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Commander’s Report
2/16/2015
Paul Bakken
 
1 – Cross crew support
2 – Comms
3 – Another birthday celebration
4 – EVA construction materials and techniques
5 – Ozone machine trial #2
6 – Plant growth update
7 – Prep for tomorrow
 
Greetings Mission Support!
               
Here are the highlights of the day:
 
1 – We continue to support the two projects still in the Hab that were initiated by previous crews. Cyprien’s radishes are looking healthy, and we continue to collect data regarding GreenHab type activities for Crew 148 Cdr. Poulet.
 
2 – For first time since entering Sim, I can say that Comms are stable. Slow and a bit awkward to use in the current configuration, but stable. We anticipate using the current setup for the remainder of Sim.
 
3 – Today was crew member Gerardi’s birthday, so she became our second “Martian Princess for a Day.” She received her own Martian tiara and, yet again, crew member Sullivan produced a chocolate cake. I have raised my eyebrow at the amount of contraband that must have gone into the production of not one, but two, gourmet birthday cakes but since the results were delicious, I have decided to overlook the activities of the Martian Chocolate Smuggling Syndicate.
 
4 – Five personnel, crew members Sullivan, Schreurs, Miscodan Naganuma, and myself, performed an extended EVA in the vicinity of the Hab to test EVA construction techniques. We disassembled the Trapezium frame and stowed the components. We also erected the small geodesic dome and collected good data on sub-component assembly times. One of the three types of connector locking nut performed much better than the others, which we will be useful to know for future projects. Overall, the dome went up quickly and has been staunchly withstanding today’s unusually strong winds.
 
5 – The second methodical trial of the ozone laundering machine occurred today. Two pair of jeans were treated for a total of three hours. After allowing the residual ozone to dissipate in the engineering airlock, the jeans were tested for overall scent strength and offensiveness. The consensus of crew is that the ozone treatment rendered the jeans less offensive than before cleaning, but with a faint residue of the ozone “tang” still present at time of testing.
 
6 – The hops continue to thrive. The sorghum seeds planted in regolith are outperforming those planted in potting mix. Our crew is pleased with the results so far, as they indicate that the plants can at least germinate and establish themselves in a regolith growth matrix.
 
7 – Crew 149 has also made the necessary preparations to receive our temporary crew member tomorrow, including a deep cleaning of the Hab. We are all looking forward to the visit and being able to show a new face all of the projects that we have conducted while here at the MDRS.                                                                                           
 
In all, we are pretty content here on Mars. Hope all is well on Earth, too!
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Paul Bakken                         
Commander, MDRS Crew 149