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1226-CommandersReport

Commander Report
Nick Orenstein

Commander's Log, Mars Date 1321226.6

Hydration is a keyword for Crew 132 and the past day has alerted us to our water supply's role in daily life on Mars. Here at MDRS, we drink water, use it to rehydrate food and brew coffee, flush it down the toilet, and clean dishes and ourselves with it. On Earth, water flows freely. On Mars, it does not. The environment around our habitat is harsh and desolate - there is no babbling brook flowing with high quality H2O. Our engineer calculated that our daily water usage is over three times that of the scientific reference volume published by a 2009 Flashline MARS team. 
Planetary scientists studying our new home planet have, in recent years, confirmed the ancient presence of water and presented compelling evidence for the existence of current reserves. Water-ice caps the polar regions and is likely embedded in the surface regolith across the planet. Recurring slope lineae ebb and flow seasonally. A thin film of flowing interfacial water may even exist as that babbling brook to us Martians.
Our current state of affairs for water resupply, while life-saving for now, is unacceptable for a long-term, self-sustainable Mars habitat. Officer DG must deliver a tanker from nearby Starbase Hollow Mountain, as he did today. This arrangement causes engineers to worry about use rates and forces crew members to ration. Deliveries are susceptible to delays and may even result in emergency emptiness. Life on a planet should not be dependent on a nearby starbase and especially not on Earth.
My doctoral research is to design and develop a water harvester which heats the ground and captures the released water vapor. A storage device will filter into potable water for Hab use. An autonomous robot could harvest water on a schedule to perpetually supply the human crew. Such in-situ resource utilization significantly reduces risks to human activities beyond Earth. I sincerely expect to one day drink Martian water squeezed out of the regolith by my device.

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Commander Check-In Report
Nick Orenstein

Crew Physical Status: 
Morale and health remains high. Crew excited for first showers today/tomorrow.

Eva Depart Time: n/a
Eva Return Time: n/a
EVA Highlights : n/a

Engineering/Hab Maintenance:
GreenHab propane heaters turned on but emit distinct propane smell. Concerned that there are leaks in the gas line.

Report Transmission Schedule:
Commander Check-In
Commander Report
Engineering Report
HSO Report
Future EVA Plan
Supplemental Report - Engineering Network Diagram
Daily Photos
Journalist Report

Plans for Tomorrow:
Astronomy observations tonight. Continue GreenHab repairs and exhaust fan installation. Geology and GreenHab EVA. Isolate organisms from soil selected yesterday. 

Inventory: 
Trailer water tank refilled by DG.

Support Requests:
Blue butane lighter used for kitchen stove is almost empty. We might need a new one, but the next crew definitely needs a new one.

Miscellaneous:
Our engineer has been spending most of his time trying to fix the wifi/HAL issue. Tomorrow he will start work on his own personal research. I will help with this issue now but with my other duties it will be slower to implement. Will continue to submit reports by email until problem is solved.