Hello hello hello world! Gotta say it three times because, well lets call it luck.
So here I am on a new site but with a lot of the same content. There are some things that just could not get saved but ohh well, that is in the past and now there is only time for the future! (because if I spend too much time trying to recover that stuff we’ll be out of here and then I’ll just be Normal Soph instead of Dome Soph) A very VERY special shout out to our IT support man with NASA over in Florida, Marc, without you this would literally be a shell of my former blog. Thank you to no end, better get that chapstick ready!
I have finished wiring and coding a sensor system for Martha’s garden. She now has 5 calibrated light sensors, two air temperature and humidity sensors, two soil temperature and humidity sensors, and a single temperature sensor. These are going to be great for Martha to get some data on the environment that her plants are in to record how different situations affect growth.
Speaking of growth, we googled my plant and it turns out that it can grow up to a meter tall, no wonder I’ve been having to move the light higher up! I have become surprisingly attached to this plant, I’m hoping to be able to plant it somewhere nice when I get back to Earth, I’ll let you know how it all works out!
I am building a robot! Well technically right now I am designing and Zak is 3D printing. This was another idea for the Real Science on Fake Mars outreach project that we have been working on, to send a small robot into the lava tubes that we’re unable to visit personally and have the robot take video and range finder measurements to create a profile of the tunnel.
We’ve gotten some really lovely feedback from the schools in Clark County about our Real Science on Fake Mars project. The elementary schools that we’ve been working with have been able to talk with Dr. Chris McKay, a very well know astrobiologist from the NASA Ames Research Center, and have shared the projects that they’re doing with us.
Allen had a birthday! We’re going to celebrate for real on Saturday but for his Cinco de Mayo birthday Jocelyn made us an amazing taco dinner, Martha created a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting that nearly sent me into a diabetic coma when combined with Neil’s super choco-iced cream. It was SOOOO MUCH CHOCOLATE
The last few weeks in the dome have been different, everyone is really gearing up for the end of the mission and for a lot of us that means figuring out how to live as just one person again. In the dome you’re never really alone, even when you want to be. Every decision you make has some effect on everyone else around you and at times it is a lot to bear. We will be moving on, like a nerdy pandemic we will spread out across your world as soon as we get back to it. The bonds that we’ve formed here will be tested with distance, different time zones, those who do not constantly check and respond to emails (after the amount I get in here I can assure you I will take some serious time off from gmail!) and like many friendships, they will be transformed by the next stage of our lives. I am reminded of the movie The Sandlot, at the end how its telling what all the kids did with their lives but how they’ll never forget the summer they spent trying to outsmart the Beast. This is our beast, this is our summer, and this is our Sandlot! We’ve laughed, smiled, kareoked, and nerded out together. We’ve cried, yelled, suspected, and ignored each other. Through good times and bad though, we have always, always, considered the crew and the mission above everything else. We are each a very special and integral part of an absurdly complicated and unique whole. All for one and one for all!
Man, my movie metaphors are getting all kinds of discombobulated! The point though is that we’re all real people who don’t always get along, who sometimes need to vent or binge on cookies (or Disney movies) or just rock out to our own heavy metal beats for a while and ignore the rest of the world; but we all come back to one goal, one dream, one mission. We are all going on to do amazing things after the dome. We are all going to work each day to make things better in some way and some form because we know, really and truly, what its like to live each day not just for ourselves but for the people around us. We are all going to be friends bound by an incredible experience that is unable to be replicated.
For the next crew I’ll leave you with six things I’ve learned from the people, yes including myself, on this crew:
Be brave because things will be scary at times
Be silly because serious is way too much work
Be honest because there can be no secrets in the dome
Be forgiving because you will, many times, need to be forgiven
Be yourself because you’re way more fun that you give yourself credit for
Be loving because you will, many times, be loved
And now that I’ve gotten all sappy, I’m gonna go watch some faith-affirming tales of good triumphing over evil (well The Flash TV show but still good!) and have wonderful dreams of such things.
All of my renewed and reinvigorated love my intrepid readers. Thanks for sticking through all the blog-related craziness!
Two-Step (on the second step 😉