Camping on Mars

As weird as this may sound, we are getting ready for camping trip this weekend! “Hmm… Are you aware that you are on Mars with a unbreathable atmosphere and an average temperature of -60°C?” Some will tell me. Yes, yes, I know. But, do you remember in your childhood when you used to build a tent with your bed sheets and went camping in your bedroom?

Well, this weekend, we will do the same. We will camp in our living-room. Our trip starts this afternoon and ends tomorrow morning. Therefore, we established some rules:

– we can’t use any light, each of us will have their own flashlight.

– we can’t take showers… Wait, that’s not a rule, that’s our daily routine haha.

– we can’t go grab food in our cupboards, everything must be brought with us in the trip.

– we can’t use our laptop or other electronic device (except for our psychological surveys).

– however we will have a campfire (induction plate) to warm up some foods.

– and lots of board games!


Everything is packed.

We are touching our 7 weeks into the mission, which means we are almost half way through and we have a very busy daily schedule, with little time to vent the steam out – as you may have notices, I haven’t posted anything in two weeks… This weekend, it is a bit our “off weekend” in order to ficus more on the social aspect of the mission. It’s true that we have a tendency to be always very focused on out work and this tends to weaken our social links and on the long term this could make us more isolated from each other.

But we are not there yet. We are very bounded team and we try to make a lot of activities together. For example, we have an ongoing game which lasts since the beginning of the mission and which consists in hiding a little rover somewhere in the hab. The one who finds it wins a point and if at the end of the day, no one found it then the person who hid it gets the point! 🙂


Scores for the rover game.

We also try to do “board games” evenings but, as I said earlier, we are all very busy and these evenings tend to be more rare… We still managed to play the card game Dominion, Jenga, the dice game Farkle, and the game “Celebrities” which I know as the “Hat game”. Currently, we are more or less following the TV show Game of Thrones, we just finished season 2. But we also try from time to time to watch a good movie (ok mostly sci-fi) which was missing in our collection.

More recently, we have started “presentation” evenings on various topics. We do it during or after dinner and the presentations are about our expertise topics or our research projects. It’s a way for us, on the one hand to know more in depth what our crew mates are working on, and, on the other hand, to know a bit more about scientific topics we are not familiar with.

All right I need to go pack now! Talk to you soon for the story of the weekend trip! 😉


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