Journalist Report – December 28th

Sol 10 Journalist Report
Authored by Anselm Wiercioch

We’re out of water. So there’s that.

We transferred the final dregs from the resupply drone (250L?) into our
primary tank and the drone left. That was a few days ago though and we
haven’t seen anything back. It shouldn’t take more than two days to
boop up to orbit, hit the big transport ships, and boop back down to
us. It’s fully automated and there aren’t many other places for it to
go. We should definitely get those microwaves and condensers up and
running ASAP though. They were supposed to be running when we got
here, but like a lot of things about this mission, got sidelined last
minute. We’re intended to run on tanks carried here instead, which
will never be a long term solution. Good thing our primary mission is
ending soon. None of us we’re expecting to return to Earth for sure,
but I can’t say the prospect is disappointing. We’ll see what happens.
We still have a few sources we could pull from for water and last long
enough for the resupply drone. Day by day.

On the bright side, Mars is gorgeous. The follow-up crew hit Candor
Chasma today and it was breathtaking. Grand Canyon got nothing on
Mars. Something about the rich colors and years of erosion by dust
storms mixed with the desolate, frozen geology is awe inspiring. Like
the ruins of a long dead but once great civilization. It’s kind of
creepy too, because you can tell it was the kind of civilization that
fixed all our technological issues and got past all the social divides
we’re stuck on and somehow still got wiped out. Desolate doesn’t begin
to describe it. As nice as going back would be. There’s so much to do
here and so much to see and millions of people may never see any of
this. Just seems like a bit of a waste.

We also tested out Commander Gibson’s research project and helped
gather some data for an augmented reality obstacle avoidance system.
Would be really nice to have sometimes. These helmets are absolutely
horrible to hike in. Once the soil gets muddy or soft, you’re done
for. Add it to the list of improvements. That’s why we’re here though,
right? To take a great chance and figure out how to make things easier
for the next crews and generations.

Hab life is good. Things are becoming routine now. People are
generally not going insane or injuring themselves too severely, so
that’s good. We’ve got an overall mission report coming up soon so I
won’t go into things too much here. We are starting to feel the
isolation though. I suppose it’s a good thing that it took this long,
but it’s a curious feeling. These five people are our family now –
very possible the folks we’ll grow old and die with. Our Martian
Elysium is insanely beautiful, but also very empty. A planet
inhabited, other than us, entirely by robots. Other crews will come in
time, but not within easy visiting range, and after the first few,
they’ll stop sticking around. No guarantees when that will be though
or whether one of those shuttles will have room for us. We might never
see anyone again solely because the wrong politician gets into office
and the program drops funding. Humans are weird like that.