My time on MARS

In 2005 I was invited to apply to serve on the crew at M.A.R.S., the

2006 27
Members of Crew 42 meet in Salt Lake City          (L-R John, Kathy, Ben, Henrik, Dennis, Dennis)

Mars Analogue Research Station in the Utah desert.  I was assigned to crew 42, serving from January 14 thru 29th of 2006.

As Executive Officer, one of my responsibilities was to make sure the ATVs2006 101 were operational: batteries charged, fuel tanks full, tires inflated.  During the two week tour of duty, we supported several science missions.

Kathryn Bywaters, our crew biochemist, was searching for extremophiles, tiny creatures that can live in extreme environmental conditions.  We traveled around the desert looking for them.

One morning we woke to find cat tracks thru our camp.  BIG cat tracks.  That was about the only sign of life we encountered during our simulation.

On the last day, I was prepping the ATVs when a flock of large birds flew over.  I had to stop and watch.  What a sight!  Other living creatures!

When we left the simulation, we decided to visit Goblin Valley State Park as tourists.  I asked the park ranger what kind of birds those

2006 255
Out of sim with a goblin

might have been.

She said that if they were blackbirds, they would go “Caw-Caw.”  If they were ravens they would go “Nevermore!  Nevermore!”

True story.

Crew  42

John Aittama, Commander

Dennis Hands, Executive Officer and Crew Astronomer

Dennis Creamer, Crew Biologist

Ben Huset, Crew Engineer

Henrik Hargitai, Crew Mars Geographer

Kathryn Bywaters, Crew Biochemist

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