My call sign is “Doc Mom.” I didn’t choose it, but it’s a reasonable fit for a 37-year-old doctor from California who tends to bake cookies and stop fights.The din of electric guitars gyrates the sleep from my eyes. ” I call through the door of my second-floor bunk room. Sunday isn’t my day to cook breakfast, so I get to stay in bed for a few minutes longer.
If we fall, we land harder than we would in one-third gravity.Kilometers of old lava, frozen-mid flow, give us a place to practice making measurements and taking samples undisturbed by the sights and sounds of other human life.Apart from the dome, the only easily visible structure is our own solar array.Walking out, I look down and see that the glowing blue-and-red indoor plant lights are already on.I start heading down the twelve stairs towards the kitchen.It’s happened to all of us – to me, most spectacularly, while I was standing completely still.One second my feet were resting on the lid of a channel that used to hold rushing lava.On our side of the portholes, plants grow under glowing lights, giving us the occasional fresh food to eat.The six of us were chosen for our skills, education and availability – Got a year and a lot of degrees? – as well as our willingness to endure 365 days of rehydrated food.Here on s Mars, we have full Earth gravity, not the one-third gravity that we’ll encounter when we finally get to Mars.We’re not really sure what difference that makes on a long-term basis; no one has ever lived in one-third gravity before.