Home‎ > ‎Crew 143‎ > ‎

1117-CommandersReport

Commander Report
11/17/2014
Paul Knightly

Today, we entered Sim! The extra effort we spent on Sunday in meetings and discussing the scope of
our mission at MDRS paid off and we were able to enter into Sim conditions this morning with little
difficulty. The whole crew was up by 0700 and after a breakfast of cereal and reconstituted dry
milk, we had a brief meeting to discuss the day’s activities and laid out a schedule for the course
of our planned EVA in the morning. It was decided that communications should be maintained between
the EVA crew and Hab at least every 15 minutes. 4 crew members went outside (Commander, Health and
Safety Officer, Crew Engineer, and Crew Journalist) on EVA and two remained in the Hab (Executive
Officer and GreenHab Officer).
We allowed extra time to don our spacesuits as it was the first time for all EVA participants to
wear them. It ended up taking about 40 minutes to get dressed and we were able to enter the airlock
a few minutes ahead of schedule and stepped outside at 0955. As our first EVA, the majority of the
time was spent getting aquainted with wearing the suits while performing our normal daily tasks.
The specific tasks accomplished are outlined by each crew member in their daily reports. Throughout
the EVA, the buddy system was relied upon as members ventured to different waypoints near the Hab,
meaning that at any point during the EVA, each crew member was within eyesight and a few tens of
meters of their “buddy.”
This system proved especially valuable after my radio fell off of my spacesuit and my headset became
inoperable. I was teamed up with the Crew Biologist and after noting the problem, we made our way
back to the Hab. While it is possible to communicate verbally, the helmets muffle sound to the
extent that it is neither practical or safe to run an EVA for any length of time without a
functioning radio. We finished EVA activities shortly after returning to the Hab and we came out of
the airlock at 1148.
Common to all EVA crew members was fogging on their space helmets. While no solution seems readily
at hand, both our XO and Crew Engineer have complimentary studies to try to mitigate this ongoing
problem and will be attempting additional solutions as the mission progresses.
At 1400, we compared EVA experiences and set our EVA schedule for the rest of the mission. While
subject to change as the mission evolves, we wanted to make sure that each crew members’ research
objectives are adequately met. At this point in time, each crew member that needs EVA’s to conduct
their studies has enough time scheduled to complete their research.
Our Habitat Activity Logger-9000 (HAL-9000) computer disconnected our virtual link to Earth around
1500. We hailed CAPCOM using our emergency radio link and quickly resolved the issue and
reestablished our virtual connection to Earth around 1525. The cause of the disconnection was likely
attributable to a switch between our two generators and a possible power surge that resulted.
Crew morale is high and as we’ve gotten to know each other, everyone continues to get along well.
Perhaps our greatest discovery today was that our Crew Engineer can bake an amazing loaf of bread,
so he may have signed himself up for permanent cooking duties for the rest of the mission!