Sol 7 – Winter is over, time for a spring cleanup
« “We won’t ruin Mars,” said the captain. “It’s too big and too good.” “You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” »
Chapter 7 of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
After dancing, laughing, and singing our hearts out and playing card games over hot chocolate on the night of Sol 6, we allowed ourselves to sleep until 8:30 on this beautiful Sunday morning. Corentin had prepared an intense workout session to drain us completely and give us a fresh start for the incoming week. We had a lot of fun pushing ourselves close to and beyond our limits for activities such as push-ups, squats, and pull-ups; it had been a while since our last truly exhausting and body-resetting workout.
Sunday at MDRS also rhymes with cleaning: after eating freshly baked pancakes for breakfast, we were set on giving the Hab a real makeover. After two very technical EVAs, the Lower Deck was in need of tidying, and the Upper Deck’s kitchen top gave us the opportunity to complete the second workout of the day. We were very proud to have used only 4 liters of water to do the dishes today, given the number of pots and pans left uncleaned after last night’s dinner and the pancakes! Since the beginning of the mission, we have managed to keep our water consumption relatively low, using about 8 liters per day per crewmember (compared to about 150 for the average French!). By 3pm, the Hab looked like it was brand new. Afterwards, Quentin and Alexandre played chess, Alice set her mind to making a new jump rope for our morning workouts, and Corentin and Jérémy installed two flags in the Hab: The United Nations flag and the flag of Humanity. Next to the latter, we placed the whiteboard on which we’ve been writing down quotes for the entire crew to read since the beginning of the mission. Today’s quote read: “Dreams are not what you have when you sleep. The true dreams are the ones that don’t let you sleep.” Food for thought!
In the unusually quiet Upper Deck of the Hab, with only a few muffled voices and music coming from our rooms, Alexandre stood looking out of the window and voiced how beautiful Mars was at this hour: a light pink hue tainted the mountains, reverberating on the last lingering patches of snow. It reminded me of what I have temporarily left behind to join in on this month-long mission: a damaged, mistreated, and disrespected Earth. Let this mission and Bradbury’s quote be a reminder to me and to all of us that protecting and healing our planet must be our top priority!