Crew 173 Mars Desert Research Station

Sol 5 | How Do You Celebrate Irish Night On Mars?

Communication to Earth, Sol 5 (day 5) from Crew 173 on the Mars Desert Research Station, Utah. 

We got a delivery of water on Sol 4 so we treated ourselves to our first shower in 6 days (not Roy, he’s the hardcore outdoorsy type of the crew). It was agreed that the guys shower last night while Michaela and I waited until this morning. Rick was the first one to jump in. Idriss then took his turn and of course being French (all French are born with panache, an innate sense of style and a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’), beat poor Aussie Rick’ out of the park!  And so ‘Independence Day’, our movie choice for the night (Commander’s selection),  was upstaged intermittently by an intoxicating waft of sandalwood, fresh linen and some sort of pine freshness. Michaela and I enjoyed our showers very much, especially since we both have long tresses to maintain. I felt AMAZING after it too. You would imagine, being ladies, that we would make an even bigger impact fragrance-wise, post-shower. I just asked everyone if they had a similar olfactory overload to last night, if not greater. They didn’t. What? Aren’t the women supposed to be the experts in smelling sweetly? I dunno…. We should do a study at the Mars Desert Research Station on this.. go figure..

snow on Mars
Extra Vehicular Walk in the Snow on Mars. Photo: Niamh Shaw

It was a snowy day this morning with heavy fog. And so we had a long working breakfast planning the day, and preparing emails for our daily communication with Earth later in the evening. I caught some lovely pictures from the Hab as we waited for the day to settle down into the more usual red mud we are accustomed to.

snow Mars Desert Research Station
Snow & Fog on the Mars Desert Research Station. Photo: Niamh Shaw.

It’s Irish night tonight which means I’m on cooking and entertainment duty. I’m not nearly as prepared as Idriss or Roy. I spent the afternoon peeling potatoes (well, you couldn’t have an Irish meal without potatoes, could you?). I have my Irish flag, and some phrases to share, but no fancy French chocolate or Israeli ‘Bamba’. However, I do have one thing up my sleeve. A game of chance called ‘Pass the Pigs’. I wont say anymore, because my crew mates might read this before dinner and I’ll spoil the surprise. Wish me luck. Or as we say in Ireland ‘Go nÉirí and bóthar leat’.

Irish Night Mars
Irish Night On Mars

Final word- don’t underestimate how nicely clean people smell (especially men, it seems)!

Niamh Shaw
Crew Artist & Journalist Crew 173


If you’ve missed the earlier journal entries from Niamh Shaw’s adventures simulating life on Mars last January as the crew artist and journalist on the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, you can read them right here on HeadStuff:
Sol 0 | Mars Simulation in the Utah Desert
Sol 1 | The First EVA
Sol 2 | Celebrating Mars Israeli Culture Night
Sol 3 | Trouble Sleeping & Freeze Dried Food on Mars
Sol 4 | Snow on Mars