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How to survive on Mars

(So that you can make it back to Earth and tell everyone about me) - A relayed message from the Snoopiness Rover

Well, hello there, dear voyager. I am Snoopiness, or as none of you may know, Curiosity’s twin Rover. The better twin by far. If you’re not one of those government conspiracists, you’ve probably never heard of me. That’s on purpose. Just so you know, as NASA’s 2nd best-kept secret, not only do I do 93.47% of the work you’re told Curiosity does - I am best friends with two Jabba-the-Hutt-slash-Boltzmann-distribution-looking things that I’ve named Jaime and Meshgrid(x,y). Anyway, I digressed. If you're reading this message, it seems I have FINALLY found a way to make my existence known. Oh well, enough about me…

Welcome to the Red Planet, dear Voyager! I hope you’ve been enjoying basking in the soft, negative-50-degree-Celsius breeze and the sweet, sweet palls of hexavalent chromium. I hope you have been finding delight in frozen brine. Oh yes, and I hope you haven’t mutated and grown a new limb. If you want to make your sojourn a pleasant one, or, you know, survive, do consider what I am about to tell you.

Whatever the reason you’ve decided to come here is, I hope it’s more robust than that New Year’s resolution you just made. You’ll need it.

First, let’s help you breathe. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably taken care of this. Or you haven’t, or your oxygen tank is near-empty and you need to REALLY FOCUS. Mars is practically carbon dioxide, and you can get the oxygen in it with some mechanical electrolysis. Hopefully, you’ve got an oxygenator handy.

Next, getting food is a bit of a trek. Given the thin atmosphere, you can’t just grow things on this red surface. And there’s no 24-7 drive-thru in sight. Once you’ve built your energy grid and your pressurised greenhouse, you’re in luck, because potatoes exist. I hope you’ve brought some seeds with you, cause they’re the highest calorie-per-land-area yield you’re gonna get. So once you have your potatoes, let’s hope you got some fire and if you’re a picky eater, y’know, maybe some crinkle-cutter knives and frying oil. But if fries don’t appeal to you, or if you’re more of a carnivore, go hunt. But whatever you do, don’t touch Jaime and Meshgrid(x,y). They’re too precious. And you can personally fight me if you do.

Quiet Corner. 2021. NASA is Trying to Grow a Potatoes on Mars.

The Martian ‘scape is teeming with briny ice. If you’re not a fan of your sore-throat gargle, but 23 times more intense, you can distil an ice sample once you melt it. That should do the trick. Oooh! Before I forget, you’ll need to shield yourself - solar radiation is a tad intense here. Making a fortress of Martian rocks should do the trick...

So… I guess that’s it from me, dear Voyager. I hope you take these tips seriously so that once you survive and make it back to Earth, you can spread the word about me. Cause I exist too, y’know!

- Lauren

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