4th March, 2020
Sol 3 – Crew 223 : The Commander’s Day
Today, our commander was busy. He was not lucky enough to go on EVA today, being instead stuck inside the Hab on HabCom duty. He’s helped out everywhere, from assisting the harvest in the GreenHab to lending a hand in the RAM to troubleshoot the recent spacesuit issues. Also, he’s the one tasked with doing the dishes after dinner tonight. It’s also his birthday. For the second year in a row now, Aurélien got a year older inside the station. Being away from family, home, and, to be quite fair, the whole world on a day like this is never easy, especially with a full day’s worth of work to do. We’re great company, there’s no doubting it, but I don’t think any one of us is pretentious enough to think that’s sufficient. Besides, for what it’s worth, he’s been telling us he’s beginning to forget what birthdays outside the MDRS are like. Still, we do our best to make this a great day for him, starting with our EVA, that went very smoothly for everyone involved. For once, no spacesuit trouble to report, besides the fact that we had to use the slightly less comfortable ones, and were glad to lay down by the end of it.
The next step to a good day, as always for us, is a lovely meal. Our birthday boy himself, 23 years young now, took part in the making of some fantastic pizzas, tested and approved by all. Marion baked an absolutely wonderful banana bread – in what was possibly the toughest moment of the mission so far, we took the decision of waiting a bit before eating the leftovers. Sometimes I feel like all I’m talking about is food. When things get unusual or tough, you get back to the fundamentals: sleeping and eating. Both are going well for all, a great sign that the rest also works.
We actually ended up having some time before getting back to work to sit down at the table and play a little game of bluff and strategy. The dynamics of the team really is beginning to show, and we had some great fun playing (no one must tell Aurélien that we let him win). For the third day running, Marion, our Crew Scientist, has had us run an experiment on communication in foreign languages. One person has the instruction for a LEGO build, and the other must construct the object from the pieces without either one seeing the other, with limited time. All teams are making great progress, going from Frankensteinesque monstrosities to things that actually begin to resemble the actual object! To add to that, our Health and Safety Officer Blandine has also continued with teambuilding and relaxation exercises, and it’s once again been a lovely moment together and a great time to talk about how life is going so far in the station.
We’ve got a couple other things planned for Aurélien later on tonight, but we can’t spoil the surprises, so it’ll have to stay secret!
Author: Clément Plagne, Crew Journalist