Humor saved the day for the Selene II lunar analog mission — Commander’s report: Lunar day 11


Drone view of the HI-SEAS habitat and crewmembers on an extravehicular activity (EVA), or moonwalk.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Fabio Teixeira)

Dr. Michaela Musilova is the director of Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, which conducts analog missions to the moon and Mars for scientific research at a habitat on the volcano Mauna Loa. Currently, she is in command of the two-week Selene II mission and contributed this report to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Commander’s Report for the Selene II Mission at HI-SEAS
Lunar Mission Day 11 (Nov. 28, 2020)

One thing that I didn’t expect to be doing on a Friday night on the moon was pushups. One hundred push-ups. It started as a joke when it was getting late and Operations Officer Fabio Teixeira hadn’t done his daily exercise yet. “Just do 100 push-ups and I’ll let you off,” I told him jokingly. Next thing I know, it’s almost 10 p.m. and most of the crew decided to join Fabio in doing pushups as moral support. Now, it seems like 100 situps are on the menu for tonight. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a sign that everyone’s becoming crazy on the moon (literally becoming “lunatics”) or if it’s their way to expel excess energy to avoid losing their minds. 

An EVA crewmember does push-ups outside the habitat’s airlock. (Image credit: Courtesy of Cassandra Klos)

While the jury is still out on that topic, another thing that has been helping keep us sane is laughter. Every crewmember is a jokester, so we spend our free moments teasing each other. The moment we all cried from laughter was when we were playing Cards Against Humanity a few days ago. It was a great way to vent out our frustrations, though I didn’t expect to hear most of what was said during that game. People sure showed their true colors! For the first time in my life, I got light-headed from laughing too much. It was also a great distraction from the fact that we were all cold, huddled together and bracing for a very chilly night. 

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