March 23rd 3099
Today was a rough day at A.E.S.M. (Artic Earth Simulation Mission). As the only geologist of the group, I was in charge of leading the expedition through the Canadian Artic Recreation (CAR), a specially designed habitat with striking similarities to the place we are landing on Earth next September. A thousand and ninety two years ago, it was called the North Pole. Today it is just a set of clusters of endurance craters filled by thick layers of dull sunburned dust.
I have to say the model was a pretty miserable place. The first mock-up of the old Viking 1976 we made was turned apart by a whirlwind just twenty seconds after its release. Although we must have been at -60ºC, with winds over a hundred miles per hour, I decided to confront the weather and step out of the camp. As I walked across the terrain, I perceived peculiar configurations on the morphology of the turf, almost as if they had been recreated by an electric field potential, appearing and disappearing swirls covered my feet. Perhaps this was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, destroyed and recreated each ten seconds by the wind, I almost felt as if Earth could still be governed by nature. Suddenly, the brutal cold of the dry desolated large valleys numbed my sensibility.
I opened my eyes thrown off balance; a wobbly feeling remained through my entire system. I pray that within the months the six of us would have gained enough skills to survive on the Earth mission.
March 24th 3099
Today was my second Martian mid-winter at the camp; it was a very special day, winter solstice on Mars. I spent most of my day at the Earth Observatory; however Earth was the least being observed. Nonstop red and copper silica soil lights, Victoria Crater and Martian plains were the mirror images of the room.
Colonel James G. Pierson unexpectedly entered the planetarium and informed me that Mission AE-99 will be launched this Friday. We were originally targeted for launch in mid-September; the mission is being pushed forward due to solar conjunction, meaning that the sun will hinder the infrastructure among Mars and the Earth spacecraft. I was very excited by the news, during the past couple of weeks, the waiting had been causing me a suffocating anxiety that I could not bare anymore. I wanted to be on Earth and be able to see how the Sunset would look like, twilight in Mars is longer than on Earth they say, and would the sunset be as bright as here? I wondered.
Suddenly I felt preoccupied and switched my screen to the universe, feeling as If I would never see it again, I wished I could confine the light path from the cosmos, as I’m sure I’ll be missing it…
March 25th 3099
We are getting ready to launch tomorrow morning, I was commissioned to ensure the proper functionality of the Solid Rocket Boosters. They should provide enough propel to lift the Orbiter for initial ascent. Although I am not an engineer, I have gained some skills during training, but still, I don’t feel confident enough. I am very much afraid that I had made a mistake during the check. I set up the boosters to separate from the orbiter at 24 nautical miles, which is just enough to get us to the orbiting laboratory. There are no spare boosters; the spaceship can not carry any.
I should get some rest. The mission is leaving from Launch Pad 89A at 11:47 a.m. right after medical check up at 5:04 a.m.