Eryn Wells

Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars by Kate Greene

Books I've Read in 2023

Tess got me this book for Christmas 2022 on a whim at a local bookshop. It’s a series of essays – reflections and examinations – of the author’s time parcipating in one of NASA’s Mars analog missions on Mauna Kea, Hawai’i. She is a lesbian and, as luck would have it, lived in the same part of town that Tess and I do! It was fun to read little anecdotes about her and her (ex) wife stopping in at shops that we frequent ourselves.

I enjoyed reading about her experiences working with NASA in the context of an analog mission. It sounds like they went above and beyond to make the mission as close to a real Mars experience as possible, despite being firmly on Earth. Communication with mission control was artificially delayed 20 minutes, as it would be on Mars. Going outside required putting on bulky spacesuits. And participants were isolated together for six months.

She also has several essays in which she reflected on the politics and cost of spaceflight, and what it means for humans to explore and exist in space.

Support a local bookshop and get it from Folio Books. 🙂