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Commander Report Crew 165:

Pamela Nicoletatos

Sol 2

Earth date: 08/03/16


Second Sol on Mars and enthusiasm and morale is high! We had sat down last night for some RnR and watched Andy Weir’s The Martian while eating popcorn, because who says you can’t have some of the luxuries of Earth while you are away on Mars! Sadly however, Star Wars, The Force Awakens was not available in our digital video library, perhaps next rotation! We laughed at the humor and yet could also sympathize with the hardships and challenges Mark Watney was enduring, the solitude, the speed at which the comfort of day to day Hab life can be altered along with the perseverance and desire to survive to get you through the most challenging of times.
Our Astronomy session was postponed due to the crew being tired but perhaps this evening!

 Breakfast time was utilized to go over the scheduled morning EVA, and since we are still waiting for our water resources to be topped up we have been trying to get the most bang for our buck out of what we have. One jug of powdered milk can go a long way. This of course was followed by our morning workout, lead by our HSO. She has tended to our health and well-being and is doing an excellent job. Needless to say the crew has improved our coordination of our exercises and by the end of two weeks should be like a trained Jedi Knight! We will be strong with the force!

I received a brief 20-minute training session from our Crew Astronomer/Engineer to use the “Nor Cal” rover to scout along with the EVA crew. I mastered a 6-point turn, would have been 3 but the optics still prove to test ones limits to maneuver in the compact EVA entrance of our Hab, then was given the “Go” by her to follow them outside! I think she was a bit concerned I would run her over. The unit itself is somewhat difficult to maneuver still due to a slight misalignment of the optics and the ability to scout ahead was halted early due to signal loss and the Rover was retrieved and returned to the Hab. I was gutted. The extension of a robotic substitute out with the crew was exhilarating though and should definitely be a must have tech for future colonization.

The 4 people Eva crew, XO, Astronomer, Engineer and our Journalist (he’s now familiar and well trained for fast movement while fully weighed down with his pack, running with tripod and camera in hand!), embarked on their journey to revisit a sampling site from yesterdays EVA as well as scout new terrain for future collection. Fortunately, the storms that welcomed us the first few nights have gone and Mars allows us to explore with little disruption.  We once again collected space debris that was spotted during our EVA and retrieved the Rover’s tarp, which had disappeared during the previous nights storms, it is currently being stored in the GreenHab until we can secure it again! 

 Additional Crew reports to follow.

 From Crew 165,

 Crew Commander signing off.