a crew fond of Escape Games, we did one before the mission as Team Building, with great success. Indeed, the crew has wonderful skills to escape from a room. Unfortunately, the Hab is not an Escape Room and we are here for 21 sols and not just for an hour. Confinement is one of the most interesting aspects of the simulation. It has many sneaky impacts on every member of the crew. For example it is likely to have some desires that we do not have in our everyday lives. We all really wish to go for a hike with our parents or our friends although this is not something we are used to do. Everybody is used to live far from their relatives but when we miss them usually we know that with a phone call, a train ticket or a trip by car we can see them or talk to them in a few hours. Here we are confined and isolated. It changes also our perception of time. It is clear that the days are running really fast as we are in our routine but we all have the strong impression that we are here for a long time, not just two weeks. We feel the moments in the day when we face boredom as much longer than in our usual lives.
At our entry in the station, our motivation and will were extremely strong and even if we enjoy the mission the routine is slowly consuming our will to begin new experiments or measures. The EVAs are a special moment. Even if with the Simulation we can’t breathe the fresh air directly, it is satisfying to be able to walk out of the 8m-diameter Hab. As the landscape is wonderful the EVAs are source of energy for every crew member. As the wind is blowing around the station these days we are not asking for EVAs as the Simulation is our first purpose. Indeed Martian astronauts won’t go out if there is any risk outside so we decided to stay in the Hab, maybe until Monday. Some of us can enjoy a small extra space because of their role. In fact, Norbert can relax in the GreenHab, Gaspard can work alone in the RAM and I (Aurélien) can observe the sun in the Musk Observatory. Some of us also brought activities to do in their free time: books, mobile games, knitting, Rubik’s cube. We are spending our days together, from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm so I want to remind the title of yesterday’s Journalist Report, it is great to be an ‘unflappable crew’.
Authors: Aurélien Mure, Astronomer and Executive Officer and Benjamin Auzou, Journalist