Entry velocity: 25 mph
Status on vehicle thermal: 68degF, looking good
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.