Today is a special day on Mars. The Crew Commander of Hypatia I, Mariona Badenas-Agustí, is celebrating her birthday. Curiously, she is the youngest member of the crew, although she is leading a female-led mission to the Mars Research Desert Station (MDRS). She is an inspiration for the next generation of space explorers, especially for young girls who are interested in pursuing STEM-related careers.
Hypatia I is preparing a special dinner for tonight. Pasta with pesto is a tasty pleasure from Earth that will satisfy all the crew members. They will also bake a homemade cake to celebrate that Mariona has completed another orbit around the Sun, but from Mars.
The crew members are enjoying the last hours at the base, as well as the last extravehicular activity (EVA), the last dinner, the last sprouts from the GreenHab, the last dehydrated food from the provisions, the last shower… They will miss their lives on Mars. It’s not easy to leave behind an experience that has been so life-changing and memorable.
Actually, they are wrapping up all their experiments to prepare for their return home, where they will share all their findings and results with the general public. In addition to their research, they have also gained personal learnings that they will take with them.
By the way, Hypatia I is making the most of their last few hours at the MDRS by engaging in some leisure activities. The Crew Scientist, Ariadna Farrés Basiana, in collaboration with the Crew Engineer, Cesca Cufí i Prat, designed a Martian navigation exercise that proved to be quite challenging and left the crew exhausted.
The Crew Commander, Mariona Badenas-Agustí, and the Crew Journalist, Núria Jar, drove to Roberts Rock Garden with the Perseverance rover. What made this moment even more special was that Badenas-Agustí and Jar first met at an interview at the Catalan public radio station, Catalunya Ràdio, to talk about Mars when the rover landed on the Martian surface.