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Crew Commander Daily Report
SOL 12/February 4, 2016
Crew 162
Crew Commander: Renee Garifi

Only 2 days left in our simulation! Science shows us that it takes approximately 2 weeks for the human body to acclimate to a different climate or large temperature change and we are rapidly approaching the close of our acclimation period just in time to depart from Mars and re-enter the atmosphere on Earth. It certainly would yield more data points to extend our mission past 14 sols, but alas, we must return soon to our homes, families, pets and jobs. There is still much to accomplish here on Mars, however, and we wake up every morning with a full schedule and aspirations of fulfilling our ever growing to-do lists. It's good to be busy and during this mission on Mars, we certainly have been! Today was no exception as we continued working on our research: plant science, astrobiology, social psychology, engineering design, education and outreach, astronomy and- our favorite research- creating delicious soup utilizing a variety of dehydrated ingredients!

The past 12 sols of this mission have taught me some important lessons; the first being that food and productivity go hand in hand. Cooking for my crew is something I enjoy immensely and meal time is when we gather, share and learn from each other. Openness and communication are also lessons that a two-week mission in isolation can teach you. The more time we spend together, the more we feel connected as a little remote family unit. We are getting to know how each other work best and can judge when we need to go off on our own to get our tasks completed. One connecting factor of our team is the graduate school that we each attended in different years previously. Having that shared experience is something unique and extraordinary for Team ISU on Mars. Our alma mater, The International Space University in Strasbourg, France, is the tie that binds our team and has actually prepared us for living and working together on a space mission, simulated or otherwise. The school is the foundation for our careers in the space industry and it's our hope that Team ISU can return annually to MDRS to promote the incredible research capabilities and opportunity at this location.

Until tomorrow, Crew 162 Commander Garifi, signing off.