As I ascended the stairs to the second floor of Utah's Mars Desert Research Station, something struck me as strange: the lights were off and the crew was quiet at what was usually a busy time — 5 p.m.
As I reached the top of the combination staircase/ladder, that's when I spotted it: a chocolate-iced birthday cake on the table, lit up with candles. Two large packets of dark chocolate sat on the table. The other five people of Crew 133 at the Mars Desert Research Station had kept the arrangements secret from me, even sending me out to the greenhouse under other pretenses for 45 minutes to get me out of the kitchen.
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