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Crew Commander Daily Report

SOL 02

Crew 162

Crew Commander: Renee Garifi

Our first full day in sim presented us with the rigors of daily life in isolation as well as meaningful tasks with each crewmember contributing to the advancement of the mission. I am pleased with the positive attitudes of my crew and the proactive mindset they have brought with them to their first analog mission. Team composition is a vital aspect of any high-stress situation, such as off-planet missions. In the case of our 3-person crew, we each bring very distinct and useful backgrounds that balance and stabilize our mission. Any technical or scientific question posed to the group by one is quickly answered by another. Where one lacks skills in a certain area, another member of the team is able to teach a new skill to the group. Whether website design, Spanish language or how to make the perfect breakfast burrito using dehydrated ingredients, our team enthusiastically accepts the challenge of living and working together in a confined space.

Our anticipated starting crew size for this mission was originally planned for seven (a standard Shuttle mission) but as life happens, career opportunities present themselves and family situations arise, we have had to reduce our participation number down to a standard Soyuz mission of 3. This smaller crew size lends itself, in fact, to some very interesting data points regarding crew interaction and successful team building. One of our experiments, a social psychology Sociomapping experiment, investigates how a crew of three performs daily within the confines of the habitat and will compare these "maps" of interaction to those of last year's seven-person crew. We look forward to the development of this mission as we learn from each other and share this unique experience on Mars.

Until tomorrow, Crew 162 Commander Garifi, signing off.