My friend went to Mars and when she came back she said it was awesome. She made two new best friends and stayed up till 4am every night talking and she wishes it had been longer because it was so much fun. She loved it all: the habitat, the experiments, the EVAs, and the freeze-dried food. She said she was pretty skilled now at peeing in a beaker since she had to do it every day for her urinary volume report to the mission doctors. She thought it was particularly fun when they all ignored mission control’s advice and did what made practical sense based on what they saw instead. They were the ones on Mars, after all! It hardly mattered that it was only Ersatz Mars (as she called it) — a hyper-realistic make-believe trip to an isolated shipping container in Poland on planet Earth. Mars was ersatz, but her enjoyment of it was completely genuine.