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Commander Report
Prepared by Paul Knightly

This has been one of the more dynamic days for Crew 143. We started off the day by completing the construction of the tunnel structure to the Observatory. It is now ready for the next phase of installation that will include covering the panels with fabric to shield the crew from the elements as they traverse between the Hab, GreenHab, and Observatory facilities on future missions. 

I was able to squeeze out some last minute sampling on the alluvial fan that we visited on EVA last week. The confirmation samples that I collected today will go far in validating the work that I performed while in simulation. The rest of the morning was spent packing samples and a crew-wide cleaning of the Hab and lab areas ahead of the next crew.

The crew transfer process began this afternoon. Crew 144 arrived around 1400 this afternoon and we welcomed them into the Hab and introduced them to life on Mars. Crew 144 is another team of finalists for the Mars Arctic 365 mission and they are all eager to begin their experience here at MDRS. The feeling among members of both crews is that this is a tremendously unique opportunity we’ve been given for which we are all grateful. 

For Crew 143, our mission at MDRS ends tomorrow morning with our return to Grand Junction. Two weeks have flown by fast, but the experience has been unforgettable. We are excited for what’s next and look forward to advancing the cause of Mars exploration once we return to life on Earth. Thanks to all who have made this mission possible – without your countless hours of devotion to the program none of this would be possible. 

Wishing 144 all the best, this is 143, signing off.