Lived Through This

After Working on Mars, I’ll Never See Earth the Same Way

The red planet’s craters are as familiar to me as my yard

Mars imaged by MARCI aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in March 2018. All of the wispy blue features are water-ice clouds. The puffy beige feature below center is a dust storm. The northern polar cap is visible at the top. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

For over a decade, I went to work on Mars.

There was a routine to each day: Come into the office. Make a cup of Earl Grey. Sit down at my computer and delve into the images sent to Earth from…