Monday, April 13, 2009


Crew In Moscow To Simulate Part of a Flight to Mars

MOSCOW — On Tuesday, six people will be voluntarily locked into a cloister of cramped, hermetically sealed tubes woven inside a Moscow research facility the size of a high school gymnasium. They will eat dehydrated food, breathe recycled air and be denied conversation with practically everyone else but one another...In a small step in the direction of Mars, the international crew is embarking on a simulated flight to the planet to test the limits of human tolerance for the isolation and monotony of interplanetary travel.

Mars Transit Simulation Mission, Day 437, Commander Hastings log entry:

All tech systems within operational parameters. Comms silence does not appear to be a fault on this end. All comms systems check to pass condition, again. Spill in agricultural experiment pod was contained and cleared, no loss of soil.

Mission Specialist Stephenson is showing further signs of breakdown. Dr. Cavarella has prescribed higher doses of sedatives but it does not appear that Stephenson is taking them. Stephenson insists that we violate mission protocol and leave the capsules. She states that comms silence indicates something wrong Earthside. Captain Andrews confiscated electronics from her sleeping bay; evidently she was making a radio transceiver to circumvent mission guidelines. Will monitor.


Mars Transit Simulation Mission, Day 437, Captain Andrews log entry:

So close now: Mars. Around us the vacuum pulls and these thin walls creak and pop as we roll through light and dark, tumbling, blind. Comms are out. Of course they are – there’s nothing out there. No Earth, no Sun, no Simulation – it has all collapsed into the surface of the wood-grain paneling. And Mars, of course. There has always been this ship and Mars, falling together. I can read my thumbprint in the whorls of Siberian pine, greatly enlarged and only slightly distorted.

Today I scratched the finish with my thumbnail. When I got close enough I could hear the air hissing out, and see the light pulse as the ship rotated. Not sunlight, of course. There is no Sun. This light was red. It was Marslight. Later the gouge was gone. The ship had healed. I checked my skin and sure enough there was a scar behind on my left bicep that I hadn’t noticed before. We are getting closer.

Stephenson has gone completely insane. She was building a bomb. Hastings is on to her, but won’t do anything. Cavarella is pushing sugar pills and posting reports to “Earthside.” Ridiculous.


Group Isolation Human Factors Experiment 2012-03-B, Day 437, report of in-situ observer Dr. Simone Cavarella, Ph.D., M.D.Pharm.:

Interesting developments today. Cessation of pre-recorded communications from outside of the test environs has sped up subjects’ adoption and incorporation of the “Mars trip simulation” into their personal narratives. Wendy Stephenson is expressing urgent desires to contact the outside and is ready to violate the terms of her contract. This confirms psych profile indicators that she would not be a viable “mission candidate”; that she has forgotten the original parameters of the experiment is further verification of the Slomsky-Jensson model. James Hastings has become fully immersed in the Commander role, and shows no recollection of the initial experiment. Ronald Andrews (“Mission Captain”), on the other hand, remains well adjusted and lucid, apparently fully aware that the Mars trip simulation is a merely a role-playing exercise, part of a larger controlled study. Recommend assigning candidates who match Andrews’ profile to long-term work.

As per experiment guidelines, all psychoactive medication distributed remains placebo.


Group Isolation Human Factors Experiment 2012-03-B, Day 437, external monitoring group report, filed by Dr. Faraj Kinsella-Perkins:

Cavarella continues to perpetuate role in log entries as if part of the monitoring group and not herself a test subject. Mild psychoactives contained within the "placebo" pills have pushed Stephenson to an extreme state of panic, fear and paranoia. Suspect that Cavarella has been taking these as well.

Stephenson refuses to submit log entries out of concern they may be "intercepted". She seems to suspect the other crew members, especially Hastings , of intent to do her harm.

Andrews maintains a calm and rational exterior to his "shipmates", but is losing connections to reality and may prove the most unpredictable test subject.

Recommendation: continue experiment, maintain radio silence, and engage "mission hardware failure" protocols to further test crew's reactions.


Gwendolyn Stephenson, personal journal, undated [the following was discovered in one of the three capsule segments to survive the fire that ended the mission]:

This crackerbox is full of lunatics. Cavarella’s a junkie, and who knows what Faraj is up to in the garden pod. She acts like she’s invisible, talking into her “recorder.” The other day [illegible due to fire damage] bury the thing in the dirt.Hastings is a fascist. God knows what he did to end up out here. As soon as we break containment I’m getting far, far away from him. Andrews is worse, somehow, even though he comes off like a half-way sane and decent human being. Not sure if he did something to Faraj to make her the way she is now. At this point I can’t remember what Faraj was like when she was normal.

The light’s been getting redder over the past week. What are they trying to do

[balance of journal destroyed]

--Steve Kilian
--Carl Lorentzen
---------------------------------------------------- Staten Island Chuck
---------------------------------------------------- Top Trek

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