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Commander Report  
6 NOV 2015 -- Sol 14
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.  XO Silva-Martinez will also send a food inventory and list of suggested household items to be picked up by Crew 156.

Yesterday evening after Hab PMCS we had a movie night.  We watched “Mission to Mars.”  It was pretty cheesy, but we enjoyed the “Sci-Fi lite” theme.  Afterward, I shared my MDRS-themed children’s book with the crew and we played cards for a bit before lights out.

We started our day today at 0730 hours.  The weather on Mars is still cold, but we had an easier time getting started than yesterday.  We had our last formal morning brief and breakfast as a crew and then got to work.

ENG Palpanis and I spent the majority of the day framing out and covering the remaining “common area side” of the 7th stateroom.  GHO Nguyen assisted as needed on an ad hoc basis.  We discovered that framing out a wall in an area with as little as a foot of vertical clearance can be a challenge!  Moreover, the plywood sheathing for the new wall section required multiple trips to and from the cutting floor to perfect the compound cuts needed to fit around various pipes and oddments up in the loft.  We finally got the wall done, however, and plan to get it painted early tomorrow.  The curtain rod is hung and ready to receive curtains, too.

While we three worked on the stateroom, the rest of the crew worked on a crew video, touched up painted areas (the painting never stops!), and worked on the food inventory.  They also collected up items for transfer to storage tomorrow.

CJ Klos worked with XO Silva-Martinez, HSO Harrison, ENG Palpanis, and GHO Nguyen at different times throughout the day to shoot more photos for her Artist-in-Residence project.  

Crew is definitely in “wrap up” mode now.  Things that won’t be used again are being put away, and some of us have even begun to pack for the return to “Earth.”

Our plan for tomorrow is to paint the new 7th stateroom wall, perform a deep clean of the Hab, and receive our relief crew, Crew 156.  Once they arrive on site, we will brief them on all of the key Hab systems and procedures, share a meal together, and prepared for our crew’s Sunday departure.

In all, this has been a highly productive rotation.  I have enjoyed the company of my fellow crew mates, and think we have left the Hab and MDRS campus considerably improved -- and ready for the remainder of the research season.  We faced a number of setbacks and challenges during our rotation, but the crew adapted and drove on.

Mars is hard, but the 1st Engineers are harder!

Respectfully submitted,

Paul Bakken    
Commander, MDRS Crew 155