Sunday, December 9, 2012

Swisher goes to Blogger

Hello World!

The Campus Martius crew will come together in Grand Junction, CO in five days! In six days we will start our two week adventure at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station.

I haven't blogged before, but I'd like to share my experience with friends, family, and future MDRS crews. I'm a physicist, not a writer, so this will not be great literature but I'll try to be informative and entertaining.


I've collected most of the items on the packing list and must now find a way to fit everything in my suitcase! We have to bring some unusual items like a sleeping bag, biodegradable soap, multitool, and a headlamp. Diane found it amusing that clothing is listed as required but undergarments are optional. My suitcase zippers are not amused.

The crew (except John who is already on Mars) had our second cyber meeting today. Last week we video chatted and got some things figured out despite the lag and echos. Today our teleconference went well too. Hopefully we will have spiffy looking crew patches and at least one matching crew outfit. Derek has done a great job raising funds. He got sketchers to sponsor us, so we will all be wearing these shoes on Mars. We will have one night in a hotel to get acquainted and organized before leaving Earth.

Here's what's in store for us:
  1. Observing. We'll probably have a wacky schedule but I'm sure it will be worth it because we'll be far away from human light pollution.
  2. Engineering. Erick wants to do something cool with the rover, not sure exactly what yet. The rover is remotely controlled from the hab and allows us to see the great outdoors without getting suited up.
  3. Geology. April has a neat GIS project. Hopefully we'll also go rock collecting and get lots of EVA (extra-vehicular-activity) opportunities!
  4. Report writing. Required so that mission support can keep and eye on us and make sure we're ok. EVAs must be requested and scheduled at least one day in advance and any changes or repairs to the hab must get permission first. We can also ask them for help and tell them about any troubles.
Hopefully we will be productive Martians :)

Thanks to crew 119's pictures from the MDRS flicker account.
More to come...

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