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Commander Report Crew 165:

Pamela Nicoletatos

Sol 1

Earth date: 07/03/16


Wow, what a morning on Mars! After severe dust storms rocking the Hab for most of the evening the crew awoke this morning to the spectacular view of a Martian sunrise.  There are literally no words to describe the raw beauty of this planet and the inspiration you can see in each of the crewmembers’ eyes as they quietly contemplate the view through the windows of Mars’ soul. Mars you are a wonder and an amazing place!

We have begun analyzing and recording our water use, which requires an accurate weighing of each crewmember both before and after the elimination process, needless to say one must ensure a bit more time before your bathroom break and especially true when wearing your flight suit! Math first thing in the morning before my coffee is not my strong point, but the motivation for science seems to prevail! Becoming close and familiar with our excrement (we’ve dubbed it the Sphincter airlock measurements) will be only one of the missions of our Crew.  We are carefully monitoring all of our consumption of this valuable resource (water) down to even our food preparation. Yet the Japanese cuisine the crew prepares is without a doubt the best use of the rations MDRS has supplied. Although there are as yet no Japanese cuisines that utilize the baby formula we found in our rations boxes.

Crew looked at me, I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and said, “I got nothing.”  Yummy rations!

Breakfast was a mixture of Blueberry and plain pancakes supplied by our Crew XO and fortunately they became more recognizable as each one was made, taking on a traditional pancake shape, a yummy treat.  Followed by a simple yet entertaining session of calisthenics provided by our HSO, needless to say we were not the most coordinated of groups but have vowed to perfect this traditional morning routine practiced back on Earth in Japan.

After breakfast the crew organized for our first EVA. With the ease and speed of a well-oiled machine we donned our EVA suits and were off to explore! The crew was comprised of myself, Crew Journalist and our HSO, who began our second project, focusing on soil collection to analyze the levels of human contaminants around our Hab. This particular study will focus primarily on the human impact of a colonization program within an extraterrestrial environment and how it could potentially alter the dynamics of an alien ecosystem. Minimizing our impact when exploring new Worlds should be of paramount importance, if we have learnt any lessons from the current impact we have had back home on Earth. Responsible colonization should be of the upmost priority for our species. So the motto take away what you bring proved true today when on our EVA, crew were tasked with the retrieval of some space debris we encountered on our route back to the Hab. Never have I been more grateful for going to the gym back on Earth than as I slowly traversed the terrain dragging scrap with the added weight of my pack! Slow and steady wins the race.

Lunch was a Mexican fiesta theme prepared by our Crew GreenHab Officer and his culinary skill was also a welcomed treat. So now, as I sit here typing my reports listening to the gentle hum of our Hab, the crew is busy writing reports, trying to recalibrate our Rover and enjoying our first Sol on Mars! Tonight, if the skies hold we shall be able to venture out to the Musk Observatory for a blissful treat of watching the skies over our Martian home. Behold the Milky Way in all her splendor!

EVA requests have been submitted and additional reports to follow shortly. Tomorrow the rover shall join our EVA Crew!

From Crew 165,

Crew Commander signing off.