Journalist Report – May 22nd

Journalist Report 22 May 2017

Prepared by Janet Biggs, Crew Co-Journalist

Sol 9


You’ll never believe who came to visit us today on Mars … Ozzy Ozbourne and his son Jack!  Who knew that we’d have celebrity guests here on Mars! 

It was a long and arduous journey for them to travel all the way from earth just to visit us, but they did!  And they brought a film crew with them.  We’ve been so isolated up here on Mars that it seemed like suddenly hundreds of people descended upon us.  It was actually just over a dozen and they came with their own catering crew, leaving us to fend for ourselves in our freeze-dried pantry.  They bustled about with honking cameras, boom mikes, asking us to sign stacks of releases, and wiring us and our Hab up for sound and with GoPros.  The amount of equipment made our crew’s tech table of a few days ago seem pretty miniscule.  We’re not supposed to say what this is all for, but suffice it to say that MDRS and Crew 181 may show up on your TV screens sometime in the future.

While it was exciting, it was also disrupting.  We had to go out of sim for the day.  We and the Mars Society are eager to get information out about this amazing experiment being conducted up here on the Red Planet!  PR is part of every mission, so we knew there would probably be a break in sim, but it was eerie stepping out the front airlock without a spacesuit.  Just in the week we’ve spent here on Mars, we’ve become conditioned that no suit outside means no survival! 

Iron Man Ozzy was super nice, as was his son Jack, and they were truly interested in both the science and the art being conducted here.  We even had a private concert on harmonica from the Black Sabbath lead man himself! 

The experience left a lasting effect on us all … including on our toilet.  The history of toilets here on Mars has been a trial and error kind of thing … from wax linings meant to burn each individual deposit, to low flow which required multiple flushing during the act.  Rumor has it one model even exploded!  Ours has a trusty affair, but not necessarily meant to handle a large film crew. We thought it was just an overtaxed odor problem, but we have since learned that it is a leak.  We are all on hold … literally! … until we figure out the problem.  Stay tuned…

Sadly, we have lost one of our crewmembers.  Avishek had to head back to the UK and his PhD program.  He asked Cassie if he could go on one more EVA, so Cassie, Charlie, and Avishek warmed up the AVTs early in the morning and struck off for one last sunrise EVA before the Ozbournes arrived.

After Ozbournes, crew, and caterers were packed up and blasted off back to Earth, Cassie and Juan transported Avisheck to the location of his launch (about an hour and a half away).  We are all sad to see Avishek go.  He has been a great crewmember and friend.  We have all enjoyed his conversation, innovation, research, and cooking!!!  We wish him a safe and speedy return to Earth.