5th March, 2020
Sol 4 – Crew 223 : A matter of time
It’s sol 4 already! We’re just about a third of the way through our stay in the station, which is honestly really hard to imagine. We’ve experienced a lot already. The team has already changed from how it was when we started, and we’ve grown as a unit more and more each day. Our bodies are a bit leaner, bruised for a few of them, but feel stronger and healthier – the all-American fast-food based diet we had before arriving here is long gone. They’re also a whole lot dirtier. While no one’s complained about smells, the days inside an enclosed, dusty environment have taken a toll on us, and we’re all overdue for a shower.
Yeah, we sure have done a lot already. It’s hopeless to think we’ll explore everywhere around us and do all the science we want, but we’ve done a fair bit. Still, it feels like all those days have gone by like a flash. Time goes by differently in the station. Saying “It’s sol 4!” sounds fine to all of us, but “It’s Thursday!” just feels weird. Very easily, you get into a rhythm. 7am wake up time, timed sports session, breakfast, EVA Prep, check, check, check, 5 minutes of airlock depressurisation, and on with the procedures. Everyone knows what they’re doing every single minute of their morning. It’s doing work of course, but also a lot of waiting for lunch. Lunch, as well as the afternoon, is a lot freer. Where EVA mornings have us all focused on one task, afternoons are for our own work. You get to take time to think.
When you’re in here, the rest of the world just stops to exist, and so does everything with it. The days become simpler. No more social media, no more advertisements on walks outside, no more commute to work. Without distractions, you finally get to take time. Time for science, time for ourselves and others. And, as things get the chance of going slow and smooth, paradoxically, they go by without realising, and you end up busy writing reports over a day you thought started instants before. It’s a pleasure being so efficient and living so simply.
We’re only a third of the way through, but I’m already afraid it’ll be over before I realise it. I’m enjoying every second of it while it lasts.
Author: Clément Plagne, Crew Journalist