Meet the Astronauts (Part 2)

Meet the Astronauts (Part 2)

Episode Description

With six of the twelve Mars Base astronauts introduced last week, Emma jumps right into telling the Shifters about the remaining crew members – their history with the ISA, their personal lives, passions, and hobbies. She also gives the Red Shift listeners a chance to learn a little bit more about each other, with Two Truths and a Lie - Shifter Edition! Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Hello, everyone! You are listening to the Red Shift - your connection to your piece of the sky. I'm your host, Emma Miller!

Hello, hello! Hi, friends! Hello, Kenji. Hi, Tronity. H, Keyeser. Hi, Rerouted. Hello, Manja. Hi, Brickbond - You are back! It's great to see you, Brickbond! – Hello, CHRNV. Hi, Vamaka. Hi Keren. Hi, Illa. Hi, Galdwin. Hello, Thunder. Welcome in. Has ever been had a good week? I hope you all have had a fantastic week! I know that I have had a great week and I've missed you guys, and I'm really excited to be back with you all today!

I want to first just quickly shout out a comment that was sent in the #ISA-comms chat earlier today about finding out Two Truths and a Lie – or, more Two Truths and a Lie - from me and I wanted to say, if you are curious - I feel like I can do this because I'm sharing information about our astronauts right now - if you are curious about more about my… my background, if you will, I actually shared quite a lot of information about myself in our very first Red Shift episode. So if you go back and listen to that very first episode, it will give you a little bit more information about me, Emma Miller, on top of everything else that you've talked about throughout the show.

But one of the best parts about the Red Shift, in my opinion, is that we do, of course, have our live show, but then we do save these broadcasts for later also. So if you are curious about information or you want to relisten, you can always do that if you are interested in doing so. It gets hosted in a couple of different places. I know that Stephanie posts it here after the show every week, so there are ways to listen back! Just very exciting stuff!

So that's my little plug. If you— If you do want to learn more about me, it would be too much to go into for another episode, but it would be, or, it is is possible to learn more in episode one of our show where I reintroduced you all. “Show your face,” we'll see about that. We'll see about that. But for right now, you could at least hear a little bit more about me if you'd like to know a little bit more. Some of you might remember, some of you might have been a little bit newer, so. All of those things are all good.

With that being said, speaking about sharing things about ourselves, there is… there is… there is some really great Two Truths and a Lie that were sent to me this past week over-- over Discord. I got sent some messages. I got sent some messages of your guys' Two Truths and a Lie, so this week I get to share them with you all. It'll be a very exciting time. I'm excited to share your Two Truths and a Lie with you guys! So we do have some visual aids for this as well. “Nice minigame tutorial by the way,” thank you so much, Ais! Thank you, thank you! I appreciate that. [Emma laughs]

Alright, so let's go ahead and get started. [Emma laughs] That’s-- I spend most of my time, you know, doing the prototype out on Mars, for sure.

So! If you don't remember from… from last week, we played Two Truths and a Lie with some of our astronauts, and the way that the game is played is that our astronauts will send two truths, which are, like, just two accurate statements, obviously, and then a lie, but all three will sound like they're real. All three will sound possible, and, like they could be factually accurate, but they-- one of them is a hidden lie.

So I asked you guys to do that as well this past week, and I have some submissions that I can share with you all. I did get quite a lot of submissions, so I don’t—I didn't get to use every one of them, I had to kind of pick and choose which ones we could use, so if yours wasn't used this week, don't worry. It doesn't mean that I didn't like your submission, it just meant that I had to kind of pick and choose the three that we would share on the show! Which is very exciting. So I hope you're all very excited! I also apologize that you guys could hear me typing. I was just pulling up the documents. [Emma laughs]

Perfect! Okay! So, with that, we are going to kick off… We are going to kick off our sharing of our Two Truths and a Lie from our Shifters.

So, to begin, we are going to share… Brighteyes’ - it's very exciting - two truths and a lie. So their two truths and a lie where that, A - they were the valedictorian of their high school, B - they were the Charlotte Hornets’ ballboy for the first two years in the NBA, and C - that they helped to save hit R&B group Boyz to Men's lives after a riot broke out at an early performance.

A, B or C? What are we thinking? What are we thinking? Which ones do we think are accurate? Which ones do we think are not accurate? A, B or C? A, B or C…

It looks like we don't think that they were the Charlotte Hornets’ ballboy. What do we think? What do we think? A, B, or C? Which one is the lie? Were they lying about being the valedictorian at their high school? Were they lying about being the Charlotte Hornets’ ballboy for their first two years in the NBA? Or did they not help save the hit R&B group Boyz to Men's lies after a riot broke out in an early performance?

Alright, it's looking like we're leaning towards B being the lie. We don't think it's B? We think B is the lie. 

Tronity is pretty convinced that B and C are true... “A is a lie.” Alright, let’s see, let’s see!

Alright, I think it looks like you guys have made your choice. So it looks like B is what we think is the lie. Oh, you guys just tied it. I'm going to give you 10 seconds to untie it. [Emma laughs] Oh, no, we're going to stick with it… We're going to stick with it being… [Emma laughs] Actually, I guess A has extra ones because it has two. Alright.

So it looks like A is actually the winner in terms of what we think is the lie because it has extra ones. Perfect! Okay! So, with that, you are correct! A is in fact the lie! While Brighteyes was not the valedictorian of their high school, they were, in fact, the Charlotte Hornets’ ballboy for their first two years in the NBA, and they did also help to save the hit R&B, pop—like, group Boyz to Men’s life after a riot broke out in an early performance, which is super cool! I, like… That is such a cool fact! All three of those are really cool but I am very impressed with you all for knowing that! Very, very proud of you guys! Congratulations! Alright! You guys are kicking it off with a good start.

Our next one comes from… Ykalpakli? Ykalpakli. And their three-- their two truths and a lie are, A - that they built a rideable prototype electrical car with immense efficiency when they were 16, B - that they played ice hockey professionally, or C - that they had a telescope to watch Mars when they were a kid.

A, B or C? Did they… Which one is the lie? Did they lie about building a rideable prototype electric car when they were 16? Did they lie about playing ice hockey professionally? Or, did they lie about having a telescope to watch Mars when they were a kid? A, B or C? What do we think is the lie? A, B or C?

Ooh, it looks like we have a pretty strong contender right off the bat of B being the lie. Do you guys don't think that they played ice hockey professionally? Hmm…

Wow, it has a pretty resounding… a pretty resounding win there.

Alright, we'll go ahead and call it. You guys think that B is the lie… but in fact… the lie is C! The lie is C. So they did, in fact, build a rideable prototype electric car with immense efficiency when they were 16. They also did play ice hockey professionally, but they didn't have a telescope to watch Mars when they were a kid. So well done! We got.. We got one for two. So that's about 50%! That's pretty good! Let's see how we do on our third one.

Our last one comes from CHRNV. CHRNV. So our last two truths and a lie for our Shifters is, A - that they were born in a small town in the Russian coal mine region, B - that they graduated from the same school as famous Russian cosmonaut Volynov - please correct me if I've mispronounced that correct— Or, if I mispronounced that - and C, that they worked as an attorney. A, B or C? A, B or C…?

“This as--“Oh, it certainly is!

Did they lie about being born in a small town in the Russian coal mine region? Did they lie about graduating from the same school as they famous Russian cosmonaut? Or did they lie about working as an attorney? A, B or C? What do we think? What do we think? A, B or C? A, B or C…?

[Emma laughs] CHRNV, you can't give any hints! [Emma laughs] A, B or C... It looks like C is pretty rapidly getting chosen as the… as what we think is the lie… A, B or C…

I think we can probably call it here. So, in fact, A and B are both truth and C is, in fact, a lie, so congratulations! You guys got two out of three. I'm very proud of you!

So while they did not work as an attorney, they said that they did do the exams. [Emma laughs] Which is.. more than I can say for myself, so that's okay. Very, very good. [Emma laughs] That's hilarious.

Alright, well, congratulations, guys. You guys did a great job! Two out of three is a pretty good record for that game, so very, very well done.

With that, I want to say thank you guys for sending in your two truths and a lie this week. It was really fun hearing from you all, and even if they didn't get used, I feel like I got to know you all a little bit better, so thank you all so much for sharing your Two Truths and a Lie this week.

With that, we are going to hop into our… the bulk of our show today, which is going to be to round out the twelve astronauts, so-- Who are currently at the Mars Base. So last week we talked about six of the astronauts. This week I'm gonna go ahead and share the information about the other six astronauts that we didn't hear from last week.

Now, last week, of course, we had the astronauts who are willing to play Two Truths and a Lie with me. This week they sent the astronauts who really didn't want to do that, which is… fine. [Emma chuckles] But I did manage to get them to share with me some of their, like, fun facts about themselves, things that they enjoy - favorite books, favorite TV shows, favorite foods - and so we will work that in as a game.

The way that that's going to work is going to be-- It's a fairly simple game, it'll be great. What we're going to do is I'm going to share with you a question, so, let's say, “What is Emma Miller's favorite beverage?” and then you will… then you will say in chat, you can guess beverages. If you get it correct, I'll end the game there and I'll say, “Perfect, you did it.” If you don't get it after a couple of seconds, I will give you a hint. I have a total of three hints to give you before I will just give you the answer if you don't get it. But I think you guys will be able to get it. I think you guys will be able to get it. I think it'll be a good time. [Emma laughs] I think it'll be a very, very good time. That GIF is also very silly. [Emma laughs] All your GIF usages are… wonderful.

I will ask, if you do send GIFs to respond to the messages, I would recommend that you also add a, like, text message along with the GIF to tell me what you think the answer actually is.

So one more time, the way that the game is going to work, and we'll play like a quick Emma version, I'm going to ask you a question, so - what is my favorite beverage? And now you can guess what you think my favorite-- my favorite beverage is. And if you don't guess it, initially - and this won't, obviously-- Favorite beverages, it's not… not a real thing - I'll give you a hint. So your first hint is - it has ginger beer in it.

And then Rinjob got it! Beautiful! You guys did a great job! See? So it's a fairly easy game. Fairly easy game. And I will give you hints while we're playing for the astronauts. So, that was just an example, just so you guys know, but great guess, Rinjob, beautifully done.

Alright, with that, let's hop into learning more about the astronauts again and playing our game. I'll let you guys know, I will have some visual aids for the game as well, so you won't have to just listen to me talk for this.

Patricia Holzer

Alright, with that, let's start our… let’s start our game off with our first astronaut, which will be… Patricia. So, we're going to go back to our beginning and start off with the first astronaut we ever heard from - Patricia.

 

Patricia was the star of Episode 2, sharing with us the story of the Martian Glass that they created as the Mars Base. Patricia wasn’t afraid to ask the hard question - is it worth having conflict if it leads to a stronger level of trust down the line, or is it best to let things go without a real resolution, for the safety, or, just, for the sake of it being a calmer base.

Patricia was born on March 1st. She grew up in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was the older of two children and a fiercely loyal and protective older sister to her younger brother, Hans. Though she was always strong when it came to her family, she was also known by both family and friends for her deep patience with tasks. One of her favorite pastimes while she was growing up was to actually make lace, which is a painstaking and slow process, but one she excelled at.

Patricia received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from the Universität Bremen and received her PhD in Botany from the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Her love for botany shifted into a passion for the idea of terraforming other planets in order to make them able to support humanity in the future. She knows it is a long game - but it is one she wants to be a part of!

One of Patricia’s primary area of focus while training at ISA Ladakh was to focus on the effect of microgravity on the diffusion of water through soil and its impact on root development. This work led Patricia to be credited in large part as being responsible for the creation of one of the signature spaces on Luna Station, which is a Hanging Bonsai Garden!

So now we get into… Patricia's questions. So the first is - what is Patricia's favorite pastime? What do we guess Patricia's favorite pastime is?

I would just start guessing activities. [Emma laughs] What do we think? What do we think?

“Watching paint dry.” “Gardening.” These are good ideas. “Painting.” Painting is a good one! I'll go ahead and give you your first hint - it is a physical activity. It's a physical activity…

Hiking’s a good one. Jogging’s a good one… Oh, Tashkent got it! Congratulations! Well done! The answer was.. yoga! Very well done! Your other hints would have been that it requires both balance and patience, and it can be done in very hot rooms to enhance the experience, but you're correct! Well done!

Patricia is a big fan of yoga. She really enjoys doing yoga and actually does yoga at the Mars Base in order to help improve both mind and body while she's up there, which is pretty cool.

Alright, we're going to her second question. Her second question, which is - what is Patricia's favorite smell? What do we think? What do we think? Patricia's favorite smell?

“Flowers” is a good thought. “Flowers” is-- You're in the right direction with “flowers,” I think. Also I think the right direction with “lavender.” It is a plant, so that was the first guess. “Fresh cut grass,” also a really good guess. That's one of my favorite smells, honestly.

Alright, I'm going to give you.. Jon-Jon, I think I’m-- I think I'll just take-- I will take that. I was going to say the next suggestion, or, the next hint is it takes its name from a character in Greek mythology, but I think you're in-- close enough in the direction. It is mint, in fact. And it does take its name from a character in Greek mythology, which is Minthe. Very, very well done! So, yeah, her favorite smell is mint. She's a big, big fan of the scent of mint, which, honestly, I am as well. I… Iove the scent of mint. It is a fantastic smell, so I appreciate that.

Alright, let me…  Give me 1 second, chat, let me get… I just want to make sure that I write down who everyone is who got the guesses… Well done! Alright! Cool! Let's move on to our next astronaut. Well done! You guys absolutely killed that! You did a great job. Very, very well done. Hi, MaDAleN., how's it going? I could never forget you. ‘I also love mint,” I also love mint! Mint is one of my favorite smells, too. I was really glad to find out that Patricia also loves mint.

Alright! “Write me down on the paper,” we'll see, we’ll see. You're gonna have to be on it for your guesses.

John Alves

So, next, we are going to our next astronaut, which will be… John Alves.

So, introducing John Alves. You might remember John from his… colorful letter that he shared with us in Episode 3 after the incident with the martian glass. John is a… passionate protector of his fellow astronauts and while some may not agree with all of his tactics, he never fails to act with what he believes is the best interest of the base at all times - even when it upsets others or hurts their feelings.

John was born on March 29th in Curitiba, Brazil to a family of fixers. His family had, for multiple generations, ran a business working on a variety of technical jobs, repairing AC units, plumbing, and more. There was never a problem that an Alves saw that they couldn’t fix - but John knew fixing simple things on Earth wouldn’t be enough for him. His parents weren’t entirely thrilled when he set off to make his career outside of the family business, but they eventually came around in time to see him off for Mission 2. Plus, if you ask John, he would say he’s still in the family business of fixing things - it's just on a different planet! 

John received a Bachelor’s of Science from the Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba. Shortly after he received his degree, he began working for the Agencia Espacial Brasileria, which, I’m sorry bout the pronunciation if I butchered that. A few years after that, he was tapped by the ISA and recruited into Mission 2, making him one of the first humans to set foot on the Red Planet and one of the founders of the Mars Base! This worked well for John, since it also meant he get to set up the, what he called, “correct” processes for most of the technology and repairs on the planet.

In the early days of Mission 2, when only the First Four were on the planet, John woke up a day after a dust storm to find Mithi shaking him by the shoulder. His head was pounding. He felt dizzy, sick and confused. Mithi held out an oxygen mask. “CO2!”

Whether it was dust particles or static charge, something had messed with the lithium hydroxide CO2 scrubbers. It was John that remembered the store of calcium hydroxide they had shipped for an experiment Aurore was scheduled to run on converting human waste to fertilizer. That experiment had to be delayed, but John’s improvised CO2 scrubbers kept the First Four alive until the long-awaited arrival of Alliance 3, which is pretty neat. Ha! I appreciate him. He has been literally keeping everyone alive for a very long time.

“How old is he that he already has gray hair?” I… I'll have to check on his exact age. I'll have to check on his exact age. But the astronauts are all different ages. So some of them, you know, went basically right out of college into the ISA, and some of them had careers before they found the ISA, so they're all different ages. I don't think he's the only one who has gray hair. [Emma laughs]

Alright, so! Let's go into John's favorite things. What band is John’s most played band on Mars? What band is John’s most played band on Mars? What do we think? This is, like, the music that he listens to while he's doing work… What are we thinking? What are we thinking?

I'll give you a hint. I'm going to start off with giving you a hint. It is a band from the 60s. It's a band from the 60s… You guys are sharing some pretty good ones! The Beach Boys is a good guess. I like that, Spoons. That's a good guess. “Beatles” is also a good guess, Aaelim, I like that a lot. Everyone’s saying the Beatles.

Alright, I will give you another guess. It is an American band. Let's see, let's see… You guys are guessing some pretty good ones. It's not the Rolling Stones… You're going in the right direction, though.

They play psychedelic rock music. This is your last hint that I have for you. Psychedelic rock music…

Spoons got it! Spoons, well done. It is the Grateful Dead! Well done! Good going, Spoons! Yeah! So his most played band on Mars is the Grateful Dead. He listens to it while he's doing work, which I think is a really cool… a really cool little tidbit about John. I don't know, I-- Aomething about him didn't strike me as a Grateful Dead listener, but I appreciate that. It makes me laugh.

Alright, we're going to go into his second favorite thing, which is - what is John's favorite sport? What do you think John's favorite sport is? I have a feeling you guys are gonna get this pretty quickly. [Emma laughs] “Mechanic.” Mimmo immediately got it. [Emma laughs] Although it-- He doesn't call it soccer, but yes, Mimmo, you 100% are correct. It is absolutely his favorite sport. It is.. Yeah, it is definitely his favorite sport. So well done! That one was a fairly easy one. I'll be honest, he'd probably be pretty upset if I said that you won by calling it soccer, but that's okay. I think it's fine.

I tried to get John to give me something that wasn't going to be quite as easy to guess. John was not interested in giving me something else, so… It worked out. It worked out.

So, well done! You guys did a great job. So, Spoons and Mimmo, well done, well done. “Favorite to be—“ “Russian Roulette,” that's dangerous. [Emma laughs]

Aurore Duval

Okay, we're gonna move to our next astronaut, which is… Aurore! Here's Aurore's image.

And I don't know if you guys know this, but Aurore has two different color eyes. I just have to draw attention to that. She has heterochromia, I believe it's called. And I just think that’s… It's such a cool thing about Aurore, I-- It's so unique, and I just love pointing it out. I didn't realize that until I looked closer at her image. It's very cool.

Okay, so let me tell you a little bit about Aurore. Aurore is one of the other Mission 2 astronauts, one of the Original Four at the Mars Base. In Episode 6, we heard from Aurore about an exploratory mission that she took with Alex. Though the mission ended with a bit more chaos than Aurore would typically prefer, it was a step in a promising direction in terms of potentially finding very simple life forms on Mars - and proving to Alex that green-headed aliens simply don’t exist!

Aurore was born in Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris on December 20—Or, December 2nd, sorry. From a young age, she was a no-nonsense worker, burying herself in her studies to achieve the goal she set for herself at five years old - to become an astronaut. From the first time she told her dream to her parents, they knew that she would stop at nothing to achieve it, and, as such, her father, a talented military pilot, raised her in the skies. 

She received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University—Or, Institut Polytechnique de Paris. She went directly from her studies into the employ of the Interplanetary Space Alliance, firmly believing that they would be able to make the dream of colonizing Mars possible. With her strong skill set, she was rapidly decided upon as a Mission 2 astronaut. 

One of the training exercises is an obstacle course, but some of the course is constructed so some hazards are not immediately visible. The best of the astronauts took three attempts to finish it. However, Aurore took one, because she said she thought about how you would-- she would make a course like this and could see the possibilities in three dimensions in her head. If you asked her, she would also say that she was a little bit lucky, which I just think is really awesome. She has a really cool way of thinking about things, and her ability to see potential hazards is really impressive. Very, very impressive.

So, with that, let's get into Aurore's questions. What is Aurore's favorite pastime? What is Aurora's favorite pastime? Now, I'm gonna tell you right now that there is… This one’s the… This is a… This is not really a physical activity. This gets a little bit confusing with the—

Alright, so we're going to start with our first hint, which is - it can be a done alone or with others. That’s not a bad one.

Next one is - sometimes money is involved, but Aurore doesn't usually like that part of this pastime.

You're on… You’re getting in the right direction, Vamaka. Alright, Kenji. Kenji, I'm going to give it to you. I'm going to give it to you. Well done, it is cards. So her favorite pastime when she's not working, and it's not a physical pastime, is playing cards. She really likes playing Solitaire, though she does also enjoy playing games with other astronauts.

Spoons, you already got it. [Emma laughs] You already got one, but-- Just being fair. You guys got it within a couple of seconds of each other. [Emma laughs] “How do you play cards alone?” Well, so there's games like solitaire, which you can play by yourself. I will write you down, too, Spoons. I will write you down too. Alright, I have you written down twice, but I'm also writing down Kenji. So Solitaire can be played by yourself, but there are other games as well that you can play, obviously, with other people. So that's how you'd play it by yourself or with others. And, honestly, Aurore told me that her favorite is Solitaire, so that works. [Emma laughs]

Alright, so, you guys are going to get this so fast, you've already guessed it, but her second question is - what is her favorite physical activity to do? Aaelim immediately got it. Immediately. [Emma laughs] Well done. [laughter continues]

Alright, that’s-- You are completely correct. If you have paid attention to any of the messages from Aurore, you'll know that she really loves rock climbing. She is very, verygood at it, and that is what she is very passionate about doing. Again, much like I asked John for suggestions of things that people wouldn't immediately guess, Aurore was very adamant about her favorite physical activity being shared.

I did, however, in creating the hints for this - and I just feel like this is a fun hint to share, or fun fact - the very first indoor climbing facility is believed to have been built in Seattle in 1939. So in Seattle, Washington, 1939. Pretty cool. “Olympus Mons will be her next target,” fingers crossed. Fingers crossed. I… Iwould trust her to climb anywhere on Mars. She's incredible. {Emma laughs] I have done my research indeed, I have done my research.

Alright, so that is Aurore! With that, we're going to take a pause. We're going to go through our sponsor message and our weather report, and then we're going to get into our second three astronauts. So I'll be right back after our sponsor message and after I'll share our weather report.

 

Commercial break

There’s strong - and then there’s Mars strong.

At Red Sands One, the ISA’s construction and prototyping lab - we build Mars strong. Habs made to stay at 120 below? Check. Build Grinders that can chew up the corrosive dirt of Mars and spit back milled concrete blocks? Check. Structures that can take howling winds, endless sand, the torque of a hundred forty celsius temperature change over a few hours, with a blast of radiation from a solar flare thrown in for laughs? Oh, yeah.

At the ISA’s construction center in Tunisia we call the main campus Hell’s Half Acre; the materials testing labs are a manufacturing torture chamber we like to call the Thunderdome: but the ISA calls us Red Sand One. Here they bring their brightest minds and most advanced technology to put them through sheer unmitigated torment, because that’s the only way we know how to make buildings and machines - and oh yeah, people, too - that can stand up to the Red Planet.

So if you think you have what it takes to develop and test new technologies and mechanics in one of Earth’s most unforgiving environments, seek out your training at ISA Red Sand 1. We build Mars strong - but we will build Mars stronger with you.

Weather report

And now for the weather!

Temperatures are fairly stable, if you can say that, about something that varies wildly over the course of a day. Highs of about -10 perc-- -10 degrees Celsius and lows around -100 degrees Celsius.

Winds from 8 meters/second to 15 meters/second, which is approximately 30 to 55 kilometers/hour, though mostly at the lower end, largely to the southwest.

Atmospheric pressure is 750 pascals and Opacity is about 0.5

 ***

[Emma laughs] “I paid for the ad free edition.” “No ads.” But they're not ads! They're sponsor messages from the ISA, and that's what keeps us able to run, so you've gotta listen to them. Gotta listen to them. And maybe, who knows, you'll hear one of the training locations and think, “I could do that,” and then go join the ISA yourself. Maybe we'll see you on Mission 5. Or 6. Or 7. Who knows? [Emma giggles]

Alright, with that, let's get into our next astronauts, our next set of three. Hi, Trailblazer, how's it going? Hello.

Maksym Sokolov

Alright, so we are on our way to our next astronaut. Our next astronaut is… Maksym.

So next up we have Maksym Sokolov. We heard from Maksym in Episode 12 when he told us about what really happened to cause the near-accident with Korey Leonard that we heard about in Episode 11. It turned out Maksym became the first treasure hunter on Mars - discovering a Martian fire opal that has since set ablaze the sparks of creativity and scientific thinking at the base to answer the question of what the opal could be used for.

Maksym was born on January 1st in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Maksym received a Bachelor’s of Science from the Uni—Or, the National Technical University of Ukraine at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. After he received his Bachelor’s, he moved to the United States to receive a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

Maksym is aninentor-- an innovator in his field of geology. He first came to the attention of the ISA when Founder Gaabriel Rebane read an article about Sokolov’s project to reverse climate change effects in the Karakum Desert, restoring a small patch of green at the oasis. Or, at an oasis. Maksym was also a collaborator with ISA Chief Scientist Yui Nakano on several papers, Maksym’s current objective is to address the perchlorate issues in the soil on Mars to enable agriculture and to protect his fellow astronauts from Martian “Red Lung.” 

Although Maksym’s science focus meant he spent two years at ISA Sphinx in Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, his favorite part of his training experience came during a rotation at the Red Sands construction lab in Tunisia. An endurance athlete with a background in Iron Man competitions, he peppered his stay with solo hikes around Chenini, Mides, and Sidi Bouhlel. 

So that's a little bit about Maksym, which is pretty exciting. Now… Oh, I like that GIF, Rerouted. That's fantastic. That would be me.

Alright! Let's get into Maksym’s  questions. So, Maksym’s first question is - what is Maksym’s favorite food? Maksym’s favorite food… 

You're so fast, Aaelim. You're so fast. It's a good guess. It's an immediately good guess. And I'm going to give it to Vamaka, as well, because Vamaka also guessed it afterwards and hasn't gotten onto the list yet. I'll go ahead and put Aaelim down too, but I am going to put Vamaka down.

Alright, so it is, in fact, pizza. Pizza is his favorite food. It's actually a guilty pleasure food for him that he really, really loves. He has enjoyed a variety of different types of pizzas. His favorite is a margherita pizza. It's his favorite. Though he developed quite a guilty pleasure when he lived in the United States. When he was receiving his PhD at California’s—Or, at the University of California at Berkeley, he… He was a regular at fast food pizza locations, according to what he told me, so not a… Not what you would necessarily expect, but it is a… something that he very much enjoyed there.

We figured that if I specifically said that it was his guilty pleasure food, you would immediately know his pizza, but as it turned out, your speed, at which you guess anyways is very fast. Brick oven pizza is phenomenal, I agree. I also… We're not going to get into the pineapple pizza debate. [Emma laughs] But yeah, his favorite is margherita pizza, if you're curious. I also didn't know that pizza originated in Naples, Italy.

“Ukrainian dishes are so tasty. Why going for pizza?” Well, so, Galdwin, to just reiterate - he was going to call it a favorite, like, guilty pleasure food, but it was kind of… We talked about it and it was decided that if we said it was a guilty pleasure food, you would probably immediately guess pizza., but in the end, you immediately guess pizza anyways, so it works out. But there are plenty of really delicious dishes that I'm sure he would consider his favorite from Ukraine that are not pizza. But we were trying to find something that was fun and maybe wouldn't be so easy to guess, but alas, you all are very good at guessing, so this is great.

Alright, we'll see if I can stump you with the next one. So the next question is - what is Maksym’s favorite book? What is Maksym’s favorite book? This one might be a little bit harder. Might be a little bit harder.

Ooh, alright. “Type of book or name?” It is the name of a book. And I will just give you a— a— a hint. It is a science fiction book and it is the first in its series. First in its series. RDadd, The Lord of the Rings series is my favorite book series.

Alecshmalec, you got it! It's Dune! Great guess, great guess! So yeah, it is, in fact, Dune. His favorite book is… It is… It is Dune. Well done, well done. [Emma laughs] “It's the top search in Google.” “This game is really broken.” This game isn't really broken! It's just a guessing game! [Emma laughs] Alright, so Alecshmalec got… got the guess. Well done. Very, very well done!

Dune is a great read,” I haven't read it yet! I really do need to read it, though. I think it'll be… I think it’ll be a good read for me at some point. The Lord of the Rings is my favorite, personally. That doesn't matter. It's much more important for you to know what Maksym’s favorite book series is. But, Dune. Well done! Good guesses, guys! Good guesses.

[Emma chuckles] If you have—If you have suggestions on books that Maks should read, let me know and I'll send them to him and see what his thoughts are. So I will happily take those suggestions. There’re a lot. There are a lot. Mars for Dummies is a good one. That's actually one that, you know, I've been reading.

Alright, next up, we're getting to our next astronaut. We're getting close to the end, y’all. We have two astronauts left. Alright. Two astronauts left.

Ida Serafin

Our next astronaut is… One of our… I think, one of our fan favorites, which is… Ida. So there's Ida.

Up next, of course, we have Ida Serafin. I would expect that Ida is probably one of the most well-known astronauts by our Shifters - after all, we helped, in some way, to save her life. We heard from Ida back in Episode 8 when we learned a little bit more about the Martian glass incident - but also learned about what Ida was up to working on the new technology with the ISA to allow us here on Earth to help our astronauts on Mars locate resources. Shortly after that episode aired, Ida found herself in pretty dire straits after a sinkhole opened up underneath her rover. We are very lucky to have Ida with us still.

Ida was born on April 2nd in Crema, Italy. From her earliest days, Ida was a daredevil and a risk taker. She was always finding new ways to outdo herself. If she’d climb a tree one day, she’d climb a higher one the next. She was a thrill seeker through and through - but also a brilliant minded young woman who wanted to make something special of herself.

Ida received her Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science from The Polytechnic University of Milan. Ida followed an unlikely path from there to the ISA. Two years after getting her engineering degree, she had turned a lifelong love of cars into a career as a rising star in Open Wheel Racing. She was offered a chance to drive in Formula 2 for the Dallara-Mechachrome Team, but turned it down to join the European Space Agency. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for someone with her unorthodox background, she decided to jump over to the ISA, where she was in the very first class of recruits to go through the Core Training program in Sydney, which was what the astronauts call “Flight School.”

She did refuse F2, yeah, ‘cause she wanted to get over to… here. [Emma chuckles]

During her training, Ida was found to have exceptional fine-motor skills, but what really set her apart was her ability to perform complex tasks under time pressure.

Even while training as an astronaut in Sydney, she couldn’t stop thinking like an engineer. She proposed upgrades to the underwater tank system they used to simulate weightlessness, and helped prototype and install them. The Sydney crew presented her with a technician’s uniform and badge and to this day consider her ‘their’ astronaut.

Alright. [Emma chuckles] I don't know that I know the area code for Mars, unfortunately.

Alright, let's get into Ida's questions. Ida's first question is - what is Ida's favorite thing to do on a vacation? Favorite thing to do on a vacation…

These are good suggestions... I'll give you a hint. It involves… going to a place to do this while she's on vacation. They… They have them at specific places.

Alright, I'll give you another hint. You usually have to buy a ticket to go into one of these to do this thing. Oh, I actually think… Alright, alright, I see the answer. Spoons got it, but we have a second person, which is illa, who got it, which is roller coasters! So, very, very well done.

So, yes, the answer is roller coasters. Her very favorite thing to do while on vacation is to go and ride roller coasters. I was waiting for someone else to make the guess. So she really--- Although, Iscrappycocoa, I like “watching a movie.” I could totally see how you got that from my hints. Ferris wheel is also a good guess, but Ida’s just a little bit too much of a speed-loving person to enjoy a ferris wheel, unfortunately, so she is a big fan of roller coasters. She told me that she actively seeks out anywhere that has a roller coaster anytime she goes on a vacation. Which, obviously she's on Mars now, so she's not really going on a lot of vacations and visiting roller coasters on Mars. She has a rover for that. But when she was back on Earth, she would seek out roller coasters, which is pretty cool.

I also, while I was researching for hints, I did find out that roller coasters originated as kind of, like, gravity trains that would go really, really quickly and some of the earliest ones were just used, or created, to carry coal quickly, which is pretty neat. Pretty neat.

She is an adrenaline junkie. Exactly, Kenji, that's 100% her thing. So she… A big fan of roller coasters.

Now, this is gonna be a, this is gonna be a be a very specific one and we'll see how you guys do. I had to do some research into this to, like, learn a little bit in order for me to ask this question and find some good hints for you.

So this next question is - what is Ida's favorite type of car? What is Ida's favorite type of car? And I am looking for the brand name of the car.

Alright, I see a lot of—I see a lot of ones coming in. I'll give you a hint. James Bond did drive one in 1981. [Emma chuckles] I'm doing a very good job with these hints, because it is going to have confused you, because he does drive a lot of Aston Martins, but it is not an Aston Martin.

Alright, our next guess is—Oh! Actually, Mimmo just got it! Well done, Mimmo! It is, in fact, an Alfa Romeo. Well done. So it was driven in 1981. He drove an Alfa Romeo in one of his films, in the James Bond film, and her dad fell in love with that car and ended up buying that car, so she always associated the car that he had then - they actually worked together to upkeep it, basically, so the same type of car that James Bond had driven in the 1981 movie they bought later and fixed the car up, and so she always associated it with her dad, is what she told me.

Also, fun fact, because you just shared--- Tony just shared the Alfa Romeo logo. I didn't know this, but the logo is inspired by Milan. It actually takes inspiration from the Milanese coat of arms on the left side - so that, like, red cross - and then the snake comes from the coat of arms of a former ruling family of Milan. Also, Alfa Romeo originated in France and was in… During World War II, it was… The brand was, kind of… It was the Alfa brand, and then it was brought into the Romeo world and that's when it came over to Italy. Fun facts!

“The Alfa is not even in the top,” well, MaDAleN, that's why we gave you that hint, because it isn't in the top eleven to make it harder. [Emma laughs] That's what it was there for. It was a bait and switch!

Well done guys! You are all doing a really, really good job. Like, a very, very good job. Very, very good job.

Mithi Mabaya

Alright, we are to our very last astronaut, which is… Who knows who it is? You have to know. No, you got Emi last week! This week our last astronaut, and the last of our twelve, is… Mithi Mabaya, Mission Commander.

So, we have Mission Commander Mithi Mabaya, who we were fortunate to hear from just a few weeks ago for Episode 14. Mithi told us about what it truly is like to be a Mission Commander. Some days are easier than others, and she learned that first hand after carrying out the CME drill with the other astronauts on Mars. 

Mithi was born on March 16th in Quezon City in the Philippines. She grew up spending all the time she could outside of her studies in the swimming pool. One of her favorite things to do growing up was to join her mother and aunt in the kitchen and help them to make lumpia, which is a delicious spring roll-type dish.

Mithi got her Bachelor’s of Science from the Mapúa Institute of Technology before attending Stanford for her PhD. Following her education, she returned to the Philippines to join the Philippine Space Agency, but found that the few chances for space duty, because they typically went to people who “looked the part,” which was primarily macho men with Air Force training. Luckily for Mithi, a tip from a former professor put her name in front of her countrywoman, which was spacesuit designer Daylinda Tudtud, one of the five Founders of the ISA. Tudtud recruited her aggressively, and with a real shot at stepping foot on Mars, Mithi never looked back.

Mithi was accorded the ISA’s highest honor when she was chosen to serve as Commander of Mars Mission 2. Mithi’s people skills were what truly set her apart when the ISA was looking to name a Commander. Mission Control Director Adan Luzuriga, who was once a competitive footballer – and that is ‘football’ in the John Alves sense, and now ‘football’ in the American sense - calls her the ISA’s center-midfielder. Adan explained, “Mabaya is decisive when she needs to be, but utterly without ego, with a unique talent for bringing out the best in people around her.

During her training for the Mars mission, Mithi and her fellow trainees underwent simulated exercises where teams must cooperate to ‘survive’ a series of dangerous, high-pressure scenarios. Although Mithi’s individual performance scores were comparable to the other top fifteen or twenty candidates, she is the only person whose teams ‘survived’ 100% of the time. The next highest ‘survival’ rates were 87% and 78% respectively, so she absolutely brought out the best in her teammates from the beginning. Very, very impressive.

With that, we're going to get into Mithi’s fun facts. “Lord of the Rings again,” ah, it's a great guess. Always a great guess.

Alright, Mithi’s first question - what is Mithi's favorite sport? Favorite sport…

“Football.” You guy’s are-- You're guessing… You’re closer… Some of you are getting close. I'm going to go ahead and give you your first hint. Let me give you your first hint.

The rules of this game were developed in the late 19th century. Does that help at all? [Emma chuckles] Galdwin, I think… I think you have it. What-- Kind of, maybe. I'm going to let you think about what you just said and see if you're maybe missing a word.

I'm going to… give you the next… suggestion. [Emma laughs] I think Galdwin-- I'm gonna give it to Galdwin, for what Galdwin suggested. Spoons later said it. It was initially derived from rugby, but it was played in rivers and lakes… And it got its name… 

Alright. Okay. We'll give it to… We’ll give it to Rerouted. Or, Alex-- I guess Alex gets it, gets the second one. Spoons, you already got—[Emma laughs] You already won! [Emma countinues laughing I've marked you down as times three. You for sure got it then. But I'm going to give the ones to people who haven't got them yet. I'm just writing down names who I haven't gotten yet. [Emma laughs] It's not an insult, I promise. It's just me giving credit to people who I haven't already added to the list.

So, Scrappy, so she played it in-- at Stanford. She was a team captain at Stanford. Spoons is written down, believe me, if I could show you that I have written down Spoons’ name three times, I would show it to you three times. [Emma laughs] But yeah, she did go to Stanford. That's where she played it. She loved swimming growing up and then played it later. I promise. “Spoons, you should play the lotto tonight,” for real!

Alright, alright, our last question for Mithi is - what is Mithi's… favorite TV show? Favorite TV show. {Emma chuckles] The instant Friends suggestion...

What do you think? What do you think?

Good guesses… Hmm…

So, I can tell you right now, Galdwin, it's an old show, so the first hint is that it originally aired in 1966. There have been a large number of… versions of this.

Alright, Brickbond got it. Well done, Brickbond. It is, in fact, Star Trek. She is a… She is a big Trekkie. She's a big fan of Star Trek. The promise of “To boldly go where no man has gone before” was a promise that she-- really resonated with her at a young age and has loved throughout her life. But yes, it is a TV show, and it has many films. So films and television shows. Lots of different options. So, yeah, that's her favorite. Her favorite is, in fact, Star Trek. That's her favorite TV show.

And before you ask, she did want me to throw this in there, that her favorite captain is Kathryn Janeway. If you are… If you're wondering. If any of you are big Trekkies. Favorite is Kathryn Janeway. Good to know. [Emma laughs]

***

Well done! Well done. I am so, so impressed with you all. I'm going to go back through and make sure that I got all of the correct people on my list of people who guessed correctly, and I will make sure that that gets sent along. [Emma laughs] But you all did a really, really great job. I am so proud of you all, and I hope that you all… I hope that you all enjoyed the game. I hope you also all enjoyed re-learning a little bit about all of the astronauts. It is a… It is a really fun job that I get to have to share with you all the information about the astronauts. So it's really great. Thank you guys for hanging out and for playing the games with us today. I appreciate that.

With that being said, we are going to end our episode for the week. I cannot wait to chat with you all next week. It's going to be a great time. I'm really looking forward to next week, and I will see you all… a little bit later.

Bye, everybody!

Other Episodes

Meet the Astronauts (Part 2)
Episode
16

Meet the Astronauts (Part 2)

With six of the twelve Mars Base astronauts introduced last week, Emma jumps right into telling the Shifters about the remaining crew members – their history with the ISA, their personal lives, passions, and hobbies. She also gives the Red Shift listeners a chance to learn a little bit more about each other, with Two Truths and a Lie - Shifter Edition! Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Meet the Astronaut (Part 1)
Episode
15

Meet the Astronaut (Part 1)

In this very special episode, the Shifters get to know the first half of the current crew of the Mars base and play a game of Two Truths and a Lie with them, learning about everything from their favorite pastimes, to stories from their time at the ISA training facilities, to the art of surfing the sand dunes of the Red Planet. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

The Drill
Episode
14

The Drill

Alarms and sirens shock the Mars base in the middle of the night, warning of a potentially catastrophic Coronal Matter Ejection event. As the crew works frantically for thirty-two sleepless hours to brace for impact, one person knows it’s only a drill - Mission Commander Mithi Mabaya. Now, she’s reaching out to the Shifters with her side of the story. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

The Magpie
Episode
13

The Magpie

What can the Martian fire opal be used for? Scientist and science fiction enthusiast Emi Serizawa asks her fellow astronauts for their ideas and theories, some more serious than others. The Shifters join in, asked by Emi to come up with ways to incorporate earthly everyday objects into Mars colony life. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Fire Opal
Episode
12

Fire Opal

Last week, Maksym’s mistake put Korey’s life in serious danger. Now, the scientist contacts Emma to talk about the discovery - a rare Mars opal - that caused him to lose focus on the task. At the same time, he challenges Korey to make a scientifically-focused game for the Shifters. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Two Man Job
Episode
11

Two Man Job

Although Mars Base has now recovered from their C. difficile infection, last week left things sour between two of the twelve - Korey and Maksym. With Ida still indisposed after her close encounter with death, Mission 3 Engineer Korey Leonard is sent out on a fuel tank maintenance mission and challenges his teammate to create a game for the Shifters to repay him for a near-fatal mistake. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Too Many Side Quests!
Episode
10

Too Many Side Quests!

Managing a Mars Base is difficult on the best of days. With a C. difficile outbreak knocking out almost the entirety of the ISA crew, botanist Hanzou Mori has to single-handedly make sure operations are running smoothly. His journal chronicles a frantic week with the weight of the Red Planet on his shoulders. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Back From The Dead
Episode
9

Back From The Dead

Ida is recovering back at the Mars Base, but there may be more trouble brewing for the astronauts yet… Instead of a letter, ISA Doctor Tetyana Zelenko sent in a record of Ida’s recovery, including some troubling symptoms for her and the rest of the crew. Along with the notes, Emma also received a game created by Tetyana and John Alves themselves to show the Shifters just how precarious living on the Red Planet can be. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Rover 1
Episode
8

Rover 1

With this week’s astronaut letter from Mission Three Engineer Ida Serafin, the mystery of the broken glass has, at last, concluded. To wind down following the revelations, Emma invites Shifters to a party game based on ISA’s brand-new resource-scouting prototype. The broadcast ends suddenly as they all receive news of a life-threatening emergency on Mars. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

What We Bring to Mars
Episode
7

What We Bring to Mars

As Emma and the Shifters decide what they would take with them to the Mars base, Mission Three doctor Bertram Ruf updates us on Alex’s health after his suit puncture, and highlights the difficulties of practicing medicine on the Red Planet. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Is There Life on Mars?
Episode
6

Is There Life on Mars?

No-nonsense Mission Two Scientist Aurore Duval reaches out to Emma to counter Alex’s claims of extraterrestrial intelligence. Her letter takes Shifters on a dangerous mission beneath the surface of Mars as they explore a lava tube cave in the search of life on the Red Planet. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Xenoscope
Episode
5

Xenoscope

As the dust storm on Mars finally blew itself out, Emma was able to chat with one of the “First Four” Mars astronauts - Alexandr Titov. Together, they created an interactive quiz for the Shifters, all about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, participate in interactive exercises like this one, and maybe even interact with some of the astronauts currently on Mars! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Medical Training Simulations
Episode
4

Medical Training Simulations

Due to the ongoing dust storm, transmissions from Mars to Earth are jammed. Instead of reading out a Mars Diary, Emma invites the audience to try their hand at a couple of official ISA Medical Simulations and diagnose some of the common health concerns in a space colony. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions, and participate in interactive exercises like this one! All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

Storm Coming
Episode
3

Storm Coming

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"Broken Glass"
Episode
2

"Broken Glass"

Mission Three botanist Patricia Holzer describes the events of a disturbing week in which the vital trust between the 12 ISA astronauts on Mars is damaged by an act of vandalism. Now an official ISA podcast. The ISA is built by people like you! Tune in live every Tuesday 4:00 PM UTC to chat with Emma, ask her questions… and read some cryptic internal ISA messages…? All through our official transmission channel: https://discord.com/invite/colonizemars

"My other job is on mars"
Episode
1

"My other job is on mars"

Emma Miller takes a break from her bar gig to bring you updates from the Interplanetary Space Alliance colony on Mars. Now an official ISA podcast!