> > > 8-month mission on "Mars": Rain, Rain

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rain, Rain

Lately, we’ve had some cloudy, rainy days, so we are not generating enough solar power to support our elaborate cooking or even heating!  Turning down the thermostat in order to conserve enough energy to make it through the night, so although I am not exactly living in solidarity with my friends who are suiting up in layers of wool and trudging through the snow, it’s cold up in here too!

Rain, rain, I love your sounds, but we might need you to go away soon.. there’s only so much gasoline and hydrogen supply on sMars.  Here’s our forecast for this weekend, it’s looking bleak.. but actually much better than it has been!  We need sunshine from morning to mid-afternoon for the batteries to fully charge.

HI-SEAS monitoring system, called UILA (hawaiian for lightning / electricity)

All the rain has made me reminiscent of Florida afternoon thunderstorms in the summertime.  I really can smell when rain is coming, and it’s not anything as distinct as those “Fresh rain” candles, just a dampness in the air. Here, though, I certainly cannot smell the rain, since we only go outside in spacesuits, but I do enjoy the sounds of the storms.  In yoga this evening, it started raining again just as we went into shavasana (aka corpse pose, lying down and relaxing at the end of yoga). It was blissful!  The yoga we did today was an audio class, so I think my sense of sound was on high alert from listening to the instructor.  

In the recording, I could also hear kids playing in the background and at one point I heard a couple seconds of a dog barking.  Such ordinary sounds are making me nostalgic!  The other night, I heard a plane flying over.  I became so alert and listened intently, savoring it!  The sound of the gas generator, which is our backup energy source, also has been reminding me of the ole days.  

In high school, junior year, there were several hurricanes in a row, such that we had nearly a consecutive month of school closings due to power outages.  Still the show went on, I remember finishing up a research paper and dropping it in the teacher’s mailbox, so that we could stay on track with our curriculum. I doubt that'd happen in the school system today.. makes me feel old! And so does the fact that our 10-year high school reunion is this year!

Florida landscapes: sunrise on Lake Jackson, Oak trees at my parent's house, my niece and Aunt Shirley playing by the pool as some ominous-looking gray clouds are drifting in, and a gator on the golf course!

During hurricane days, Mom and Dad would hook up the generator to power some of the more critical amenities, such as the refrigerator, freezer, lights, fans, and the stove.  I remember Momma Dunn making a huge supply of the best chicken and rice I’ve ever had.  Though it was brutally hot without air conditioning, at least we had some good grub and the hurricane breezes ;) 

Here we also have a refrigerator and more importantly a lab freezer that we do not want to lose power, but MOST importantly our composting toilets have fans that must keep blowing!!  Side note, it will be so strange to flush a toilet when I get out of here, since I'm sure it will feel like such a waste of water. But the water savings here definitely comes at a price, check out Sophie's great blog post about us being "halfway between Mars and Earth, halfway between start and finish, and halfway between astronaut and plumber!"


1 comment:

  1. What do you think it would be like if you were on Mars and couldn't hear the rain or planes? Cool post!

    I found out you guys like Dr. Who, right? :) Have you guys ever watched the 2-season BBC show (or one-season American spin-off) "Life on Mars"?

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