Chapter 1: Operation Hopefullness

Report: J M Hamley

Landed successfully, and moved expedition to community hall while station was inspected. Most buildings complete as required.

However some buildings not airtight and so unihabitable.

Captain Landgrabb instructed self and Lieutenant Kotov to complete an assessment of all buildings to establish which are safe to use and which require more work. Found a total of 17 residental homes complete: at least 4 unrelated pairs must share a home. The house intended for Captain Landgrabb in ruins, as is house intended for self beside radio tower.

Returned to meeting to discover Oswald Alto had violated instructions forbidding weapons.

As was not present for start of argument, am unsure precisely how it began. Believe Alto objected to idea that Capt. Landgrabb would have own house when others would have to share.

Alto shot Dr Kingsford first, then Capt Landgrabb when he tried to intervene. Alto declared himself in charge of entire station, and demands rent from all inhabitants. He then left rest of party to claim Dr Kingsford’s house as the most comfortable. Both Yuan siblings, Franz Schmidt and Katalin Abel left with him.

Dr Kingsford died immediately; Captain Landgrabb soon after as had no medical assistance.

Have buried both in graveyard we had hoped would not be needed for many years. Remaining citizens agreed Lieutenant Kotov and self would take over command jointly and attempt to re-introduce security.


Have build a home next to radio tower, as cannot allow Alto’s gang to gain control of communications, although power available is less than expected and can only run tower and phone system two days per week. The house must be underground, as this is the easiest way of keeping airtight.

The upper floor so far contains the living area. Water is scarce, so a bath or shower is not possible.

The lower floor contains the bedroom, with space for another bedroom in future.

Have agreed with Boris Kotov that he will remain in command of satellites and attempting to rebuild rocket sufficiently should satellites require reconstructing. I will recruit others to maintain military presence across the station to prevent Alto from using his gun again, at least in daylight hours – at present, everyone is very reluctant to leave the safety of their homes.


Lower gravity requires us all to work harder to maintain and improve our fitness, so much time is spent exercising with the single music player.

Food is not plentiful, so we must be sparing with what there is. Am rapidly becoming proficient at making these sausages edible…

… however sometimes not proficient enough. No-one has been hurt in fires, which we are thankful for.

Have been developing relationships with Akio Gorou, Rahul Yash, Birgit Folke and Eithne Moore, the new recruits to the military, as well as with Remy Dutiel.

Remy and I are getting on particularly well, which helps me deal with the conditions here.

I am also developing a relationship with Boris Kotov, whose work maintaining the satellites is invaluable.


The recruits are improving in their training, and patrols around the town are beginning. I am very impressed with their work, and all looking forward to freedom from Alto’s threats.

Food is still short, and lack of power means food is often rotting. Have had several cases of food poisoning, but no serious consequences so far.

Basic sinks are only source of clean water, so often difficult to remain clean. Have spent many hours repairing broken sink, and am sure others in same position. Growing used to lack of water, and not noticing the smell so much.

Am not the only one to take up dancing, as it is an enjoyable change from usual life.


Increased ability from rest of military has led to more patrols, and hope of free movement at least during day.

Would like to announce my engagement to Remy Dutiel. Will wait to marry until military in control of settlement, as have no remaining birth control and cannot possibly have children until this is complete.

Have reached top of achievement athletically, and sure this will not be long delayed.


Went to work this morning with high hopes. Have created an assessment together with Boris Kotov: if recruits pass, will join Boris in original duty of satellites leaving others in charge on ground. Feel Akio Gorou is very unlikely to pass, but believe Rahul, Brigit and Eithne all capable.

Hopes were fulfilled: have now joined Boris Kotov in space section. Feel have made a contribution to development of Camp Alpha, and can now leave the next task to others.

I now have a new duty as Mrs Dutiel, and so expect will not be able to continue my military duties for much longer.

Astronaut Hamley-Dutiel, signing off.


Jasmine lifted Military and Hopelessness restrictions on Wednesday of week 4, after 24 days. I broke one rule by accident – Boris was only friends when he first visited but Jasmine did not have a car.

Prologue: First Citizens of Mars

A view from the base station
An image captured from outside the base station being robotically constructed on Mars.

The first 25 citizens of the fourth planet in our solar system have been announced today. Their final training begins this week, before the first possible launch date on 24 March. They come from 19 different nations, speak many different languages, but are united in their vision of a new home: the first step in human colonization of the nearest planet to Earth.

The man in charge, at least until the base station is secure and a new commander can be elected, has been confirmed as Captain Malcolm Landgrabb. Captain Landgrabb is an experienced astronaut and a well-known member of the Canadian Air Force. Although a US citizen by birth, he renounced his citizenship as a teenager after returning to his father’s family on Vancouver Island.

Captain Malcolm Landgrabb, 36, in command of the expedition

Dr Laura Kingsford has been appointed as the expedition doctor, with Hungarian medical student Katalin Abel as her assistant. Dr Kingsford, the only British expedition member despite two Britons on the selection panel, was delighted with her appointment. “I am very much looking forward to my work at Camp Alpha (the current prefered name for the base station). After two winters in the Antarctic, I’m confident I’ll be able to deal with any problems that come up.” Some senior doctors have criticized the decision to send only one fully-qualified doctor, but Dr Kingsford is confident she can continue the training of Miss Abel.

Dr Laura Kingsford, 34

Captain Landgrabb’s two assistants, charged with flying the rocket to Mars and landing there, as well as controlling the satellites that supply power to the base are Russian Boris Kotov, 24 and Australian Jasmine Hamley, 21. German Dr Dieter Mann, 31, comletes the ‘expert’ party – he will be attempting to establish biological life in the Martian soil, as well as growing the food the colonists will need.

Jasmine Hamley, experienced pilot with the RAAF despite her young age

Dr Dieter Mann, expedition biologist

Boris Kotov, pilot

The remaining 20 positions for the expedition, 10 men and 10 women all between the ages of 18 and 25 are filled by the following people:
Katalin Abel (Hungary)
Oswald Alto (US)
Dunya Barrakat (Egypt)
Remy Dutiel (France)
Guidomar Elipidio (Brazil)
Fredrik Folke (Norway)
Birgit Folke (Norway)
Akio Gorou (Japan)
Bebe Hua (China)
Iskandar Kuwat (Indonesia)
Josephine Mao (Niue Simoa)
Matilde Mao (Niue Simoa)
Eithne Moore (Ireland)
Kato Mwenye (Ethiopia)
Franz Schmidt (Germany)
Jessie Woods (Jamaica)
Rahul Yash (India)
Sarika Yash (India)
Lu Yuan (China)
Ziyi Yuan (China)

The entire party, back row (L to R):  Gorou, Woods, Alto, Moore, Kotov, Hamley, Hua, Elipidio, Abel, Dutiel. Middle row (L to R): Mr Yuan, Mrs Yash, Mr Yash, Mann, Landgrabb, Kingsford, Mr Folke, Mrs Folke, Barrakat, Kuwat. Front (L to R): Miss Yuan, Schmidt, J Mau, M Mau