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Commander Report
Prepared by Gregory Leonard

Since Thursday, November 27, crew members from across the globe began arriving in Grand Junction,
Colorado in great anticipation for their upcoming MDRS-144 rotation. Crew members Heidi Beemer (XO),
Victor Luo (Crew Engineer) and myself (Commander) arrived from points within the United States, with
Yasuke Murakami (Crew Biologist) arriving from Japan, Juho Vehviläinen (Crew Journalist) from
Finland, and Antonio Antonio de Morais (Crew Geologist) from Brazil.  Our HSO, Susan Jewell drove
from Wyoming to the MDRS. 

Last evening, November 28,  all crew (sans Jewell) were finally together  enjoyed a casual dinner /
desert icebreaker, a few of us managing to complete the Grand Junction restaurant trifecta, eating
at Sushi & Rok, Applebees, and Dennys. We all delighted in discussing our backgrounds, proposed
research, Mars. Considering the great distances traveled by many of us, all slept very last night
well . 

After our breakfast at the Days Inn Grand Junction, we completed final pre-mission provisioning at
Lowes and Walmart, picking up a few field-support items in addition to a new multimeter to replace
the faulty tester in the MDRS instrument bench. We departed Grand Junction at ~11:00, arriving in
time in Green River for a gourmet Mexican food truck lunch. The remaining drive towards Hanksville
was spectacular, becoming increasingly more Mars-like every kilometer. 

We arrived at the Hab at 14:00 and were warmly greeted by MDRS-143 commander Paul Knightly and his
excellent crew. Paul and his crew provided us with a general tour of the MDRS facilities and
systems, in addition to basic procedures, getting us ready for the transfer of crews to occur
tomorrow. All officers and specialists from the respective crews then paired off to receive more
detailed instructions and explanations regarding specific Hab systems and procedures. We benefited
tremendously from the experience of MDRS-143.

Late afternoon we enjoyed some photo taking with both crews outside the Hab, followed by a brisk
hike up the western mudstone slopes to glimpse the setting sun and mingle high above the MDRS site. 
Now we all anticipate sharing a Hab-cooked meal, prepared jointly by both crews, whilst getting
further MDRS information, knowledge, and wisdom from MDRS Director, Shannon Rupert. It has been a
full day for MDRS Crew 144; we rest tonight in anticipation for the beginning of our crew rotation,
team-building, and our Mars analog and space science projects.