During their working hours, our astronauts will be busy performing three main tasks: construction, maintenance and research. Besides work, they will also have time to relax.
Construction involves working on the settlement. The first crew in particular will need to devote a lot of time to the settlement, to make their new home into a comfortable place to live. They will install the corridors between the landers, they will deploy extra solar panels, and they will install equipment, such as greenhouses, inside the habitat. They will spend time on the crops and food preparation. They will also prepare the hardware for the second crew: the second crew hardware will be delivered with the first crew astronauts.
As soon as possible, Mars One will try to supply the settlement with methodologies to produce habitable volume from mostly Martian materials, in order to significantly expand the settlement. Our goal is to enable them to construct a space 10 meters wide by 50 meters long. This will be a spacious environment in which to live, where they can also grow trees. Such a large living volume will make Mars a much nicer place to live.
Maintenance will be crucial to ensure long-term functionality of all systems. The astronauts lives depend on the technology present in the settlement. All these systems need to be checked and maintained regularly.
Research is also an important part of work on Mars, especially when the settlement is fully operational. What is the history of Mars? Did Mars have a long wet period, or just a few wet years every now and then? When did the dramatic climate change take place? Is there life on Mars now? The astronauts will do their own research, but will also collect data for other researchers, and transmit it to Earth.
Our astronauts will also find time to relax. They can do most of the indoor activities that people can do on Earth: read, play games, write, paint, work out in the gym, watch TV, use the Internet, contact friends at home and so on.
There will be some communication and media limitations, due to the distance between Earth and Mars, resulting in time delays: they will have to request the movies or news broadcasts they want to see in advance. If an astronaut would like to watch the Super Bowl, he or she can request it, and it would be uploaded to the server on Mars. There will always be a time delay of at least three minutes, so the people on Mars will know who won a few minutes after the people on Earth. Hopefully this slight delay will not spoil their enjoyment of our ‘Earth sports’.
Easy Internet access will be limited to their preferred sites that are constantly updated on the local Mars web server. Other websites will take between 6 and 45 minutes to appear on their screen - first 3-22 minutes for your click to reach Earth, and then another 3-22 minutes for the website data to reach Mars. Contacting friends at home is possible by video, voice or text message (e-mail, WhatsApp, sms), but real time dialogue is not possible, because of the time delay.