Irwin, 2nd. The lift-off.
So this is it.
We’re just about to leave the Lunares habitat and go home, to our normal life. We’ve spent here last two-weeks, as the first Polish analogue simulation in Poland, conducting a lot of experiments, isolated from the outside world. It was, for all of us, a completely new experience, and, we believe, it will lead us some day into space… I had a privilege to see and describe all of the things that happened during the Lunar Expedition 1, having a chance to take photographs of the crew and the daily habitat life, seeing our successes and failures… I am personally proud of our crew, and I hope that this mission will pave the way for human space exploration in Poland.
As the Lunar Expedition 1 ends, I’m giving the pen (ok, the keyboard) to other crew members, so they could write here something as well…
Being in command of such a crew is not only a pleasure but also a great honour as their dedication and enthusiasm towards astronautic missions is indeed inspiring. Their personal easy-going attitude combined with a versatile knowledge and experience in impressively wide range of fields makes my crew mates the best people I could imagine for performing such missions with. Last two weeks were an amazing and unique experience for all of us, not free from unexpected problems, which required team effort at our best. My favourite moments however were to see those five sleepyheads each morning still back in their hollow-like beds, so eagerly rushing to get up and start new day!
You probably think all of us would say “I had a great time here!”. I won’t! I was missing two very important things for me these past 2 weeks… It was pudding and chocolate. Besides that I had fun, but first think I’m gonna do after I am out is eating sweets.
But there are also some things I will miss when I am out. It will be the crew. I loved having meals with them even when they were preparing for me a tea with a cold water… None of us was perfect during this mission but somehow we were able to perform really good together. I hope they feel the same way about me.
It was really an amazing adventure. After this two weeks we probably know everything about each other, because we didn’t have too much privacy and we lived on a really small area, without any outside contacts. We have lots of funny and interesting moments, i.e. when one of my cockroaches had small cockroaches. For me it means that the cockroaches feel fine with us :) And of course this evening when we (it means me and Dorota) decided to watch Bridget Jones, and boys were obviously against it, but in the end they watched the movie with us and they were thrilled. Ok, Mariusz & Piotr have never watched Bridget Jones before and they even laughed.
These two weeks were very challenging. We encountered a lot of problems but we managed to deal with most of them. For me it was the 3D printer which wasn’t working and, as Mechanical Engineer, I just couldn’t stand it! I did my best and revived the 3D printer and we printed several parts which proved to be useful for the habitat.
There was always something to do: an experiment, EVAs or dealing with unexpected issues. I am glad that we managed to have some time together during meals and evenings. I will definitely miss our specific sense of humour and although it was only two weeks it will be hard to come back to everyday routine.
Space is hard! This is why we’ve been developing analogs and this is why we built the Lunares habitat and ran Lunar Expedition 1. This science is called Bioastronautics and we gathered a lot of operational data on this topic. Moreover we did some amazing science experiments which results we will use then in our research at European Space Agency. As a Crew Medical Officer my role was to react in case that something happen to any astronaut. Fortunately everything was “a okey” beside one incident during Extravehicular Activity when I hurt my back… I’m good now, however I experienced on my own how space is hard indeed. I was also involved in biological experiments such as hydroponics plant cultivation, microgravity larvae tracking and RPM machine that induced watercress growth. I did enjoy that and I learned a lot! Looking forward to seeing a scientific outcome from that!
Lunar Expedition 1. Over and out.