Status Report

Tamarack R. Czarnik, MD, Personal Journal – The Mars Society Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station – 11 Aug 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
August 11, 2001
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Finally this afternoon, we got the word to head for the Hab. But
just as we were heading out on ATV’s, an urgent medical situation
cropped up that needed immediate attention. It was an hour before I
was able to leave, and thus my entrance was delayed even further. But
I was finally able to enter this icon of the Mars Society, and my home
for the next week.

Walking through the airlock, the circular door closes ponderously
with a metallic ‘clunk’ that leaves no question that you’ve stepped
into an artificial environment. In fact, the Hab and all activities
reflect an environment of 8.3 psi, 30% Oxygen and 70% Nitrogen: for
example, all EVA crews spend 1/2 hour in the airlock before exiting,
representing the 100% Oxygen prebreathing which would be necessary to
safely avoid decompression sickness (boil-off of the blood’s

Numerous mission parameters are measured here, to try to better
understand how humans will live and work on Mars: water consumption
is recorded, activities are charted (have *you* ever tried to account
for every 30-minute period of your day?), and reports are made twice
daily, to Base Camp in the morning and to Mission Support each

In addition, each of us has jobs we’re here to do. George James,
for instance, is here from Johnson Space Center in Texas: he’s here
to set up a wind-powered weather station/motion detector/day-night
cycle tracker, and also to study how we will utilize natural resources
in places where the resources aren’t ‘natural’ to us! The other crew
members are Rocky Persaud, our crew geologist; Eric Tilenius, Computer
Engineering; Tam Czarnik, Medical Officer; Charles Cockell, crew
microbiologist, and Pascal Lee, our Base Commander.

So far the hardest thing to get used to here are the three
webcams. I *have* used them to say hello to my wife Patt (who is
coordinating the volunteer efforts at Hab #2, the Mars Desert Research
Station at Kennedy Space Center), but they’re *always* watching! At
one point I was going to rearrange my long underwear, and was in the
process of dropping my pants when I realized I was DIRECTLY in front
of webcam #1!

There’s LOTS more to tell, as you might well imagine; but it’s
2:15 a.m., and I *have* to sleep sometime! More tomorrow; look for me
on the Hab webcams, at!

SpaceRef staff editor.