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1211-CommandersReport

Commander Report
12/11//2013
Chelsea Iwig

Crew 131 had a slow morning after getting up early to complete the low intensity workout for the Exercise study. Two crewmembers worked on the data collection for the space suit glove study, but other than that and the discovery of more water problems, it was a fairly uneventful morning.  The crew was disappointed that again they would not be able to take their first shower since arriving on Mars because we would again not be able to fill the loft tank today due to issues with the water pump and pipes caused by the extremely cold temperatures. Nevertheless, the crew accepted this and tried to not let it dampen their spirits.
            In the afternoon, EVA team 1 was able to go out on their second EVA and their first ATV EVA. They were definitely excited to be able to venture off further from the Hab and get to explore more of the Martian surface. They went in the same initial direction as EVA team 2 went yesterday, but once they reached their initial destination on the ATVs, they were able to travel in the opposite direction as the other team had on foot. They very much enjoyed the incredible views of the Red Planet’s surface, but after over an hour of exploring, the cold temperatures reminded them that it was time to head back to the Hab. On the way back to the Hab icy and snowy conditions resulted in two crewmembers getting into a minor accident, but all were thankfully okay aside from a couple of minor bruises and scrapes.
            Upon returning to the Hab, EVA team 2 had homemade pizzas in the oven, almost ready to eat. By the time the EVA team had finished settling in after their EVA, the pizzas were done and the famished team could sit down, relax, and enjoy their dinner. After dinner, the rest of the evening was spent on troubleshooting our continued internet problems, repairing the EVA suits for tomorrow’s EVA, and writing reports. So while the day started off slow, it looks like it will be a long evening of performing maintenance and repair tasks. This only goes to show how difficult it is to maintain a habitat for supporting human life on the harsh but incredible surface of the Red Planet.
            Tomorrow, the crew will have the opportunity to sleep in since tonight will likely be a late one for Crew 131. However, by 1000 in the morning, EVA team 2 will be exiting the airlock for their second EVA. Since the accident on today’s EVA was partially caused by the cold temperatures, it has been decided that all future EVAs will take place earlier in the day when the temperatures are slightly warmer. This EVA will be a steep walking EVA to a location near Team one’s first EVA. Following the EVA, the crew will conduct their other research projects in the afternoon. The evening will be much like the previous evenings in that the crew will mostly be occupied with writing reports, completing surveys, and relaxing after another long day.

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CommanderCheckIn Report
12/11/2013
Chelsea Iwig
Crew Physical Health:
 All are well except for two crewmembers with minor colds, but they seem to be getting better. Both crew members involved in the ATV accident today are in good condition. One suffered some bruising/scratches on his elbow, and soreness in his calf. I have wrapped up his arm and will be keeping an eye on his leg. For the time being we will be limiting his workload.
Eva Depart Time:
1307
Eva Return Time:
1616
Narrative Of Field Mission Results:
EVA Team one successfully completed a nearly 3 hour ATV EVA to the same destination that EVA Team 2 went to yesterday. The crew was able further test their GPS armbands. Team 1 was also extremely impressed with the views and overall had a great time on their first ATV EVA. However, on the return trip to the Hab, the crew was going up a steep hill and one person spun out on the snow. Even though the crewmember behind her was keeping his distance, because they were going over a hill, he could not see her until the last minute. Also his hands were frozen and he was not able to break fast enough. His only option was to swerve to miss her which led to him overturning his ATV. In the accident two helmets were broken but neither crewmember was hurt aside from a couple minor bruises and scrapes.
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Hab Maint:
Last night, it was discovered that the lab sink drain had been frozen and that the pipes below the sink were leaking significantly due to the excessive water flow from the ice that had melted. The crew engineer took apart the pipes and inserted a washer to reinforce the seal of the outflow. She recommends foam insulation be inserted around the entrance of the pipe and wall as there are multiple holes. Also, she recommends that caulking be added around the rim of the sink. We have the supplies and are seeking permission to fix and seal. We may also need to fix the cabinet at the bottom as it has rotted through from the leaks.
DG came and assessed the tube. He agreed that the seal/adapter needed to be replaced. He returned home to retrieve the part and is likely to return in approximately 2 hours. Currently the pump is detached from the main HAB pipes, thus there is no leak. DG also brought the trailer tank and filled the static tank to full. We are currently working on replacing the broken part.
During today’s EVA, a minor accident with two of the ATVs resulted in two helmets being broken beyond repair. As a result, to make sure that the remaining helmets match up with working packs, we will need to be able to repair the packs that are not working optimally. This will likely require obtaining new filters for the packs and possibly re-soldering the connections.
Rep Sched:
Commander Check-In, Commander Report, Engineering Report, HSO Report, EVA Report, EVA Plan, Journalist Report
Tomorrow Plan:
Tomorrow, Crew 131 will be sleeping in as they will be staying up late tonight to take advantage of the unregulated bandwidth after midnight and also because tomorrow is not an exercise day. A major reason for the ATV accident today was that the crewmembers hands get frozen on the way back from the EVAs and are not able to react fast enough to push the break if they need to stop quickly. Therefore, Crew 131 will be moving up the EVA times to begin at 1000 rather than 1300. EVA team 2 will be going out tomorrow morning on their first walking EVA that will involve navigating up steep inclines. This EVA will require use of the ATVs as a means to take the team part of the way to their destination, but the majority of the EVA will involve walking and climbing. Following the EVA, in the afternoon, the crew will work on the different research projects including the glove study, completing surveys, and caring for the plants used in the Aeroponics study. The crew will also be working on cleaning up the first floor, which has become very dirty from the mud being brought in after EVAs.
Inventory:
   None
Support Req: New filters for the EVA packs are needed.
Our crew engineer is seeking permission to try and repair or pair up some of the air tubes that were attached to the helmets to working packs, as some of the packs are currently running weak (to which I am still investigating a fix). Because the tubes were mis-matched before our crew came, I will likely be trying to match the correct tubes to their respective packs. This has been an issue since we arrived, but I have been occupied with the internet issue, pipes and other packs to change the tubes. In terms of the broken helmets, I am unable to find parts to replace the front face-- what does Mission Control recommend as further action?
Miscelleneous: There are still at least two mice and one very large rat on the loose in the Hab. More traps will be set tonight.