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Commander Report  
5 NOV 2015 -- Sol 13
Paul Bakken


Greetings Mission Support!

Crew 155 will send the usual reports during today‘s comm window.  You should receive an XO Daily Summary, Engineer report, and Journalist Report in addition to this Commander Report.

Last night ended up being an impromptu crew bonding night.  After evening meal and Hab PMCS, we had two MDRS Olympic events: The Ping Pong Fling and Pin the Rocket on the LZ.  For the Ping Pong Fling, your Commander took gold, XO Silva-Martinez the silver, and HSO Harrison and CJ Klos tied for bronze.  Pin the Rocket on the LZ resulted in another gold for me, a silver for ENG Palpanis, and a bronze for GHO Nguyen.

The current medal count is:

CDR Bakken,  3 gold,  0 silver,  1 bronze
ENG Palpanis,  1 gold,  2 silver,  1 bronze
HSO Harrison,  1 gold,  2 silver,  0 bronze
CJ Klos,  1 gold,  0 silver,  1 bronze
XO Silva-Martinez,  0 gold,  1 silver,  2 bronze
GHO Nguyen,  0 gold,  1 silver,   1 bronze

After the Olympic events, we played a few rounds of Gin Rummy, and then quite a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity.  Some crew retired early, but the rest did not get to lights out until 2345 hours.

Wake up was a little later than usual at 0800 hours.  The weather has definitely taken a turn for the colder here on Mars.  It took a little extra time for us to warm up and feel like moving today.  Crew ate breakfast together and discussed the plan for the day.  At 0830 hours, most of the crew began implementing our work plan.

XO Silva-Martinez and GHO Nguyen spent the morning collecting radio signal strength data and GPS coordinates from various locations within 0.5 km of the Hab.  HSO Harrison joined this effort at about 1100 hours.

ENG Palpanis, CJ Klos, and I sanded the Engineering bay walls, primed them, and gave them two coats of paint.  After the final coat dried, we replaced the cover plates, cleaned up the area and moved the tool bench back over.  The newly refurbished Engineering bay looks great!

In the midst of this job, we were visited by DG of DG Interplanetary Delivery and Support Services.  He performed PMCS on the generator, and dropped of additional hardware for the new back porch.  I consulted with him regarding the design of the porch.  Since Crew 155 will be unable to complete this project during our stay here, I would strongly recommend that the MDRS contract with DG Interplanetary to complete the remaining build-out of the porch, enclosure, and tunnel connections.

Shortly after the Engineering bay was put back together, XO Silva-Martinez, GHO Nguyen, and HSO Harrison returned from gathering radio signal strength data.  They found a few spots that meet the criteria that I set and that may be candidates for further analysis.

GHO Nguyen then joined ENG Palpanis and I in refurbishing the Engineering airlock.  The various cords and cables are now better managed, and the interior has been finished.  It looks like very “Marsy” and like a brand new airlock.

After a short break for lunch, the remainder of the afternoon was spent on small patch and fix-it jobs: de-cluttering and managing cables, patching walls, and securing two loose deck plates on Deck 1 that presented a trip hazard.  

Tomorrow, Crew 155 will tackle the 7th stateroom.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will be able to complete the work before we need to return to Earth.

I never got around to sharing my MDRS-themed children’s’ book with the crew last night, so perhaps that will be tonight’s special feature.

If I were to sum up the crew mood right now, I would characterize it as “contentedly tired.”  Life as a part of the 1st Engineers here on Mars is hard, but good!

Best wished to our loved ones back on Earth.  We will return home soon.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul Bakken    
Commander, MDRS Crew 155