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Entry from last night’s activities after the COMM WINDOW (03-31-2015):

Taco Tuesday dinner was wonderful—no one went hungry.  To top it off, later we enjoyed chocolate haystacks for dessert.  After doing some evening chores, we gathered to play “Cards against Humanity,” a game we found at the HAB.  This proved to be too much fun.  We particularly enjoyed some of the cards left by previous crews!  Sam also used the time to test his helmet—he played the entire game testing comfort, comms, and battery power.  After the game, we briefly outlined the next day’s plans and completed our meditation exercises.


We started our day with stretching and yoga. Most of the crew ate cereal as per our new custom.  Sam decided to make eggs and bacon.  I took advantage of Taco Tuesday leftovers!

Daily tasks were our first order of business; Karen and Liz worked on the engineering checklist.  Liz wore Sam’s test helmet to very positive results.  She reported having a full range of motion within the helmet, as compared to the constraints of the bubble helmets.  Radios worked well as they are “vox” activated.”  We thought this made communicating more realistic because we noticed a tendency to just talk to each other without radios when wearing the bubble helmets.  In addition, we started wondering what a “real space helmet” should look like.  While we don’t have the answers to that, it was certainly very interesting conversation.  We are very pleased with Sam’s results so far.

Karen, Sam and Lori went on a morning EVA.  Lori collected more soil samples, Sam tested his helmet in sim, and Karen worked on her repeater project.  Research is progressing well for each crew member.  Inside the HAB, Luis, Drew and Liz ran CAPCOM, straightened up, and worked on their projects.  Liz made a satisfying lunch.  We had lemon chicken soup with ramen noodles and rice.  It was quite filling.  The crew took a well-deserved rest after lunch.  We spent the afternoon cleaning the HAB in preparation for a visit from a news crew tomorrow.  We prepared for our interaction with reporters by reviewing our projects, discussing Mars Society goals, and reasons why space exploration is important.

Our planning meeting resulted in the following plan Commander Liz will request via Mission Support later tonight: All crew-members are prepared for the news crew visit.  Liz, Lori and Sam will be ready to assist the news team.  Luis, Karen and I will go on an EVA mission.  Luis will work on soil sample collection, and Karen will work on radio repeater data collection. I will help Luis as we have a good system down to collect his samples.  Luis (KG5GAH) and I (KG5GAQ) will both assist Karen (KG5GAK) so we can use the radios at varying distant points to test transmissions.

Tonight, we plan to enjoy supper together.   Luis charge of planning tonight’s meal.  We are still anticipating tonight’s surprise dessert prepared by Liz and Karen.  The weather today is generally nice, but the sky is filled with dust.  We can barely see the snow-covered mountain outside our window, which is normally quite a site to see against the desert background.  This makes us doubtful that any outdoor astronomy will take place.  If not, we will either play a game or watch a movie.  We’ll close out our day with meditation before our self-imposed quiet hours begin.  I will report on these activities in tomorrow’s Journalist report.

Lori selected today’s quote:
“Let your clarity define you, in the end we will only just remember how it feels.  Our lives are made in these small hours, these little wonders, these twist and turns of fate.  Time falls away but these small hours still remain.”  ~ Rob<http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/sally_ride.html> Thomas
Day Three has gone well!
Drew Canham
Journalist, Photographer, Astronomer and Commander-in-Training