On April 15, the HI-SEAS simulated Mars mission will begin. I fly to Hawaii on April 7th. (San Francisco –>Honolulu –>Hilo) In the meantime, there’s so much to do! I’m still reporting a few non-Mars stories. I’m finalizing paperwork for my HI-SEAS research project, which involves human subjects and their sleep. And I’m continually on the hunt for the best prose and poetry to take with me. (Suggestions welcome!)
There’s also the matter of seeing and talking with friends and family before I go. HI-SEAS is a four-month mission with no real-time communication. There will be no Skype, no instant messages, no texts, and no phone calls. I’ll be as detached as I’ve ever been, while still trying to hang on to my earthly connections through the asynchrony of email. I suspect I’ll be of two minds throughout the mission, one on Mars and the other back on Earth. It’ll be interesting to find out when each mind will speak loudest.
Right now my Earth-mind has the volume turned way up. So, to satisfy my need to see family and friends before I go, Jill and I will be hosting a Mars Party for the ages. We will have Mars bars, dehydrated foods, cleverly named alcoholic drinks, and a quiz to test your knowledge of the Red Planet in pop culture and science. Mars Party date: March 30th. You are officially invited!*
For those of you who want to keep up with the HI-SEAS mission, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter: @kgreene. I’ll post pictures, observations, and links my writing. I already have plans to blog for The Economist on the first three days of the mission. I’m also in talks with editors at Discover to post weekly updates on their site. And finally, I will be writing a feature for Discover magazine after the mission wraps.
I’ll also be posting a couple more items on this blog before I go, so keep an eye out for those. Thanks, and stay tuned!
*This party is in San Francisco. If you’d like to come, just let me know by email or Twitter–all are welcome and I’m sorry if I missed you on the initial invitation!