Crew Commander Daily Report
Crew Commander: Lycourgos Manolopoulos
We had our first morning on the Martian environment. I have never seen so many smiling faces so early in the morning! Our first EVA was scheduled today which took place at 11:05AM. We suited up with our flight suits, tucked into our boots, and strapped on the EVA suits for our hiking journey that was awaiting us just outside of the airlock. We climbed the rocks west of MDRS and then proceeded with moving north to our EVA destination. On our way, Cassandra’s head cap became loose within her helmet and she began to struggle since it was obscuring her visuals. She tried to take her helmet off in her confusion and the other two members were trying to restrain her from doing so. I approached her and got down on one knee to establish eye contact while tapping on her helmet to get her attention since radio communication simply was not doing the job. Once I caught her eye she seemed to have calmed down instantly as if nothing ever happened. We managed to control the situation and verified that all straps for her helmet were still secured. We reached our destination while guiding Cassandra since she could not see in front of her due to the head cap resting on the bottom front of her helmet. On our climb down John had an unintentional, but slow, controlled slide through a ridge. We were separated momentarily and regrouped within 5 minutes while the rest of the group found a safer way down. Within about 200ft of MDRS on our return for the Engineering Check List (EVA portion), Cassandra tripped over the Martian terrain due to her low visibility. Cassandra was not injured in the slightest bit. There was no crack on the helmet, however, there were some gaps in between the helmet and the suit. I treated this as a possible breach to the airflow of the life support system and rushed Cassandra to the recompression chamber within a minute. HabCom was very responsive and communicated clearly during this hasty situation. Ashley, John, and I proceeded with the EVA and conducted the EVA engineering checklist guided by our engineer through HabCom. This intense EVA was a great introduction to what we may expect during our two week rotation. It definitely tested my decision making skills and how to react to certain issues. I must say, the team performed phenomenally today and there was great communication with HabCom. Everyone did an outstanding job and could not ask for anything more! Cannot wait to see what is in for us next.