Sol Journal – October 31st
The letters or Martian emails
Every year Mars Desert Research Station opens its doors to the diversity of the crews in terms of research projects, countries and age. In the fall of 2016 Mars Society started first part of the unique mission Mars Desert – 80. Instead of the usual two weeks rotation our crew Mars 160 will live in simulation for 80 days.
The time flies fast here and we already halfway through of the simulation. Since the isolation is the part of our Mars Analogue mission, we communicate with the Earth by several means. To who do we write the most? Our mission support team! Every day reports on different subjects are almost the same as on International Space Station. They are divided into two parts: for public and for internal issues. For the public it can be creative reports: pictures, videos, audio records, drawings, space dictionary, the phrase of the day, journalist reports and narratives. We have a talented crew, which from time to time write stories about our packrat Jerry, “Doctor Who” style short story and even engineering narratives. For the internal issues the reports are: engineering, science, health and safety, EVA. In second place the public outreach work: Annalea Beattie publishes her in-depth articles at Space.com every week, other crew members publish their small stories on social networks and some prepare articles for National Geographic Japan and several Russian medias.
Only at third place of importance is the communication with our family and friends. Since our internet connection is very limited, no coverage for mobile phones to work. We experience almost the same delay as if it would be on Mars. No Skype, phone calls and real time communication. Just like back in the old days of new continents explorations. At first, it seemed harsh, but in reality, you actually appreciate every letter you receive from beloved ones and spend quality time to write the answer back. In this beautiful desert, we have time to pause and analyze our life, therefore transform it into a letter or a diary. In big cities this pausing moment to grasp and think are luxury. We got used to it fast and now enjoy the silence from the noisy world outside. The appreciation of the time stood still comes with each day and the beauty of the life opens with richer colors.