Commander report for 1 April 2015
Last night, crew members enjoyed a game of Cards Against Humanity. It was a fun time and I think all crew members enjoyed it.
This morning, Sam woke us up at 7 am with an instrumental music piece with which I was unfamiliar. Crew members did yoga as a team at 7:30 and enjoyed cereal, oatmeal, bacon, and breakfast tacos for breakfast.
Karen and I did engineering rounds this morning. I tested Sam’s retrofitted motorcycle helmet/space suit during engineering rounds. It was vastly more comfortable than any of the helmet/space suit combinations currently available at MDRS. Sam has hooked up some sort of small speakers and vox to his helmet. This means all communication can be done relatively easily through the helmet. We will run tests on the helmet for the duration of the week. However, I am highly enthusiastic about the set-up and am preliminarily thinking it would make a great set-up. I think the helmet would be more comfortable, much safer, and give crew members a realistic analog experience. I will offer my official opinion on the helmet once testing has concluded.
As per Karen’s EVA request, Sam, Karen, and Lori departed for their EVA at roughly 10:00 AM local time. Luis, Drew, and I were on CapCom. Very soon after they left on their EVA, I lost ham radio contact with them.
At roughly 10:30 AM, I viewed a family of 5 (what I speculate is a mom, dad, and three smaller children) and their dog very interestingly walking around the Musk observatory. The observatory was closed and the family did not touch anything. From the kitchen window, their body language and facial expressions conveyed extreme interest and happiness at the chance of seeing MDRS. I kept my eyes on them, and they happily wondered around the hab for about 30 minutes and then departed in their truck.
I am so happy to see “space tourists”. I know there exists the fear such attention could become unwanted/destructive/distracting. However, it means people are interested in Mars. And seeing two families with children going out of their way to come to MDRS is especially exciting to me. Perhaps these families are inspiring their children, directly or indirectly, to be the next generation of explorers. In my experience, sharing is the best way to get others to buy into your dream.
I prepped lunch today. We had lemon chicken and rice soup and rice. Karen made a vanilla cake that we will have after dinner.
After lunch, the crew cleaned the inside of the hab, in preparation for the Australian news crew that will arrive tomorrow morning. Also, the crew members worked on their research projects.
Luis is cooking dinner. I am excited to see what he comes up with.
Tonight, we are going to practice talking to journalists. We are also going to plan for our EVAs tomorrow. Currently, Luis is going to send in an EVA request to collect more soil samples. On his EVA, Karen will accompany him to work on her repeater. Drew will accompany them to take pictures. Also, tomorrow we are planning to have Luis, Karen, and Drew take out the Green Hab pole (which we have previously received permission to do). Tomorrow, Lori will show the news crew how she is processing her soil samples. We are also going to prep a microbiology lab that we will perform in the hab.