The Hypatia crew members are getting into the swing of things on Mars. They have a structured daily schedule, divided into 30-minute slots. It is crucial in maintaining productivity and morale in such a challenging environment. Today was the first day all astronauts were on time, which suggests that they are adapting well to the new Martian routine.
The first group activity of the day is breakfast at 9AM. Prior to this, half of the crew is allowed to do some exercise and take a very quick shower. They have been successfully managing their water consumption, with an average of 11 liters per person, which equals 2,9 gallons. Interestingly, the plants in the base consume more water, at 48 liters per day, which is around 12,6 gallons.
The GreenHab Officer, Laia Ribas, is already planting many seeds, because it is crucial to eat some fresh products during the mission. She planted a bean mix which sprouts in only three days and a salad mix with alfalfa, radish, broccoli and clover which requires five days to sprout. The crew members have already eaten some delicious vegetables from the GreenHab, such as one cucumber, little tomatoes, and some lettuce and mint.
Fresh vegetables help provide a sense of normalcy in an otherwise isolated and challenging environment. The same applies for other Earthly pleasures, such as freshly baked bread. The Crew Scientist, Ariadna Farrés Basiana, spent around three hours baking bread for all crew members to lift the spirits of the team.
The third day on Mars was an indoors day, as there was no extravehicular activity (EVA) due to high winds. The crew focused on their experiments and brainstormed their outreach projects. Discussing science popularization strategies can be just as important as conducting experiments, especially in a simulated mission where sharing the results with the public can help inspire future scientists. It’s especially crucial to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields and break down gender barriers in science.
Overall, it was a productive and cold day despite the weather conditions. It is quite concerning that tomorrow’s temperature is expected to be around -3 Celsius in the morning, but regardless of the cold weather on Mars, Hypatia is choosing to stay warm indoors.