Welcome to ‘Mars’

Entry velocity: 25 mph

Status on vehicle thermal: 68degF, looking good

Landing confirmation?

.

..

…..

Landing confirmed. Mankind, welcome to Mars.

At 4:41pm Hawaii time, I, and the other five crew mates of Mission 5, entered the habitat airlock for the first time. It’s a little surreal; I’m not going to lie. So many hours of back-to-back training and briefings. If I heard another researcher say the word “data” I was going to throw them into the nearest lake, as my grandma Pearl would say.

Honestly though, what an insane experience; it was leading up to the main event. There was so much build up, preparation, and emotion behind the event that when it came time to ‘walk the walk’, there was a numbness felt in that moment. Maybe even a deja vu, like I’d seen this before; anticipation wiping away the dramatization.

As engineers we tend to capture all levels of detail, the only issue being we’ll always look for a shortcut. Can you blame us? Instead of waiting for a repairman to come out and fix the washing machine, an engineer realizes the advantage a bath tub presents in this situation so he/she exploits it! When it comes time to shower during a low power-generation day by the solar panels, we figure a pot with lukewarm soapy water will do just fine. Let me just say you haven’t felt sacrifice, especially on an ‘alien’ planet, like sharing one shower bucket among five other people in a bathroom that stinks to high heaven because of a compost toilet. If so, I’m all ears.

The overall transition to hab life has been a huge success. I tip my hat to those who supported us the past few months leading up to the mission. We couldnt have done this without you.

I leave everyone now with an Emily Dickson poem. Our mission support sent to the crew – literature for our first evening in the habit. I enjoyed it and hope you will too.

A South Wind—has a pathos

Of individual Voice—

As One detect on Landings

An Emigrant’s address.
A Hint of Ports and Peoples—

And much not understood—

The fairer—for the farness—

And for the foreignhood.

View of ‘Mars’ from northwest habitat window, 1/19/17
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10 thoughts on “Welcome to ‘Mars’

  1. hi my dear Joshua, just think,” dreams really do come true” . So if you work hard enough and believe in your dreams long enough and above all have faith in yourself, all will become a reality. Work, faith, friendship and love will make it all happen Love granny.

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  2. Beautiful writings and descriptions. Thank you for sharing and please keep writing. You have many fans on your home planet. Also.. I think you guys need more dry material for that toilet. A compost latrine shouldn’t smell at all. Bucket baths are cool and keep you thankful for all the technology and engineering that makes life so easy in the USA, Earth. Definitely sounds more and more like Peace Corps than you can imagine.. except maybe for the lack of loud street markets and farm animals on transport. I’m excited to read more about the mission and see who gets thrown in a lake!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Josh, now that you’re on Mars and never coming back, I thought the truth should be known that I always thought you were the cutest boy in the 2nd grade. BTW, you’re missing all the bachelor party planning b/c Facebook doesn’t exist in your alternate reality. Trump is still prez tho, sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Josh I work with your mom. She told me you will be growing food. I grow corn in NC in the summers. We use Montauk seeds. Very delicious. Red clay is full of nutrients and makes it easy to have a good crop. I’m very enthralled with your journey. Keep us posted

    Liked by 1 person

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