> > > 8-month mission on "Mars": "It's all data!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"It's all data!"

After two months of Mars-living, I’m starting to crave some food items from Earth, namely peaches and some type of pork (carnitas or bbq would be awesome), but still I am feeling satisfied thanks to some steady research progress and the desserts galore!  Tonight to celebrate our two-month milestone, our lasagna dinner was followed by brownies with homemade ice cream and fudge topping!  

It was nice to relax and celebrate, since lately I’ve been slaving over some code for getting data from our Jawbone activity monitors.  We are all wearing Jawbone UP wristbands 24-7, enabling constant data collection about our lives here.  However, from the Jawbone website, only simplified summaries of daily aggregate data are readily downloadable.  So, I recently finished a Python project that digs into the Jawbone UP app for a wealth of full and detailed data.

Check it out on GitHub and pass it along to your friends who use Jawbone:

For my research in data analytics, I am collecting and analyzing all kinds of data from the crew, ranging from data about our sleep and activity to recording our meals to logging our entertainment and media usage to identifying physiological markers of stress to tracking the jokes and memes that emerge and fade away!

Speaking of memes, the title of this blog post is one of our earliest jokes that still pops up and amuses us.  During training week, one of the NASA researchers, Pete, initiated this meme by commenting "it's all data" after we were being silly and ridiculous.  It's a bit sarcastic, but also points to a deeper truth that all data has value, even our quirky jokes! 

Living in this semi-controlled environment presents the opportunity to analyze social, physiological, and psychological impacts that are often too variable and unpredictable in our daily lives on Earth.  With limited factors on our lives here, it’s all relatively easy to track.  We are not going out to eat, meeting with new people, or catching flights across the US.  There’s a predictability that gives promise of good data quality.

I'm tackling projects that would have been overwhelming previously.  This big move to "Mars” has been a powerful transition for my personality as well, feeling stronger, happier, and more determined.  Change is good, but at this two-month mark, I am glad that I still have six months to live with this amazing crew and continue the research of my dreams! 

1 comment:

  1. We have a similar saying in our research, "it doesn't matter if you succeed or fail, as long as you took good data." :)

    Best wishes on your next 25%!