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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jittery Journey by Wan Afifah

My first day on the space station on Mars was like the first day of school. I was awestruck with all the gadgets and gizmos surrounding me; the urge of touching everything was strong. I remembered startling up that morning to the soft hum of the space shuttle, thinking that it was the refrigerator.
Walking out of my cubicle, my head felt as light as feather. Do you know the feeling of being catapulted into the air and float in it? That is what being on an anti-gravity atmosphere feels like. I was literally bouncing off the ceiling.
What was supposedly a five minutes’ walk turned into a tedious seven minutes. Automatically, I thought of how I was to get things done on my stay here if walking itself was time-consuming. Walking slowly however, was one of the ways the crew and I withstood our lengthy six-month stay on Mars.
When I have successfully tumbled my way to the shower, my legs felt numb, but I was excited for my first shower on Mars. The bathtub looks just like your ordinary tub at home, but as most tech savvy items come, there is a twist. The water gushing out of the shower has been chemically bonded with a positive charge, making it magnetic to the negatively charged tub. Thus the water falls on the tiles and not splatter everywhere.
After the refreshing shower, I felt hungry. I tumbled my way to the kitchen. There was no fresh smell of toast and hot coffee that morning, just a lubricated odour lingering in the air. Then again, maybe Mars itself smells like the petrol station! Mei Ling, the rocket scientist, was making breakfast. Not as tempting as ‘nasi lemak’, but you cannot expect much from food oozing out of tubes. When I first came across these tubes, I thought the tubes contained paint! Assortments of flavours were available, but all had the same pasty texture. Scrambled eggs was the first meal I had on Mars, but it tasted more like waxy gravy.
The space crew consisted of two rocket engineers, Hisyam and Hasyim, a rocket scientist, Mei Ling, a pilot, Chandran and I, a space cadet. For the first day, we were not allowed to roam around Mars. The crew and I hung around the recreation zone. We were answering messages sent from Earth. A message is sent through the black hole. This way, messages are relayed quicker than lightning.
Our plan for tomorrow’s expedition was to collect mineral rocks which were to be tested in the space laboratory. The results were to be sent to the space station on Earth for comparison with Earth’s minerals.
That night, as I was tucked in bed, I started thinking about today’s activities. Droplets of tears started floating. I missed Earth, my family and friends. Most of all, I missed gravity. Nonetheless, I must stay here with all the other space crew and make this expedition on Mars go down in history.

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