Arrival at the Mars Desert Research Station – 01/02/14

We arrived at the MDRS base around 17:30 after a long journey on Utah desertic roads.  

We met the crew who was staying here before us (crew 134), among them four members had to leave right away. The other three stayed with us overnight and explained us the different procedures of the habitat. The funny coincidence was that two of the crew 134 members are also among the highly qulaified people for the HI-SEAS mission in Hawaii. They won’t participate as crew members for the four-month mission where I will be, but for the following 8- and 12-month missions, if selected.

We decided to enter sim on Monday 03/02, in order to have one day to explore the surroundings and have a good understanding of the habitat and equipments. The comfort is much is much better than what I was expecting, it looks like a firt-class high-altitude mountain shelter. The way it works and the atmosphere reminds me a bit of my stays at the observatory l’Astroguindaine, only good memories.

After diner, I went to observe the sky, the night was wonderful. I think that even in La Grave I haven’t seen such a night-sky quality. Unfortunately I did not do the paperwork early enough to be authorized to use the telescope. But I was lucky enough that a member of crew 134 was doing observations using the telescope this particular night, so I stayed with him. We looked at Jupiter and could really see all the color details of the stripes, as well as 4 of its Moons. We also observed the galaxies M81 and M82. The photos he took are spectacular! I found again my old astronomy sensations et this enthusiasm mixed with satisfaction when you finally find an object you have been looking for for hours. And I went to bed wayyyy too late 😉

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