Monday, January 18, 2010

Snowy Mars!

Last nights sleep was a real doosey. It's hard to get used to wooden beds and blow up pillows. But that didn't distract me from enjoying my morning ritual of oatmeal mixed with way too much sugar and some mandarin oranges. I looked out the porthole on the second floor, the sight was gorgeous. It was a white Mars. I was beginning to think we were going to have sunshine everyday. The snow was delightfully entertaining. It covered all the mesas, rovers, and seemed like a thousand diamonds strewed across a rocky terrain.

As beautiful as the snow was, it puts a damper on any research or work that we had planned for the day. With the ground covered in snow, there is no way to see trails and we couldn’t gather biological or geological samples. It was beginning to look like we were destined to sit in the hab all day. So what does one do? We turned to the internet. The internet would save us, as it saved Al Gore's presidential campaign. No sooner than I turned on my computer and tried to check my email did I find out that the internet was down. See the problem with internet via satellite is that when there is a heavy dose of cloud cover, there goes the neighborhood. Alright let simply let the weather clear and we'll be alright. Turns out someone accidentally downloaded 250 Mb of data this morning. Since we have band-limited internet, this download put us over our limit for the day.

So we can't go outside because the ground is covered in snow, and we have no internet connection. What to do on Mars? We look back outside the hab and the snow is gone, that fast. As soon as the sun rose over the mountains it took care of any remnants of snow left on the ground.

Laksen and I took this time to go fill up the gray water tank and do the rest of the engineering rounds. Filling up the gray water tank is fun, there's always the chance of the hose disconnecting from the pump and gray water shooting up and hitting you in the face. IN THE FACE! We had to check out the greenhab to make sure everything was functioning normally. It was, thankfully.

Now that the ground was clear it was time to boldly take the rovers where no man has gone before. We headed up the mesa again, and then took the trail to the Great Mesa. Now it was time for some real exploring. We took a trail that had not been geo-tagged before. The trail was pretty beaten up but we had to finish. We saw some really nice hills, so naturally we drove the rovers on top of the hills and attempted some grandiose pictures. As we neared the end of the trail we found a nice slope that was worth a climbing attempt. I convinced Laksen that we should come back by the end of the week and try to scale this side of the Great Mesa!

The day was coming to a close and I knew something was missing. Steaks! I went back to the hab and prayed that we had enough bandwidth to send one email. If you had only one email you could send from Mars who would you send it to? I would send it to the Zen Master, and that’s what I did. I sent an email to the Zen Master asking him if he could gather some steaks and charcoal next time he leaves the Earth and heads to Mars. I got it all planned out, steaks, BBQ, potable water, and cosmic dust; sounds like another day in paradise.

Astro Paul


  1. What was in that dish? Nothing like sunshine to ruin a good snowstorm. Is the water really brown? Love you,

  2. All of they above. We have three different types of water, white water(drinking), gray water(drinking water that went down the drain and was bio-filter and is used for flushing the toilet), and black water, you know what that is.